It is a whole chair in cardiovascular surgery in Cuba. Just by mentioning his last name, he is recognized because he has been able to remain among those hearts “repaired” by him who appreciate his actions to bring them back to life, and also in those who, from afar from the operating room, admire his intellect and passion for the neighbor
In the daily wanderings many ask: what is Professor Álvaro Lagomasino Hidalgo? And here he is, with the usual verve, permeated by the Cuban humor that accompanies him, folksy far from vulgarity, simple as the humblest of gentlemen, and conversationalist par excellence perhaps because of that quality inherited from the journalistic exercise deployed by his grandfather and followed to some extent by his father.
“I am still in the Cardiocentro as always and I am a consulting professor. When conditions allow, I go into the room, although the pandemic took us almost two years away from surgery, added to the limitations of supplies, and the opportunity that we must give to those who develop their skills to continue the dynamism of the specialty”.
Surgeon at last, he misses that daily life of dressing in green, of feeling the tension of each case, of waiting for the anesthesia and resuscitation expert to indicate the order ready to start the actions, either before a prestigious personality, who has had them , as with the simplest of people, because it does not admit differences.
—Could we say that that dream of conquering the clouds piloting a plane was fulfilled in life from another height with cardiovascular surgery?
“It’s a complicated story. I confess that vascular surgery came as a whim, because it was not my goal and never was, nor to reach Medicine. I still watch aviation movies and they fascinate me, I see them (airplanes) in the air and I follow them, and if I’m in an airport much more.
—One day he came from Havana to become the man from Villa Clara by adoption who has received the greatest government distinctions, from the sector and, above all, from this town…
—I have felt very well, here I formed my family, despite the fact that my mother, whom I miss very much, came only for a few days and returned to the capital.
My colleagues at the Cardiocentro attached me, from the contemporaries, the older ones, to the younger ones. I feel that they offer admiration and respect, I for them too. There are very good relationships and I listen to all of them, including professionals from other specialties.
—What do you think have been the bases for gaining that respectful affinity between others?
—The main thing is ethics and consideration for what each person does, and admiring it because everything has its mark and its value in life.
—Human existence has happy moments and others that we do not want to remember, like that of October 20, 2013, in which the coronary artery played a trick.
—Something very hard, any outcome could happen, but the surgery could not be postponed, a kind of limit between life and death, although we went with the certainty that everything would turn out well, despite the fact that there is always the question somewhere. I entered the room with a smile. My wife, Loló, was very serious and I, laughing, while the stretcher bearer Ariel Silva was in tears and, incredibly, I gave him comfort; then he worried daily and a good friendship remained between the two; but we went, we left and here we are.
—A whole town gave votes for his life, God was asked, there were prayers, believers or they did not wish the good of a savior man; also, candles lit in many parts of the world, and even in Sagua la Grande the drums sounded for a happy recovery.
Despite the time I think about all that. I am very grateful to all the people, to those closest to me and to the many I do not know. Those details do not find words, saying thank you is minimal, but know that every gesture is inside me, those from here, those from there, something without borders. It is like leaning out of a balcony and contemplating an incalculable infinity offered by humanity.
—Despite so many years of graduating, have you never stopped studying?
—From 1971 to this minute. I always look for new things and I consider that the professional who does not do it, in any discipline, falls by the wayside.
—Do you still admire the greats of literature, poetry, art and music?
—Impossible to escape. Da Vinci, for me, the one, adds all the Renaissance painters, especially the Italian. I like Russian painting, some American and French impressionism. Music in general, with an emphasis on instrumental and classical: Vivaldi, Bach…
—September 29 is declared the Day of the Heart, what does a patient-doctor recommend to the villagers with a view to that muscle maintaining vitality?
—Every day there is talk of cardiovascular risk factors, so I will dwell on other aspects. Remind people of the need to have a lot of patience, to relax as much as possible, to maintain equanimity among all, to read or appreciate good art and educate themselves as much as they can, because they are ways to provide health benefits.
Like the agile player who used to move around the basketball court trying to get to the hoop and make a basket, he doesn’t ask anything in particular from life, he just continues to enjoy it with his friends and family. That is why he is alive and making roads, despite the fact that he could not fulfill that desire to reach the sky by piloting a plane, but he conquered it with his talent.