My husband's youngest aunt, who lives in Mosul, had a close call with reality last weekend. Her husband, S, came home from his shop all bloodied and injured. A car bomb had exploded near his little store and a piece of shrapnel had entered his chest, and another his leg. His relatives drove him to the nearest hospital, but for whatever reason, the hospital refused to admit him.
He went home to his wife and daughters in his bloody clothes, and continued bleeding till the following morning.
The next day, a relative drove him to a doctor friend, who was able to locate and extricate the shrapnel in his chest. He was unable to take out the metal in his leg. All of this was done without anasthesia.
And so, the struggle of my Iraqi family continues.