Dr Stefano may be pictured leaning up against these words, but they mean so much more than just paint on a wall.
“Who am I? That’s a complicated question.
What I know for now, is that I am a doctor.
My work started from a desire to do medicine, to help, and to feel like I could use my skills to do good for others. At EMERGENCY, I found a place to do that.
Over the years, I have carried out multiple missions with EMERGENCY, including my time spent in Port Sudan following the cholera epidemic that affected so many children the area. In between the very hectic moments, I remember the bonds created with the people I treated, and with the colleagues I did that with. Every place I leave, and each place I go to, I keep cultivating new relationships and bonds that keep me going over the years.
Indeed, working around the clock and being with people that start to call you a friend even in the midst of huge responsibilities, and also seeing local people that start to call you cousin, well…you easily feel that way too! And you then realise that it becomes more than just a job. Assisting people ends up being an opportunity, a shared privilege, possible through shared knowledge.
I give my best…I know I can’t change many things, but I am here to try. So yeah, that’s precisely the answer: I am doctor.”
We spoke to Vladimir at the Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery. He left some months ago, but continued working throughout 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s him PPE-equipped and ready to do what he knows best: be a doctor.