Everything moves quickly with the round of morning visits, treatments, discharge papers and some newly admitted patients. We are immersed in the everyday life of this hospital when, around lunchtime, the Emergency Room begins to fill up with patients. There have been multiple explosions, here in Kabul and districts further out. We treat them, some need to be operated on. Meanwhile, everything carries on moving quickly. Until the evening, the hospital will continue to fill with injured people, unknown stories, and fragments of life.
When the situation begins to calm down again, a father enters with his little one in his arms. The baby is only 6 months-old and has a wounded leg; right behind him is his wife. Her chest and abdomen are bandaged.
They were returning home from a wedding party when a barrage of gunfire hit them. The bullets struck the mother and baby right as she cuddled him.
We begin to treat their wounds. The little one has a fractured femur, the mother has multiple wounds to her stomach and chest. We immediately take her to the operating theatre, to perform an emergency operation, while the child stays in the ward, awaiting surgery.
The father is constantly there, cuddling his child, trying to stop his crying. He will spend the whole night with him. The next day, in the morning, we find him still there, trying to put on a brave face.
“Outside there’s a war, but I can’t just lock myself in at home because of that. I’ve got a responsibility to live, for me and my children”, something we so often hear from our patients. Welcome to everyday life in Kabul.