The neurosurgeon Iacovino: “He was with us 45 days for an intracerebral hematoma, the German doctors wanted to operate on him but we opposed it”
Benedict XVI was hospitalized for 45 days at Pius XI in 1991 for an intracerebral hematoma and also received a visit from Pope Wojtyla. To tell it exclusively to Adnkronos is the former head of neurosurgery of the CTO, professor Fabio Iacovino, who together with professor Francesco Chiappetta, at the time head of neurosurgery of the clinic, saved the then cardinal Joseph Ratzinger after a dispute with the German doctors who wanted to operate on him at all costs. The future Pope Benedict XVI, explains Iacovino, “had a left occipital intracerebral hematoma of about 3 centimeters and Professor Chiappetta and I were of the opinion of waiting for the blood to be reabsorbed, because blood is reabsorbed in the brain. The German neurosurgeons instead wanted At the end of a small dispute, I convinced him not to have surgery: it would have been a risky and complex operation”.
A hospitalization that was kept hidden, recalls Iacovino, “because the Vatican didn’t want anyone to know about it. One afternoon late Pope Wojtyla came to see him, he stayed for half an hour and then left. Two particular characters who I had the good fortune to know, above all Benedict XVI who was the source of inspiration for my life”. Of the Pope emeritus, who passed away today at the age of 95, Iacovino remembers above all “the humility and simplicity. He was a humanly simple person, contrary to what one might have thought, not at all haughty, I spoke and he listened to me, without interrupting me, despite I was also able to say stupid things. A beautiful friendship was born. Chiappetta followed him more from a scientific and professional point of view, while my relationship with Ratzinger was more spiritual, as I am a practicing Christian. But Chiappetta’s professionalism l He saved, he was very good”, concludes Iacovino.