Some incredible accounts are emerging about how some people managed to survive the Paris massacres while gunmen killed others around them.
Point of view
We had patients with minor physical injuries who had seen some horrific things. They were seen by a psychiatrist.
Some Romanians described the nightmare that unfolded in Paris on Friday night (November 13).
Sixteen-year-old Valentine Philonenko’s father was at the Bataclan concert hall. She said he told her how he had to play dead.
“The first thing he told me was: ‘I’m alive’,” she said. “Even though I assumed he’d be dead. ‘I should be dead’, he kept saying…So he was on the floor, legs bent and the terrorist kicked his leg to see if he was dead. My dad gasped a bit. The man did it again, twice, or three times. What happened next? The man stopped beside him, he fired shots just 30 centimeters from his head. The man beside him was shot.
More than 350 people were injured, dozens critically, and transported to emergency wards across the city.
One emergency doctor, who has worked at a military hospital in Afghanistan, said he has never seen so many victims at once.
Philipe Juvin is head of A&E at Georges Pompidou Hospital in Paris.
“I have seen people with this kind of injury before. But never fifty at the same time. The issue we have is how to deal with fifty, how to make good choices because you can not treat fifty people at the same time.
“We had patients with minor physical injuries, but they had seen some horrific things. They were seen by a psychiatrist. Those people have been asked to return for further psychiatric counselling. That work is just beginning.”
Juvin said most of the victims who had been shot during at the Bataclan concert venue were young and survived their wounds because of their age and good health.