It is busy but calm, we’re recruiting new staff, and the final parts of finishing the hospital construction are happening all around us. But first things first—starting with the evening when the fighting erupted in Kunduz city.
That first evening there was continuous bombardment and shooting so we had to rush to the bunker and we stayed there all night, without any sleep. Patients were not able to reach the trauma unit at that stage, on account of the non-stop fighting in the streets.
The following morning, we got news of multiple victims arriving in the unit, but we could not get there because there was fighting in the street between where I was staying and the unit. Our colleagues were asking for our help very urgently because they had a patient who had a gunshot wound in his chest and stomach who needed to go to surgery very soon and they needed assistance for that.
A moment came when the guns were quieter and it was possible to move—three of us ran to the other side of the road to the operating theatre. The patient had just lost their pulse, so we started chest compression while the anaesthetist was looking for an airway. I cut two holes in the chest to make sure blood could drain out and to allow the lungs to expand; meanwhile another colleague was trying to stop the bleeding below the sternum. We could tell pretty quickly that the bullet had probably hit part of the heart, and it rapidly became clear that there was no way that we could save him.
That was the start of our day of hell.