Italy: Caring Hands Bring Comfort During Pandemic

April 3, 2020 • Italy

In difficult circumstances, coronavirus patients experience the love of Christ through the witness of Samaritan’s Purse doctors and nurses.

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“I felt weird, and I started coughing and coughing and coughing,” said Maria, a coronavirus patient at the Samaritan’s Purse Emergency Field Hospital in Italy.

Maria, left, is grateful for the care she received at our hospital.

Maria, left, is grateful for the care she received at our hospital.

After several days of consistent cough, fever, and lack of appetite, Maria’s husband admitted her to the emergency room at Cremona Hospital, our partner facility in northern Italy’s Lombardy region.

Hours later, Maria, still very sick, was unable to get ahold of her husband after many failed attempts. The police arrived at their apartment to find that he had passed away unexpectedly—likely due to the same virus that debilitated Maria.

“This is completely inexplicable because he was doing well, he was OK—I was the one sick,” Maria said. “When I will be better, when I will be discharged from the hospital, the only thing I can do is going to the cemetery and saying hi.”

  • We are offering compassionate care in Jesus' Name to suffering people.
    We are offering compassionate care in Jesus' Name to suffering people.

Maria was admitted to our respiratory care unit without any remaining family nearby to come visit her. Samaritan’s Purse doctors and nurses became a surrogate family, reminding Maria that God is the “Father of the fatherless and protector of widows” (Psalm 68:5 ESV).

The team continually prays that Maria would feel loved and experience God’s comfort as they provide medical care in the Name of Jesus. “They have been very good—they are so nice to me. When they pray, it feels very nice,” Maria said. “I would say that my hope is a little bit increased. They are doing a great job, and I am thankful.”

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A Fight For Hope

Eerie silence crowds the streets of Italy, only interrupted by the periodic whine of an ambulance.

“That is the only sound you hear during the lockdown—ambulances and helicopters,” said Davide, a member of the Cremona community. “It is terrifying because you do not know if it is your mother or your brother on that ambulance or helicopter—it is devastating.”

Davide was born in the Cremona hospital, and now wants to serve however he can during the coronavirus crisis.

Davide was born in the Cremona hospital, and now wants to serve however he can during the coronavirus crisis.

Twenty-one years ago, Davide was born in the city of Cremona, at Cremona Hospital where we’re working today. “This is my city, this is my culture, this is my people,” Davide said. “They gave me so much, they gave me values, culture, food—good food—they gave me everything.”

Now, he has seen the city he loves destroyed by an “invisible enemy” in the past several months.

Samaritan’s Purse continues to fight against COVID-19 with the strength and power only God can provide. “They are not surrendering at all,” Davide said. “They are working, they are fighting with us and this is amazing—it’s a sense of relief.”

Davide is joining that fight and giving back to his community by serving as a translator and base assistant alongside Samaritan’s Purse. “I was reading the local newspaper and I saw the first page, which says ‘Samaritans are coming.’ I thought, man, now things are going to change,” he said.

“This means hope,” Davide said. “It’s wonderful—simply wonderful. We were putting all of our effort to make this change and to save people’s lives. But, at the end we figured out that we weren’t able to do that by ourselves. Knowing that Samaritan’s Purse is here to help us, it almost makes me fall in tears.”

Please continue to pray for God’s wisdom and protection as Samaritan’s Purse provides critical aid on the front lines of this deadly virus in Italy and New York City.

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We began today receiving patients at the respiratory care unit.
Emergency Medicine Whether deploying our Emergency Field Hospital in the wake of COVID-19, setting up treatment centers in the midst of an Ebola outbreak, or offering care in the midst of armed conflict, Samaritan's Purse stands ready to respond in the face of a myriad of medical crises. Your gift will help bring expert treatment and the hope of the Gospel to the sick and suffering.

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