Marco Deplano is a urologist working in Sardinia, Italy. He is a young doctor, but due to the nature of his profession, he has already encountered many things in his life. Some are good, some less so.
While working one day he met an old woman who left such a big impression on him that he will remember her all his life. He was so emotional about meeting her that he decided to share what happened on Facebook. Since then his post went viral and it’s not hard to understand why..
This is what he wrote in the post:
“Today I got a call for advise in another department. The usual thing.. it was about a patient with terminal cancer and kidney failure as a result of compression of the urethra. The woman I met was 70-80 years old, with orange carrot hair and bright pink nails.
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– Good morning Miss.
– Good morning, Doctor.
I looked in her bag, did a test, and did an ultrasound.
– Mam, your kidneys are having a hard time: they can no longer urinate, so I’ll have to insert a tube, a kind of valve that bypasses the barrier. Then you can pee through two tubes connected to two bags.
– Sorry, Dr., does that mean there will be another pouch behind me?
(She has already had a colostomy.)
– Yes Maam.
There was a long silence. Felt endless. But then at the end, she looked at me and smiled.
– Sorry, what did you say your name was?
– No. Your name.
– Marco.. What a beautiful name. Do you have a moment?
– Of course ma’am.
– You know, I’m already dead. Do you understand?
– Sorry.. No, I do not understand.
– I died 15 years ago. When my 33-year-old son died of a heart attack. I also died that day.
– I’m so sorry.
– I died then, with him. Then I died again 10 years ago when my disease was diagnosed. But now I no longer have to pretend..
.. My children are taken care of, also my grandchildren. I want to join him. Why live a few more years with these bags, with suffering and so much work on my part and on the part of my loved ones?
.. I have my self-respect. Will you get hurt if I won’t want to do anything? I’m tired. I am willing to entrust myself to the hands of God. Tell me the truth, will I suffer?
– No my lady. You can do whatever you want. But put two bags ..
– Marco, I said no. this is my life. I decided. If you want to do something, let’s stop the infusion. Then I can go home have ice cream with my grandson..
Every word she said obscured my defenses, as if tearing petals from a flower. I forgot about my exhaustion, my anger and frustration, everything. I forgot the years of schooling, the thousands of pages I read, the rules, the facts. I felt naked and softened as I faced this sincerity, this awareness of death.