Husband and wife remain firm in faith, save lives in time of pandemic

Husband and wife Andrea Lapi and Anna Sansoni are both doctors and Salesian cooperators who are active in Siena. 

Together, they fought in the frontlines against the new coronavirus disease.

"The last community liturgy I participated was Ash Wednesday," said Anna. It was also the start of her detachment from the family and the oratory to protect her loved ones from the disease. 

"It was a fast from affections, a Lent in Lent," she said.

She brought few things with her, including Bible, the rosary and some books of Don Bosco.

"For a month I lived without the presence of the family, but with Jesus in my heart, the company of the daily Word, the morning Mass of Pope Francis, the guide of the spiritual director," she narrated.

She worked hard, studied Covid-19, prayed to God that He would give her "His gaze in reading the events."

Days came that events overwhelmed her and her colleagues.

"The sick were taken from their families: there was no possibility of visits, no friendly faces or direct contacts, no sacramental comforts; only our mediation, but through personal protective equipment, with an artificial voice and a gaze separated by the visors," Anna said.

At the end of every visit, she would contact the family members to give news. "Don't worry, you can't be here, but we don't leave them, we're with them," she would say.

After a month, the number of sick people increased. Andrea, Anna's husband, came to the COVID ward. 

A very tiring period began for the couple but it was "marked by the Eucharist, by the meditation of the Word, by the good morning with the Gospel, the Novena to Mary Help of Christians."

"Meanwhile, our children, now young adults, served as a fortress for their 94-year old grandmother. The perception was that everyone was trying to do their job with docility and love. We were grateful," said Anna.

For Easter, her Covid patients received the Eucharist with the help of hospital chaplains. 

A few days later the archbishop came and gave them the mandate "ad Actum" of Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist, so that during the pandemic, "the true Bread of Life would never be lacking for the most fragile."

"Over the days we were able to send many patients home to their families. Their discharge has often been acts of mutual love, bathed in tears of joy and gratitude," narrated Anna.