I was in great pain and saw my doctor, who rushed me into hospital, where I had tests which all turned out to be negative. The very last test was an ultra-sound. By this time I was so disturbed I took the sensor from the specialist and pressed it against my stomach where it hurt the most. What it showed so shocked the specialist that I was rushed into emergency surgery. Three days later I woke up in great pain and saw that the sheet covering me had blood on it. I lifted it and on my stomach was a colostomy bag and there were drips in my hands and nose.

I wished I had not opened my eyes; I was petrified and distressed at what had happened to my body – it was all cut up. I asked the nurse for some pain killers but she said I had already had so much morphine she couldn’t give me any more.  Frightened, I said to her, ‘What is happening to me’. She said, ‘Be quiet, you are lucky to be alive. Not many people would have survived the operation you’ve had.’ I could see an open window and wanted to jump out of it.

I knew that Jesus had saved my life, but for what purpose I couldn’t understand. I felt I could only suffer as he did. The surgeon who operated on me was Jewish and said that everything had been done and I should pray to God. My body was not healing – it was full of infection.

A nun visited me every day and prayed with me. She said there was a chapel and asked if I would like to go to Sunday Mass. I said ‘Yes.’ I thought I will meet with Jesus as the pain in my body was unbearable. The Sister took me to the chapel in a wheelchair with all the apparatus in my body and I saw many other sick people in wheelchairs.

At communion time I suddenly found tears running down my face although I wasn’t crying. I was also anointed with the oil of healing.

I felt at peace – a peace that cannot be expressed in words. I felt loved.

Despite the tears, I was praying with joy, knowing that Jesus in the Eucharist would heal me. Strangely, I wasn’t surprised. The tears washed away my pain and cleansed my sick body of the infection. I knew I would heal.

When the Sister took me up to the ward I felt so happy and I was not frightened any more.

I had to have two more operations and spent 12 months in and out of hospital, and everything went well.

Melanie’s Story