Patients and their history
in Reconstructing lives
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Chapter 3 examines events related to patients’ injuries and reports on typical incidents in the immediate aftermath of an injury. The chapter shows how patients carry a double burden: that of their injury and of the disruption to their family and social environment. We meet Ali, a Syrian patient. Retelling his personal history, Ali describes the risks taken by the wounded and by those who try to save them. Ali reports multiple losses: his health, social identity, loved ones, material objects, and sense of security and trust. Numerous scenarios experienced by other participants in the study tell of the ways their lives were changed in a matter of seconds. The majority of those injured in Syria were wounded in bombing raids from the air or by gunshot. Iraqis, in contrast, were mainly the victims of explosions. The narration style of each group indicates how they frame, understand, and feel about the injury event. But in all cases, the incidents related to the injuries certainly leave their mark. The subsequent struggle to access healthcare and a safe refuge adds to the toll. The chapter details the long and difficult journeys taken by the wounded leading them eventually to the RSP in Amman. They carry their painful, traumatized past with them.

Reconstructing lives

Victims of war in the Middle East and Médecins Sans Frontières

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