This departmental journalist, suffering from congenital cardiomyopathy and victim of cardiac arrest at the age of 41, recently published ‘Titanium Heart’, a poignant story, an ode to life! Interview…
Appointment is made at the Town Hall in Chalon-sur-Saône to meet the author of this book, “testimony of a forty-year-old born with a different heart”. He arrives a few minutes late, a habit he can’t get rid of, we learn. From the height of his meter ninety, he offers a radiant smile and invites you to have a coffee to talk about the release of his book ‘Heart of Titanium’, published by Librinova last October and his next meeting. – signings scheduled for November 26 at the Develay bookstore. His whole being exudes a lot of sweetness and kindness. After a few minutes of conversation, we learn that Nicolas Desroches is a journalist at the JSL, if my colleagues know him well for having had the pleasure of meeting him during events rather of an economic nature, concerning me, dealing with papers most often cultural, I hadn’t made the connection. Nicolas therefore exercises a profession that values local initiatives and the people who carry them, and it is also with passion that he talks to us about his years spent in Bresse discovering its inhabitants, their patois and their habits and customs. This is what emerges from him: an attitude resolutely turned towards others. Of his illness – which he has had since birth but which he discovers late – and of his cardiac arrest a year ago at the Chalonnais Nautical Center when he used to do his lengths there, nothing does not show through; a chance, he explains to us, in his case only 5% of people are “recovered”, 1% do not suffer from sequelae. Yet the recovery was not easy, strewn with complications. Today, he is one of 15,000 people in France with a defibrillator. Having to flee electromagnetic waves and vibrations, he also tells us about a whole life to reinvent in this book that grabs us, 190 pages that we devour!
At the sudden death of your mother, you learn in your twenties, after having carried out genetic analyses, that you are suffering from congenital cardiomyopathy; living with this sword of Damocles, your optimism and joie de vivre remained intact. Where does this strength come from?
The announcement of the disease was not necessarily easy to live with at first, but I had no choice but to live with this gene, MYH7, in me. He wasn’t going to disappear with a wave of a magic wand, so I decided to live rather than feel sorry for myself. Monitored regularly by a cardiologist, I lived for years in denial and recklessness, telling myself that with my treatment, I was in no danger, until the day when my heart started beating like never before. edge of a swimming pool.
Indeed, despite annual medical follow-up and treatment prescribed for life, at the age of 41 you suffered a cardiac arrest while swimming. In your misfortune you were lucky, good fairies were present…
I am incredibly lucky to have my cardiac arrest, sudden death in medical jargon, in the right place at the right time. Within a few minutes, I won’t be there, in front of you, to answer your questions. I was lucky to have been resuscitated by guardian angels in bathing suits who were trained in lifesaving gestures, and who knew how to use a defibrillator. It is not when you have a person in cardiac distress that you will start reading the instructions. In these cases, it is necessary to act quickly if one wants to avoid sequelae, in particular neurological, within 5 minutes after the collapse. So it is better to try to do, even badly a cardiac massage, than to do nothing while waiting for help to arrive. I am today the living proof that these gestures save.
Barely recovered, you already took up your pen, why this book?
At the start, writing was above all a means of evacuating the trauma experienced, of putting it into words so as not to live in permanent anguish, telling myself that I could have another cardiac arrest at any time. Writing was easier than telling my story. So I told myself that instead of telling the stories of others as I usually do in my job as a journalist, I was going to put words to my ills to try to heal my after-effects.
I also wanted to reconstruct the five days I was in a coma following my accident. I woke up in a hospital bed with no memory. The black hole. This book, when I was told shortly after I woke up that I was going to be fitted with a defibrillator, is the one I wanted to read at that moment. I was full of prejudices. I mistakenly thought I was too young to wear this kind of electro-cardiac device. Then I had the bad idea to look on the Internet for information. In the end, I came out of all these readings more frightened. More broadly, my ‘Heart of Titanium’ makes you think about life in general. We are only tightrope walkers on his wire, each continuing his way, taking care not to fall, or as late as possible. We must therefore always keep hope, despite the obstacles.
So you wear, not without having had some complications, a subcutaneous defibrillator which forces you to rethink your way of life, in what state of mind are you today?
To sum up my state of mind, I will quote Nietzsche: “What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger”. My defibrillator is both my greatest weakness, but also my greatest strength. There is clearly a before and an after. The title of my book is ‘Heart of Titanium’, a nod to this case, the size of a small matchbox and weighing around 90 grams, which is now capable of saving my life at any moment. By exposing myself in this way, throughout the pages of my book, I also hope to arouse the vocations of people who will close it by saying to themselves: tomorrow I will be trained in life-saving gestures and I will learn to use a defibrillator. There are still too many people we cannot save. His gestures should be learned from an early age.
For more, the editor’s summary:
““I got in touch with my colleague who explained to me your background and the sudden deaths in your more or less close family circle. You appear to have congenital cardiomyopathy. »
After the sudden death of his mother, Nicolas learns that he has inherited an orphan disease. Despite this sword of Damocles, he leads a normal life…until the day when he too suffers a cardiac arrest. At only forty-one years old, Nicolas is barely brought back to life. Equipped with a defibrillator placed under his skin, he begins a long and difficult convalescence. While magnetic fields, radio waves and other vibrations have become a danger for him, will Nicolas manage to reclaim his life and this new titanium heart? In this poignant testimony, Nicolas Desroches gives us a life lesson that touches our hearts! »
This book is available:
– on the website of the publisher librinova: https://www.librinova.com/librairie/nicolas-desroches/coeur-de-titane-1
– At the Develay bookstore in Chalon-sur-Saône and at the La Mandragore bookstore
– In all bookstores on demand but also on order at FNAC and on Amazon
The next appointments for a signing session:
Saturday November 26 at the Develay bookstore in Chalon-sur-Saône from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday December 3 at the Forum de Louhans from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday February 4 at Cultura in Mâcon from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday February 18 at the Jardin Secret in Cluny from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in association with ‘Coeur et Santé’ to raise awareness about heart disease and life-saving gestures.
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