Luca Limonta, born in 1972, started playing golf at the age of 8. His father, historical partner of Villa d 'Este, passed on to him the love for this sport and for one of the most beautiful clubs in Italy that exudes history from every corner.
In the clubhouse he tells me how he feels at home and how everyone loves him. However, there is another place where Luca feels at home and feels loved. A place that has little to do with golf: the cardiology department of the San Luca auxological hospital in Milan.
But let's go step by step.
Luca Limonta, story
Until the age of 41 Luca doesn't even know what a hospital is, he spends his life in a carefree way. Passionate about diving, 2 handicap (professionals play zero handicap, ed) and father of two girls, Luca, at that time, was also a seaplane pilot.
It was during his medical examination at the aeronautical institute of forensic medicine to renew his patent that he was diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse. A very widespread and generally not very dangerous disease but which in Luca's case is only the beginning of an escalation of increasingly complicated and serious diagnoses.
In an instant the world he knew no longer exists. The first thought goes to the family and the second to how this pathology will change his life. Less than a year passes and Luca finds himself in the operating room for a long operation during which his heart is stopped for 63 minutes.
The intervention succeeds but Luca will no longer be able to fly planes or dive. Fortunately, he will be able to continue playing golf but it is not enough. Luca's heart needs aerobic activity and hence his passion for walking which more than one exercise is defined by him as a complex introspective journey.
From that moment on he will travel over the years the different stages of the Camino de Santiago up to cover over 1,350 km. Despite the health problems and always under close observation, Luca manages to adapt to a new normality of heart disease but unfortunately it is not over.
In 2016 his condition worsened, the checks became more assiduous, the treatments heavier. In 2019 he feels that something is wrong in his heart. He also struggles too much to play golf. The doctors then deepen their investigations to understand what that worsening depends on.
The result is difficult to accept. In the following two years the situation worsened. Luca discovers that he is "subject to the risk of sudden death". His heart, at any moment, could stop beating and the only solution is to insert a defibrillator.