Italian forward Maxime Mbanda has joined the fight against the coronavirus pandemic by volunteering as an ambulance driver.
Mbanda had been named in the squad that was to face England in the Six Nations but the match was postponed due to the virus that has shaken the world. Mbanda alongside other volunteers joined the yellow cross-team that is working in Parma, Emilia- Romagna an area that has been hit hard by the virus.
Mbanda who plays for Zebre rugby says when everything was stopped he wondered how he could help without medical expertise, he then joined the Yellow cross which had transport services of food and medicine to the elderly. After delivering food, masks and prescriptions he began transferring positive patients from one local hospital to another.
“I found myself transferring positive patients from one local hospital to another. I help with the stretcher or if there are patients to be carried from a wheelchair.” He told AFP.
Mbanda says what he sees in hospitals would keep people at home and would re-think even before going out for running.
“What I see are people of all ages, on respirators, on oxygen and doctors and nurses on 20-22 hour shifts.” He said.
He has further has become a psychologist to the patients who witness people dying day in day out and says he has to treat them as if they are friends or relatives.
The 26-year-old is working with the support of his girlfriend and his father, a surgeon in Milan also on the front line.
“As long as I’m strong, I’ll keep going. I’m here and I’m staying here as long as there’s an emergency I’m here and am staying here.” Mbanda said.