PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Not a day goes by that Armando Bisceglia isn’t thankful to be alive.
The Federal Hill restauranteur had a brush with death last year after testing positive for COVID-19.
Bisceglia, the owner of Bacco Vino & Contorni, was rushed to the hospital and spent nearly a month on a ventilator.
“Every day is an extra day,” he said. “Everything is a gift.”
The 45-year-old opened his restaurant during the height of the pandemic. Despite the challenges, he said it was the moment all of his hard work paid off.
That’s why when he struggled to get out of bed during his recovery in the ICU, everything he had worked so hard for flashed before his eyes.
“I could live in any way possible … but don’t take this away from me,” Bisceglia recalled thinking.
“This is not just my livelihood. This is what I love doing,” he continued. “It’s a part of life that most people aren’t given. Most people go to work and they hate their lives, they hate their jobs.”
Bisceglia eventually made a full recovery and returned to his restaurant, which his wife Gabriela took charge of while he was in the hospital.
“My wife came in day one when I was in a coma and became an owner,” Bisceglia said. “You meet people in your life that will help you do what you want to do, and she’s been fantastic.”
As if he didn’t have enough reasons to live, Bisceglia was given one more this past spring.
Biscgelia and his wife welcomed their first child, Chiara Bisceglia, back in May.
Bisceglia said the birth of his daughter has completely changed the way he lives his life, adding that becoming a father was the “best thing he ever did.”
“It’s not about you anymore,” he said. “This kid takes my breath away every moment. It’s remarkable.”
Bisceglia will never forget what his nurse said to him moments after he woke from his coma.
“‘[God] didn’t want you,'” Bisceglia recalled her saying. “‘There’s more for you to do.'”
Bisceglia has always believed in paying it forward. For years, he’s volunteered with the MS Dream Center in Cranston, as well as the Gloria Gemma Foundation, both of which are hosting fundraising events this fall.
“My mother always tells me ‘good things happen to good people,’ and I truly believe that,” he said. “If you do good, then good comes back to you.”