Lucas, the premature child who was born while Pedro Sánchez decreed the State of Alarm


Carlota Fominaya




Today marks one year since Lucas’ untimely arrival in this world. It happened just at the moment when all of Spain was glued to the television, out of breath, watching President Pedro Sánchez decree the State of Alarm and announce the beginning of the strict confinement that would last for months for the entire country. Alina and Stefano, parents of this child who is celebrating his first anniversary today, will forever remember this day in another way. Perhaps as one of the most beautiful of his life, although also very delicate. Lucas was born prematurely at 28 weeks, which they lived with some anguish. During those extremely difficult months, he stole the heart of Susana, the nurse at the Neonatal ICU of the Prince of Asturias University Hospital in Alcalá de Henares (a reference for the entire East of Madrid), where he was admitted for 49 very long days.

This is how she relates it, in an emotional letter she has written for her birthday, just as she did when she was born and when she was discharged. I will never forget the day I met you. Going out on the street with hair standing on end in the most absolute loneliness. Go out into empty streets, deserted with people. Fear, sadness, distrust, the duty of the job that I chose out of pure vocation. Mixed feelings. Arrive at the hospital and listen to my colleagues how they counted the change of shift: “Lucas is in box 1 of the UCI. 28 weeks, today he is 980 grams”»… This professional now recalls how extraordinary the situation was:« Perhaps it was hope, which came into my life in the form of a little person. Maybe it was something or someone that put you in my way to be able to look to the future and see that one day there would be a way out for everything we were experiencing. “You have been for me a ray of light that dawned in the darkness of a society mired in fear and despair,” acknowledges this professional. “I think,” he points out, “that I took refuge in the joy he gave us, even though he was very ill, it was great to see him grow. See the joy within the misfortune.

In fact, this is how his emotional letter continues: «You have changed a lot in this year, little one, in a year in which we have all changed a lot», he reflects, while making a similarity between the milestones achieved by this little boy throughout his first twelve months of life and what he experienced during the pandemic. «Because when you managed to stand up, many patients would do it again, after months of lying on a hospital gurney. Because when you began to show your first smiles, many people smiled when they met again with others they had not seen for months. While you were getting to your feet, many patients would do it again, after months lying on a hospital gurney. And at the same time, other people managed to rise from a state of fear and bitterness that kept them for weeks without wanting to do so. While your little mouth tasted solid food, hundreds of patients returned to taste the taste of a dish, after months of being fed by a tube placed in their nose. While you were babbling your first syllables, many people learned to speak by occluding with their finger the hole in their throat, the one that once helped them breathe when their lungs could not do it by themselves “, the letter continues.

This nurse cannot help but look at the child and see the reflection of everything he has experienced. «That smile gives me life. And I dream of the day in which I can give you a kiss, in which I can hug you without guilt, and also do it with your parents, now that I know that this bond called Lucas will keep us together for life ». In fact, he acknowledges that, despite being in constant contact, “we have not seen each other as many times as we would have liked.” “We usually stay outdoors to see each other for a little while in the park, with all the security measures in the world,” he acknowledges. “I’m surprised how he looks at me and smiles, even though you can’t see the smile on my lips, hidden behind the permanent mask,” says Susana.

“He is a super happy boy”, confirms Alina, her mother, “even though she is growing up in a world very different from the one we all knew. Lucas is very fighter ». Today he weighs 8 kilos and is super happy, in the nursery they tell me that he literally does not stop. All day standing and looking at the world ». “We are very happy,” confirms the father. “The only thing that clouds our happiness is that the maternal grandparents, who live in Romania, do not know the child yet, and that my mother cannot be with her first and only grandchild, because she lives in Italy,” says Stefano, the father.

Meanwhile, this professional understands that one day Lucas will sustain this letter and the letters he wrote as soon as he was born and after being discharged last year. «I suppose there are still many years to come, it will be your parents who choose the right moment. Maybe even that day you will not understand all these words that I write today, but I wish I could have the opportunity to explain them to you myself. Because the world was not the world we all knew at the time you decided to be born. Because a hitherto unknown virus put us to the test as we could never have imagined before. Because we lived life as if it were not ours, locked in our house and in ourselves. Because you came into the world to stay and change our way of seeing life. Happy birthday little one. Always remain so brave. Love you very much».

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