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Pasha Musabasic

Nurse in Gorazde hospital

Pasha Musabasic worked as the main medical nurse in Gorazde hospital before war transformed the town. Her job consisted of organising shifts of doctors and undertaking administrative jobs in the hospital. Following an influx of refugees in 1992, Pasha’s life - both personal and professional- were altered forever.

“The war started for me, long before the snipers started shooting in downtown Gorazde.”

“We were left practically without anything. I, myself, was cutting the sheets from the beds in order to provide that as a material to cover the wounds of the ill patients”.

“I feel a particular attachment and togetherness with the people who stayed in Gorazde during the war.
They are my true family and I wish I was their real sister, not just their medical sister”.

Being confronted with daily shelling and attacks, Pasha and her colleagues had to adapt to the changing landscape of a town under fire. When war started in April 1992, Pasha was left with only thirteen nurses. She describes how medical sisters were becoming midwives, dental nurses were coming medical nurses, and she herself was working with limited medical supplies to give lifesaving care to injured citizens.

Days in the hospital were endless; nights blended seamlessly into days during which Pasha had limited breaks in between constant arrivals of new wounded people. In addition to war wounds, there were also patients with regular illnesses that required treatment or operation, treatments that could not be put on pause because of the war.

Living in the hospital for two years, Pasha experienced life on the frontline. She recounts an incident in which she took a break by a window to get some fresh air when a bullet shot through the glass. Hitting the door in the hospital room, the bullet ricocheted in Pasha’s chest, and fortunately failed to penetrate fully. For three months Pasha suffered a hematoma, but considers the injury minimal compared to the wounds she was treating on a daily basis.

Despite the daily challenges and tragedies Pasha faced, she recalls uplifting moments in the hospital: gaining strength from the determination of patients she treated and the resillience of her colleagues.  Despite not being born in Gorazde, Pasha’s heart remains in the town where she lived for 56 years and lived in the hospital for two years during the war.