The Via Crucis by Marc Márquez

By Emilio Pérez de Rozas

Marc Márquez entered the kitchen of his house in Cervera one day and surprised, or thought he surprised, Mama making a potato omelet. “But, Mom, how can you beat the eggs in two plates,” the young champion told his mother as he pointed to the marble in the kitchen. “Now I do realize, Marc, that you are fatal to the eye, because you see two plates where there is only one,” his mother reproached him, half a second before his son began to despair, adding: “No, Marc , that no, that there are two, that I have put them to spend a joke to you “.

The life of the Márquez has been peppered with anecdotes like this one, yes, but also a lot of tension during the last five months. The injury that the champion of Cervera took place, when he was fighting, when he was already caressing, the Moto2 title in Malaysia, in a training where the track stewards did not detect the puddle that, on the asphalt, had caused an inopportune escape of water , was one of those who can retire early to a pilot.

“Marc suffered a very delicate kind of paralysis, a lot,” explains Dr. Bernardo Sánchez Dalmau, who ended up operating, with his hands as a goldsmith to Márquez. “It is an injury that occurs many athletes but, curiously, in the pilots is very strange, because they have a very well protected head.” Marc was paralyzed the fourth nerve of the right eye and affected the right domain, down And all that was even more complicated because the pilots do not stop turning their heads and moving their eyes, which forces those nerves to work changing positions continuously “.

The doctors of the Sepang route have already informed Marquez that the injury could be fixed in a day or six months. Neither Marc nor Emilio Alzamora, his manager, were surprised because, three years earlier, in the Spanish Championship, Márquez suffered the same problem and, two days later, he was already at school and, at five, he was riding on a motorcycle again . “It left me immediately and now, look, they have had to spend almost four months and a delicate operation,” recalls the pilot, happy to be in Qatar in full physical condition to start the Moto2 World Championship tomorrow. Everyone remembers that after the fall of Malaysia, Márquez could not run again because, as Roser and Julià, their parents, without losing the smile that characterizes them, “every day they woke up watching double, but encouraged to get ahead” . “He has once again demonstrated an admirable integrity,” says Roser. “He has not stopped encouraging us all,” adds Julià.

Nobody has had a good time in this story. Neither Julià, nor Roser, nor Marc, nor his brother Àlex, who has tried to be the champion’s guide. Neither Alzamora, either. “Since he suffered the fall, absurd, which could be avoided, only bad things happened to us: Marc hurt himself, hesitated, feared the worst, could not keep fighting for a title that could have been his and, above all, the recovery has been very long, “says the manager of the Catalan champion. “I always say that Marc never ceases to amaze me, but this time he has shown integrity, personality, courage and wisdom worthy of praise.”

“We had no choice but to wait, we could not do anything else, because the ideal is for the nerve to recover on its own,” says Dr. Xavier Mir, a magician and trusted doctor of Márquez y Alzamora, who has guided to the young man during all these months. First they went to the Center of High Performance (CAR) of Sant Cugat where doctors Lluís Til and Antoni Turmo recommended patience and some recovery exercises, which served, yes, but did not recover the nerve at all. Then they were put in the hands of Dr. Sanchez Dalmau, who appreciates “the enormous trust placed in me from the family to Alzamora and, above all, the tranquility that they conveyed to me when they assured me that they did not intend to take any risk and that, if they had to wait , they would wait, they had already started with three zeros last season and they did not mind repeating the experience if Marc’s cure depended on it.You can not suppose what it means for a doctor to be able to make decisions without haste, without pressure ”

Sanchez Dalmau recognizes that the normal thing, in these cases, is to wait six months but they had no choice but to shorten that wait. “Not so much because we wanted to try that Marc could start the World Cup, no, but because we observed that the recovery of the fourth nerve had stopped and that stagnation was starting to be worrisome, since it was affecting the nerve that performs the opposite effect to the paralyzed one”. Before performing such a delicate intervention, Sánchez Dalmau held a meeting with Dr. Jordi Arruga, of the Institut Català de la Retina, and Dr. Ana Pert, of the Institute of Ocular Microsurgery (IMO). In that medical akelarre everyone agreed that it was time to operate.

Sánchez Dalmau not only reanimated the right superior oblique nerve, which was affected for months, but intentionally weakened the right inferior oblique nerve. “We often do it so that everything is balanced, compensated, and in fact, after a few days, Marc already noticed improvement.” Mir praises the hands of Sánchez Dalmau and his enormous ability in the operating room. “This is not a bone, this is not putting a plate, screws and running,” says the traumatologist who rebuilds in a blow the bones of the pilots. “Without this microsurgery, Marc would have taken a lot longer to recover or, worse, he would never have recovered completely”.

“It is evident,” Marquez acknowledged yesterday in his shiny box at the Losail track in Doha (Qatar), “that, for so many days, you have the possibility of not running again or recovering completely, but the Doctors Mir and Sanchez Dalmau always, always, reassured me and reminded me that these injuries are sometimes slow, and here I am, ready to continue enjoying the races “. And making you enjoy, even if you do not say it.