Personal Stories: Federico  Story

My name is Federico and I'm a 20 years old boy from Italy. My health has always been perfect, I run marathons and I played rugby without any problems.

In the night between the 5th and 6th of April 2008, I was home alone and after standing up from my chair I felt a chest pain, and everything was becoming grey to my eyes. I realized I fainted when I woke up again. I still had a stabbing chest pain and both my right arm and leg didn't answer to my movements. I had never fainted before, so I thought everything would have been ok. I still don't know where that strength came from, but I stood up, drank an energy drink and called my parents. The situation didn't seem to get better, so after calling my parents I called for an ambulance, and my sight started to get worse, I was scared to faint again. I would never have called "911", I would have preferred to wait and see if it would have got better in a few hours, but that pain wasn't normal.

I was able to knock on my neighbors door just on my left leg and arm , and they gave me some psychological help.

After a little bit the ambulance arrived and after a few minutes, in the hospital I started to feel better, my parents arrived and I started to move my right arm and leg again. The doctors, after a few exams, said that they would have continued the following day since my situation didn't seem threatening (the clock was around 2am); they told me I could sleep, and they told my parents to go home.

My safety, my angel, the man I will thank for the rest of my life, was an anesthetist who asked himself weather there were any problems with my heart/aorta, so he woke the cardiologist up, who found an aortic dissection in my ascending aorta. My parents were just 1 mile far from home (we live 40 miles away from each other), and didn't make it on time to come back and speak with me before the surgery.

My parents told me that the doctors began with my surgery around 7am and finished at 11am. They woke me up during the evening, and I could speak and even joke... a lot! (morphine effect?).

After 3 days in hospital I could walk a little bit and I started to feel better and better.

I was sent to a rehabilitation center from April 12th to April 25th. I spent the following weeks at my parent's house, and on the 12th of May I was ready to go to my house again, and to follow the lectures at my university! Of course I will have to give up playing rugby, but in a few months I will be able to run again!

I'm sorry for all my English errors, but I hope you will find my mail useful! You are doing a great job, carry on!

Yours sincerely,


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