As a firefighter «hero», Always ready to help others even in the most complicated situations, a patient suffering from one very rare blood disease, in need of the help of others and concrete manifestations of solidarity. In just a few months, the life of Francesco Di Somma, the firefighter of the provincial command of Caserta – in service at the Aversa detachment – that last April 5, Easter Monday, rose to the headlines for having saved a 20-year-old fall into an artesian well in Casaluce (Caserta). After that heroic act, however, Francesco’s life took an unexpected turn, and now the 42-year-old Neapolitan fireman married with two children (he lives in Giugliano in Campania), diagnosed with a rare disease known as nocturnal parasostic haemoglubinuria, is he finds “on the other side”, in need of weekly transfusions pending the bone marrow transplant.
Sum Yari, Francesco’s brother, thus launched an appeal to donate blood and Carla, this is the name of the girl saved on Easter Monday, immediately joined and will go with her mother to the Cardarelli hospital in Naples to donate blood for Francesco. A story of reversed roles characterized by great humanity that was consumed in a few months. Francesco Di Somma is part of the Saf nucleus (Speleo-alpine-fluvial), that is, those firefighters who are looking for missing people or people who have fallen in the most inaccessible places. In this capacity, last Easter Monday, she did not hesitate to lower herself with a harness and ad hoc equipment into an artesian well in Casaluce where a twenty-year-old had fallen after the collapse of an iron grate; Francesco pulled the young woman out, saving her life, and became one of the many silent heroes who wear the uniform of the fire brigade. Weeks passed and Francesco, following normal blood tests, discovered that he had a reduced number of platelets, thus starting his quick ordeal. It is his brother Yari who recounts the anguish he has experienced in recent months.
«Until before the summer Francesco, a big man of almost two meters – Yari says with bitter irony – was fine; then from a simple blood test we found that he had decreased platelets; he tried to correct something in his lifestyle but the platelets kept going down. So we went to many hospitals to understand what he had, and at the Cardarelli in Naples, at the hematology department headed by Doctor Felicetto Ferrara, they diagnosed this very rare pathology ».
In practice, Francesco has few platelets and red blood cells, so he cannot work because he runs the risk of getting wounds that could lead to lethal bleeding – he has been sick for a month – but at the same time, having a reduced immune system, he cannot get sick so he has to stay at home and cannot be hospitalized. But he still needs blood and platelet transfusions once or twice a week. “I ask everyone – says Yari – to do their part by donating blood regardless of blood type, because Cardarelli can exchange bags with other hospitals and get blood from my brother’s group”. The solidarity competition has already started in recent weeks, when the colleagues of the provincial command of the Caserta firefighters went to the Cardarelli hospital to donate blood.