Sergio Casinelli is one of the people who looks forward to the entry of 2022 with the most enthusiasm. On January 11 he will turn 75 years old and he will be, finally, outside the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), where he has spent 328 of the last 365 days; that is, 90% of the year.

Sergio is from Spain and has not left the hospital since Christmas 2020 due to a virus that has endangered his life on several occasions.

But nevertheless, today he no longer needs that intensive care, and faces 2022 with the hope of leaving the hospital soon.

Although at first he thought it was a stomach ache without major consequences, soon, COVID invaded his entire body and forced him to enter the Puerta de Hierro University Hospital in Majadahonda (Spain) before New Year’s Eve.

But Sergio hardly has any memories of his stay in the hospital, He just remembers that he spent a few weeks in the ward “feeling very tired” until he was admitted to the ICU. Of the 328 days that he has spent there, he does not remember anything, he only knows what his family has told him.

For him, that time is erased from his mind, 2021 has been a practically ‘blank’ year, a hiatus in his life.

His wife, inseparable

The person in charge of telling him about his stay there is his wife, Ana María Gabriele, who has not left his side in this long time. She and her family have had moments of all kinds at the hospital, from call they received to say goodbye to him “because he was very bad”, as it counts in statements to GLM. Until the announcement a few days ago that her husband was finally leaving the ICU.

“He has always been a man of great strength. He has fought a lot to be able to get out and has managed to overcome many potholes,” says Ana María.

The family, who arrived three years ago from Venezuela to be reunited with their three children, who were already here, live in the Madrid municipality of Villanueva de la Cañada.”We had restaurants (in Venezuela), we were doing well, but with the country’s situation we had to go out and sell the house down“, they explain.

Despite the fact that his situation has improved a lot compared to a few months ago, Sergio still has many more work to do with recovery. His breathing problems continue, he has to be dialyzed for kidney problems and he has lost his left hand due to clotting disorders.

Despite all this, he is eager for everything to pass and to be able to return home. “They tell me little by little,” he says resignedly.


Sergio’s recovery has been a team effort by many specialists, as Sara Alcántara, one of the doctors who has treated him during this time, tells us. “It has been a multidisciplinary effort, in which intensivists, anesthetists, pulmonologists, physiotherapists, nurses have worked. Without that teamwork, it would not have been possible for me to get out of the ICU,” she says.

Thanks to her work, Sergio is still alive, but the aftermath of the disease will haunt him for a long time. Despite this, both he and his wife celebrate the improvement.

It’s a joy to be able to have him around for longer“, says Ana María. Although it will still take time to return home, the family is looking forward to 2022, which will surely be “much happier”.

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