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The Miracle Case of Katherine Dehlia Mahoney (Kate Mahoney)

Daughter of John and Mary (Speno) Mahoney, Syracuse, New York

Kate Mahoney meeting with Pope Benedict XVI and Bishop James M. Moynihan in Rome during the beatification of Mother Marianne Cope in May of 2005. She is presenting him with a relic of Blessed Marianne Cope.
Kate Mahoney meeting with Pope Benedict XVI and Bishop James M. Moynihan in Rome during the beatification of Mother Marianne Cope in May of 2005. She is presenting him with a relic of Blessed Marianne Cope.

In August 1992, Kate Mahoney, then age 14, was diagnosed with germ cell ovarian cancer. She was operated upon successfully. In September 1992, Kate returned to school and was still undergoing six-day chemotherapy sessions in the hospital, even though according to Kate's father, the surgeon felt " they got everything." The drugs made her very ill and on December 3, she was admitted to the hospital suffering from abdominal pains and other problems.

A sonogram done on December 9 showed the presence of a massive amount of fluid resulting from her treatments. It was decided it was necessary to remove the fluid as soon as possible, the following day. On December 10, Kate underwent a process to remove the fluid and had a serious hemorrhagic shock followed by a nearly fatal cardiac arrest lasting approximately twenty-five minutes. She experienced multiple organs system failure and was taken to the Intensive Care Unit. More than three of her vital organs were not functioning at all or improperly at the time (e.g. liver, heart, kidneys, lungs, blood flow). The patient was dependent on machines for her bodily functions.

Kate had the best of medical treatment but it was clear that the complexities of her case were observed to be out of the ordinary. Nevertheless, the doctors kept her alive by using extraordinary means. Consultants and nurses on the case were questioning the primary physician why a patient with so many vital unresolved problems and an increasingly gross physical appearance was being kept alive.

At the beginning of the day of January 1,1993, the records show three doctors recorded that Kate's body was in the process of "overall" deterioration. The primary doctor on the case and other key doctors later testified that they thought she was going to die.

According to witnesses and supporting documentation, friends of the family introduced the idea of intercessory prayer to Mother Marianne Cope in late December. As a result, on Sunday, January 3, Sister Mary Laurence Hanley, Director of the Cause of Mother Marianne, visited Kate at the hospital, prayed for Mother Marianne's intercession and at the request of others touched her with a relic of Mother Marianne. A united effort soon came about: that same week the family watched a video about Mother Marianne and others in the Mahoney family joined the effort. The Sisters of Saint Francis at the Syracuse Motherhouse and those at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center, Utica, were asked to pray. A prominent secular hospital leader advocated her case in Utica and asked for prayers of many, many people to whom he distributed prayer leaflets.

The records show that slow improvements began this very same first week of January. By the second week of January, the functioning of her organs had begun again one at a time. Despite their superb care of Kate, the doctors humbly and objectively did not pretend to know the reason for the dramatic change in her condition. During this period of recovery, they often recorded an improvement as a "surprise" or say that a function returned " for some unknown reason" and that her "hypotension" went away "for the same unknown reason." By the middle of January, all of Kate's vital functions had returned. All her vital organs are in good condition today.

The miracle case presented to the Tribunal of the Diocese of Syracuse does not pertain to any elements of her cancer case. The crisis time examined by medical and theological experts in Syracuse and Rome, Italy happened after the cancer was removed, when extremely severe reactions and complication arose during her chemotherapy. The miracle is the recovery from multiple organ failure through the intercession of Mother Marianne Cope.