Michelle, The New Heart After The Maturity Essay “The Wait? It’s Hope”

Rome, the 18-year-old saved by a transplant. The choice of track for graduation

Corriere della Sera published an article on a young 18-year-old girl on July 7th, Michelle Arcangelo, from Genzano di Roma, who has chosen for her maturity essay to take a cue from her clinical situation by dictating the text to her physical education teacher from the bed in the room of the Heart Failure, Transplantation and Mechanical Assistance Unit of “Bambino Gesù”, directed by Professor Antonio Amodeo, where she has been hospitalized since February 7th due to the recurrence of a myocarditis that knocked out her heart. Michelle knows what it means to wait.

At Bambino Gesù

Corriere della Sera reports this quote from Michelle: “I wrote that life is a wait, there are short, long, simple or complex expectations, he says, and I have linked the wait to hope because for months I have been waiting for the call that tells me that there is a compatible heart for transplant. For me, the end of waiting means the beginning of a new life”. The long-awaited call arrived on the night of her graduation, in which she was able to acknowledge that a compatible heart had been found for her, that of a young nurse who had lost her life in a car accident. After a ten-hour surgery, Michelle had a new heart and a new life. Again, Corriere della Sera reports: “I wanted to enroll in Nursing Sciences – she says – but now I want to stay away from hospitals for a while. I’m going to take a sabbatical year, I want to write a book to tell my story and give courage to those who find themselves in the same situation as me”.



Professor Antonio Amodeo who operated on her to retrace the story of this girl who in April of last year had already been hospitalized for fulminant myocarditis, but had come out with normal heart function.

According to Corriere della Sera, on February 7th, two weeks after her 18th birthday, a very rare recurrence stopped her heart: “She went into the emergency room conscious – says Amodeo – but she immediately went under arrest. After 55 minutes of heart massages without results we intervened “in the Garibaldi style”, risking everything, we opened her chest and connected her to a mechanical assistance system. We feared brain damage and instead she woke up in Ecmo with her sternum still open and calmly answering questions. Unfortunately due to an ischemia of the left lower limb we could not help but amputate, while with the rehabilitation the movement of the hand is recovering”.

Slowly recovering

Corriere della Sera has also published a brief sentence from Michelle’s essay: “If Whatsapp has made us frenetic, for me it meant maintaining the relationship with the outside world and then I have to say thanks to technology and these machines if I’m alive”.

She admits that it wasn’t easy to wake up without a leg: “I cried, but I understood that to smile you have to learn to cry. And even the waiting time wasn’t wasted for me, I met wonderful people in the hospital, I understood that in life you don’t have to worry about trivialities”. Her thanks go to the unknown donor who gave her life back: “I promise I will take care of this heart in an exceptional way, I want to live well”, Corriere della Sera reports.

The original article was published by Corriere della Sera

“The dream of Bambino Gesù Hospital,
the dream of the Pope, is to help bring
science and humanity to all children with
very severe diseases who need to be treated”
Pope Francis