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John Paul II's brother, a doctor who gave his life while treating scarlet fever patient


It's no secret that John Paul II was one of solidarity's biggest advocates. However, it is his less widely known older brother, Edmund Wojtyla, whose experience might more closely resonate with those treating the sick during the COVID-19 pandemic.

WLODZIMIERZ REDZIOCH
Journalist
“Edmund Wojtyla, as a doctor, was a little 'good Samaritan.' Everyone remembers him as a person totally committed to the good of his patients.”

In 1932, in the middle of a scarlet fever epidemic, the young doctor was head of the infectious diseases department at a hospital in Bielsko, Poland.

WLODZIMIERZ REDZIOCH
Journalist
“In his department, there was a patient, a young woman, with scarlet fever. Everyone was afraid of getting close to her and treating her.”

Everyone but Dr. Edmund, who took it upon himself to treat the patient, despite the risks.

WLODZIMIERZ REDZIOCH
Journalist
“So the doctor contracted the disease, and right after the death of the patient, Dr. Edmund Wojtyla also died.”

Edmund Wojtyla's profound care for the sick illustrates the sense of humanity so crucial in the medical profession. 

WLODZIMIERZ REDZIOCH
Journalist
“This kindheartedness of his came from his family, because it was the atmosphere one breathed in the Wojtyla house.”

Today, it is the doctors and nurses working tirelessly against the pandemic who show what it means to care for humanity.

CT