“From October 1, they started firing at people and, as a tuk-tuk driver—or the ambulance of the nation, as people call us—I started evacuating wounded people,” said Salim. “I have seen some injuries that really damaged me. I couldn’t just go back home, put my head on a pillow, and fall asleep. Some get hit by ‘smokers’ [Iraqi slang for tear gas canisters] in the head, others in the leg—my convictions didn’t allow me to leave.”
Salim was hit in the leg by a stun grenade and taken to a hospital for surgery. He was told he needed to stay for two weeks to properly recover but he was unable to rest as he saw the influx of wounded people arriving to the hospital alongside him.
“I thought I would be able to gather my strength, stand up, and drive my tuk-tuk to save more people,” he said.
He discharged himself against medical advice just two days after being admitted.