Participate in a pioneering treatment called ‘dignity therapy’ for terminally ill patients at Fundacin Laguna.

scar, at the Laguna Foundation.ANTONIO HEREDIA

As if he were a small child, his room is filled with racing cars. Rally is his great passion. The miniature helmet of Ayrton Senna, the Brazilian Formula 1 driver who was killed in an accident, and a Basque ball also decorate the room, in memory of his beloved Euskadi.

scar Luis Ruiz Roma knows that he has little time to live, but he has decided to sip it as he has always done: I am a madman who has eaten life. I have smoked it, he assures while inhaling a cigarette, despite his terminal lung cancer.

His vitality and good humor do not prevent him from suffering his moments of depression in which scar faces the disease for wanting to take him away with only 57 years: I tell cancer that it has no eggs to face me. I talk and cry with him. He’s a fucking bastard. You know that the son of a bitch is going to kill you and he won’t show you his face. But someday he will fall like all the bad guys.

He is not afraid because he has never been. He worked 30 years as an escort, half of them in the Basque Country, in the bloodiest moments of the terrorist group ETA. You know what it is that they call you dog daily, that they scratch your car and that your name appears on the ETA target.

We would get up in the morning to see where the day was breaking, relates this man from Madrid, married with three children, from his room in the Palliative Care Unit of the city. Laguna Foundation, located in Carabanchel.

Scar still remembers that day when two policemen approached him in a parking lot and scared him to death when they told him that they had dismantled an ETA commando that he had all his data, their schedules, their entrances and exits.

“They left us lying like dogs”

scar has dedicated his existence to protecting others and has been the escort of the former president of BBVA Emilio Ybarra, the former director of ABC and La Razn, Luis Mara Ansn and the Mexican businessman Carlos Slim. my last service is gone. I have lived a life that is not mine. I have traveled in private planes, I have stayed in luxury hotels … If it had not been for my profession, I would not have been able to do it.

He had to overcome death on several occasions and only regrets that the Government never had any recognition of private security: They needed the private bodyguards because they did not have troops to alleviate the ETA massacre. But they’ve dumped us like dogs and we get a shitty pension, he complains.

Now that he knows that his time has come, Oscar takes the opportunity to fulfill his dreams. Run a rally on the Jarama circuit, do an exhibition with the paintings he has painted throughout his life, write his memoirs and until teaching with psychology students.

Once a week, two students come to his room to ask him a therapeutic interview about his career, while the rest of the students follow the online chat within a new learning program.

Pioneering treatment

At the Laguna Foundation they practice a pioneering treatment called dignity therapy which consists of working about the spiritual part of the patient so that it transcends.

When the person becomes ill, he feels a break and thinks that he is no longer the same as before. That is why we do a vital review so that the patient regain the dignity you think you have lost, declares Alonso Garca de la Puente, director of the psychosocial department of the Foundation.

The treatment consists in asking the patient about the most important events of his existence or the people who left their mark. With all this information, a document is written so that the patient leaves a legacy, makes a therapeutic reflection and thus can settle the pending accounts to die in peace.

For this reason, the Laguna Foundation emphasizes the importance of having good palliative care that alleviates pain and allows patients to feel loved. Every year more than 300,000 people suffer from advanced stage diseases and they need care to live with quality. However, 70,000 people die suffering without receiving this care, according to a study by the Spanish Society of Palliative Care.

Leaving a mark has become an obsession for Oscar who enthusiastically participates in classes with university students. They expected to find a man with less than one tooth and I happen to have them all. They were expecting a man made a shame and they have met me. But they take great care of me here because they manage to control my pain. When I was at home it felt like a gunshot to the chest.

Oscar has not lost his sense of humor and is the first to tell jokes, although he knows that difficult moments await him. The truth is that I’m dying. I hold on to the people I really love. Love for my wife Pepa is what gives me life, he concludes without losing his smile.

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