The beneficial effect of sport and the physical and mental advantages that its practice entails are nothing new, although considering it as a rehabilitation treatment also seems extreme. It may sound strange, but this is what happened to Álvaro Trigo Puig, a 27-year-old from Madrid who, thanks to sport, was reborn again.
His life was that of a normal young man who loved sports, until in February 2018, during a visit to his grandmother in Jaén, he suffered an accident. His house caught fire and he, as best he could, tried to put out the fire. The situation took a dramatic turn when he fell into the flames, suffering burns to the 63% of your skin.
The months after the accident were a hard blow for him and his family. Due to his injuries, he was in eat 10 days and four months admitted to the hospital in Seville. Not only did he suffer a serious medical mishap, he also had to give up his dream of being a firefighter, a career he was opposed to when that fire changed his life.
At the hospital, doctors warned his family that 90% of people who enter this state does not come out alive. Right at this moment, Álvaro’s story of overcoming began. After three operations and painful skin grafts, he managed to move on and slowly get out of the nightmare. «They took my own skin, from my legs and put them on my arms. But I had so many burns that I needed an experimental treatment with stem cells to create a kind of ‘cultured skin’ and thus complete the cure, “he recalls to ABC.
The recovery was slow and without being sure of being able to walk again and, therefore, of being able to do any type of sport. «On a physical level it has been very painful, the skin they put on me bled much. For a year and a half I had to change the sheets where I slept every day because they were filled with blood.
After months of isolation and treatment (he needs up to 12 pills a day to endure the pain), he was able to leave the hospital and started training because he was obsessed with the idea of playing sports again. Although the doctors told her that she could run again, the talks with her parents were more real and different. «Behind my back, the toilets told my family that in a year nobody comes back to play sports after an accident like mine”. But he only had one goal in mind: the Seville marathon in February 2019, which was held just one year after that horrible fire.
A new life
He began to walk again with the help of his mother, who accompanied him at all times because he could not make any effort. «My muscle tone was zero, I felt very helpless, but I started to improve so quickly that I became obsessed with the subject and trained twice a day, in the morning and in the afternoon. I would go to the gym in dark clothes because they would fill me with blood and I would come home in pain. The challenge mental It allowed him to prepare for the marathon and manage to run it, albeit with a lot of pain, in February 2019. «I did it with a lot of pain, I took the medal to the hospital so they could put it there, for people who were like me. That’s when I realized that with sport I could help more people. Since then I began to consider solidarity sports challenges».
Álvaro, from that moment on, began to set himself a sporting challenge every year. In 2020 he swam solo from Formentera in Ibiza and in 2021 he did the same from the Cíes Islands to Vigo with the chained feet. Last year he also made a solidarity walk, running from his house, in Ubrique, to the Betis stadium (110 kilometers) to raise funds for a boy who got burned and needed expensive prosthetics.
This year’s challenge is to make a kayak journey from Ibiza to Jávea, for an African association, the NGO Formation Senegal that gives away some scholarships called ‘Train to stay’. The aim is to promote employment and training for the many families who see their children leave home because there are no learning opportunities. “Approximately they are 100 kilometer kayaking and, depending on the wind and the sea, it takes between 18 and 24 hours. I am going with a support boat that will deliver water, food and help. I have trained many hours and I have done endurance races focused on this. The objective is to leave on the 14th (August) at 12 noon from Ibiza and arrive in Jávea the next morning, ”concludes the man from Madrid.
Álvaro’s story is proof that sport is not and cannot be only passion but hope, exit and, as in this case, also a recovery treatment.