This last sunny Saturday in April shows the best version of autumn and Eduardo Heguy takes the opportunity to do what he enjoys the most: get on a polo shirt and face the horizon. These days, the Russian he knows that he is not in his best physical version. That is why he chooses to ride and not catch himself in a polo match: “I am aware that I am not fit enough to play a demanding practice. So, I go out riding a horse to clear my head and little by little get back into rhythm ”, Eduardo tells Clarion while breathing the pure air of the countryside in Pilar.
It is his day off and he takes advantage of it to show his vice. In the last 80 days, the ex-back of Indios Chapaleufú II practically did not move from his son’s side. For this reason, he barely rode four times and spent many hours sitting: “My body got uncomfortable. It is impressive how the muscles disappear, so I am not going to commit something crazy: playing this sport untrained can be suicidal. I already told Pedrito that when he recovers we will start training together again“, Explain.
It is that on February 5 the little Pedro Heguy, 11 years old, suffered an accident in a polo tournament in La Pampa. Father and son shared court and equipment. “It was Pedrito’s second tournament with the greats,” says his father. Until a player committed a reckless action (“A boy without experience”, Eduardo describes it) and rammed into Pedro’s horse “with the bad luck that fell on the nape”.
The Heguys, in full practice of family polo. Pedrito, with his grandfather Alberto Pedro and his cousins, in La Pampa.
Pedro left the court with a major head injury. “The accident was very serious, Pedro was more on that side than on this, but luckily things are improving ”, continues the winner four times of the highest polo event in the world: the Argentine Polo Open in Palermo.
“The first hours were very uncertain. We came close to losing it. So I am happy and grateful to have him with us. I thank you for everyone’s prayers, faith and support. Especially to the doctors and surgeons who did the impossible to turn the tide so that today we can enjoy being with Pedro ”, he continues to be moved.
The Russian draws a timeline of key moments for your child’s health that you were in a drug coma for several weeks. “The first hours were key: at the Intendente Alvear hospital, in La Pampa, they saved his life. The next step was to transfer him to the Austral Hospital where he had a great recovery. And now at Fleni we are facing rehabilitation. We are very fortunate for how everything has been going ”.
Pedrito, in a good mood. Some time ago he started eating. Here you can enjoy your ice cream at the Fleni.
– Exactly what injury did Pedro have after his fall?
-Pedro had a fracture at the base of his skull that produced bruises on his brain. They made him displaced, that is, they removed a cap from his skull so that the inflammation expanded and reduced. He was more on that side than on this. Because then came the typical intrahospital infections, typical of when one has these hospitalizations: he was intubated for three weeks and suffered pulmonary edema, he had an ugly time …
-And how is he today?
-Better. We are happy and grateful to have it and enjoy it every day, but it is still missing. They have to re-plate the skull, it is a piece that is made through a digital impression, that will be a kind of guide so that the missing bone is generated again. She had a nasogastric tube for 80 days, but began to eat on her own and take her first steps. A huge evolution typical of his eleven years of age and how healthy he is. Also of his enormous willpower.
-Be positive and have patience …
-Totally. The road is long and there is a long way to go. But, also, less and less is missing. That is the phrase that I repeat myself every day.
-How is Pedro’s state of mind?
-Look, it is very rough to wake up and that it costs you to give the first words. It’s quite a job. Today, not even the doctors know what he lost and what he did not. The drugs they give him for seizures irritate him, so they lower his doses. Everything is very complex, but right now he is in a very good mood. Sometimes he gets a little angry, of course, because he is tired of this room, of being locked up and in the same positions. He wants to be at home.
The Russian, his wife Paz Manau, and their children, Cruz (17), Luján (9), Pampa (15) and Pedrito (11)
“Polo, a way of life but not the most important thing in life”
The Heguy are part of one of the most important dynasties of Argentine polo. Perhaps the most important. It all starts with Alberto Pedro and Horacio Antonio, two heroes of the sport of cue and bocce. The two of them, together with Juancarlitos Harriott They recorded the history of polo with gold letters: members of the mythical Colonel Suárez, Harriot won the Argentine Polo Open 20 times, Horacio 19 and Alberto 17 times. One button works for sample. Or several: Adolfo Cambiaso, the last record holder of this sport, just hit the APH number, which shows just how crack it was.
After Coronel Suárez, the brothers founded Indios Chapaleufú (a mixture of two clubs: Los Indios, from San Miguel, and Chapaleufú, from Alvear) where the twins Horacio and Gonzalo (Horacio Antonio’s sons) started playing. But soon the genealogical tree of polo players was so lush that they soon separatede so that a new club was born: Indios Chapaleufú II.
