TAIPAI, TAIWAN - Media OutReach - 16 April 2020 - The COVID-19 pandemic has spread out through the world quickly. It has hit Italy hardly. Many medical personnel died due to the lack of medical equipments. The death toll has reached 16,000 at the end of March. The Camillian priests who have been on ministry services at Taiwan Loudong St. Mary's Hospital since 1952, pleaded with the Taiwanese people, on April 1st, to help their homeland in fighting the pandemic crisis. Taiwanese people responded with US$5 million donation in 6 days and displayed an astonishing compassion. An overwhelmed Fr. Giuseppe Didone , who has been a missionary in Taiwan since 1968 and is the leader of the priests, called off the fundraising campaign and stated that the original goal was to raise US$4000 in 15 days.
Camillian St. Mary's Hospital has issued a statement titled " Thank you Taiwan! God bless Italy!"
"Taiwanese have been known for their kindness, yet it's nothing close to what we have experienced. We were so overwhelmed by the enormous amount of donation that poured in. It has exceeded our expectation. Therefore, we would like to offer our sincere gratitude and apologies to people in Taiwan. Please stop sending in donations. We will use the donation to ship PPE to medical personnel in Italy. We will also put the extra funds in good use in terms of helping other areas in Europe to fight COVID-19."
Lee Li-Chiu, the director of the hospital's fundraising center also said "At the fundraising, we saw many people like terminal cancer patients struggling to come to the center, a grandma vegetable vendor waiting in line with a handful of masks and some hard-earned cash, and an elderly man who has received medical care 51 years ago when he was severely injured. They all wanted to show their appreciation as well as paying back to the priests who have devoted their lives to the health care services at rural Taiwan for decades." Meanwhile, Fr. Didone stated "In retrospect upon the past sixty years, ultimately, I am so grateful that God has brought me here! Thanks again! Taiwanese people! At this moment, my heart can't be more assured that this is the reason why I want to stay in Taiwan for my entire life!"
About Camillian St. Mary's Hospital in Luodong Taiwan
In 1952, 6 ministers from Italian Camillian came to Taiwan. They have established St. Mary's Hospital at Loudong where the health care service was needed the most. Since then they have devoted in the practice of works of mercy towards the sick for more than half a century in Taiwan. They were known to treat the sick as their own and never force the bills upon the poor. Thus they have been highly trusted and respected by Taiwanese people.