Saturday 1 October 2016

Italian boy emerges from coma after a month and asks if Juventus are still in Champions League

Published 02/06/2015 | 08:36

Juventus' Andrea Pirlo celebrates at the end after reaching the UEFA Champions League Final
Reuters / Paul Hanna
Juventus' Andrea Pirlo celebrates at the end after reaching the UEFA Champions League Final Reuters / Paul Hanna

Italy is a wonderful place. The people are, more often than not, primarily concerned with food, culture and football. That is a true triumvirate of delight.

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The latter is the subject of this remarkable story. A 14-year-old boy in Milan jumped off a bridge with a group of friends a few weeks ago but, unfortunately, the water was just 6.5-feet deep. It is fair to say that this move was ill-advised.

The teenager, identified only as Michael, was thought dead after his heart stopped beating. It took emergency services a remarkable 42 minutes to drag him from the canal bed and restart his heart with a defibrillator. Human beings are not supposed to be underwater for that long and survive.

After four weeks in hospital, he emerged from a coma and the first thing he asked was whether his beloved Juventus were still in the Champions League. A lad with his priorities right, clearly.

The doctor responsible for the miracle, Alberto Zangrillo, a man who happens to be Silvio Berlusconi’s personal physician, called it “the greatest satisfaction of my entire professional career”.

Oh, and Michael will no doubt be excited to watch his team in the Champions League final this weekend.

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