A lesson from a hospital bed

There are pirates "on the road” and there are pirates on the ski slopes. There are patients who get discouraged and have a crisis and there are patients who take advantage of the time of hospitalization to do volunteer work. Volunteering has been of particular interest in Trento in this period, and although small, this story needs to be told.

On Saturday 13 January around noon, Michela Barazza was skiing on the slopes of Marilleva and having fun with her friend. A skier – who up till now has not been identified – came in from the left and cut Michela at speed and then fled the scene leaving her on the ground. The rescuers in charge of the slopes were alerted and the unfortunate woman, in pain, was “packed” and transported to the nearest hospital in Cles . where a first examination revealed three fractures, two of which were displaced – ischium, ileum on the right and left clavicle. Subsequently transferred to the Santa Chiara hospital in Trento, a fracture of the sacrum on the left side was also discovered.

The outcome, (to make a long story short and without taking anything away from the pain and suffering in these situations and the anger that follows towards a ‘pirate’ of the slopes), was four broken bones and a delicate operation in three parts of the pelvis carried out by the head of orthopaedics, Luigi Branca Vergano; a two-week hospitalization followed by convalescence, (which timewise has not yet been defined), assisted by her seven grandchildren.

Nothing special up to here. you might think, except that Michela, who is a professor of mathematics at the Tambosi Institute in Trento, as well as being an educator and volunteer in her community, learned after a few days that her pupil J.K. had also been hospitalized for a few weeks in a different ward.

Some difficulty in maths. not being able to follow the lessons, and the long hospitalization worried the student so much that Professor Michela offered to tutor her, replacing a desk with a bed. This naturally aroused the admiration of the doctors, but especially of her colleagues and of the director of the Tambosi, Andrea Bezzi, who was keen to say: “Well done both of you!”

However, it is not the words of praise, such as “you are mythical! You are unique! What makes you do it?” received from various quarters that stimulates the patient/ teacher with broken bones, but the spirit of volunteerism that animates her in daily life.

Volunteering. – defined by President Mattarella in Trento as a “gift” as “taking care of others”- is the culture of care. “Care means. among other things. – for the president – a passion for education, ability to include those who are sidelined, it means giving a hand to those who aren`t making it so that they can resume their journey…

A small story, but one that sends different messages.

On the one hand, a decidedly uncivilized ski pirate who fled from his responsibilities, and on the other, the spirit of voluntary service lavished from a hospital bed.

(Source: L’Adige – 5 February 2024 – Giorgio Battocchio)