All university students, they had dropped out of school and now spent hours stitching together opposition flags, making face masks for the men to wear, and running secret underground clinics to treat the wounded, having gone through a crash course in first aid.
"It was a shock at first," Insisar, at 19 the youngest of the three, said of seeing gaping wounds. "But we have a goal that we need to reach, so we have to deal with it."
They also tracked down the families of the dead or detained to provide them with food, blankets and whatever financial aid they could.
Since our meeting, a year has passed, and the phenomenon of the "radicalization of the revolution" has ingrained itself. Extremist groups, like the Nusra Front which the U.S. recently designated a terrorist organization, are at the forefront of the rebel fighting force and seeing their capabilities, influence and ranks grow by the day.
In Aleppo in December a Salafist commander joked that the only thing between him and the Nusra Front was a cigarette. The Front does not allow its fighters to smoke, and he did not want to give up nicotine. That line is a widespread joke I heard more than once during my two weeks there.
We ended up walking with him into a former sweetshop recently turned into a field clinic.
He overheard a conversation I was having with one of the medics, a 19-year-old high school senior who asked us to name her Aya.
Fear and bravery
"You did what?" he asked her, his voice dripping with contempt.
Aya, glared straight at him, her dark eyes lined with bright blue eye shadow, her young face framed by a pale pink headscarf.
"I left my husband and came to volunteer here," she responded, her voice quiet but defiant.
He gave her a look of utter disgust before he turned on his heel and stormed out of the room.
Relief spilled across Aya's face, and the faces of her colleagues, but quickly gave way to anger: She was not about to let the Syria she was fighting for be ruled by the likes of him.
Aya's English is nearly impeccable. She once dreamt of being a lawyer. A new bride, her husband had recently joined the free Syrian army and she left home -- with his and her family's blessing -- to train as a medic.
"With everything happening in this country, I decided that I am supposed to do something and I just can't take a gun and fight because I am a girl," she explained. "So I decided to come here and help in another thing, like... saving people."
The first time she saw blood, she said she almost fainted.
"Of course I was scared, I scared too much, but there was something inside me telling me that there is something that I am supposed to keep doing," she says softly.
"I can't just be afraid and go, I am supposed to stay, and time after time I learn and I have more courage to do this."
Freedom and democracy
Now, dealing with the influx of wounded has become almost mechanical, part of a macabre daily routine. Despite the horror of what she is witnessing, dwelling on her own emotions is a luxury she cannot afford.
Aya is from a conservative Sunni family, and when it comes to the future of Syria she is fighting for, she says she wants to see something of a blend of both an Islamic and a democratic Syria.
"But democracy is better," she adds. "We need freedom, we need democracy, we need to say what we want without anyone saying to us, 'Why are you saying this?'"
Also in Aleppo, I met a young woman who goes by the pseudonym Sama. She walked into the room at a hospital run by the opposition, sporting jeans and long mud-covered boots, her brown hair tied in a loose ponytail, carrying a computer and with a camera slung around her neck.
Having grown accustomed to hearing male voices narrating the various YouTube videos, and having only come across male "media activists," we were surprised, to say the least.
Sama, in her early 20s, was living with the hospital "staff" -- now made up mostly of young men and a handful of women, many of whom had no prior medical experience.