Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Story With a Heart II

Remember the story I posted a few days ago? About Mary DiMaggio, a lady from the US who got a long awaited heart transplant after a young Basque man was killed by one of those irresponsible SUV drivers?

Well, here you have an update by EITb:


"My heart told me to return"

American woman with Basque heart visits the Basque Country


Mary DiMaggio, an American woman who had a heart transplant, visited the Basque Country, his donor's homeland, to meet his family.

Mary says that since she had a heart transplant she felt she had to visit the Basque Country. She has Gaizka’s heart, a young Basque boy who died in Reno, and since the first moment she felt she had to visit his homeland. Last weekend her wishes came true and she met Gaizka’s parents in the Basque Country.

Information by Basque newspaper Deia: “Since the beginning I felt I had to visit his homeland. My heart asked to return”. Mary DiMaggio’s wishes came true and probably Gaizka’s last wish also came true, as she traveled from California to the Basque town of Eskoriatza to hug the young donor’s family. “I asked Mary if she felt something special and her answer was: Your son’s heart beats stronger here”, says José Mari Larrañaga, Gaizka’s father.

Following the dictates of her heart, after her doctor gave his approval and after she packed her bag with medicines, Mary arrived last Sunday in the Basque city of Gasteiz. There she met Gaizka’s family for the first time. “She does not speak Spanish and we do not speak English. However, we understand each other perfectly. We hugged each other, my wife hugged her and we started crying. When we arrived at the hotel in Eskoriatza, emotion started again. We hugged each other much”, says José Mari. Mary seemed a member of their family instead an American woman who had just met them a few hours ago.

Arantza, Gaizka’s mother, is very moved but her eyes express many feelings. “When I touch her heart I feel something I can not describe. It is a strong feeling”, says her mother. “I am really moved, I am not the same as before now. It seems to me a science fiction matter. We know many people live after having transplants, but when that happens to you is something incredible”.

Mary, who has been thinking on the reunion for six months, is also very moved these days. “I wanted to meet the family who had helped me to achieve this miracle, but I also wanted them to realise that part of their son was what brought me to life again and thank them for that”, explains Mary as she smiles.

Hopefully Mary DiMaggio will help debunk the wrong idea that the US media outlets give about the Basque people.

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