How many of you have heard of Mihai Nesu? I’m sure that many Romanians have. Whether it is for his performance in football or the unfortunate accident he suffered on the 10th of May 2011. The accident happened during a simple training, and Nesu was left without any feeling from his neck down when one of his cervical vertebrae broke. However,the crash wasn’t a very violent one,but the fact that Alje Schut, a 1,93m tall dutch football player fell on him lead to the break. After a daunting surgery of 5 hours and 4 days of unconsciousness, Mihai started speaking and recognizing the people around him but with no feeling of his lower body nevertheless. He risks to remain paralized for the rest of his life.
The most difficult part was realizing what had just happened and getting used to needing help to do everything that until then was a piece of cake. Right after the accident Mihai refused to receive any visits and feel in a depression. However, the care and dedication of the Dutch doctors caring for him helped him overpass this moment and being able to tell people everywhere: “Enjoy life!”.
At his first appearance in front of the press,a while after the accident, Mihai started The Mihai Nesu Foundation which offers help for disabled people.
“I wish to help everyone in my situation,from children to older people.Anyone who doesn’t have possibilities,of course. For the start,we’re going to channel our activity on Bihor county and the surroundings, but we hope to get help to extend all over the country.We want to create a living standard as close to normality for those with problems. The foundation will also support talented children in need, that want to do sports, football in particular.”
The foundation has received help and has been supported by several others. The Romanian Football Federation released a press interview where they stated that the money raised from the selling of the Romania-Uruguay match tickets would be donated to the Mihai Nesu Foundation. The friendly match will take place on the 29th of February 2012, so you still have time to buy one of the 3000 tickets in order to help the foundation.
Mihai was able to talk about the accident, but he stated that the deceptions passed very hard.
“It was clear to me, right after the accident,that I was done with football. It took me a while to find out what I could do with my life.”
The foundation has given Mihai a new purpose in life and has helped him to overpass the hard times since the accident. It has also brought him fulfillment. For example, after Mihai’s 29th birthday, at the foundations gala,he received, through some Qatar Foundation representatives, a present from the moment’s best football player- Lionel Messi.
Mihai also raised 58.000 euros for the foundation only from the sale of the gala tickets which cost 290 euros each.
However,as much fulfillment as his foundation has brought him, his country brought disappointment.
“In Romania, proper conditions are missing,we don’t have centers with high standards. I’m thinking especially of schools, where there are no conditions for children in wheelchairs. Schools have stairs at the entrance, so the little ones with problems have to be home-schooled. And this is not right for their future.”
He also mentioned the fact that he realized this only after the accident.
“Maybe when you’re not disabled you don’t think about these things, but when you’re like me, you start thinking differently.”
It is such a pity that we have direct examples of role models in our country, people with careers in sports that had a 180 degree turn in life and had to give up almost everything they were before, and they end up disappointed in us, the people that should most support them….
So what do you think? Shouldn’t we try and change this?