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Posted at 7:35 PM ET, 12/ 1/2010

Friends of Joao Silva, injured 'New York Times' photographer, launch fundraiser

By Melissa Bell
Joao Silva
February 18, 2004: A Marsh Arab poles his canoe through Kirmashiya Marsh in southern Iraq. (Joao Silva)

On Oct. 23, a New York Times photographer embedded with troops in Afghanistan followed in the footsteps of the lead solider on patrol to avoid the area's land mines. In one instant, with just one small step out of place, the world changed.

Carlotta Gall was with Joao Silva, the hugely respected war photojournalist, just meters away from him on patrol. She writes:
Minutes later there was an explosion. A ball of black smoke rose from behind the wall of the compound .... As the medic ran forward, the sergeant shouted to him which way was safe to go. After more minutes of silence, the sergeant radioed for a medevac helicopter. "Give me a name!" he shouted over the wall. "Give me a name!"The reply came back: "It's the photographer."

Silva lost the lower portion of both legs, but thanks to the quick response of the medic, he made it out of Afghanistan and is recuperating in Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

His friend and fellow photographer, Greg Marinovich, recently visited him. He wrote: "It dawned on me how close to death he has been. Besides losing his lower legs, he suffered a myriad of other injuries, many of them extremely serious. He has spent three weeks now in intensive care, and were it not for remarkable health professionals -- and the quick action of the soldiers on the ground in Afghanistan -- he would not be with us."

Marinovich launched a PhotoShelter account in November to raise money for Silva, who had been working as a freelance photographer at the time of his injury. These are a few of the images available for sale. To see more, go here.

Joao Silva
(Joao Silva)
Joao Silva
(Joao Silva)
Joao Silva
(Joao Silva)
March 4, 2010: Iraqi soldiers lined up on Thursday in Baghdad to cast their ballots ahead of Sunday's parliamentary elections. (Joao Silva)
An Iraqi Shiite man talks to another through a hole in a cloth screen outside a mosque in Sadr City, a predominantly Shiite neighborhood of Baghdad, during Friday prayers Feb. 11, 2005. (Joao Silva)

Update: The 'Lens' blog also has an update on Silva with his final photographs snapped before and just after the explosion.

By Melissa Bell  | December 1, 2010; 7:35 PM ET
Categories:  Picture Shows  
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