For weeks the once-bustling streets of Cremona, Italy, were paved in silence; the stillness only pierced by a cacophony of ambulance sirens. Yet, in the heart of the city, a work of compassion carried on nonstop at our Emergency Field Hospital.
Now as the nation cautiously begins lifting some restrictions and virus-related deaths are at their lowest since mid-March, our emergency medical team is finishing its time in northern Italy—once the global epicenter of this pandemic.
We thank God for what He has done and continues to do in Cremona. Samaritan’s Purse team members showed Christ’s love in action to 281 coronavirus patients at our Emergency Field Hospital, which opened March 20.
The 68-bed facility, specially equipped as a respiratory care unit, was a beacon of hope to the local community in the midst of darkness and uncertainty. Many could not believe that anyone would come halfway across the world to care for strangers—risking their own safety.
“We are the light of the world and we are called to serve everywhere—not just in our home countries or in our home state,” said paramedic Becky Arellano. “Coming together to help a country that has never allowed an organization like Samaritan’s Purse to come in, I’m blessed to be a part of that.”
A team of 105 disaster response specialists—including doctors, nurses, biomed technicians, operations specialists and logisticians—acted as Jesus’ hands and feet to members of the Cremona community, embodying the parable of the Good Samaritan for which Samaritan’s Purse is named.
Angelo, a coronavirus patient, was overwhelmed by the kindness he experienced on behalf of Samaritan’s Purse medical staff. “The Bible shares the story of the Good Samaritan—you are all the same,” Angelo said.
Angelo suffered from coronavirus for nearly a month before being transferred to our Emergency Field Hospital in Cremona. Team members treated his physical needs while also becoming like a family member as he couldn’t be near to his.
“I miss the human contact, the nearness to people,” Angelo said. “I find that here—that human contact, that warm people. That fills my heart and that is why I am so happy because of your kindness.”
After several days at our field hospital, Angelo was healthy enough to return home to his wife and family. “Thank you so much to the nurses because they give me the strength to overcome this disease, to overcome this pain and to overcome this awful situation. Thank you from the deepest of my heart.”
Late last week, the final patients were discharged from our Emergency Field Hospital in Cremona. Please pray for God’s protection and provision as the Samaritan’s Purse team disassembles and disinfects the hospital and prepares to return home.
Whether airlifting our Emergency Field Hospital to Italy in the wake of disease outbreak, or responding to earthquakes and 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, other basic needs and the hope of the Gospel to the sick and suffering.