Recovery just beginning for many of Paris wounded

Honoring The Victims Of The Paris Tragedies


PARIS (AP) -- One bullet tore into Amandine Andretto's right leg, shattering her tibia. Another hit her in the arm. For three interminable hours, her parents didn't know if she was among the dozens massacred at the Bataclan concert hall.

Finally, as rescue services rushed her to a triage and treatment center, her mother reached her on the phone.

SEE ALSO: Stories of those who died in the Paris attacks

The 32-year-old lawyer is lucky to be alive, felled by the extremists' first sprays of gunfire in the Nov. 13 attack but saved by three officers from an elite police unit who dragged her out of the hall during the subsequent hostage-taking.

It will be at least three months before she can even begin the process of starting to walk again, her father said.

"It is going to be long," Jean-Pierre Andretto told The Associated Press. "She has two or three more surgeries."

Simply by staying alive, hundreds of people wounded in the Paris attacks are defying the Islamic State extremists who sought to kill them. Yet that defiance comes at an enormous price.

Some were in cardiac arrest when they were evacuated to Paris hospitals but now look like they will pull through. Scores more with no visible physical scars are haunted by what they saw or did to survive France's worst attack in decades.

For those with smashed spines and other devastating wounds, the months and years ahead could be a daily battle. In many cases, the high-velocity rounds fired at close range and exploding suicide belts packed with shrapnel did lasting damage.

Photos of the victims of the Paris attacks:

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By the French health ministry's most recent count, on Wednesday, 195 people were still hospitalized, three of them in critical condition and 41 in intensive care. More than 350 people were wounded along with the 130 killed, French officials said.

The Bataclan, where 89 died during a concert by the American band Eagles of Death Metal, was the scene of the worst carnage. There were also attacks at cafes and the national stadium.

The fact that the death toll has not been rising daily over the past week - it had been 129 for days before being increased to 130 on Friday - is a remarkable testimony to the French medical corps' huge efforts to save lives.

But, like Andretto, many face more operations in the future.

One bullet at the Bataclan shattered the ankle of a pregnant woman in her thirties, ripping upward through her calf and exploding out through her knee, according to her priest in the Paris suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois, the Rev. Tristan de Salmiech.

Her baby appears unharmed but she will need more treatment on her leg, including a skin graft.

"They think they have saved her leg, but that she will remain disabled," de Salmiech said.

In further family trauma, her husband was shot through the stomach but "was incredibly lucky ... the bullet didn't hit any organs," he added.

The priest would not give the couple's names, citing privacy concerns.

An off-duty police chief from Normandy, a 38-year-old father of two with a black belt in judo, took a bullet in the back at the Bataclan that hit his spine, according to his town's mayor, Marc-Antoine Jamet. The officer was evacuated to one of the two military hospitals in Paris that, because of their experience with battlefield wounds, took in nearly 20 percent of the most critically injured casualties.

The list of horrific wounds goes on.

