'My heart fell' says New Zealand surgeon who treated girl, 4

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CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — Vascular surgeon Adib Khanafer says he was in shock March 15 when he walked into the operating theater and saw a 4-year-old girl on the table who had suffered gunshot wounds so severe she’d been in cardiac arrest for 30 minutes before stabilizing.

Khanafer is Muslim and knew some of the 50 people killed in last week’s attacks at two Christchurch mosques. He says he typically fixes veins and arteries on adults in controlled environments.

He operated successfully, although the girl remains in critical condition, and has since been transferred to a children’s hospital in Auckland.

He says the attacks deeply affected his family. He knew a colleague and a patient who were killed, and his wife knew many more people at the Al Noor mosque who died.

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