Italy: COVID Patient Immortalised In Photo Dies Aged 74

Story ByAna LacasaSub EditorJoseph GolderAgencyCentral European News

The elderly Italian woman who made the headlines when she was reunited with her husband of 52 years after being treated for COVID-19 in separate hospital wards has died of cancer.

Giorgio and Rosa Franzini, aged 77 and 74 respectively, were husband and wife for over five decades and were hospitalised in Cremona in the northern Italian region of Lombardy in April this year.

The ASST di Cremona said on their Facebook page that Rosa lost her long battle against cancer although “her memory stays alive”.


Rosa will be buried at the Church of Vescovato today (Friday).

The hospital reposted the images of Rosa reuniting with her beloved husband after being treated for COVID-19 in separate wards.

Manuela Denti, coordinator of gynaecology at the hospital, said: “Giorgio is one of those people who always wanted to have contact with others”.


Denti said Giorgio never complained at the enforced isolation caused by his condition, but had confessed he was sad when he was first hospitalised alone because he wanted to go home to his wife.

Rosa was hospitalised some days after her husband, and when her condition improved, her doctor agreed to organise a surprise reunion for them after days of enforced separation.

Denti said in a statement released by the hospital: “It was one of those moments that will never be forgotten. We could not help bursting into tears. It was a long hug, full of sweet words, 10 minutes of tenderness and hope.”


The hospital said in a Facebook post: “The pictures, forever frozen in time, will continue to tell the story of life and love.” (

They added that Rosa still lives in the memory of “the healthcare workers who met her and the journalists who told her story, and the thousands of readers who were also moved”.

According to the latest figures from the Johns Hopkins University, Italy has registered 243,736 cases of COVID-19 and 35,017 related deaths.

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Ana Lacasa

I am a senior writer and journalist and editor of the Spanish desk for the Central European News agency.

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