In conversation with Giulia

Giulia with her daughter Chiara

Coping with pregnancy with its heart disease? No, look forget it. Instead, Chiara was born a year ago. Healthy and full of life. His mother Giulia, 28, lives and works in Rome as an employee of Rai. Giulia's illness appears very soon. He was a year and a half when the pediatrician auscultating his heart "felt something strange". No apparent symptoms, but her parents immediately take her to the Bambin Gesù Children's Hospital for a check-up.

The response is immediate: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. How to tell it to a one and a half year old girl? “I knew from a very young age that I had this malformation. They told me right away, I didn't have to get tired, but I was able to do everything ”. Or rather, almost everything because Giulia always had to stop a little before the others. Yet he didn't feel the difference. In that beautiful family of five children they never made her feel strange or different: if brothers and sisters did athletics and sports, she was simply directed to follow theater, music, scouting. There was a genetic reason for his illness: “Genes mutated in the family, both from father and mother, but they have always been fine. And among five brothers only I have two mutations and I have developed Cardiomyopathy ”.

He felt this trouble “but this malformation was invisible, inside me. And my parents eased the situation ”. Giulia remembers an episode when in the sixth grade they take her on a trip to Vesuvius and she reaches the summit. That climb will become in the following years a constant point of reference, a goal to be achieved always and again in life.

Unfortunately, within a few years the situation became more and more serious. “There was a sudden transition. In the periodic checkups dangerous fibrillations appear: at the age of 14 I was implanted with a subcutaneous defibrillator ”. At 19, a frequent cough reveals heart failure and for the first time he hears about the possibility of a transplant.

"It was a shock and I realized the gravity of the situation, but the doctor calmed me by saying that later I would have a normal life". In the meantime, she graduated in cinema and TV, and began an internship at Sat2000 TV: a dream come true. It was 2015, he was 23 years old. In December the situation worsened. Fibrillations, ablation, but that's not enough. They put her on the list for the transplant. 2016 is a year passed with a lump in my throat waiting for a call that can come at any moment.

In 2017 comes: there is a compatible heart. “I was always projected on what I would achieve after the transplant: get married, travel, have a child”. A son? A year and a half after the transplant you can try, they told her this time. And so he did. They treated her like a high-risk pregnancy, but she downplayed it. “I did like so many other women: I was a bit sluggish, I had limited movements”. They make her have the natural birth: “Because the heart is fine, you are fine Giulia”. Chiara was born in November 2019. Healthy and beautiful: “Then we will do genetic investigations”. But now Giulia conveys a sense of serenity, calmness and normality: “A pathology? Never lived like this. A malformation, that was it ”.

Perhaps his secret lies there.