A 31 year old woman, Dafne Gutierrez, from Arizona, United States, claims that she now has perfect vision after going blind more than a year ago in 2015 (1). After suffering from intracranial hypertension, which causes swelling in the brain and in turn damages optic nerves, Gutierrez went blind. According to Dr. Anne Borik, an internist who reviewed Gutierrez’s case, “This is a condition where the pressure in the brain is so high that often times it strangulates the optic nerve but unfortunately whence the blindness occurs it is irreversible.” Gutierrez, however, says that her incredible healing came about after visiting the St. Joseph Maronite Catholic Church in Phoenix.
There a priest, Fr. Akiki, prayed with her as she stood over the relics of Saint Charbel, a Lebanese monk. According to Fr. Akiki, “Dafne came to confess to me, and I told her to pray and have faith. Then I made the sign of the cross on her forehead and her eyes. And then St. Charbel performed the miracle that would benefit her three children.” During this prayer she explains that her eyes began burning and later she could begin to see her husband. Because of the odd burning sensation she says that she “was afraid to open my eyes. Once I did, I saw shadows.” The burning sensation stayed with her for the next three days.
She subsequently went to her doctor and reported what had happened, “I told my doctor that I knew God had healed me. He kept asking me, ‘Where did you go? What did they do to you?’” However, despite the remarkable healing her doctor remained skeptical, “He told me it was all in my head. He told me to come back in 72 hours.” Gutierrez did as the doctor recommended and underwent a vision test. The result was that her sight in each eye was measured a perfect 20/20. Her doctor had no explanation for her regained sight, and warned her that her blindness may return. But although Gutierrez’ doctor remains skeptical she has faith that God truly has healed her, “They say they don’t know if I’m going to wake up tomorrow with no vision. I have faith that I’m going to keep staying like this.”
According to Dr. Borik Gutierrez’s “The rapid recovery is just something that we can’t explain medically… We took her to actually two other specialists to look at the eyes and see how can we explain this medically, and in fact there was really no medical explanation” (2). Dr Borik explained that Gutierrez was restored with 20/20 vision and that she showed no signs of damage to her optic nerve, “After this happened, the optic nerve looked completely normal, with no signs of damage or atrophy. There’s nothing in the medical literature that anything like this had ever happened.” Cristofer Pereyra, director of the Hispanic Office of the Phoenix Diocese, said that Bishop Thomas Olmsted himself spoke with the doctors and carefully checked Gutierrez’s case (3). The testimony was confirmed.
Gutierrez has big plans now, “God gave me my vision back for a reason. I want to be able to help others. I give testimony wherever I can because it’s important for people to know that God does exist and he does hear us.”
1. AOL. 2017. Blind mother says her sight returned after visiting church. Available.
2. Mail Online. 2017. Blind woman regains her sight in ‘miraculous recovery’ after praying to the relics of a Lebanese saint in a Phoenix church. Available.
3. Fox News. 2017. Arizona woman cured of blindness spreads fame of obscure Lebanese saint. Available.