SURVIVOR’S STORIES: IN THEIR OWN WORDS
| Jesús Martinez, El Salvador
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I had my accident in 1989 when I was 17 years old and I worked at
the Central Market in San Salvador where I sold Seafood. I lived
in the town of Apopa, which is located in the North of San Salvador.
On that day, Thursday, December 7, I was on my way to my job, and
the war had become stronger. There was a group of people who were
on the way to their jobs. The Guerrillas had set up landmines all
over the road, to prevent the cars from the army from passing by.
The guerrillas had placed explosives everywhere. And there were
also mines in the ground. There was a group of people walking in
line, where supposedly there were no mines. Suddenly I stepped on
a mine. The explosion also hurt others.
The mine was powerful, and the explosion severed both of my legs.
I was aware all of the time, and never lost consciousness. Because
of this it was easy for me to try to kill myself with another
explosive that I found there. But this explosive didn’t
explode. Later the soldiers from the army arrived and I took a
gun from one of the soldiers and told him to kill me please, kill
me, I wanted to die. I was desperate.
Then I was taken to the hospital. There at the hospital I could
talk to the doctor who performed the surgery. And he told me not
to worry, that everything was going to be fine. Then I fell asleep
from the anesthetic.
The healing process was very difficult, because I had a high
risk of infection in my limbs, and I had to wait until there was
no trace of infection. My body and my mind recovered because I
had my family’s support and also I met some other disabled
people there in the hospital. I saw how they practiced sports
happily in a wheelchair. I joined the Salvadoran Association of
Sports on a Wheelchair (ASADESIR) in 1993. I cooperate with the
National Census of people who were hurt and who have a disability
because of the war. This census was held by “El Fondo de
Lisiados de Guerra”. This activity helped me to meet many
disabled people and I could encourage them to practice any sport.