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The co-owner of Czech Miss on illness, hope and new visions

Quick Confession - Martin Ditmar: It Was the Little Things That Brought Me Back to Life

Jana Fikotová
23.Jan 2018
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7 minutes

The entrepreneur Martin Ditmar, after the recent serious illness and two months in a coma certainly cannot complain about his current life. He is back in this world, can climb ten steps and gives back blood that, together with expertise and human approach helped to return his appetite for life. 

A few months ago you had a very unpleasant medical condition. How did it happen?

It was a result of all the years when I lived only through work and was under great stress. It accumulated and the outcome was an ugly disease that has literally suspended my life in this world for several months. I had acute inflammation of the pancreas, because of which I had to be put into artificial sleep.

Health problems started when you were in Moravia, the workplace of Professor Klein, expert on abdominal cavity. You were indeed quite lucky in your misfortune.

It is true. The bit of luck was that it happened in Moravia, when we were in our hotel Villa Memories, a few kilometres from the town of Zlín. I came very quickly into the regional hospital where Professor Klein works; he is one of the best specialists in abdominal cavity and pancreas in the Czech Republic. His professional expertise saved my life. Everywhere else they would have operated which I would most probably not survive. He selected a different form of treatment whereby I was being rehydrated. They administered liquids to neutralise and alleviate the inflammation. At that time I first got into my body 20 litres of fluids, it was bloated, then the inflammations was mitigated and the fluids started to leave my body. 

So he was the saviour of your life?

Undoubtedly he was. I would like to pay tribute to Professor Klein who completely managed the whole treatment. Also, I would like to express my great thanks to Professor Gabrhelík, who heads the ER Department in Zlín, thanks to whom I received care of unbelievable standard. I have felt there like in a five-star hotel. Not only the expertise of all the physicians and nurses, but also their human approach brought me back into this world. Every day I was washed, shaved and fresh. When you cannot move, you enjoy the little things, a smile, a touch. All those people deserve huge thanks. 

Apart from the expertise, you mean that you returned to your life thanks to little things?

I am convinced that everything is only a puzzle, consisting of a lot of little pieces. Nothing is ever decided by one crucial thing, but a set of circumstances. In this case it was on the one hand the expertise of doctors, care of the nurses, energy of all the people who thought about me and last but not least it was God himself. As I have talked to the Professor, they have done their best, used all forms of treatments and medication available, everything they could they used and even then they arrived at a situation where they had to say to my parents that my chances of survival are one to two percent. It was more like zero, so the fact that I survived is a miracle. But God knows about absolutely everyone and He will see to it that there is help for that person; this is actually one of the most important things in my opinion.

You are the co-owner of the project Czech Miss. Many people had negative views about the competition. Do you think that thanks to what has happened to you they will rethink their opinion?

The first response to the acquisition of Czech Miss was really negative. Perhaps due to the reason that we have dared to enter into such a project. The other thing was that we have begun to do it all differently. The Czech nation is very conservative and if someone comes with a change it usually instigates a negative response. These are things that did not discourage us because we had a clear objective and vision of where we want to move the project and we have persevered to carry out our plan. It is true that what I had to go through changed some of the views. We are getting lots of positive letters and responses, with support both for the project and my state of health, so that my convalescence goes well and I returned to my level of fitness that I previously had, or that of a completely healthy man. 

How did your partner, Eva Čerešňáková, cope with everything that you could not do? You have a lot of work activities that perhaps she did not even know about.

It was quite amazing how Eva grasped it all. It happened from one day to another, and exactly as you say, everyone has their own activities. We had not had the time to tell each other about all those activities in order to know exactly what to do and how. She was confronted with this situation from one day to another. She took me to the hospital, my medical condition deteriorated so sharply after a couple of days that I was not able to deal with anything any longer and she took over completely from one day to the other and resolved it all. I would like to give her my huge thanks because she handled all those projects excellently. The continuity in the functioning of all the projects was maintained and they continue to function. I can gradually get back.

Will you involve her in your business when you now see that she is able to handle it? 

I would of course like to, but I think that she would not be completely happy with it because we are both very dominant personalities and it would probably not be a great success. The second thing is that in my opinion, she must also rest a bit and my thoughts go rather in the opposite direction. I am trying to set up those activities so that we both have more time to rest and relax and achieve what I have already mentioned - to balance our work load. 

