Lungs burned by Covid-19, David’s gift that saved the 18 year old


«It would be happy, Davide, to know that thanks to him other people are alive. He was generous and sensitive. I’d like to hug them one day, because I know that my son lives in them too ». Ignazia Sanna is the mother who wanted to donate her son’s organs. Davide Trudu, 30, asked for a ride to a friend who was driving a tractor; a jolt on a hole, ruinous fall, irreversible coma. Francesco is the (invented) name of the boy, 18 years old, who has Davide’s lungs in his chest: dying in Milan, devastated by the coronavirus, 12 hours in the operating room, first bilateral transplant surgery in Europe, he is now breathing alone. “We are in contact with one of his family, they constantly update us, we know he is better, there is a mutual desire to get to know us and when possible we will meet Francesco”.

The other organs donated

This will also be the case for the other four patients who received Davide’s heart (a Sardinian woman, 39 years old), his liver (an Emilian, risked dying if the transplant had not been carried out in 24 hours) and the kidneys, two people from Carbonia and Nuoro. Francesco’s lungs were transplanted on May 18. In early March the signs of Covid-19, high fever; on March 6 respiratory crisis and hospitalization at the San Raffaele in intensive care, immediately intubated; two weeks after lung collapse and connection to Ecmo (extracorporeal oxygenation). In mid-April, a desperate situation, transferred to the Polyclinic, only a transplant could save him. And the frantic search for a donor has started, everywhere in Italy.

The accident

On May 16 on the outskirts of Samassi (Medio Campidano) Davide Trudu met his friend in a tractor: “Can you give me a ride?”. «Mount on». Davide worked in the countryside, before the lockdown he participated in the artichoke harvest, then he remained closed at home listening to music and making plans, on the phone, with Simona, who had been engaged for two years. Everything vanished in an instant: the crash, the 118 helicopter, the call from the Cagliari hospital: “There is no more hope, but …”. Davide has three brothers, Maike, Giada and Nicolò. “I called them, they agreed to donate organs – Ignazia, 48, husband who disappeared seven years ago – immediately decided – if nothing could be done for him, that at least one hope could give it to others”.

The 18 year old

Francesco has regained consciousness, he is better, he has recovered from Covid-19: “It was not known if even the transplanted lungs could be attacked by the coronavirus” said Mario Nosotti, the surgeon who operated on him. It did not happen and now proceeds with a gradual respiratory re-education. They informed him carefully of the transplant. “The others have recovered well too – reports Rinaldo, Davide’s mother’s partner – and the three Sardinians have already returned home in convalescence”. Ignazia Sanna has no news of the Emilian patient whose liver was transplanted. «I know that it will not be possible to embrace them immediately, I too am still ill, I cannot resign myself that Davide is no longer there. But seeing them and talking to them can help me a lot ».

June 6, 2020 (change June 6, 2020 | 22:58)


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