Roman Students Learn Lessons about Life and Survival


Rawad A. '20, Staff Writer

Roman students heard a special guest lecture this past spring! Dr. Roberto Canessa was the survivor of a plane crash in the Andes Mountains. An experience like this had a tremendous impact of the personal character of Dr. Canessa. Becoming a cardiologist many years later, he has formed a personal character many can call a “hero.” Having the opportunity to ask such an experience person about his journey in the Andes and as a cardiologist opened the eyes of many about the true meaning of life.

During his talk, Dr. Canessa was able to express his true feelings during such a dangerous event. There were moments on the mountain that left marks that could never be erased. Dr. Canessa’s maturity had increased tremendously during his time in the Andes for it was a “fight to stay alive.” His heart was also hardened as though he was a soldier at war. His time in the Andes also gave Canessa a sense of care for others. While studying to become a doctor, he was always concerned about other people. Dr. Canessa also views the world as a place he is not finished with. He sees all the good that could made to modest the world to make it a better place for everyone.

A major lesson that was obtained by Dr. Canessa’s visit was the importance of teamwork. He was able to reach inside the minds of everyone present when he talked about the experience with his friends. He explained how the tough condition was not gone through alone. Even though he lost many loved ones during his journey, he was able to strengthen his relationship with everyone else. Each and every one of them learned to work together as one body. Each one of them focused their talents upon the tasks that were at hand. By working together, they were able to accomplish main goals and survive to tell the story. Dr. Canessa said open the eyes of many high school students to the importance of getting the job done. It does not matter whether you feel hatred or love towards a person, you need to understand the risks that could occur if a specific job is not complete. Dr. Canessa expressed the importance of not striving for success, but rather what comes after it. The outcome should be thought of throughout the whole experience so that no one regrets anything that occurred. With this mind set, Dr. Canessa was able to understand the importance of living in the moment. He also describes his journey as one where fear had to be ruled out. If a person wants to achieve a goal, they should only think of the positive outcomes that could prevail. This important lesson strengthened the respect Dr. Canessa obtained by everyone that was present.

Another lesson that could be obtained is how adversity leads to success. It is able to strengthen a person in the states that make them week. This idea is evident by Dr. Canessa’s remark, “instead of shrinking, despair made me fight harder.” Adversity in many aspects of Dr. Canessa’s experience can be used as motivation. During his time on the mountain or in his career, Dr. Canessa never lost hope and kept on fighting for his life and the life of others. Dr. Canessa even taught others to embrace the impossible and never lose hope. This can be conquered through perseverance, though pushing oneself beyond the limits. Finally, Dr. Canessa was able to install hope hearts of women like he had done to all the sick, injured, or frightened that were on the plane. In a way, Dr. Canessa still feels a sense of obligation to those who had died from the plane crash. He tries his best to make a difference in the present time. He certainly had an impact on the Cahillites who heard his moving story!