As a young man, Pope Francis’ life was saved by intuitive nurse.
The story of Pope Francis’ successful recovery from a lung condition at the age of 21 is recounted in a new book by Vatican journalist Andrea Tornielli. The pope recounted that, although the doctors were competent, they spent much of their time in laboratories. He credits his recovery to an intuitive nurse who was “on the front lines,” caring for the sick and working one-on-one with patients all day long. “I am alive thanks to one of [the nurses],” the pope said.
Doctors had administered antibiotics to treat the now-pope’s condition, but the dosage was too small. Picking up on the dilemma, the nurse tripled his dosage – and her actions led eventually to the pope’s recovery. Francis said, “The nun who was on the ward tripled that because she had an intuition, she knew what to do, because she was with the ill all day long.”
The pope himself clearly values the willingness of individuals to serve on the front lines, as he himself makes a point to go out and visit with the faithful one-on-one, and frequently calls individuals who have asked for his help and prayers in difficult situations.
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Amid concerns that the newly-elected pope could face similar difficulties as Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who resigned after struggles with his health mitigated his ability to serve the Church as actively as he would have liked to, Vatican spokesperson Father Federico Lombardi assured concerned parties that the Holy Father’s former lung condition would not hinder his work as pope. He said:
This is not a handicap in his life. Those who know him have always seen him in good health. His health is good and he shows great stamina. He works many hours a day and spends many hours a week greeting people in St Peter’s Square in the freezing cold.