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MAY 26, 2020

An Interview With an Emergency-Room Physician in Italy

An Interview With an Emergency-Room Physician in Italy

Brother Gullà with his wife and daughter

Brother Giandomenico Gullà, who works as an emergency-room doctor at the hospital in Erba, near Como, Italy, has been especially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, our brother’s faith is giving him peace of mind, and as a result, he is better able to comfort others. (2 Corinthians 1:4) This is evident by some of the experiences he recently shared in an interview with the Public Information Desk at the Italy branch.

The following is a condensed transcript of an interview with Brother Gullà, which has been edited for clarity.

What situations are you facing during this pandemic?

Giandomenico Gullà: At the hospital where I work, it all happened so suddenly, just like a tsunami. The entire hospital has been reorganized from top to bottom to create departments entirely dedicated to COVID-19 patients. In this sad situation, the patients are isolated and cannot have physical contact with their immediate family, relatives, or friends. So I’m the one who updates their family by phone. Once, in the middle of the night, I had to tell a son that his mother was dying. So I used my cell phone to make a video call. This enabled the son to see his mother one last time, even though she was already in a comatose state. It was a very poignant moment.

How is knowledge of the Bible comforting you?

GG: I realized that unlike some of my colleagues, whom I often see lost and distressed, my personal Bible study is really helping me to keep my balance. I understand more than ever that Jehovah has prepared us for these difficult times. Knowing that this pandemic is further proof of the fulfillment of Bible prophecy helps me view the situation with the proper perspective. My faith has been strengthened considerably.

How is Jehovah’s comfort helping you to comfort others?

GG: I feel in a very powerful way His spirit, which helps me both with my family and at work and allows me to support the brothers who have difficulties because of the outbreak.

Can you explain how Jehovah is helping you to comfort your family?

GG: Although I have to work longer hours at the hospital, I strive to maintain good spiritual habits with my family. I have found that this has a strengthening effect on my wife. We feel more united. Our family worship is also helping me to comfort our daughter, Ginevra, who is almost three years old. She also senses that something has changed and expresses her concerns with phrases like: ‘I don’t want Daddy to go to work because there’s the coronavirus,’ or ‘I’m afraid that Daddy will not come back.’ To calm her, we play the original songs, and she is smiling again in no time.

Can you give an example of how you have been able to comfort one of your workmates?

GG: A colleague who works in my department recently started studying the Bible. I met him a few years ago at the hospital where I used to work, and we had conversations about the Bible. He started to study just before the pandemic broke out and decided to continue. Currently, we study—sometimes even twice a week—by videoconference. It touched my heart when he confided in me, saying: “The Bible study is helping me to put my life in order. I feel at peace. I am learning the answers to many questions about man’s existence and the current situation. The faith I am building gives me stability and hope for the future.”

Sister Daniela Sgreva contracted COVID-19. She was assisted by Brother Gullà and has since recovered from the virus

How have you been able to comfort brothers and sisters in the congregation?

GG: Unfortunately, a sister in my congregation [Sister Daniela Sgreva] tested positive for COVID-19 and had to be transferred to the hospital. I contacted two brothers who own an ambulance, and we arranged for her transportation. The brothers traveled over 50 kilometers (31 mi) to pick her up. How happy she was when she saw them! When she arrived at the hospital in that frightening emergency, she was greatly comforted when we met her in the emergency room. I welcomed her, and since we were all medical staff, she found herself surrounded by brothers who could be close to her! Thinking of the affection and support she received from all the brothers, she felt very strengthened. Full of gratitude, she said: “I knew that Jehovah understands us, but this time he has really gone above and beyond!”

Every day, I rely more and more on Jehovah and his strength. When I travel to and from work in my car, I listen to the original songs, which give me the necessary spiritual and emotional charge. I thank Jehovah for all his help, and as I listen to the song Jehovah’s Always by Our Side, I repeat to myself: ‘Jehovah is always by my side. He’ll take my hand; help me understand; it’s worth the sacrifice.’