Davide is just an ordinary guy, like everyone else: he has dreams and wants to live… Even now that he is forced to run in a wheelchair.
On November 17, 2019, at only 15 years old, he suffered a serious accident during a game of Hockey, his beloved sport. Since then, a new path of life has begun for him and for all of us. That episode, in fact, marked a new starting point for new hopes and new ambitions. Some time has passed since the accident, but the daily labors, as well as the new challenges have not ended.
With the desire to allow Davide to look serenely to the future, the “Committee for Davide Dell’Oca” was born. Our goal is not only to find funds to concretely support the many new needs arising from his condition, but also to leave a mark on all those who, like Davide, have suffered, unwittingly and without fault, an accident capable of paralyzing the body but not the spirit and the ambitions.
The Committee also aims to support socio-cultural initiatives aimed at sensitizing families, young people and adults to the reality of disability and in the same way support, who like Davide, lives a similar situation. The story of Davide has become our story. This is a story that changes, but that does not stop. Let’s help him to score again… scoring together!
“Hi, thanks for taking the time to get to know me.
I don’t know how you got here, if by word of mouth or because we know in person. In both cases, with these few lines I would like to tell you about me, or at least, tell you a little bit more about myself – so as to establish a new relationship or deepen it, depending on the case.
I am young, I have just turned 18, a new chapter of life. Or so they told me. There are so many things to share: the game of the accident, my life before, my stay in hospital and the pandemic from Covid-19, my exit from the convalescence, the last years of high school, the life I am trying to recover, the “choices of life” and my difficulties.
If I hadn’t gotten hurt, you probably wouldn’t have noticed me, I would have been one of the others. But instead… Now it’s hard to ignore the looks of people staring at me, as if they’ve never seen a guy in a wheelchair take a train, take a ride from the car seat to the pram, eat an ice cream or have an aperitif. I get it, I was like that at first. It is a new world that you don’t really consider until it ‘touches’ you or you know someone who is ‘touched’. The perspective changes radically.
I’ve always loved sport, since I was a child I ran straight and left, I tried to jump the stairs from the highest step – yes, maybe it is not correct to refer about it as sport, but I assure you that at 6 years jumping 7 steps is a record, should fall into the Olympic sports categories baby- and then there was ice hockey.
I’ll be honest, my passion for hockey has blossomed as I walk.
No one in the family had ever played ice hockey and I had never skated before. So at the age of 9, on my mom’s proposal, I found myself with skates on my feet: the beginning of my career as a goalkeeper in mini hockey. Growing up I wanted to change roles, I always wanted to become an attacker, and after a period as a defender, so it was.
I was just playing offense on November 17, 2019. Exactly, the day my life stopped, or at least part of it.
Yes, hockey is considered a physical sport, so much so that it falls among the extreme ones: pushes, charges and falls are not lacking, but this… this was violent, rapid and sudden. A guillotine.
I remember that help came right away, they asked me a few questions to see if I was alert and they made sure my vitals functions weren’t compromised, but I couldn’t move anymore. They put me on a stretcher and I was taken to the Civic Hospital of Lugano; there they did the stabilization operation to the cervical spine. My stay in the ICU in Lugano lasted about two
weeks. At that time I had the closeness of everyone: my family, friends, teammates, hospital staff… As soon as my situation improved I was transferred to the Niguarda Hospital in Milan.
As you can imagine, the first period was not the best, I had lost about twenty pounds and I was really struggling to get them back.
Fortunately, although slowly, I started a progressive improvement. With the assistance of those around me, necessarily, I learned again to eat and drink at least partially alone and to sit for longer time.They seem banality, but my new condition involves the paralysis of the four limbs and trunk.
Then… well, the news came, the wave of Covid. Before the pandemic many people came to see me, I immediately missed them. Of course, we tried to carry on relationships over the phone, but it wasn’t the same. My sister Rachele remained with me and somehow we managed to get by; she worked on the thesis and I started engaging in the gym.
In total I remained in the Spinal Unit in Milan for nine months and once released I returned home. I found it upside down: the works were not yet finished to make it adapted to my new needs, accessible.
It was hard to get used to, but I wasn’t alone. My family, dad, mom and brothers helped me in the new daily personal and social challenges.
Now I realize that these challenges of mine are changing in form and difficulty, however I do not want them to be a brake or an insurmountable obstacle. Sometimes everything is difficult and the uncertainty of the future frightens me, it puts me many doubts and fears. But I am lucky, I am not alone, and that is why I am determined and eager to see what life still has in store for me!
From here, from this life story, as you can well imagine, ‘the Committee for Davide Dell’Oca’ was born.
Thank you so much for reading me and for the support you want to give me and give us!
See you soon,
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