“The dream of becoming a doctor, which I had always nurtured, became even stronger when, years ago, my father and my brother were involved in a serious accident. The hospital became our home away from home because of a series of surgeries on my father’s legs. During that period I began to understand the difficulties patients had, especially those who didn’t have sufficient funds. “I’ll become a doctor,” I said, “and offer the hope of medical care to everyone.” My family was also in precarious financial conditions. My father, because of a permanent disability caused by the accident, couldn’t work anymore.
When school was finished, my dream to study Medicine was shattered when my mother said to me: “We don’t have the money.” I wept bitterly, but then thought: “If Jesus wants this, then I want it too.” We had always been in touch with the Focolare, and they knew my great wish. Several days later, they telephone me to tell me that they had found someone who was willing to help me out financially. I was so happy! It was a sign of God’s love.
I began school at the university. It wasn’t all so easy. Every day I needed a good dose of patience and endurance. There were students from different cultures and religions in my class and several of them were bullies towards me whose character was softer and submissive. I tried just the same to be friends with everyone and to stay united to Jesus who gave me strength to face every difficulty. I was also only sleeping for two hours at night because of the tons of pages I had to memorise. I spent all my time studying, but still I was unsuccessful in an exam or missed going out with my friends. And then I was really missing my family. But I was certain that God had plans for me.
During the internship we worked 30 to 36 hour shifts on the ward with the patients, and that was really exhausting. We had to do many things at the same time, make sure that the patients were receiving care while studying for exams. The encounter with each patient was an opportunity to love. Even though I was tired and half asleep, I tried to present myself to them with lots of energy, smiling and listening with sincere compassion. In the hospital, the nurses tended to be short with us interns and liked to give us orders. Nevertheless, I tried to silence my pride and build relationships of friendship with them. After a while they changed their attitude. In my group there was one girl who was always contrary to everything and raising her voice against all of us. No one could stand her. I thought: “If I don’t love her, who will?” I learned to understand her difficulty and love her. At first it was hard, I because she always had something she wanted to obtain. I prayed to Jesus for courage and strength to persevere in my understanding attitude. In the en, she also began to understand me better and we became friends.
If there’s one thing I learned, it’s that things can go less than well, but you can still grow stronger. I was afraid many times of not managing to “begin again,” which is the secret I’ve learned from Chiara Lubich. Now I’m a doctor and my dream has come true and I have many more opportunities to love God, serving him in my patients as I remember the Gospel sentence: “Whatever you did to the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it to me.”