How a civilian chef in Afghanistan escaped with his life from an insurgent bomb attack

The most-recent war in Afghanistan was one of the most gruelling military engagements of modern times.

Highly-trained and equipped soldiers fought a ferocious insurgency which was equally at home in the streets of Kabul as it was among the lofty peaks of the Kush Mountains.

Military personnel, from the US, UK and later other NATO forces, maintained constant vigilance against the high-risk of Taliban attacks. These soldiers, and other military professionals, were trained to respond to IEDs, gunfire or rockets at a moment’s notice.

But this time it was a civilian chef.

Bosnian national “Adin” was working as a cook for a military contractor in the country in 2010 when the worst happened. Insurgents detonated an IED which had been designed to inflict maximum possible damage to whoever was in the vicinity.

Despite the severity of the blast, he survived. But barely.

His physical injuries included a fractured femur, a fractured hip, abdominal trauma, shrapnel in the spine and hip as well as a ruptured mandible nerve, responsible for sensory and motor functions.

He was instantly rushed to the Combat Hospital at Bagram Air Base, the largest US military base in the country, where medics worked to stabilise his condition. These professionals were all-too familiar with the devastating effects of improvised bombs in the still-volatile country.

Once his survival was certain, the priority was getting him out of a war-zone and into a facility where he could be afforded the best possible care. He was soon flown to Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, where he remained in a serious condition for five weeks.

Finally, doctors deemed it safe to repatriate Adin to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Back home, he continued his treatment as an outpatient for his physical injuries and psychological trauma. A team of physicians including a neurologist, a psychiatrist, a psychologist, an orthopaedic trauma surgeon and a specialist in physical medicine took over his care.

The operation to get Adin home and well involved 26 medical professionals in five different cities, medical records in multiple languages, complex international travel arrangements and a seemingly-endless stream of medical appointments.

Throughout the process, Tangiers International was on hand to navigate the logistical maze and cut through the red-tape of emergency medical claim management.

Upon news of the incident, the assistance and claims management company immediately assigned a case manager to ensure Adin’s health was the number one priority.

Working with dedicated field agents and in-country healthcare providers, they focused on getting the civilian worker treated, repatriated and cared-for as he slowly began to recuperate from his horrific injuries.

This diligence paid off. Nearly a year after the blast, Adin’s case manager declared him to be at maximum medical improvement for his physical ailments.

Despite still seeking treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Adin is now able to return to work. This achievement can be shared by the medical professionals involved in his recovery and the work undertaken to smooth the process by Tangiers International.