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IED in Kandahar Province

Location: Afghanistan

On August 11, 2009, Emilio Morenatti was with an Army convoy in Kandahar, Afghanistan. The award-winning, world renowned photographer for the Associated Press was in Afghanistan with an Army unit to capture the events of the war. Tragically, on this particular day, the convoy hit an IED, or Improvised Explosive Device.

As a result of the blast, Emilio suffered multiple factures at his ankle and devastating damage to his lower left leg. He was immediately taken to a Canadian Military Hospital were treating physicians and the FrontierMEDEX medical team worked together to assess the severity of his injuries. It was determined that the best course of action was to amputate the leg right below the knee.

While he was in surgery, FrontierMEDEX was already working on a plan for his continued care, knowing he would require much time for both recovery and rehabilitation. Morenatti was Spanish, but was residing in Pakistan. Because of this, FrontierMEDEX considered options of medically evacuating him to either Dubai or Spain.

Once taken off ventilation, FrontierMEDEX coordinated his medical evacuation to Dubai to a Center of Excellence medical facility. This facility had been researched and credentialed by FrontierMEDEX for its optimal standard of care. Morenatti would remain in Dubai while he stabilized. During this time, the Associated Press collaborated closely with FrontierMEDEX to craft a plan for Morenatti's rehabilitation. Wanting only the best facilities for their employee, the Associated Press insisted he be moved to Baltimore to University of Maryland Shock Trauma.

Morenatti received his prosthetic leg and remained at Shock Trauma until he was moved to the Kernan Orthopedics and Rehabilitation Hospital. While at Kernan, he completed intensive physical therapy pushing and challenging himself more than anyone had imagined someone could. Morenatti expressed a desire to be moved to the amputee clinic at Walter Reed Army Medical Center to be among his peers would had suffered similar injuries under similar circumstances. Even though Walter Reed is a military hospital, they accepted Morenatti as a patient due to the factors that had caused his injuries.

On March 12, 2010, Emilio Morenatti and his wife returned to Spain for good. He was able to not only walk with his prosthetic leg, but also to run with it, amazingly. These tragic events ended with the best possible success scenario due to the strength and willpower of Emilio Morenatti, the dedication of the Associated Press to getting him the best care no matter what, and the experience and expertise of FrontierMEDEX's medical team and Emergency Response Center.


This resource contains valuable information for field personnel such as briefing notes, training materials, health information and office contact details.

Field staff

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