"Those of you who know João will not be surprised to learn that throughout this ordeal he continued to shoot pictures," wrote Bill Keller, the executive editor of The New York Times, in a memo to staff.
João Silva made his name while covering the violent birth pangs of a democratic South Africa. He was a member of the Bang-Bang Club, a group of photographers who documented the Hostel War during the last days of Apartheid. Since he has covered the major conflicts of our time and won numerous awards.
João stumbled upon his career when he accompanied a friend on a photo shoot in the 1980s and was instantly hooked. A contract photographer for The Times since 2000, he is also an avid motorcyclist, a husband to Viv and a father to two young children, Isabel and Gabriel.
Update - 1 August 2011: João visits the New York Times in New York.
Update - 28 July 2011: João shoots his first assignment since losing his legs in Afghanistan. Read more on the New York Times Lens blog.
Update - 30 May 2011: First Lady Michelle Obama visits João at Walter Reed Medical Center on Memorial Day 2011. Read more on the New York Times Lens blog.
Update - 7 Feb. 2011: João takes first steps with his prosthetic legs at Walter Reed in Washington, DC, 7 February 2011. Read more on the New York Times Lens blog.
Update - 16 Jan. 2011: João gets a day pass from the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Update - 25 Dec. 2010: US Vice President Joe Biden pays an unplanned visit to João at Walter Reed on Christmas Day. The Vice President's first words were along the lines of "You're supposed to let the Army do that stuff." He and Joao spoke for about 10 minutes
Update - 5 Dec. 2010: Emilio Morenatti of The Associated Press, who lost his left foot and part of his left leg in August 2009, visits João at Walter Reed.
Update - 2 Dec. 2010: João moves out the intensive care unit.
Update - 29 Nov. 2010: The New York Times posts images from João's memory card and the account of the day's events by text reporter Carlotta Gall who was accompanying João on the fateful day.
Update - 15 Nov. 2010 Greg Marinovich is in DC this week visiting João. He writes: "Spending time with João, Viv and the staff at the hospital, 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. • We hope that most dangers are now behind him, and he can slowly start the road to recovery, but he is still extremely weak and exhausted by the series of operations he has had to endure. He has a few more and should be able to look forward to moving out of intensive care in a week or so. • João is overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and affection from friends and strangers around the world."
Update - 29 Oct. 2010: João is admitted to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC.