A centenary to remember

A centenary to rememberFernando Ramon

Just when it seems that this year’s flu epidemic, exacerbated this time by respiratory infections and Covid, has reached its peak, today marks the centenary of the birth of the man who, for a time and for many generations, dedicated himself to fighting it. the most effective method known at that time: injections. Generations that have followed each other over time and left the memory of a professional who marked an era in the health sector of Elche.

Julio Ramon Benito (01/22/1924 – 09/28/1993), who for decades was known simply as “Julio the Practitioner” (as OVDs or nurses were then called), was certainly one of the predecessors of those who were called anonymous heroes during the recent coronavirus pandemic . It would be an exaggeration to compare both situations because the incidence, severity, number of deaths and conditions of confinement less than four years ago were unprecedented, but scientific advances and human resources today are light years away from those that existed decades ago. . . At the time, medical consultations were conducted in homes, hospitals were so small that the few that existed were concentrated in large cities, and the most common medications were injectables, with penicillin and its derivatives as the paradigm for the most appropriate treatment. diseases that were once known.


As a practitioner, he crossed the streets of Elche on his unmistakable Vespa, which had a distinctive and distinctive sound among the cobblestones that preceded the asphalt. This car carried him from one home to another, with the exception of two hours a day, which he spent in consultation at the San Fermin Clinic, a journey that lasted from early morning until late at night. It was a dedication to work that did not understand Sundays, holidays or days of rest, a true culture of effort, as these times would be called, that left its mark on those around. Sometimes the treatment in question would require him to inject a patient several times a day, increasing his workload when the incidence of the virus wreaked havoc on the population. He also had a small room at home, set up as a clinic, where he received, always at the same time, those who came for appropriate treatment or some medicine for wounds received as a result of various accidents, in addition to those who suffered from who had diabetes. They had to administer the appropriate insulin, which at that time the patients themselves did not administer.

Possessing an affable personality, he was always willing to look for a smile during his visits, as if he needed to relax in a hostile environment. However, this caused real panic among the kids, who ran in terror to hide in corners and redoubts, where they distrustfully thought they would be safe, when the bell announced the arrival of a practitioner who frightened them with his syringes. A memory that remains in the collective imagination and is still remembered by those who return to relive the past of their childhood.

The ritual was systematically repeated at each visit to each patient, as single-use injections began to be used en masse as their professional careers entered the final stages. From her small purse she took out ordinary glass syringes and, using alcohol as a fuel, disinfected them over the fire before injecting the contents of the drugs into them, which she immediately administered to the patients. A process in which only a few minutes passed before they were off again to their next destination. I organized the tour the night before so that efficiency prevailed, taking into account the schedule, the needs of the patients, the proximity of each house I needed to go to, and improvising on the fly how to respond to those new notifications that were happening during the day through phone calls or in person.

As the culmination of his work, the College of Nursing of Alicante, on the occasion of his retirement, awarded him the title of Lifetime Honorary Member and awarded him the Honorary Diploma of the Profession, as a sign of public recognition of the colleagues who shared his attention. .and care for the health of their fellow citizens.

Julio Ramon, in addition to his fruitful professional activity in the field of nursing, recalled with pride that he was part of the history of sports in Elche, being part of the first basketball team formed in the city, together with other members among whom were Tomas Soler, Miguel Espinosa or Pepe Agullo , and that they achieved success by meeting Barcelona in 1943 as provincial champions in a double-header where the result was the least important (a heavy double defeat was undeniable) since achieving the goal was an important milestone. at that time. He also had this passion for sports as a fan, being one of the faithful followers of the Elche Football Club in its glorious era from the sixties to the eighties, not only on the Altabix pitch or at the Nuevo Estadio (name the starting position of the current Martinez) . Valero), but also accompanied the team on upcoming trips (Madrid, Valencia, Granada) as long as his professional duties allowed, and, of course, was present at the Santiago Bernabeu in the historic Cup final that the Frangiverde team played against Athletic. Club Bilbao.

This brief review serves as a humble tribute and appreciation to a medical professional who gave everything in his life to alleviate the suffering and illness of those who needed it, without caring about the effort and dedication it entailed, after completing a hundred years of activity. service, his birth and so that his memory is preserved in time and is not forgotten.

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