The Heguys dominated the scene in the 90’s. On the side of the Chapa II they were the Russian and his brothers Pepe and Nachi, plus a fourth member among whom were Alejandro Díaz Alberdi and Milo Fernández Araujo. From the sidewalk across the street, his cousins: Bautista, Gonzalo, Horacio and Marcos.
The Russian, in one of his last appearances in Palermo, behind Gonzalito Pieres.
Throughout his career, the Russian Heguy witnessed hundreds of accidents on the polo fields. He saw how his colleagues (brothers, cousins and rivals) fell from their horses and he also experienced it firsthand: in 1999, a horse crushed him and dislocated his pelvis. Four years before, his cousin Horacio had lost his eye with a blow when he played the Queen’s Cup in England. And in 2004, in the final between Indios Chapaleufú I and Indios Chapaleufú II (the last battle between the Heguy cousins, literally a pitched battle), in a cross between Nachi and Horacio, the latter’s mare fell to the ground and finished a few hours in therapy and with a punctured lung. But the hardest blow for the family occurred off the field and was the loss of Gonzalo Heguy who died on April 6, 2000 in a traffic accident on a pampas road.
-You went through hundreds of extreme situations in your career as a polo player, but seeing your son fall must have been something else …
-Yes, I was very scared of one, but I never thought it would be something so serious. I’ve seen so many violent falls that you wish it was just one more. My cousins, my brothers and I have been on the verge of death millions of times, but we never regret such a misfortune.
-Are you a family that lives on the edge?
-Look, polo is dangerous, but life is a constant risk. Our losses had to do with illness or accidents. The hardest thing that touched us on a pitch was the loss of Horacio’s eye. But my uncles, Miriam and Horacio did the biggest crazy things you can think of on top of a horse, but my aunt died in an accident and my uncle from a terminal illness (in 1988). Just like my cousin Gonzalo who died in an accident. Polo is risky but life is too.
-But this time it was different.
-Seeing the pain of a child is a greater suffering and gives you a different perspective on life. Luckily, every morning I can thank Pedro for a new day. That is priceless. I feel very lucky to see it evolve day by day. Hopefully tomorrow this will be an anecdote, a nightmare, that will make you stronger: what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Pedro, with his polo helmet, with his mother, Paz.
“We reorganize our lives for the only thing that matters: Pedrito’s recovery”
Sunday night the Russian He went back to Pedrito’s room. He had been in his care until Friday afternoon when he was replaced by his wife, Paz Manau. On Saturday he went to the Los Indios club, when he spoke with Clarion and on Sunday he returned to the clinic to relieve his wife again. “We reorganize our lives for the only thing that matters: Pedro’s recovery.” And then Paz returned home to accompany the rest of the troop.
Paz and Eduardo have five children: Cruz, 17, Pampa, 15, Pedro, 11, and the youngest, Luján, 9. “It’s been almost three months since the boys have seen the two of us together.”
Obviously, everyone has been on horseback for as long as they can remember. The biggest, Cruz, “this year he took his first steps as a professional polo player in England”says Eduardo. Pampa, “perhaps the one who loves horses the most”, it was for the side of horsemanship: “He is already jumping interesting measures for his age,” swears Heguy proudly. Little Luján? “Obviously, he also rides with his grandfather like his brothers and cousins.” Y Pedro has been doing it for months. “At three years he had a short. I would put him in the kitchen and open the refrigerator for him to eat carrots“Remembers Eduardo.
Pedrito and one of the petisos from his childhood.
When these lines are written, the Russian sends Pedrito’s photo above the famous petiso. Then one enters with all the brothers surrounding Pedro, which now they cannot do: “The protocols became stricter and complicated such visits, but far from complaining, we are happy that they take care of him like this.”
Strictly sports, EH says that his son started playing 1, “as a forward for football,” he explains, didactic, and that “he has a very good tackle, but he will have a big body like his brother Cruz who has already arrived to the meter ninety ”. That physical bearing may end up bearing the children of the Russian to the same position that he occupied on the court: the back.
-The polo became an anecdote.
-Sure, polo is our passion and it was our job for many years, but it is not the most important thing in our lives. When you experience these things, you draw drama out of other situations and you realize what are the really important things in life. Obviously there is the dream of seeing Pedro on a field again, but it is not what matters most to us.
Part of the Clan: Russian, Cruz and Paz, in the corridors of the clinic, accompanying Pedro in his rehabilitation
-Does Pedro know everything that happened to him?
-We told him what happened to him and we told him what are the steps that we have to take from now on to achieve each objective. You have to start swallowing definitively and a long way of cognitive and physical rehabilitation. He is our priority, the most important. And we are going to accompany him at this time for as long as necessary.
#son #Russian #Heguy #lost #luckily #morning #Pedrito #day