‘Like a mother cares for her sick only child’: from the Church of St. Mary Magdalene a True Story

From the stories and the faces that we have collected at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, we here offer you a dual one of a mother and a son: Gloria and Fabio…

There is no wish here to present something that is sensational, indeed it is the protagonist of this story who shows that she is shy – like the woman or mother who ‘lives next door’.

Only that behind her front door there is concealed a story of illness, at times also one of incomprehension and loneliness. We want to demonstrate our solidarity towards her and through here towards the very many episodes of suffering in our families, faced up to with love, dignity, courage, tenacity, perseverance…over a period of nineteen years, and with so much passion, which still continues!

 The wish to know St. Camillus, to ask for his intercession in order to nourish courage and hope enabled us to meet Gloria Muscarà and through her the long season of suffering and illness of her son, Fabio.

Of those readers who will gain from reading the pages that follow, we ask simply to share with us esteem and kindly feelings for this mother, and support in communion of prayer!

Let us allow Gloria to speak…

fabio 1When things are bad, as often happens, when the road seems completely uphill, when the money is little and the debts many, and you wanted to smile but had to sigh, when the responsibilities burden you: stop a moment, if you have to, but don’t give up.

Life is strange, with its changes and its turning points, as each one of us has had to learn, and often there is a failure, when it would have been enough to have constancy to pull through.

Do not give up, even though everything seems to have come to a halt: you could win with the next move. Often the goal is nearer than it seems to the man who struggles. Often the fighter surrenders when he could have won the victor’s prize. And he realised this too often, when the night fell, when he was near to the golden crown. Success is failure upside down, with the silver tent of the clouds of doubt, you can never realise how near you are, you can be there just when you seem so far off.

So go on fighting when you are most severely hit: and when everything seems lost you must not give up.




‘One can stop a man but the force of his ideas lives in other men’

Paolo Borsellino


Gloria Agata Muscarà, Catania – February 2010

fabio 2My name is Gloria Muscarà, the mother of Fabio Salvo who was born on 3 August 1993. Fabio is a boy who suffers from a rare disease known as ‘metabolic myopathy’. This is a malady that involves an excessive deposit of fat inside the muscle cells with a consequent respiratory deficit. Until the age of three he was a boy like any other; he went to nursery school and played with boys of his own age. The darkness descended. I discovered that he had a grave illness only after the age of three. Fabio displayed a continuous lack of strength and when sleeping he often had crises of shortness of breath. They were nights without sleep, but now this is even more the case with him no longer at home. I went to various hospitals, to the Gaslini Hospital of Genoa as well, and the answer was always the same: it’s a rare disease and there is no treatment. Now at the age of twelve Fabio is in the ‘P.O.S. Bambino’ reanimation unit in Catania; he was admitted in an emergency because of a further complication of his breathing, with a heart attack and then unconsciousness. Since that bad moment Fabio, my love, has lived in the reanimation unit. Every day I go to visit him, I speak to him, I give him something to eat, I try to stimulate him and to establish a relationship with him, in the way that only a mother can do, even when they tell you that your own son is in a vegetative state. I go against the pessimistic opinion of the doctors and go on hoping that my son can improve. This is because I read in his face expressions that perhaps other people cannot see. But I do not feel that I can say that I am near to him; indeed, I thank all the medical and nursing staff who look after my son with so much love. What causes me anxiety, however, is that I cannot be near to him as I would like to be because he is in the reanimation unit; imagine my life without him: I miss Fabio and Fabio misses his mother. I believe in God and I am in contact with prayer groups who have placed my son amongst those who are gravely ill and pray for divine intervention. So many people ask me where I find the strength to keep on going after the death of my daughter Christian at the age of one and after what has happened to Fabio: faith, love for him and the nearness of my son Roberto, aged twenty-three, who helps me to live every day, these are the things that give me the courage that is needed to fight against this malady.

I ask and I hope that somebody will be able to improve Fabio’s life.

I look, hope and wait; turning to God, because He is almighty, He who makes me repeat every day ‘if I want to, I can’.

Another important thing is the Rare AIM Association with which I have been in contact for some time. Because this is a part of those families that have to fight against the major illnesses of their loved ones, it enables me to have a point of reference.

During this tragic moment of my illness, I hope that help will be given to me – amidst so much darkness, a ray of light


The Case of Fabio Salvo Solved – a Programme of RAI TV

Read here the press information