Gift in Rome for Elisabeth
About 5 years ago (1994) I became very sick. I was constantly tired; had no energy and no appetite. I began to lose weight. I couldn't work. In the end I began to vomit and became jaundiced. I went to the doctor; he suspected the liver. They thought it was Hepatitis C. My liver was permanently damaged. There was no cure. The doctors could not do anything. They said I could stay in the hospital but they did not know what to do. They said that they could "try" things. I refused and told them I would rather go home.
When I went home, I became so sick that I couldn't even walk anymore. I had to stay in bed. Even opening my eyes was a big effort. I had no strength to eat by myself. Andy (my husband) and Monica (my daughter) had to feed me. Finally they started looking into herbs that might help me.
When Andy and Monica started to give me herbs, things slowly started to get better but only up to a certain point. Then there was no further improvement. I still couldn't eat normally and that was the big problem. My liver needed nourishment to become stronger but it was too weak to handle digestion, so things stayed as they were. All I could eat was just a little fruit, some salad, a bit of bread, some potatoes but I could not touch anything with oil or fat. Milk products and meats were completely out of the question. If I ate any of those things I would get really sick: I would change colour, then my face would get all white, I would get dizzy, I would vomit and sometimes even faint. Andy and Monica would bring me black radish, dandelion, milk thistle, and I would have to use those herbs to get better. But it would often take me about a week to get better. I really had to stay away from most foods. I could barely eat enough to basically stay alive but not enough to die. That was all.
All this time I still tried to work but I was very weak and I would get very, very tired. After coming home from work at night, I just couldn't move. You see, when the liver is really bad, you get really tired. This went on until May of 1999, when I went on the pilgrimage with the group to Rome and Garabandal.
When I found out that the Workers of Our Lady were going to Garabandal, I wanted so much to go with them. I booked the trip for Andy and me and didn't even think about my problem. Only when we were already there, did I realize what I had done.
We first went to Rome for the beatification of Padre Pio. We arrived there on Saturday, May 1, 1999 in the afternoon, and we went to the evening Mass at St. Mary Major. Andy said that maybe we shouldn't because he knew that I couldn't walk that far. It was about four or five blocks away. Half way there, I really couldn't go any farther. Helen Rozeluk noticed that I was having trouble and came back towards us. She took me by the hand and prayed and that was it! I walked. I walked to church and back, no problem. I was so blessed I can't believe it!
There was one more time in Rome that Helen prayed for me a second time on the street, when walking was too much for me and I got so out of breath. She put her hand in mine, holding her medal from Garabandal, and we walked and prayed together. After that, I had no more problems walking. I could walk everywhere any time.
On Sunday, May 2, 1999 we were in St. Peter's Square for the beatification of Padre Pio. After the Mass and the beautiful ceremony, the group stopped in to a restaurant for lunch. When I came into the restaurant, I suddenly thought, "Oh my God, what am I going to eat all the time that I will be here and in Garabandal? It was to be two weeks! How could I be so foolish and go on a trip like that?" Then I thought that Andy would not be able to enjoy this trip either because I was going to be sick.
The menu in the restaurant was, of course, in Italian. I went up to the table where Helen Rozeluk was sitting next to Bishop Danylak. I asked the Bishop (as I couldn't read the menu), "What is there…what could I eat?" When he read it, there was nothing there that I could eat. I mean nothing, because there was the oil in the salad, there is oil all over everything in Italy. And I didn't think of that before. I got so mad at myself and again I said, "How foolish I have been! How could I go away from home and not think!"
I was still full of anger, when Helen said, "Come on, let's pray." Then she took out her medal (touched to Joey Lomangino's medal kissed by Our Lady in Garabandal), put it on my liver and prayed. I was still upset at myself. But then, with the prayers, I slowly became more relaxed. The medal got really hot and I was thinking, "What has she got there?" I couldn't figure out what she could have in her hand that makes it so hot. It was almost burning hot. Then I began to relax and started to accept it.
When Helen finished praying, I thought something happened. I returned to my table and, pointing to the menu, I said to Andy (my husband), "Order me this, this and that." He just looked at me strangely and he asked me if I was out of my mind!
I told him that I knew something had happened but I didn't know what. Helen had prayed, it got really hot and now I felt at peace and I was going to try that. And I ate it! I had the spaghetti with all the sauce, with the oil, the salad, and something else that I cannot remember now, all those things I could otherwise really not eat.
One of the other symptoms of liver damage is constant belching, which bothered me a lot. I couldn't even have a sip of water without belching. Well, I ate this whole dinner and there was not even one burp. Then I knew that something big had happened. I just knew it.
From then on (remember I haven't been able to eat comfortably for over 5 years), I even had French fries and I enjoyed them immensely. I had food with oil on it, salad with oil on it. When we were in Rome, we even had ice cream. I had lots of ice cream, something I was not able to eat for so many years. We had ice cream almost every night when we were in Rome. This was impossible before, for it would make me faint from pain. I would go all white, dizzy and then faint. My liver couldn't handle this at all. But the biggest test came later, in Garabandal. It was chicken soup, I think, and it was really greasy. You could see the fat floating on the surface. I took it and I ate it all and nothing happened. And Andy just stared at me.
During the trip we phoned home quite often. Each time Monica would ask Andy (because she didn't believe me), "How is mom?" "She's ok," Andy would say. Then she would ask me, "How are you?" "I'm ok, Monica." She still didn't believe it. So when we returned home, she had already prepared the emergency kit with everything that I used to take when I had eaten something that got me sick. It was all there waiting for me when I got home.
But when I came home, my family couldn't believe it was I. Everyone was laughing and crying in happiness. The people who come into the store, where I work, know me well and they know how I looked before. When I came back from Garabandal, they said, "What happened? Where have you been? You never looked so good!"
I was always very pale. But now my energy level was up too. I wasn't so tired any more. I am so much happier now. You see, when there is something wrong with the liver, it just takes the life out of you. You feel as if there is a big nothing in you. It's hard to explain. You feel as if it's all dead inside you. People don't know what I went through. Only my family knows. And now I have this joy and strength. I got this all back again. And it shows…I know…I can feel it.
It was really a special trip. I didn't go there to get attention or to get healed. It never crossed my mind and I never asked for it. I was just so excited to go there at all. But I do know that my daughter, Monica, was praying for my healing. I know she was. It was really a blessing. You have to go through this yourself to fully realize this problem with the liver. And then, all at once, it's gone! Even today, when I want to eat something, I sometimes forget and I think, "Oh, I can’t eat that." And then I remember and say, "Hey, why not?"
I prayed before writing this and asked the Lord to guide me to say the right thing, to say what I am supposed to say, so that it will inspire and maybe help other people to come closer to the Lord.
August 11, 1999