Officials of the Archdiocese of Cebu have chosen not to disclose the woman’s name for now out of respect for her privacy. But her identity will be made public when she accompanies the Philippine delegation to the Vatican for Calungsod’s canonization. Msgr. Ildebrando Leyson, Vice Postulator for the Cause of Canonization, describes her as a businesswoman in her 50s, not a Cebuana but someone who hails from Eastern Visayas.
It is really marvelous that the woman knew nothing about Bl. Pedro Calungsod prior to her astounding recovery within hours after falling into a coma at around 2 p.m. on March 26, 2003, due to insufficient oxygen in the brain. The coma rated “3” on the Glasgow Coma Scale: she had no verbal or motor response, and could not even open her eyes.
It was actually one of the doctors who prayed to Calungsod for help after the patient suffered complications a day after undergoing heart surgery in a Cebu City hospital, the monsignor recalled.
“Those who were looking at her brain data knew from experience that the woman would die the next day,” Leyson said. According to the doctors, if any recovery was still possible from such a comatose state, it would take weeks and the patient would be reduced to “a vegetable, paralyzed and unable to speak,”
It was at this point of near resignation that the doctor uttered a prayer to Calungsod. At around 6 p.m., the woman woke up. The woman recovered in just four hours and showed no signs of physical impairment whatsoever.
As word spread around the hospital, more doctors and other members of the medical staff rushed to the patient’s room. One of them wondered whether there had been a misreading of the patient’s brain data, but a check later showed that all measurements were accurate.
According to Msgr. Leyson, when the doctor told the patient that she should thank Calungsod for her new lease on life, the woman asked with a puzzled look: “Who is that?” The grateful woman has since devoted a part of her day saying novena prayers to Calungsod, who was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2000.
On Monday last week, Pope Benedict XVI issued a decree acknowledging the woman’s healing as a miracle obtained through Calungsod’s intercession.