Daughter Writes Heartbreaking Letter To Dad Who Died Of COVID-19

by : Emily Brown on : 20 Mar 2020 12:42
Daughter Writes Heartbreaking Letter To Dad Who Died Of COVID-19Newsflash

A woman who was unable to see her father before he died of coronavirus has expressed her grief by writing him a letter. 

Anna Mercalli, from the city of Vigevano in the north-western Italian province of Pavia, lost her 76-year-old father, Luciano Mercalli, after he was diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19) and spent 12 days in hospital.


Italy has suffered most as a result of the virus, with latest figures from the government totalling the number of deaths at 3,405; more than any other country.

Italy CoronavirusPA Images

The country is on lockdown, with nearly all Italians being told to stay at home.

In the UK, the NHS states it is particularly important for those aged 70 and over to distance themselves from others in an effort to avoid catching the virus, and Anna said her father was ‘terrified’ after learning elderly people are the most vulnerable.


Anna saw her father go into the ambulance before he was taken to hospital, but while he was there he wrote to his family asking them not to come and visit.

He said:

Please do not come to see me. I am immortal, I cannot die. Hugs to everyone.

Woman who lost father to coronavirusNewsflash

Anna’s daughters, Luciano’s granddaughters, created a montage for their grandfather full of hearts drawn on paper. Luciano’s nurses put it on his table at the hospital, so he was able to look at it while he was being treated.

Though Anna obeyed her father’s wishes by not going to visit, she admitted she can’t help but think about how he spent his final hours.

Speaking to local media, she explained:

I am unable to find peace imagining him alone in that bed while slipping away. Was he scared? Did he suffer? Did his beautiful blue eyes cry?

Medics at work in Italian hospitalPA Images

Anna decided to write the letter to her father as a way to tell him all the things she hadn’t been able to say while he was alive.

It was printed in a local newspaper, and read:

Hi Dad, a lot of people tell me that when I speak about you my eyes light up, and it could only be that way, you have always been the man in my life.

You are my reference point for every act, the example to follow, the lighthouse for my life.

Writing letterPixabay

Anna recalled to local media the last moment she saw her father, who was the founder of the company Cerim, saying:

I saw him go into the ambulance and nothing else. A wave of the hand and he was gone.

As Italy continues to tackle its high number of confirmed cases, the lockdown imposed on March 12 has been extended beyond the original March 25 end date, BBC News reports.

Social distancing and self-isolation is paramount to tackling the spread of the virus and ensuring those who are diagnosed with it are able to get the care they need. The World Health Organization encourages frequent hand washing, avoiding touching your face, and practising good respiratory hygiene to help prevent yourself catching the virus.

Coronavirus hand sanitiserPA Images

If you have experienced symptoms of coronavirus, such as a new, continuous cough or high temperature, you need to stay at home for seven days. If you live with someone who has symptoms, you need to stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person in the home started having symptoms.

Our thoughts are with all those who have lost loved ones as a result of the virus.

It’s okay to not panic. LADbible and UNILAD’s aim with our coronavirus campaign, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we’re facing. For more information from the World Health Organization on Coronavirus, click here.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Life, Coronavirus, COVID-19, elderly, hospital, Italy


BBC and 2 others
  1. BBC

    Coronavirus: Italy's death toll overtakes China's

  2. World Health Organization

    Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public

  3. Ministry of Health

    Covid-19 - Situation in Italy