I go for a walk: ‘Oh, Nina.’ ‘Hello.’ ‘How are you?’ ‘How does it feel to be a hundred?’ ‘I can’t believe you are already over a hundred!’ I enjoy my life. I have so many friends that before, they were just acquaintances. But now they’re all friends.
I was an extrovert, I think, from the time I was born. You know how when you are at a party and someone says, ‘come on, Nina, dance.’ I danced. I danced all my life. I remember all girls hated me. Because I would come, I would look through all the boys, and I would choose one for the night. I would look at him and all of a sudden he would look at me too. And then we would spend the whole night dancing, dancing, dancing, till the night is over.
My husband, he was a good dancer. He was Italian. That’s why I chose him I think. I needed a good lover and a good husband. And he was just that, you know. We danced for money at different functions: Nina and Omero. They always played tango. It was a show-off. The dresses! I spent all my money on the dresses. Every time, I would have to be dressed in something extraordinary.
I enjoyed my life. I worked very hard, very hard.
I gave life to others. I cured those who were incurable. Usually, I did it in 10-14 days. It all depended on how bad you were – if you were just about to die, it would take longer. Then you’d be free of everything. You’d start the second part of your life.
My father thought that we were here to cure asthma. It’s been over 100 years, that’s why I will never forget it – because his idea is the same age as me. So I feel it’s mine in a way, my baby too. I know because I love it. And whenever I see someone who’s sick, I immediately want to help. Why suffer when you could be well and happy? I could give you a new piece of life. No suffering and a fulfilling life. That’s what I do. There are a lot of things you need to do. It’s not that easy because you have to give up a lot of things but the reward is that you’ll be completely well and happy and you can do what you want in life. That was my ambition, and that is my achievement. That gives me satisfaction in life. My father was a good healer, and so was I. He was very handsome, a good man with a good heart. We were known as the people who cured the incurable. Between us we cured maybe a few thousand people – not hundreds, but thousands.
Even now, when I go for a walk, I talk to people. At the park they have benches, you know. Benches, I discovered just accidentally, are wide enough to lie down. So I start pressing on you, opening the chest, because the main thing is to open the chest, the main thing is to breathe. Learn how to breathe. My clinic was different because I talked to the clients. I gave them the will to live. I gave them a sample of how good it is to be alive. And I cured the incurable.
For my 100th birthday, a couple of people that I had cured in my lifetime came along and did testimonials. One man, I’m so glad he found me, wrote me a beautiful letter. He became a very good dancer and not only dancer, he became famous. He became somebody. ‘Look, I wouldn’t have achieved this without you.’ He would have been dead, if not for me.
At one stage last year, all of a sudden I felt a big clump in my heart that stopped my breath. And I was clinically dead. I asked the doctor afterwards, ‘What should I have done? Ask for a nurse? By the time the nurse came, I would have been dead already.’ The doctor said, ‘Then go and put the medication under your tongue.’ ‘But it is in my shower room on the shelf. By the time I get hold of that… What else could I have done?’ He said, ‘Die.’ I said, ‘I don’t want to die.’ I had known exactly what to do with my patients. I opened their chest. I pressed on their chest. As long as I get the oxygen in – because oxygen is the only thing that will keep you alive. And I was standing there, I was not afraid, not afraid at all. So I pressed, pressed, I only hoped that I would have enough time to open the chest, and I pressed, and pressed, and pressed, and then – click. It’s true and I’m alive. I resuscitated myself.
There were wars. My life was sometimes like starvation. Nothing. I mean up and down, up and down. And I think that this trained me very, very well. Because I can be anybody, can be anything, my body can survive on just a crust of bread.
Think what you want to make the goal of your life, what you want to be, and never give up. There is always somewhere that is opening, and you may as well be healthy. Breathe nice, because by breathing my father’s method you get enough oxygen to keep all of your body working. And when your body can work 100% well, you do the best you can.