Roberto Dalmonte

Without an organisation like Revived Pulse Foundation, I know that this testimonial and my story, would never have been written. It is only thanks to them, to those generous hearts who give of themselves selflessly, that I am still alive today.

After 11 years of continued misdiagnosis by countless specialists, astronomical medical expenses that kept escalating as my conditions worsened, a never-ending regime of treatments and pills and injections and late night ER runs, and then my eventual medical boarding, I found myself in a desperate space of quite literally having no one to turn to for help.

The blood clots to my brain had escalated to between two to six per day. That’s if the clots didn’t get to my heart first. My life had been reduced to indescribable exhaustion and head pain, blood clots, seizures, oxygen tanks, chest pain and Clexanes. Every single day was quite literally, a miracle for me. My entire focus was simply to stay alive. Make it through the night. Make it through the next blood clot. Make it through the next day. Repeat.

During a visit to my GP for a routine phlebotomy, it finally happened. My wife said that my face went grey and that I suddenly collapsed. My GP, being quick on her feet took action. When I came round, she wanted me to be immediately admitted into hospital. But with no available funds, I went home with some pills.

Soon after, the receptionist from my electrophysio-cardiologist, Dr. Vezi, phoned and booked an immediate appointment. I went the following day. My heart had flat-lined. I had died in my GP’s rooms. The loop recorder inserted into my chest a year before had done its job. Unless I had a dual pacemaker put in, there quite literally would be no hope. There was absolutely no possible way in which I could afford the procedure, let alone this life-saving device. Medical Aid was nothing more than a memory of something we used to have long ago when we could afford it. And now the news that if I did not have the procedure done as soon as possible, I would die again. This time there would be no coming back.

With my head spinning and the nausea rising, Dr. Vezi must have seen the defeat in my face. He suggested that his receptionist contact Revived Pulse Foundation to see if they could help. There was a tiny glimmer of hope in the darkness and over the next few days, that glimmer began to shine ever brighter. The names of those bright lights – Faan Botha, Revived Pulse Foundation and Robbie Nel. These names saved my life and gave me a second chance at life.

I will be forever indebted to their kindness. Their generosity of spirit has enabled me to survive and has altered both the course of my life and that of my wife’s. How can the words thank you ever be enough? I know that my thank you can only ever be shown in the way that I treat others and in having the privilege to show that same kindness that has blessed me so infinitely.

To Faan, Revived Pulse and Robbie Nel – thank you. Always and forever, thank you.