Giles Duley, a world-traveling photographer, met Gino Strada while documenting The Salam Center for Cardiac Surgery in Khartoum, Sudan. Strada, founder of EMERGENCY, told Duley about the organization’s work with civilian war victims in Afghanistan. Inspired to further document the work of EMERGENCY, Duley promised Gino that he would visit the Surgical Center in Kabul to tell the stories of the many individuals ravaged by war.
A few months later in February 2011, Duley traveled to Afghanistan. Before documenting the EMERGENCY Surgical Center, Duley began a project in which he joined a small unit of US soldiers to record the impact of conflict on physical and mental health. On one particular morning with the unit, Duley stepped on an IED (Improvised Explosive Device), putting him in intensive care for two months and changing his life forever.
The explosion took two legs and one arm, leaving Duley a triple amputee fighting for his life. Although at first devastated, Duley soon became determined to continue his career as a photographer and keep his promise to Gino. Two years later, after a grueling recovery process, Duley did just that.
Suddenly finding common ground with patients at the Surgical Center, Duley shared his own experiences as a way to better connect with injured civilians whose limbs and lives were at stake. Taking in the horrific stories of patient after patient at the EMERGENCY Surgical Center in Kabul, Duley once again found his voice as a photographer.
His collection of photographs now serves as documentation of the countless individuals who face the tragic effects of war in Afghanistan. The images, which reflect Duley’s own painful journey, highlight the importance of EMERGENCY in providing free, state-of-the-art urgent medical care for civilians across the country.
To help Afghan civilian victims of war like those in Duley’s photographs, click here to donate now.