Jésica and Javier in 2013, during their marriage
Had it been a fiction, the scene could have been like this. A girl is pedaling her bicycle, she is seen from different angles: her backpack is on her back and her skin is adolescent. Pedals, loose shot of a distracted driver in his truck a block ahead. Pedal, single shot of a crowded bus. The girl goes on and nothing happens and In that “nothing happens”, of course, no one needs to explain to you that something terrible is about to happen.
Thus begins the (real) story of Jésica Vailatti, who was 16 years old on June 25, 1998, when she got on her bicycle with the idea of arriving at the home of the private accounting teacher. I was in the fourth year of high school, I was a dancer and he lived in Concordia, Entre Ríos. It was seven in the afternoon, rush hour.
In adolescence, when she had the accident, she was a dancer
“I got to one of the squares in downtown Concordia and stopped at the corner at the traffic light; next to me a bus stopped. When the traffic light turned green, we both moved forward, although I was lagging a little further behind ”, he tells . in one go. “But in the middle of the next block, a boy opened the door of his truck with a bang and got out, he didn’t realize I was coming with the bike. The door hit me on the front wheel, I lost my balance and fell under the bus. The bus driver did not see me and He ran me over with the double rear wheel”.
The driver thought he had eaten a donkey hill but the passengers screamed and stopped in despair. Jésica remembers herself as a turtle turned over. Face up on the asphalt, with the backpack still on and the chassis of the sky bus, the adolescent lay conscious.
The hospitalization lasted two years and three months
“The wheels had passed over my pelvis and hip, I was all fractured, my body felt like disarmed. He listened to the crowds, the shouts, the sirens, the insults to the bus driver, to the driver of the truck. It made a world in my head, it looked like a movie. “
They had to cut the straps of the backpack to put it on the stretcher. When he entered the Hospital Felipe Heras, he had already fainted. “It wasn’t just the fractures but the internal crushing. When my parents arrived I had already entered the operating room, I was very serious ”. A mole of more than 10,000 kilos It had run over him.
They had to remove part of her intestine, rebuild her genitals, and perform a colostomy. The kidneys were severely affected. Her condition was so delicate that she was quickly transferred to a more complex center in Paraná. “They didn’t know what to do with me, where to start,” says Jésica.
“They didn’t know what to do with me, where to start,” he says.
They intubated her, because her lungs were also damaged, but there was another front to attend to. In the drag against the asphalt, the back of Jessica’s body had been raw, the tissues had become necrotic, and she was suffering from a very serious infection.
“To save my life they gave me an antibiotic called Vancomycin. The problem was that the same medicine, due to kidney failure and the prolongation of time, made me lose hearing in both ears ”.
Only three months after the accident he managed to get out of intensive care. “I remember the healings as something unbearable. It was all fractured and no longer morphine. Rotate my body so that my gluteal part was healed … I felt like I was dying ”.
The bus driver did not disappear from the map: “No, poor man, he carries the blame until today. We have a beautiful friendship. I never felt it was the fault of either of them, neither he nor the driver of the truck did it on purpose.
Along with Orlando, the bus driver. On the 20th anniversary of the accident, she threw a party to celebrate her life
The bacteria of the skin – called pseudomonas – continued to advance: an unbeatable army that forced her to be transferred to a clinic in Buenos Aires specialized in burns so that they would remove healthy skin from her legs and make grafts on her tail.
“I was on my back, without moving, for more than a year. The doctor did not want to operate on my hip. He said that as I was I had a small percentage of chances of walking again but if I had surgery I ran the risk of becoming paraplegic, because in the explosion there were bits of bone very close to the marrow ”.
Body and soul
A year after the accident, it had to be moved again and the army of bacteria colonized territory again. “I fell apart again. But just at that moment he began to attend me a japanese doctor that he told me something that I never forgot ”. The doctor’s name was Ricardo Yohena.
Together with the Japanese doctor Ricardo Yohena, who died in 2019
Jessica was trapped in a depressed state. “It wasn’t because of the scars, it was because she had gone from being a dancer to being rigid in bed,” she distinguishes. “One day, in that state, I said to the doctor: ‘And who is going to love me like this?’ And he answered me something that made me think about what he was saying: ‘We Orientals do not fall in love with the body but with the soul. The body changes, ages, the soul endures. ‘
At the epicenter of the disaster, Jessica did not quite understand it, but she did shortly after, when she met Javier: a young man who went to the same school as her when everything happened and with whom she had never greeted.
Jésica and Javier at age 20, when they met
Another four months of healing followed and a new transfer, this time to try a rehabilitation at the San Juan de Dios Hospital, in Ramos Mejía. “I was still in a wheelchair reclined back but I wanted to stop. It was very hard, they were giving the handle to the stretcher so that it was raised and, after having been a year and a half without moving, the pressure dropped, I was dying of the pain ”.
But Jésica insisted, she begged to be taken to the gym and let her hold onto the bars. He hugged a kinesiologist, the other, they counted to three and took the clean and jerk: “I remember and joy returns. Crooked and with bent legs, but I stood up ”.
Everyone believed that now there was little left for discharge but an unexpected complication not only did he undo all the new steps but he left her, again, on the brink of death: kidney failure and pneumonia. “They put me in a drug coma and told my family that this time they didn’t think I could get out.”
In full rehabilitation with his kinesiologist, Pablo Marolt
But in October 2000 – two years and three months after the accident, and against all odds – he was discharged. Seven months later – the same day that the accident was three years old – the man who had opened the door of the truck and triggered the break in Jésica’s life, died in another traffic accident.
When Jessica came to life outside of a hospital, the order of her world had changed. Many of the high school friends who had promised him “when you come back everything will be as before” were gone. Another whole year went by without being able to do anything that a 20-year-old girl could do, going to rehab every morning and afternoon with the goal of walking without a cane again. He did it.
In November 2013, Jésica and Javier got married
“Suddenly she had self-esteem up there,” she laughs now, who is about to turn 40. This is how she felt in December 2001 when she met Javier and remembered the Japanese doctor who had told her about people who fall in love with souls .
Javier Goñi was also 20 years old and knew his story from the impact he had caused at school. Jésica -who walked without a cane but slowly, limped, and wore headphones in both ears- met a young man who walked slowly to wait for her, who modulated and looked into her eyes so that he could read her lips, who chose to go with her of the nightclubs when she realized that the music was confusing her.
Jésica also had another difficulty: “The wheels of the bus had crushed my entire reproductive system, I had no chance of carrying out a pregnancy ”.
In her arms, Camila, the daughter they had thanks to the offer of another woman
Who speaks now with ., shy, is he. “The first thing they tell you in a situation like this is ‘don’t get in there’, ‘you’re going to complicate your life.’ Or they don’t tell you anything but they look at you strangely ”, he says. “Everything just happened. I had a good time with her, when you love the person it’s like you don’t care ”.
Javier does not remember it as a great effort: “Not at all, she was not one of those people who complains all day. He always goes forward, has a good humor, trusts that he will be better. I don’t know if I, in a situation like hers, would have handled it so well. Sometimes you get into trouble for silly things, we all do it, and Jésica keeps you coming back all the time: come back, this makes you happy, not this, enjoy what you have ”.
They are about to turn 20 together but in the photo they are not just two. “I wanted to be a mother since I was little and it happened in the way I could never have imagined,” she is excited. A woman – friend of a friend – who knew all the seams of their history, thought how she could help them and found a way: She offered to lend them her womb and carry a baby from them.
“I didn’t expect so much from life,” she says when she talks about her husband and daughter
Accepting was quite a decision but they remembered that there are people who see your soul: Camila has just turned two years old.
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