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ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY French fire brigade members aid an injured individual near the Bataclan concert hall following fatal shootings in Paris, France, November 13, 2015. Gunmen and bombers attacked busy restaurants, bars and a concert hall at locations around Paris on Friday, killing dozens of people in what a shaken President Francois Hollande described as an unprecedented terrorist attack. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH French fire brigade members aid an injured individual near the Bataclan concert hall following fatal shootings in Paris, France, November 13, 2015. At least 30 people were killed in attacks in Paris and a hostage situation was under way at a concert hall in the French capital, French media reported on Friday. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
People run after hearing what is believed to be explosions or gun shots near Place de la Republique square in Paris on November 13, 2015. At least 18 people were killed in several shootings and explosions in Paris today, police said. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
Spectators gather on the pitch of the Stade de France stadium following the friendly football match between France and Germany in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on November 13, 2015, after a series of gun attacks occurred across Paris as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. At least 18 people were killed, with at least 15 people killed at the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris, only around 200 metres from the former offices of Charlie Hebdo which were attacked by jihadists in January. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 14: French officials and medics work near Le Petit Cambodge restaurant in the 11th district after a drive-by shooting killing 11 people, November 14, 2015, Paris, France. At least 142 people were killed deadly shootings and explosions took place in several neighbourhoods of Paris. 1,500 troops deployed in French capital says Elysse. (Photo by Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Two men evacuate the Place de la Republique square in Paris as a police officer looks on, after several shootings on November 13, 2015. At least 18 people were killed in several shootings and explosions in Paris today, police said. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 13: Police survey the area of Boulevard Baumarchais after an attack in the French capital on November 13, 2015 in Paris, France. At least 18 people were killed in a series of gun attacks across Paris, as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. (Photo by Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images)
Rescuers rush to the scene following an attack in the 10th arrondissement of the French capital Paris, on November 13, 2015. At least 18 people were killed as multiple shootings and explosions hit Paris, police said. Police also said there was an ongoing hostage crisis in the Bataclan a concert hall in the French capital. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 14: French officials and medics work near Le Petit Cambodge restaurant in the 11th district after a drive-by shooting killing 11 people, November 14, 2015, Paris, France. At least 142 people were killed deadly shootings and explosions took place in several neighbourhoods of Paris. 1,500 troops deployed in French capital says Elysse. (Photo by Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
A firefighter attend to an injured person lying on a stretcher near the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris, on November 14, 2015. At least 39 people were killed in an 'unprecedented' series of bombings and shootings across Paris and at the Stade de France stadium on November 13. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
People are evacuated by bus, near the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris, on November 14, 2015. More than 100 people were killed in a mass hostage-taking at a Paris concert hall on November 13 and many more were feared dead in a series of bombings and shootings, as France declared a national state of emergency. AFP PHOTO / MARTIN BUREAU (Photo credit should read MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 13: U.S. President Barack Obama departs the White House briefing room after delivering remarks on the recent violence taking place in Paris, France November 13, 2015 in Washington, DC. Gunfire and explosions erupted in the French capital with early casualty reports indicating at least 60 dead. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Football fans leave the Stade de France stadium following the friendly football match between France and Germany in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on November 13, 2015, after a series of gun attacks occurred across Paris as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. At least 18 people were killed, with at least 15 people killed at the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris, only around 200 metres from the former offices of Charlie Hebdo which were attacked by jihadists in January. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
supporters run in panic on the pitch during the International friendly match between France and Germany on November 13, 2015 at the Stade France in Paris, France.(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)
Police are seen outside a cafe-restaurant in 10th arrondissement of the French capital Paris, on November 13, 2015. At least 18 people were killed as multiple shootings and explosions hit Paris, police said. Police also said there was an ongoing hostage crisis in the Bataclan a concert hall in the French capital. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
A policeman stands behind a cordon blocking the street near the site of an attack in a restaurant in Paris on November 13, 2015. At least 18 people were killed in multiple attacks in Paris Friday, including one near the Stade de France sports stadium and another at a concert venue. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
A victim lies on the ground covered by a white sheet (Rear L) as special police work at the attack scene rue Bichat, in central Paris, early on November 14, 2015. More than 100 people were killed in a mass hostage-taking at a Paris concert hall late on November 13 and many more were feared dead in a series of bombings and shootings, as France declared a national state of emergency. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
Firefighters and rescuers evacuate injured people near the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris, on November 14, 2015. At least 39 people were killed in an 'unprecedented' series of bombings and shootings across Paris and at the Stade de France stadium on November 13. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
People are evacuated following an attack at the Bataclan concert venue in Paris, on November 13, 2015. At least 18 people were killed in multiple attacks in Paris Friday, including one near the Stade de France sports stadium. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
Forensic experts inspect the site of an attack outside the Stade de France stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, early on November 14, 2015, after a series of gun attacks occurred across Paris as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. A number of people were killed and others injured in a series of gun attacks across Paris, as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
French President Francois Hollande and U.S. President Barack Obama place flowers at a makeshift memorial to pay tribute to the victims of the Paris attacks at the Bataclan in Paris November 29, 2015. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A pair of abandoned shoes seen left in the street near the Bataclan concert hall the morning after a series of deadly attacks in Paris, November 14, 2015. REUTERS/Charles Platiau TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH A member of the French fire brigade aids an injured individual near the Bataclan concert hall following fatal shootings in Paris, France, November 13, 2015. At least 30 people were killed in attacks in Paris and a hostage situation was under way at a concert hall in the French capital, French media reported on Friday. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
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A concert promoter has slowly been awoken from a medically induced coma after a bullet pierced one of his lungs, shattered his ribs and narrowly missed his heart, according to his father's Facebook postings.

An amateur drummer from the town of Domont north of Paris is out of danger but still hospitalized with serious gunshot wounds, Le Parisien reported.

Those with wounds to arms, legs and joints face "very long" periods of rehabilitation and some will be likely be permanently disabled, said Vincent Duverger, a surgeon at the Begin military hospital in Paris.

The hospital had five operating rooms working around the clock to treat 41 casualties from the attack, most arriving in a 60-minute rush in three waves of ambulances. Some of the wounded came in trussed up with "makeshift tourniquets, tied probably by civilians from shirts or scarves."

"High-velocity rounds cause violent wounds," he said. "A bullet that goes through a leg, taking away muscle, bones and nerves, poses lots of questions."

Laurent Martinez, a military psychologist, said many others are grappling with the "invisible" injuries of post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety and other psychological disorders that can last for years.

These victims could include not just those who survived the attacks but also emergency workers who had to respond to horrific scenes.

Martinez said all the Paris attacks survivors he has treated so far have voiced deep feelings of "shame and guilt" because they're still alive when so many others died. They are questioning instinctive things they did to survive and asking themselves if they should have or even if they could have acted differently.

"There were really horrible scenes," he said. "People told us they had to crush people, walk on them to escape. All that provokes unbearable feelings of shame."

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