The Heart of Women

The heart of women in danger


Danièle Hermann

Like most women, I have thought that breast cancer was the first reason for feminine death. But when I had received the mortality rates for cardio-vascular diseases, I was chocked, if not overwhelmed.

My personal trajectory has made me more sensible tor the heart of women. I will never forget my state of desperation, when I had to undergo my first open-heart operation, which was the last chance. I will never forget the talent, if not the genius of Professor Alain Carpentier, and the miracles, called medical research. 

I had to undergo two open-heart operations, but I also was operated for cancer, where there was taken out the complete stomach. Then, I had breast cancer, and for other reasons a removal of the uterus. I also know, that if I would have been born 50 years earlier on the other side of the planet, I would not be here today.

From my first operation, I made a decision, and I have created with the help of Professor Alain Carpentier an association for funds for research. Then, much later, I created a second one, the Foundation within the Institut de France.

I have often told the professors, you have the theory, but I have lived it through with a diet strictly without salt, the anticoagulants, cardiac insufficiency, the deteriorated valves, the breathlessness, the total arrythmia of the heart, the pacemaker… and I had gotten old long before time, at the age of.. But research was there, like a gift for my life. Yesterday’s  research is today’s and tomorrow’s medicine, the one for our children.

I am surrounded by the greatest professors, members of the Academy of Science, and I have learnt a lot being with them. But I have also learnt a lot by what I had lived through and the pains. And for good reason I have learnt that you should never get desperate because of a health problem, even a serious one. You always have to trust your own body and to have confidence in it. We have unexpected resources, survival surpasses us, we are extraordinary beings and research is the miraculous gift, given to us for more life, less pains, for a better existence.

Danièle Hermann