«It was a great emotion when he started communicating, nobody believed it. He was there! And he communicated with his family ». He is Alex Zanardi and to tell the emotion of those moments is Federica Alemanno, neuropsychologist at the San Raffaele hospital in Milan, where the handbike champion was hospitalized for a long time after the accident in June 2020. As his wife Daniela told the newspaper The print: «He spoke in November but the challenge starts now».
Federica Alemanno, 36, is in charge of the Neuropsychology Service and professor at the Faculty of Psychology at the Vita e Salute University.
He has great experience, according to the Corriere della Sera, has great experience in awake surgery, “The awake surgery: a very particular technique that is done in very few centers in Italy and has the aim of guaranteeing the patient the best possible quality of life after an inevitable surgery”. This technique is mainly used in young patients, between 30 and 50 years old.
“Holding his hand day by day I was surprised by his resilience” said the doctor who spent several months with Zanardi before the ex-driver was moved to a facility closer to his home in Padua.
The steps taken by Zanardi had already been described last December. «Raise your thumb to give the ok, shakes hands on request, and if they ask him where his wife Daniela is, he turns his head towards her “, always wrote the Corriere della Sera.
«He is slowly recovering his vital functions, in a path that resembles a climb to Everest. We are at the foot of climbing, which is already an unexpected result. The next step will be to move the tongue, a step that doctors give a lot of importance. He will take care of the rest, little by little, one centimeter after the other, until the finish line ». As his wife Daniela said: “In November he spoke but the challenge begins now.”
Ever since his handbike crashed into a truck during a charity relay race, in Tuscany, on June 19, the world prays for Zanardi to reach a sort of “third life”. Already in 2001, on a German circuit, the Bolognese driver lost control of the car and was hit in full by a colleague: a collision that cost him the amputation of his legs.
Last summer after a month’s crash induced coma, five operations and a critical clinical picture, also followed by complications and necessary transfers. From the polyclinic le Scotte di Siena to the specialized rehabilitation center in Lecco, then in intensive care at the San Raffaele in Milan and since last November 21 in the neurosurgery department of the Padua hospital.