Ep. 19: Hope in Cremona, Italy

Welcome to another episode of On the Ground with Samaritan’s Purse. In this informative feature, you’ll hear many voices of doctors, patients, nurses, and staff serving on the ground in Cremona, Italy. Throughout the episode, you’ll hear the theme of hope as our teams continue to give critical care to patients suffering from COVID-19. Listen as Kristy Graham guides you through what a day in the life of a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) looks like at the Emergency Field Hospital in Cremona.

The first voice you’ll hear is Davide, a local Italian translator that was significantly impacted by Samaritan’s Purse coming to his hometown of Cremona. On March 17, Samaritan’s Purse airlifted a 68-bed Emergency Field Hospital, along with a team of disaster response specialists, to Cremona, Italy—bringing surge capacity to the local hospital. Kristy talks with one of these specialists: Kelly Suter, the medical director of the respiratory care unity (RCU).

 

In Kristy’s phone call with Kelly on the ground, Kelly covers the desperate state of Cremona six weeks ago, the working relationship with Cremona Hospital, and the treatment of Italian patients upon the ministry’s arrival. She reports that because of our rewarding partnership, the hospital can now begin to provide non-COVID healthcare once again. During her time in Italy, Kelly expresses that the community has noticed the high-level of love and care for patients in the Emergency Field Hospital.

Next, Kristy talks with Ann Galgano, a DART nurse who oversees the intensive care unit (ICU). Listen as she and Kristy discuss the current pace of the Emergency Field Hospital. As Ann coordinates patient care with Cremona Hospital, she also explains the steady influx of COVID-positive patients.

“We’re maintaining a high capacity, high level, fast-paced, critical care speed since day one… It’s about bringing your ‘A game’ to every patient; because these are fragile patients.” – Ann Galgano

Kristy asks Ann to break down the daily activities at the field hospital. Ann portrays the sights and sounds of the response inside the 14-tent facility. She describes the relationship between the medical professionals and patients like a family—expressing the hope felt even among the sickest of the sick.

None of this would be possible without the body of Christ coming together to bring hope and healing to the people of Cremona. Kristy introduces Stephen Sneed, a Samaritan’s Purse international apprentice serving as a medical information officer. His role is to record patient information and prepare meals for patients; yet, he sees his work as an opportunity to show God’s love.

“When I think about the Gospel, when I was lost in my sin before I met Jesus, so much has been done for me that it’s now a natural reflex to want to give back as well. Scripture is very clear that to who much is given, much more is required. It’s a joy to come and serve.” – Stephen Sneed

Kristy then shares a story from Savannah Koop, a nurse on the ground who treated an Italian man named Francesco. Savannah had the privilege of overseeing Francesco’s battle with coronavirus, and expressed how hopeful he was for a new lease on life. As Francesco walked out of the field hospital healthy and whole, the Samaritan’s Purse team cheered and applauded.

The episode closes with Kelly and Ann sharing strategic ways to pray for the patients and staff the Emergency Field Hospital. Thank you for lifting up our teams in prayer as we continue to bring physical and spiritual healing to the hurting in Cremona, Italy.

An Inside Look

Do you want to dive deeper into the story you heard in this episode about patient Francesco? Click here to see videos of he and many other patients helped by the Emergency Field Hospital in Cremona.

If you want to learn more about our ongoing response to COVID-19, check out episodes 15, 16, and 17.

Are you interested in reading more stories of how God is working in our Emergency Field Hospitals? Read more about our work in Cremona, Italy and New York City on our website.

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