Shokran Gazillan

We call back for the medic, who comes running. He cuts off the younger boy’s pant leg and tells us to hold him down so he doesn’t squirm. There’s blood everywhere and he’s screaming. I’m holding his arms, trying to cradle his head and reassure him, saying on of the only Arabic words I know, “shokran Gazillan,” over and over (it means “thank you”... I think).

The blood is all coming from his calf. I can’t tell what happened, but the medic seems relieved. I guess because the big artery in his thigh is safe. Simmons, the medic, grabs two big bandages from his bag, presses them firmly against the entrance and exit wounds and then starts wrapping them up with gauze. He then grabs a syringe, looks at the boy, who was still screaming, then up at me, removes the cap with his teeth, puts it in the skinny young boy’s leg and pushes the plunger halfway down. The boy almost instantly goes limp.

The older boy leaps on the medic and starts punching him in the head, I guess thinking we’ve just killed his younger brother.

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