Samaritan’s Purse Airlifts Field Hospital to Italy

March 17, 2020 • Italy

We are airlifting equipment and medical specialists to care for people near Milan, Italy, the current epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Update: The field hospital is now operational and receiving patients. For more content, including more videos and a list of all articles, please go to our COVID-19 landing page.

We are airlifting a respiratory unit as well as medical professionals.

We are airlifting a respiratory unit as well as medical professionals.

Samaritan’s Purse today airlifted a 68-bed Emergency Field Hospital to Milan, Italy, to provide care for those sickened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our DC-8 aircraft carried approximately 20 tons of medical equipment, a respiratory care unit developed specifically for this response, and 32 disaster relief personnel, including doctors and nurses, who will stay in country for at least a month.

“We are always ready to provide critical relief in the face of crisis,” said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse.

“We are going to Italy to provide life-saving care to people who are suffering. There is a lot of fear and panic around the world, but we trust that God is in control. We continue to pray for everyone affected by this global health crisis and for our medical team as they respond.”

Our team of specialists will quickly set up our mobile medical facility in Cremona, about 50 miles outside of Milan, so that we can offer compassionate care to patients in desperate need. About two-thirds of all coronavirus deaths in Italy have been in the Lombardy region, where both Cremona and Milan are located, and the need for intensive care beds has quickly overwhelmed the healthcare system capacity.

Edward Graham encourages our crew and staff before this morning's flight.

Edward Graham encourages our crew and staff before this morning’s flight.

Senior adults are among the most susceptible to this disease, and Italy is home to the largest elderly population in all of Europe. Italy reported more than 700 deaths as a result of the coronavirus on Sunday and Monday, a huge increase in the country’s death toll, which now stands at more than 2,100.

Samaritan’s Purse is the first international organization to provide emergency medical relief to families impacted by this deadly virus in northern Italy. Not only are we providing skilled emergency medical care, our staff is working alongside local evangelical churches and chaplains to bring spiritual comfort and the hope found only in the Gospel.

“We have an unbelievable staff willing to do this and share the hope of Jesus Christ along with their medical expertise,” Edward Graham, youngest son of Franklin Graham, told media today at the airlift. Edward is currently serving as assistant to the vice president of programs for Samaritan’s Purse. “Medicine is a magnet for the Gospel.”

Medical supplies are being sent to the epicenter of the pandemic.

Medical supplies are being sent to the epicenter of the pandemic.

As we deploy to Italy, the Incident Management Team continues to monitor the developing situation and is prepared to respond in the U.S. if asked.

Our infectious disease experts have been working in coordination with the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure the team is taking necessary precautions.

Please pray for our medical team serving in Italy and for the patients who will be treated at our medical facility. Pray for those sick with this coronavirus and their families around the world, and that this pandemic will soon come to an end.

Please pray for our team as they serve hurting people in Jesus' Name.

Please pray for our team as they serve hurting people in Jesus’ Name.

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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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