My name is Jose Fernandez Muniz from Aviles, born August 3, 1966, and my story dates back to 1971.
December 20, 1971, I was admitted to the General Hospital of Asturias with acute anterior poliomyelitis. I had not been vaccinated because of my poor health and therefore had a good chance of coming out of the hospital in a wheelchair which would have been an awful blow to my family.
Much of what happened during my hospital stay, I can't recall but I do remember at midnight of New Year's Eve my mother, Maria Luz, was sitting in a chair at one side of my bed when my uncle, Raul Rodriques Inclan, said to me: "Manuel, you are going to be healed, because I offered you to Our Lady of Garabandal."
It was like a prophecy. I was not paralyzed but I had to work hard to learn to walk again, as I had no strength in my left leg and had atrophy of the Achilles tendon. I spent several months in rehabilitation at the hospital and also at the home of my Aunt Olga, who with great love and patience helped me walk again.
My uncle Raul, mindful of what he had told me, carried me on his shoulders up the hill from Cosio to the church in Garabandal. I remember my mother trying to cover us with an umbrella as it was a very rainy day. In those days the road was not paved and had lots of deep potholes so it was quite a sacrifice to climb it, especially carrying the weight of someone on one's shoulders. But my uncle did it all with a smile.
When he finally let me down. he said, "Manuel, I have carried you from Cosio to Garabandal as an offering to the Virgin. Now it is your turn to follow the Virgin."
Today I'm 31 years old and since that day I have not missed one year in going to Garabandal to thank the Virgin.
I never thought this event of my life would be of interest to anyone, but at the insistence of Dona Maria Josefa I dare to relate it as thanks and recognition for my uncle Raul, who is now in Heaven, for the sacrifice he made for his nephew.
Signed: José Manuel Fernandez
Excerpted from Los Milagros o Favores de Nuestra Madre de Garabandal
Reprinted with kind permission from Garabandal Journal, January - February 2004