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‘I Cannot Thank Them Enough’


“When you go through something like this, you really get scared.”

For days, Umberto struggled to breathe normally and his temperature had slowly risen to an alarming 40.5 degrees. He recognised the warning signs of the disease that had disrupted the daily lives of so many in his Italian community.

Umberto speaks with his doctor and a translator.

An ambulance rushed him to Cremona Hospital on March 17 where he tested positive for COVID-19. Doctors and nurses placed Umberto on a ventilator to keep him breathing — his lungs were not strong enough to keep him alive on their own.

“I remember that someone said now I am going to fall asleep,” Umberto said. “Then I only remember that I woke up and I saw you [Samaritan’s Purse staff] and that is it.”

Umberto was among the initial intensive care patients treated at the Samaritan’s Purse Emergency Field Hospital in the city of Cremona, Italy. He was transferred to our mobile hospital, specially outfitted as a respiratory care unit, still on a ventilator and unable to breathe on his own.

At the time, no coronavirus patients once in ICU at Cremona Hospital had ever survived. Samaritan’s Purse doctors and nurses prayed — that Umberto would be one of many patients to walk out of our ICU healed.

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After more than two weeks on life support, that prayer was answered. Umberto woke up and was finally able to breathe on his own. He was overjoyed to be met with the smiling faces of our medical staff who had cared for him.

Though he had been mostly unconscious during his time in the ICU, he heard team members praying over him. That continued, even more so, once he was alert and removed from life support.

Claudia, a night shift ICU nurse, holds Umberto’s hand during his time on a ventilator.

Umberto is now stable and healthy in one of our male wards — looking forward to being reunited with his wife and kids at home.

“I cannot even describe it — only the thought that I am here is a miracle,” Umberto said.

He is forever grateful to the Samaritan’s Purse doctors and nurses for their support and care. “There aren’t words to describe it, I cannot thank them enough. There are no words to thank them — saying thank you wouldn’t be enough.”

We rejoice with our teams for testimonies like Umberto’s from our Emergency Field Hospital in Italy. Several patients have been released and recovered from intensive care! Please pray strength, guidance, and protection as our teams continue to serve patients in Jesus’ Name.

Pray also for our Disaster Assistance Response Team serving in New York City, where Samaritan’s Purse has another 68-bed Emergency Field Hospital set up in Central Park. More than 1.4 million infections have been reported worldwide.

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