I think that the entry of Eva into your life is also very fundamental because she not only leads you to faith, but also to good deeds. Together you start to give back what you have taken up to now, blood. 

We were with Eva in the hospital as far back as one year ago, when I first donated blood. These are the things of whose impact one is completely unaware. Blood is irreplaceable and cannot be artificially created. It actually saved my life. If there were not people like Eva in the world who has been regularly giving blood already for ten years and there was no blood available, which I so desperately needed, I would not be here now. These are the things that make you look at it all in a completely different way. This is why we are here again now. I cannot give blood yet but Eva did. We want give it back, it is a very important issue. There may be a lot of people in a situation where they will need blood and it is important that there is a stock available to them.

Will there be something else that you would like to give back? Not only energy but also financial means? I know that you and Eva are involved in charity work ...

Yes, we do charity work. Two years ago we were in Bangladesh, Eva had been collecting money for years before that so that she could build a first school there. She succeeded in doing this two years ago and it was an incredibly powerful emotional experience. One could say that today we have a school in Bangladesh with 100 children, who mainly thanks to Eva will be given a chance in life. In future I would like it to be thanks to us both for other children to get the same chance. Education is one of the most important things and when we saw the conditions in which the children grow up and what options they have, the fact that they got a school where they can be educated, will give them at least some basis to build their life. They can then move up.

Will perhaps your work move in another direction, too? 

I am now undergoing treatment at home which will take a few more months. Therefore I now don´t think that I should come back to full-time work. In the coming weeks or months it will continue to be that the ongoing business and everything related with this project will have to be dealt with by Eva and I will help her with consultations or strategic decisions. I will leave her with the overall control over the given situation and I will look at it from a different perspective. I will not be burdened by daily routine and everyday concerns. I think that this constellation will work well, but moreover, in combination with perspective our project will be managed even better than it perhaps has been to date. 

So the project Czech Miss will be led mainly by her?

So far, it appears that she will be the main driving force behind it and I will monitor it and, if necessary, provide advice. Currently she has prepared a press conference on the opening of a new season, when the girls can register. Castings for Czech Miss 2018 will be held 27.1. in Olomouc, 3.2. in Zlín, 3.3. in Brno and 7.3. in Prague. If health allows me, I will take part in everything. Meanwhile I am glad that I can make ten steps without exhaustion.

It is said in good as well as in bad times. In the short time you have been together, you experienced truly unbelievable things. Did id strengthen your believe that she is the woman of your life that you would never want to replace because she has really done a great deal for you?

It has certainly assured me. What she had to go through and how she managed to support not only my projects but me also, how she came to see me in hospital every day and how she sent me energy. She tried to reach out to a huge number of people who prayed for me and sent me energy. She did her utmost for me to get well. Life is not lived only on a pink cloud. There are those "up and downs", pleasant and unpleasant situations. I think that at a moment when one finds himself in some difficult situation and the partner supports him right at that moment, then it is the right one for life. What more you could wish for than to have somebody who will not abandon you in such a situation, helping you as much as possible? I could not wish for anyone else.

Luxusní byt na prodej s terasou a výhledem
Luxusní byt na prodej s terasou a výhledem, Praha 1

Fast confession:

Your greatest achievement?

That when I was young I came to a large corporation and that I could build new companies.

The biggest failure?

I do not admit it to myself, I am a positively-thinking person.

What do you like most about your partner, Eva Čerešňáková?

Her smile.

What on the other hand does she like most about you?

That I can make her laugh.

What comes to your mind when I say "code of ethics"?

Doctors, lawyers, and journalists all have one. It creates a framework for the operation of the entire team and that is a good thing.

Are you afraid of the competing competition lead by Táňa Makarenko?

I have never been afraid of competition and healthy competition forces us to perform even better.

Women in managerial positions. Yes or No?

Certainly yes!

"To talk is silver, silence is golden" or "wear one's heart on one's sleeve"?

I will think about it.

When I say the word ´death´, what comes to your mind?

My last six months of life, when I was very close to death.

What do you spend most money on?

Travel and watches.

If Oprah Gail Winfrey runs for office do you think she has a chance to beat Donald Trump?

I think she does.

If you could choose anyone who do you think would be the best Czech President?

Professor Drahoš is in my opinion a good choice.

Does the supernatural exist?

Certainly, I am a living proof of it.

What will you never be persuaded into doing?

What I think it is not right.

Whom would you like to see as our future President?

Perhaps myself.
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