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The Miracle Case of Sharon Smith


Sharon Smith
Sharon Smith

Sharon begins her story simply by saying, "I was very ill. I passed out at home. I didn't know why I was ill. I was out of it for months." When she woke up after about two and a half months in St. Joseph's Hospital in Syracuse, N.Y., Sharon knew only what her friends told her. In April 2005 Sharon was diagnosed with pancreatitis and the extreme infection was literally destroying her organs. A multitude of doctors did all they could, then told her she was not going to make it. They were not able to correct her basic problem and the infection ravaged her insides and tore a hole between her stomach and her intestines. "I had all my friends beside me praying."
Mother Marianne became part of this situation in a very unobtrusive way. One of Sharon's friends was in the hospital waiting room and a woman who also happened to be there told her about Mother Marianne and suggested she pray to her with Sharon.

Sharon's stay in the hospital lasted nearly a year. All medically and surgically was being done, but to no avail. During that time a Eucharistic minister would visit and pray with her. She also invited one of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities to come and meet Sharon. The sister described what she saw. "She had tubes coming in and out of every orifice. She looked like she was dying." The same sister asked Sharon if she was praying to Mother Marianne. Sharon weakly responded that someone gave her a prayer card. Later this sister brought some soil from the grave of Mother Marianne and pinned it on to Sharon's hospital gown. During the many months of her illness, Sharon's friends and the Sisters of St. Francis continued to pray for her to Mother Marianne.

For nine months Sharon had no intake of food and was on a feeding tube. In fall 2005 the doctors pulled the last tube from her body. Sharon said, "I thought it was my time to go." But the doctor told me to order lunch and said, 'I don't know how you did it." Sharon simply responded, "Thank you, Lord." Sharon remained in the hospital until the end of January 2006 at which time she was discharged to a rehabilitation center. Her doctor said, "I never thought I would say this, but you're cured." Sharon spent one month at the rehabilitation center and went home at the end of February 2006.

After her recovery, Sharon said that she wanted to give something back. She does this by volunteering at Francis House, a home for the terminally ill in Syracuse, cleaning and visiting the residents. "There was a reason I was left here," says Sharon. "The doctors, sisters, friends and me, we all did our part. I'm just a plain ordinary person, but I'm here for some reason. It was a very serious illness."

Sharon's inexplicable medical recovery, through the intercession of Blessed Marianne Cope, was affirmed by the Vatican Medical Board and the theologians and then by the cardinals and bishop members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in December 2011. This unanimous affirmation moves Blessed Marianne forward on the journey to being named a saint in the universal Catholic church with the final approval of
Pope Benedict XVI.

Notes of Interest:
• Many years previous to her illness, Sharon had a kidney transplant. She still has the kidney and it is doing fine.
• For 25 years, Sharon was the head custodian in a middle school in Oneida, N.Y.
• For 23 years, Sharon was in the Navy in active duty and in the reserves.
• Sharon's parents and sister are all deceased.
• Sharon is surrounded by many friends especially her friend, Patricia Pilon, who is very supportive.
• When able, Sharon volunteers at Francis House in Syracuse, cleaning and visiting the residents