SURVIVOR’S STORIES: IN THEIR OWN WORDS
| Edgar Moreno, Colombia
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When Edgar was 16 when he started to work on a cattle farm. One
day, after milking the cows, he stepped on a landmine. His friend,
hearing the noise of the explosion, ran to him and took him to
the health centre for emergency care.
Edgar then needed to be taken to a hospital in the nearest city,
but guerrilla forces had mined the territory a few days before,
including a bridge that connected the town to the nearest city.
So, it took more than 18 hours to get a farmer to take Edgar in
a truck. Even then, guerrillas stopped the truck because they
thought Edgar was a wounded government soldier and they wanted
to kill him. Fortunately, the owner of the truck explained the
situation and he and Edgar were allowed to continue on their journey.
Two days later they arrived at the hospital and his leg was immediately
Edgar had a difficult recovery. His health prior to the accident
had not been very good and he experienced much physical pain and
mental anguish, often feeling that death was his best option.
But his belief in God gave him the strength, optimism, and hope
to enable him to face his new reality, although this took some
time. When he returned home he hid himself because he didn’t
want anyone to see and pity him. His mother and brothers didn't
know how to treat the depth of his despair. To make matters worse,
a landmine killed Edgar’s older brother, as well as a friend
who had tried to rescue him.
In 1992, the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross)
helped Edgar travel to Bogotá so that he could enter a
rehabilitation program at CIREC (Foundation for Reconstructive
Surgery). With the help of CIREC, family, and friends, Edgar started
a musical group, studied painting, and trained for, competed,
and won bicycle competitions. In 1997, he entered the "On
the Job Training Program" at CIREC to become a technician.
He is a member of CIREC's association of patients and he is the
leader of the "Hope Seeds Program", a CIREC program
about disabled people helping themselves. Edgar has married another
disabled woman and they have a baby girl. He helps support his
mother as well. Edgar wants to start a small community business