Three hearts

Publish date 26-11-2022

by Roberto Lerda

Cristina Zambonini is 35 years old and has a beautiful and shining smile, but above all "she has three hearts". At just 19 she discovers that she has a very serious heart disease: «I was twenty years old and until then I had been a girl like any other; at 20 you think you are immortal, instead I suddenly discovered that you have heart disease: fulminant dilated cardiomyopathy ».
He undergoes a transplant, of which he speaks as follows: "The first heart that was given to me came from a girl younger than me, she was 16 years old, and it was a great honor for me to receive it and bring it back to life in some way".
In a short time she manages to take back her life and her dreams: she enrolls in university and graduates in Interior Design at the Milan Polytechnic. However, after a few years, she accuses the same symptoms again and her diagnosis is very hard: chronic rejection. Not even the treatments, which she carries out for a whole year, are able to remedy. However, the availability of another heart for a second transplant arrives.

She herself recounts her difficult journey in this way: "I found strength in the wonderful people who stood by me and in the beauty of life: I had had a beautiful life and I still wanted to fight for her!" . And she adds: "Those who are waiting for a transplant must hope that someone will say yes and must always look ahead, remembering that their own light shines". Cristina continues to shine as a sign of hope and after her second transplant, together with her best friends, she founded the association Hearts 3.0, with which she tries to give support to patients waiting for a transplant or transplanted and their families. Last year she was nominated by Mattarella as "Knight of the Order of Merit" for her example of fortitude and for her passionate contribution to promoting the culture of gift. Her story teaches us that our world needs many hearts coming together to give hope and relief and do their part. Each with her own talents, each with her own story.

Roberto Lerda
NP August / September 2022

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