By Seun Adeuyi
Fabrizio Soccorsi, personal physician to Pope Francis’, has died of “complications due to Covid.” He was 78 years old at the time of his passing.
The Vatican’s newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, who reported this, said Dr Soccorsi was handpicked by the Pope to serve as his doctor back in 2015.
According to the report, Dr Soccorsi practiced medicine at San Camillo hospital and was also the chair of clinical medicine and pharmacology in the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery at La Sapienza University.
He featured over a hundred scientific publications and served a consultant to the Health and Hygiene Directorate of the Governorate of the Vatican City State
The Italian Bishop’s Conference newspaper Avvenire reported that the deceased was first hospitalised in Rome on December 26, 2020, with a previous oncological disease.
Dr Soccorsi later tested positive for Covid-19.
Director Liver Unit of San Camillo Forlanini Hospital, Adriano Pellicelli, who led the tributes, said: “Our Fabrizio Soccorsi has left us: I used the word “our” because Fabrizio was our doctor and head of the Hepatology Operative Unit, a unit he had created in our hospital under the then Department of Liver Diseases, Digestive System and Nutrition and Specialists.
“Fabrizio embodied the spirit of our hospital, love for patients, love for his doctors, love for his nursing staff. A man who, for us who knew him, was a particular example for the way he practiced medicine, for his calmness and tenacity in dealing with the problems that arose day after day.
“I remember when he always said a phrase that I will never forget: ‘in every difficult situation you have to know how to get involved”… which showed the desire he had to face with energy all the difficulties that a doctor has to face in his profession.
“You were an example for us doctors of the Liver Diseases operating unit. Dear Fabrizio, you fought this last battle, but you didn’t make it. Our hospital he will always remember you as a prime example of great tenacity, professionalism, courage.”
It’s not yet clear when he last came into direct contact with Pope Francis, who is due to be vaccinated against the virus next week.