Throughout the last few years, we lived through many terrible days and massacres, but these last two days, Friday and Saturday, are the worst I have ever seen.
I am a medical student who have worked as an assistant to medical teams, doing what I can, learning on the go and asking for help when needed.
Yesterday and today things were very different. Over the last few hours, I was the only “doctor” making decisions and executing them with absolutely no supervision. I am the person pronouncing people dead or triaging them to be saved. The one deciding Yasser should be the patient going to the OR before Fares because Fares is in such a bad condition that saving him seems unlikely.
Over the last few hours I had to direct Nagham to the ICU and leave Mohammad behind. I had to refer six people to get amputations and start a life of disability, just when they thought they were about to survive the war and go back to their normal lives.
These passing hours were incredibly tragic, for me, the hospital and the medical crew at large. In spite of it all, we do not have the luxury of giving up–there is simply no one else to do our job if we got tired or quit altogether. This would be unacceptable; you have to keep going until you collapse of exhaustion at the Emergency Room.
At such times, you have to forget about your family, and pray they are safe. You can not let yourself distracted by any such thoughts; you have to work, work and work to stop the ongoing extermination–that is, if you are not lost yourself to the hospital bombardment, which was all but imminent. Only then are you forgiven for having fulfilled your duty.
At such times, you have to put your feelings and instincts aside, ignore the sounds of shelling closing in, the dust in the hall outside, the noises coming from the patients in the waiting room, and focus on the the one before you, hoping to, perhaps, be of some help.