“I know from experience the feeling of those who are sick with coronavirus and struggle to breathe,” Francis says in his new book Ritorniamo a sognare.
He was a 21-year-old Buenos Aires seminarian when an illness, mis-diagnosed as influenza, worsened, “They took about a litre and a half of water out of one lung and I was hanging between life and death.”
Several months later doctors removed the upper lobe of his right lung, “For months I didn’t know who I was, if I would live or die, even the doctors didn’t know. I remember hugging my mother one day and asking her if I was about to die.”
Sister Cornelia Caraglio OP who worked as nurse helped save his life by secretly doubling the doses of penicillin and streptomycin that a doctor had prescribed.