Fresh air towards the RomaOstia

Ludovico – reading time 2 min

Few are the truly important days of your own life, those that live an indelible sign, that puts you in a good mood just thinking about them. I had the privilege to live two of them in the space of a year: the 25th of February 2018 and the 10th of March 2019.

On the 5th of February 2018 the worsening of my clinic conditions forced me to an emergency admittance at the Policlinico Maggiore in Milan. From the beginning, the doctors were very clear. They told me: “Ludovico, you are only getting out from here with new lungs”. I already was on the transplant list, first in Rome and then in Milan, but nobody was expecting such a quick decline.

Yes because cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease that “accompany” me from birth, pushes forward inexorably and often taking all the medications and following the treatments prescribed by the doctors is not enough to slow its progression.  The organs that are mainly hit are the lungs. Recurrent pneumonias destroy the tissues, causing an irreversible loss of functionality. This is what commonly happens with the disease, but each patient lives a different decline influenced by many factors (mainly genetics, considering that there are over 2000 mutations for the cystic fibrosis gene).

My social and sportive life was the one of any other boy until I was 20 years old (although characterized by daily aerosol ad physiotherapy). At around 23 years old, I needed oxygen therapy to practice sport. Later I went through a 24 hours oxygen therapy regime together with lungs ventilation at night. Finally lungs ventilation 24/7, in the last months prior to the transplant. After 20 days from the admittance at the hospital, on the 24th of February 2018 at around 8 pm, I received the long waited call. Lungs available, we go in the operating theatre.

On the 25th of February at 8 am the surgery was started. 12 hours in the operating theatre. Nothing if compared to 28 years of treatments, flares, admittances and, why not, even some scare when everything seemed to go in the wrong direction. The willing to go to the operating theatre, to get (with my own legs!) on that operating table looking for a second chance was a lot. It was the only thing that I wanted! And it was when I laid down on the operating table, a few moments before the anaesthesia took over, that I thought about the commitment I took with Andrea when I was included in the transplant list in Rome back in 2017: “After the transplant we train for the Roma-Ostia”.

And so it was…after the very first rehabilitation I started training with the target of getting the agonistic suitability. In June my first 5km race, in September 10km always thinking about those 21.097mt. And so the past 10th of March, from when the alarm went off, my only thought was to cut the finish line in Ostia.

After 2h21min I lived the best moment, supported by my oldest friends and especially by Andrea and by my girlfriend Elia (pacer for life!). A unique emotion, a true mouthful of oxygen after years of apnoea!

Now we train for the next race with an eye, why not, to the 42.195mt.

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