By MARK PFEIFFERMARTIN, Reuters Health editorA Maltese man who was diagnosed with a rare heart disease earlier this year, has been given a hero’s welcome by his friends and family, with a Facebook video showing the man hugging a Maltese woman who was also diagnosed with the disease and smiling at the camera.
The video, which has been shared more than 8,000 times since being uploaded on May 17, was uploaded by David Walser, a 28-year-old from the western coastal city of Tromsø, who also posted a selfie to Instagram showing him kissing a woman who had been diagnosed with coronary artery disease.
David, who does not wish to be named, said in the video that he had been working as a waiter at a restaurant in Tromso, near the Norwegian capital, Oslo, and that he was feeling “pretty sick” when he arrived home from work on May 18.
He was admitted to hospital on May 19 and died a week later.
“I was really surprised by the news that I had been found to have a rare disease, because I had no symptoms,” David said in a Facebook post on May 22.
“However, it was only the news of my illness that really got me thinking, I am not the only one with a heart disease.
I am the first person in my family to have it.”
David’s mother, who is also a nurse, posted a video to Instagram of her husband hugging the woman and saying: “My heart just broke again”.
“My husband hugged her, we hugged each other and they said hello,” she said.
David’s friend, who was in the hospital with him, said the woman’s condition had improved and that they were now “completely in sync” with each other.
“It was just such a beautiful moment,” she told Reuters Health.
“She looked at us and was just happy to see us, and we just wanted to hug her,” she added.
“They were very close, she was so close.
We hugged her for a long time and she said, ‘you are my best friend.'”‘
I was so happy’When the video was shared online, it prompted some to speculate that David had become a “hero” in the Maltese heart community, with the Maltis using the hashtag #HeartSavingMalta on social media to encourage people to visit the hospital to see the patient and to show their appreciation.
David was diagnosed in August 2016, just three months after he married his wife, Jodie.
He had not known the disease until he was admitted in November 2016, and his condition improved gradually throughout the year.
“He is a very, very happy person, very well adjusted, very content,” his mother, Jodi, told Reuters on Monday.
David also took part in a memorial service for the woman in Tromeo in October 2017, where he was given a medal for his service.
“We are happy that he is getting well and that we can be together,” Jodi said.
“We were very happy that David was with us and that his wife was with him.”
This is a big thing in the country, it is not just a matter of money, but about love, about being with one another.
“In an Instagram post last week, a family friend of David posted a photo of the couple holding hands and the words: “We love you, our love is the same.””
You know that feeling of a strong connection, of the bond between two people?
This is what we are seeing in our family.
It is an amazing feeling,” the friend wrote.”
The Maltese are very strong people, very brave people, they want to save lives.
“David Walsers family and friends welcomed him with a smile and hug on May 25.