AP Lensman Whose Foot Amputated is Transferred to Rehab Hospital

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An Associated Press photographer whose left foot was amputated after a bomb blast in Afghanistan was transferred Tuesday to a rehabilitation hospital in Baltimore, where he will be fitted for a prosthesis.

Emilio Morenatti was wounded Aug. 11 while on assignment with the U.S. military in southern Afghanistan. Two U.S. soldiers and an AP Television News videographer, Andi Jatmiko, were also injured when their vehicle ran over a bomb planted in the open desert.

Morenatti, 40, was treated at a military hospital in Kandahar, Afghanistan, and in Dubai before being transferred last week to the University of Maryland Medical Center’s R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where he moved about with the aid of a walker.

He said in a brief telephone interview that getting out of the hospital for the ambulance ride to Kernan Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation Hospital brightened his spirits considerably.

“I feel that I will be able to be OK,” Morenatti said. “I am completely optimistic.”

He described the rehab hospital as “a paradise for disabled people” and said he expected to receive treatment there for 2 to 3 months. His wife, Marta Ramoneda, is with him in Baltimore.

Morenatti, a Spaniard, has years of experience in war zones. Based in Islamabad, he has worked for the AP in Afghanistan, Israel and the Palestinian territories. Pictures of the Year International named him Newspaper Photographer of the Year in 2009.

In 2006, he was kidnapped in Gaza City and freed unharmed after 15 hours. The following year, he suffered a broken leg from a fragment of a stun grenade while covering a protest in a West Bank village.

Jatmiko, who suffered leg injuries and broken ribs in the bomb blast, is home in Jakarta, Indonesia, where colleagues welcomed him back last week to the AP bureau.

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