Woman uses van to ask for prayers as her dad battles COVID-19

Posted at 8:25 PM, Aug 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-04 20:25:20-04

GOLDEN GATE ESTATES — A woman in Golden Gate Estates is putting out a plea for prayers.

Her father is in Naples Community Hospital battling COVID-19, so she put together a grand gesture, asking the community to be with him in spirit.

If you’ve driven through the intersection of Collier Blvd. and Golden Gate Blvd., you may have seen Merishca Marcuzzo-Turner’s big white van parked on the grass. On the side of it, she wrote a simple message: "Pray for my dad John."

John Marcuzzo has now been fighting COVID-19 for the past five days in the hospital, but Marcuzzo-Turner said he’s had symptoms for more than two weeks.

“My dad is a strong man, and he thought he could push through and get well like the rest of us did, so he delayed," said Marcuzzo-Turner.

But as soon as John’s fate was out of her hands, Marcuzzo-Turner said she turned to her faith.

"My dad always says keep the faith, and he does big things, so that’s why I wanted to do this truck for him, to get people to pray," said Marcuzzo-Turner.

She parked her truck on George Bukowski’s property, who lives at the intersection of Collier Blvd. and Golden Gate Blvd. He said he was happy to help.

“This was my small act of kindness you know, to help somebody out because you know they’re in a bad way and they’re looking for any kind of resource to make things better," said Bukowski.

Marcuzzo-Turner said her father wasn’t vaccinated, and he waited a long time with symptoms before going to the doctor. She said, in addition to prayers, she hopes the community takes a lesson from him as well.

“As soon as you feel any funny symptoms, don’t even second guess or think it’s a little cold. Get to a doctor, get tested," said Marcuzzo-Turner.

Marcuzzo-Turner tells us she plans to drive her van back out to the same spot to thank the community for their prayers in a few days.

The NCH Hospital system is also encouraging people to get vaccinated. They have a clinic offering free shots at NCH Eagleview at 2450 Goodlette-Frank Road, Suite 201 in Naples. Walk-ins are welcome Monday through Friday, or you can schedule an appointment by clicking here.