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On January 22nd, 2012, an IED (Improvised Explosive Devise) detonated near an Iraqi Army base in Fallujah. Hussein Jamil Abdullah, a 28-year-old soldier from Baghdad, was nearby when the explosive discharged, knocking him to the ground. But, hey, he lay there for half an hour, his right leg in a jerry-rigged tourniquet made from a headscarf, before he was taken to hospital.


According to the Brookings Institute, 10,819 Iraqi soldiers were killed between June 2003 and June 2012. 

Gangrene set in almost immediately, and the doctors at Fallujah General Hospital had to amputate his leg. He was then moved to Adnan Military Hospital, but the care Hussein received was terrible. His bandage was’ t changed for two days, and fearing that gangrene would set in a second time, his family moved him to Kerkh Hospital, where they had to cover the costs themselves, as the Army refused to pay.


As soon as he was wounded, the Iraqi Army cut Hussein s salary in half: from $500 a month to $250, which is less than he could live on. So his brother, Ali, gave up his work as a barber to take care of him, and his two other brothers, Abbas and Hassan, started taking care of the family.


Before he was wounded, Hussein had bought and furnished a room in preparation for his wedding to his fiancée, Hind. Still, after the explosion, Hind‘s father refused to allow them to marry, claiming that Hussein wouldn’t be able to take care of her.


In the summer, a selection of photographs was published online and caught the attention of an NGO worker in Baghdad, who arranged for Hussein to have a prosthetic leg fitted.


Once he had his prosthetic leg, Hussein married Hind.


After four years of Hussein and his wife, I lost three children after great suffering with some inexperienced doctors in Baghdad; one of the doctors discovered that her problem was tiny, and now Hussein and Hind got a beautiful baby.

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