Why is Italian Entrepreneur Saving Croatian Kids?
Ivo Zanatta enabled little David Krusvar to have a liver transplant in Italy, but claims it does not make up for Manuela Viskovic’s death.
Last Friday, doctor Umberto Chillo, the head of a transplantation team at the university hospital in Padova, decided that little David Krusvar can leave the hospital. This is a sign that mother Damjana and father Denis can finally relax.
The child which all of Croatia prayed for will get better, the new liver that was transplanted before Christmas is working well, and during the next three months he will stay in a rented apartment in Padova in order to attend frequent hospital checkups, to be close to the doctors who are caring for him, in the event of any complications.
Operation that saved
There is no end to the happiness in the Krusvar family, who arrived in Padova as the start of October seeking to save their son’s life.
“How terrible it was to see him all fatigued and weaker, is how much happier we are now to watch him progress every day. After the operation he became a happy baby, he is babbling, so we are joking that his first words will be Ch-lo, the name of his doctor” says Damjana Krusvar.
Only a month after the operation, David has gained half a kilogram in weight, and as they tell us, he has started playing with his feet, so he hopes that he will continue where he left off with his motor development – crawling, sitting and finally walking.
Many people watched the Krusvar family story from the media. The Croatian Health Care Institute refused to bear the cost of a liver transplant for the little boy, even though his doctor from the children’s hospital “Kantrida” gave a written opinion that, considering the progressive sickness, and the fact that a final diagnoses was not reached or adequate treatment started, that the diagnostics and treatment be continued in the paediatric hospital in Padova.
The family then started a humanitarian drive. Good people from Croatia gathered a million kuna to save the boy, but they also found a good person on the other side of the border. The accommodation expenses for the Krusvar family will be paid by Ivo Zanatta, who is available for help if the hospital expenses surpass one million kuna, if the Croatian health Care Institute do not change their minds in response to an appeal by David’s father Denis.
Ivo Zanatta helps patients from Croatia who do not have enough money for accommodation and medical expenses. One example is Martina Piric, the recently deceased girl from Cepine, for who he guaranteed that the hospital bill will be paid. Her mother Marija Piric published a public message of thanks in the Croatian newspaper Glas Slavonije, and the touching text awoke curiosity as to the identity of the Italian who helped the Croatian girl, even more so because the hearts in the Croatian bureaucracy were hard and unwavering.
Who is Ivo Zanatta?
Accident which placed Ivo Zanatta in prisonIvo Zanatta’s yacht, called “Emi’s Light”, hit the bow of the 6 meter yacht “Blue Note” near Uni. This caused the 34 year old Rovinj resident Manuela Viskovic to fall into the water, where she was killed by the propeller blades of the yacht. Manuela left a daughter behind who turned ten years old the next day.
The rich industrial industry member, whose family owns the company Jolly Scarpe SpA, known to the world for manufacturing motorcycle boots, in linked to a court procedure that is being led against him for accidents at sea.
Whilst he was cruising with his family from Losinj towards Pula, his 17 meter yacht “Emi’s Light” hit the 6 meter yacht “Blue Note” near Uni, which caused the 34 year old Rovinj resident Manuela Viskovic to be thrown into the sea. Manuela will killed by the propeller blades of the yacht. Her daughter had the saddest birthday of her life next day, turning ten years old.
Mr. Zanatta first did not want to give an interview with the excuse that everything that we want to talk about is too hard for him to talk about. However, we did manage to get a number of answers from him via email:
How did it occur that you donated money for Croatian children to be treated in Padova?
“Our family company donates 100,000 euros every year to humanitarian causes, and we especially help dr. Nela Srsen, who is a family friend”.
In which phase is the court proceeding that Croatia is leading against you?
“I think that it is in its final phase, but for more precise information you should talk to my lawyers.
For you, is helping Martina and little David making up for the accident?
“Absolutely not. I have answered earlier, we always offer humanitarian help to those who need it. Unfortunately, the accident that occurred in 2007 was a tragic fatality, like most accidents at sea or on the road. My feelings linked to the tragedy are still strong. At the time I experienced internal brain bleeding from the consequences of stress, and today I sleep poorly because I always relive the moments of that tragedy.
The daughter of the deceased woman, called Lucija Viskovic, is now twelve years old. Have you made contract with the family in order to voice you condolence?
“I am terrible sorry for the suffering of the Viskovic family, especially for Lucija. I have two children and I do not want to even think how much it would hurt if they lost their mother. In the days after the accident I was in prison, my family visited the grave of the deceased Manuela, and they tried to make contact with the family on a number of occasions and voice their condolence, but they were not ready to see us.
The Viskovic family and the Dutchman Henricus Verdonkshot, who is the skipper of the yacht, sought 1.9 million kuna of damages for the suffered loss and emotional pain. Did you pay them?
“That is an issue that my insurance will solve with them”
“I am not a rich and spoilt”
It is known that you were in custody for an unusually long period of time for a traffic accident, 32 days. You were released on bail for 205 thousand euros, and the indictment charges you with causing a traffic accident with precondition. That is the most serious qualification, for which you can face three to ten years in prison. A few years ago one famous person from Croatia’s public life only received a conditional sentence for a similar case that also killed one person. Were you surprised with such an indictment, and do you think that it came from the prejudices of the public that viewed you as a rich and spoilt Italian industrialist?
“Yes, I am very surprised because I do not consider myself a murderer, but a victim of an accident. I am even less a rich and spoilt industrialist. If we managed to gather some money for years by working, that is the fruit of hard work, a lot of abdication and giving things up, equally by my father and me. My father founded the company in 1980. Today we are leading in the sector of manufacturing boots for sports bikes, and technical boots for fire-fighters, the army and police.
How did you family experience the tragedy?
“I was in prison for 32 days and I think that it was the worst period of my life. I could not see anyone for the first 15 days, not even my wife and parents. I did not have any clothing. I have two children. My daughter Viktoria is eight years old, and my son Massimiliano is two. At the moment of the accident they were with me on the boat, my son was a two month old baby. My family suffered a lot, and my psychological state was below zero. I lost my will to live. It is hard to find yourself in prison when you are aware that you are not a criminal or mercenary, but the victim of a tragic fate. My life after that absolutely changed. I will always carry the pain of this tragedy with me” concluded Zanatta.