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José Dámaso Abrego - El Salvador

José lived with his parents and 10 siblings in the rural area of Cinquera, in the Municipality of the Department of Cabañas. He was the youngest son. José, didn’t go to school, but worked for his father on his farm. When he was just 11 years old, he was at home when his father was murdered and one of his older brothers was shot 14 times by a guerilla. Two months later another brother in the National Army died in combat. His family disintegrated because the ones that were still alive were targets for the guerillas. With anger and pain, Jose he decided to enter the National Guard. His objective was to have his own weapon and avenge his father’s death.

José was traveling by bus with his mother and two brothers to pick up provisions to feed the National Guard. They chose to travel by bus because military transports were constantly under attack from guerillas. The bus drove over two mines. The bus was destroyed, many people died and other were injured, among them José, who’s right arm was severed. His left hand was badly injured, and he suffered wounds to his head.

“I was moved to the Military Hospital of San Salvador. The Physician tried to rejoin the right hand, but it was impossible, because the remaining arm was in a worse condition. I did not have a solution other than to cut it off.” Fortunately, the doctors were able to save his left hand.

Jose felt enormous anxiety about his future. But there was more. While he was in the hospital he received news that the guerillas attacked his village and killed his four brothers and eight-year-old nephew. This new tragedy “caused me a big pain and mourning in my soul. It was greater than the pain of losing my arm, to know that my family was killed step by step, and I could not do anything about it.” A social worker at the hospital knew his situation and provided him with psychological and spiritual support. This helped him to recover physically and emotionally.

Since returning to his home and family was no longer an option, he needed another home. He was adopted by the social worker. José grew up with the social worker’s family in San Salvador. Later, he found his mother, who lives in the Department of La Libertad, although he still lives with his adoptive family in San Salvador.

“So far I am very happy, thanks to God and to the people that are around me”

Jose’s life experiences have given him great insight into the thoughts and feelings of other survivors, and he is quick to point out that he is the man he is today because of the care and friendship of the many people who have supported him. His main goal is to be an independent person. He likes helping others who are amputees, and his disposition and life experiences, makes him well-suited to being an LSN Field Outreach Worker. Jose is proud to be part of LSN-El Salvador, saying, “ It is a valuable job for my life. With pride and loyalty I am an Outreach Worker of LSN.” We are proud to have him on our team.

View the next profile: Rene Aguilar

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