Testimony of a Dr. Edward Serrano, M.D.
Dr. Ed Serrano, 76, a medical doctor, has been a believer in the Garabandal events since the 1960's and helped Dick Everson in the production of his documentary film on Garabandal. He has stayed active in the apostolate and now does Spanish translations for this publication. Here is his testimony of a painful condition he developed and how he was cured.
Three or four years ago I began to feel discomfort in my neck, a slight pain when I rotated it. I was seen by an orthopedic surgeon and scheduled for physiotherapy, traction, heat, ultrasound and massage. After three weeks my neck pain was much improved. Then, six months ago the neck pain returned, localized in the right upper side of the neck, making it impossible for me to look to the right. While driving and coming to stop signs, to check oncoming traffic from the right, I had to move my whole trunk to the right. I was forced to use a neck brace 24 hours a day to limit the movements of my neck. One month of physiotherapy produced zero improvement. I could not drive more than two hours, otherwise spasms of the muscles of the right side of my neck were so painful I had to lay on my recliner for the rest of the day.
The top orthopedic surgeon in Mankato, Minnesota, ordered a series of X-rays. Besides arthritis through the whole cervical spine there was a total loss of the right cartilage of the facets between cervical vertebras one and two. So these facets were bone against bone without any cartilage in between, causing the severe pain on neck rotation. This was not the only symptom. My hands tingled and had cold and hot flashes which were very disabling. An MRI of the spine showed that there was spinal compression of the cervical spine at the level of C3-4 and C4-5, causing the hand symptoms. Then something else appeared. From my knees down, on and off, I would get episodes of severe cold. It felt as though my legs were inside a frozen ice lake, very painful and tingling. I would touch my legs and they felt warm to the touch, but the feeling of being frozen was there. All these were symptoms of myelopathy, caused by compression of the spine by stenosis at the L5 level. There are also a multitude of abnormalities of the spine from CI to Lumbar 5, meaning the whole spine is a total mess. Surprisingly, I only had the symptoms I have mentioned. The records of all this, MRIs and a CT scan with intravenous contrast, are in my possession.
I sought a second opinion by going to the Twin Cities' top spine center at Abbot Northwestern Hospital. I was seen by an international authority of the spine, who agreed completely with the previous diagnosis. Four operations were necessary; a fusion of C1-C2, and laminoplasty of C3-C4, C4-C5, and L4-L5. This had been going on for two and a half or three months and had made a cripple out of me.
My favorite saints are Saint Therese of Lisieux and Saint Faustina. I have read the Diary of Saint Faustina several times. I remember that she made a novena of one thousand Hail Marys a day and I wondered how anyone could do that and at the same time carry out her daily duties as she did. Later, on watching a talk by Father John Corapi, he said he made a novena of one thousand prayers per day, but I don't remember what kind of prayers he said. The idea came to me to create a prayer of my own, say it one thousand times a day for nine days, and accept whatever God wills. Here is the prayer I composed: "Immaculate Conception of Our Lady of Carmel of Garabandal, my mother, please fix my neck." And I said it 1,000 times a day for nine days, from December 13 to 21.
The four surgeries were scheduled for December 30, 2008. The preoperative physical exam at the Mankato Clinic was scheduled for December 23 in Mankato. Two days before the physical and before going to bed, the brace around my neck was causing me lots of itching, so I took it off to scratch my neck. I put it on a chair while I rubbed my neck and fell asleep without it, something it had been impossible to do before because of the neck pain. This happened on the last day of my one thousand prayers per day novena, after I had completed the prayers for that day.
Next morning I was surprised I was not using my brace, and as I reached for it to put it on I realized I had no pain. I went downstairs without it and had my breakfast while I meditated on the lack of pain. I decided to put it to a test. I got dressed, got in my car, drove to Mankato, 25 miles away, and spent all day window shopping. I bought a sweater and came home for supper. Still no pain, no tingling in the hands, no freezing in the legs.
I went to the clinic for the preoperative physical and told them I have no symptoms. The doctor said, "Well, then, we don't need an examination." The physical was canceled. I went to the orthopedic fracture clinic in Mankato, and cancelled the surgery. Two nurses present were puzzled, as was the secretary that had to cancel the surgery. I explained to them the novena I had prayed and how it had cured me. They were even more puzzled. Today is February 25 and none of the symptoms have returned. This is my story. I thank our Lady of the Immaculate Conception of Carmel of Garabandal for this incredible cure.
I have omitted the scientific terms causing these symptoms as they may not be understood by the layman. Copies of CT scans, MRIs, X-ray series and medical diagnoses made by specialists are available for examination by any qualified medical professional.
Written by Edward Serrano, M.D.
Reprinted with kind permission from Garabandal Journal January-February 2009
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