Sporting delegation visits patient in palliative care

João Mário, senior squad footballer with Sporting Clube de Portugal, and Club Chairman Bruno Carvalho made a late morning visit to see Ermelinda Soares, a 62-year-old patient who suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and is hospitalised at the Hospital da Luz Continuing and Palliative Care Unit.

The surprise visit by a member of the Sporting side was organised by the Hospital da Luz Continuing and Palliative Care team for Ermelinda Soares, who has always been a Sporting fan.

When João Mário, accompanied by Bruno Carvalho, entered the room, Ermelinda, who was with her husband, broke into a huge smile and was visibly overjoyed at the surprise.

João Mário said it was a 'great pleasure to see the smile of someone fighting a serious illness', and stressed that all squad players are available to get involved in such initiatives.

Ermelinda's husband, Paulo Santos, could not contain his emotion and thanked Sporting for their visit. 'Did you see that smile? At moments like this, you can understand their happiness through the smiles you get', said Paulo, who added that his wife, despite being bedridden, never misses the club's games on TV.

Isabel Neto, Coordinator of the Continuing and Palliative Care Unit, stated that these initiatives have great significance for patients: 'Sick people are not any different to anyone else. They have a disease, but the disease doesn't define them. This type of initiative has a social value, to explain to society that when people have serious diseases they do not need to be in pain'.