By Tony DeGol
Like it has done to so many others, COVID-19 changed Frank Arcurio’s life.
His ordeal started in November of 2020 when he contracted the virus and went to the hospital.
“And I’ve got to tell you, I don’t remember anything until March of 2021,” Arcurio admitted. “I was on a ventilator for 42 days, in ICU for 30-some days, and I had no idea what was going on.”
In fact, on Christmas Eve of 2020, doctors thought Arcurio was not going to survive, and they invited his family to say their goodbyes.
Thankfully, Arcurio was able to hang on, but his trials continued.
He spent a total of 212 days in the hospital. Besides temporary memory loss, he developed neuropathy in his hands, ankles, and feet.
“Thank God for rehab,” he said. “I’m able to move my hands and feet, and I’m walking again.”
Arcurio attributes his comeback to the power of prayer.
“This community was remarkable,” he added, fighting back tears. “The prayers came from everywhere. The outpouring of love was unreal. Most important was the support I received from my family and friends.”
Obviously, COVID-19 affects everybody differently, and doctors aren’t sure why the virus hit Arcurio, 72, so hard.
The retired car salesman, husband, father of three, and grandfather of eight is a devoted member of Saint Benedict Parish in Johnstown, where he shares his time and talent as a lector and Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. He is especially grateful to his fellow parishioners for their prayers and for lovingly walking the long and difficult journey with him.
His Catholic faith is a priority in his life, and his relationship with the Lord means everything to him.
“In the morning, I devote and hour to an hour and a half to prayer and the Rosary, and in the evening, I say some special prayers,” Arcurio mentioned. “My wife is more devoted than I am at times. We taught our children to be that way, and I look at my family and how important family and God is to them.”
Since his ordeal with COVID, Arcurio is even more committed to spending time in conversation with the Lord, and thanking Him for the blessings in his life.
“I’m at peace with everything,” he assured. “I attribute that to God and the relationship we have, and the power of prayer.
Arcurio is continuing outpatient rehab and therapy, and he uses a cane to assist him with walking.
He still has a ways to go in his recovery, but true to his Catholic faith, he is confident the Lord will be right at his side.
He has some advice for people struggling with health issues or any other trials in life.
“Pray, and believe in God, and trust in God,” Arcurio urged. “He is amazing. Absolutely amazing.”