“I’m convinced that God wanted to tell me something”

The Augustinian Recollect Ademir Garcia has fought for 13 days in the hospital to eliminate the coronavirus from his body, always with the help of Mary.

On Tuesday, 26 March, the Augustinian Recollect Ademir Garcia began to feel sick. He noticed an unstable temperature in his body and a dry cough appeared. “Everything seemed like a simple cold.” That day, without knowing it, he began his fight against the COVID-19, an adventure that lasted about a month and that went beyond a “simple cold”. The Brazilian religious suffered from the illness that has paralysed the world and also his life, which, after this, has an even more transcendent meaning for him.

It was not until the next day that he went to the hospital. He was examined, various tests were carried out and he was isolated in a room. “People looked at me as if I had a very serious illness,” he says. Finally, they confirmed that he was suffering from “pneumonia with the possibility of coronavirus”. However, the doctors decided not to admit him and at the end of the day he returned to his community in the provincial curia of Santo Tomás de Villanueva, in Rio de Janeiro. “I spent a week at home following the protocol”. After seven days, the pneumonia diagnosed was hardly improving and he had to return to the São Vicente Clinic.

It was then, on 1 June, that he was informed that he had tested positive for the coronavirus. He was immediately admitted to the hospital. It was the beginning of an odyssey: he passed through three different rooms, was continuously monitored and had a blood test every day. It was a total of 13 days, each one different. At first he was “always lying down, not wanting anything”, with a fever and a strong cough. Little by little he regained his appetite, his temperature became warmer and his condition improved.

“The Lord is with you”

In all that time, did you remember God? “I focused so much on what the health professionals were doing that I needed other people to remind me that I have a Lord and a God. Ademir says that the Lord “manifested himself through people who always had a word of hope. This is the case of a cleaning lady who every time she came in to clean her room said “the Lord is with you” or “trust in the Lord”. “The Lord bless you for those simple words, but at the same time, so profound,” says the religious.

He remembered Mary. In the worst moments he would go to his Mother and repeat a simple ejaculation: “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you. There were moments when he lacked the strength to go forward and defeat the virus, but then he sought it in “hope in divine mercy.

He spent Holy Week in the hospital, lying in bed although he was getting better and better. If this Holy Week has been different for the believers, for this Augustinian Recollect even more so. He arrived on Holy Saturday with good news: the doctor said he was thinking of discharging him the next day, Easter Sunday. Nevertheless, although he celebrated the Resurrection of Jesus “in his mind and heart”, it was not until the next day that he left the hospital. He left after noon with a recommendation: he would have to spend at least seven days in absolute isolation, because the last test showed that the virus was not completely eliminated.

“I value life even more”

In all those days, Ademir felt no fear. “I was so focused on following the actions and guidelines of the health professionals that I have no way of saying if I was afraid, but I was worried,” he explains. Now everything has happened and something has changed. In general, this religious always tries to value everything that happens. “After this experience, I am more and more convinced that God wanted to tell me something. What? I still don’t know clearly”.

Life was a gift from God, but after suffering the COVID-19 this has more meaning. “After that experience, I value life even more, always looking at the full life offered by the Lord. Today he is already living his normal life.