Lifelong Learning Programme

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Training > Experiences

Personal Experience

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Luca’s look

Language: English
Country: Italy
Typology: health care professionals
When I started working at the hospital, I was assigned to the oncology ward. The impact, I must say, was traumatic, the pain of hospitalized children and their parents was heartbreaking, and I was convinced I could not manage to endure all that suffering. After so much time, I still remember the look of Luca, a sweet boy of twenty-seven years old with a wonderful mom and a wonderful girlfriend who almost never left him alone. One night, while I was on duty, he called me and asked me if I had time to stay a little bit with him. We talked of this and that, then at some point he told me that he knew he had little time left to live, that he was not afraid of death and that what he disliked most was the pain he would cause to his family. I did not know how to hold back tears, I held his hand tight in mine. Luca did not speak any more and I listened to his silence full of emotion. This experience has touched me deeply and paradoxically made me stronger. It has given a meaning to the job I do even if it was very difficult for me. I am increasingly more convinced that listening is important because it commits everyone of us to devote ourselves to the other; having passion and com-passion allows us to establish a real emotional contact with those who suffer: it means feeling something a person feels and that person is not you.

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