Church says divine ‘healing’ responsible for restoring blind mother’s vision

PHOENIX, AZ (WCMH) — An Arizona woman who thought she would never see again now has 20-20 vision thanks to what church leaders are saying was divine intervention.

Dafne Gutierrez completely lost her vision in November 2015. She was diagnosed with benign intracranial hypertension, a condition caused by mounting pressure in the brain for no particular reason.

“This is a condition where the pressure in the brain is so high that oftentimes it strangulates the optic nerves,” Dr. Anne Borik, an internist who reviewed Gutierrez’s case, told KPHO. “Unfortunately, once the blindness occurs, it’s irreversible.”

The diagnosis was crushing for the mother of four who thought she would never see her children’s faces again.

“For me, I was like, ‘Please God, let me see those faces again. Let me be their mother again,’” Gutierrez said.

Last month, she went to St. Joseph Maronite Catholic Church in Phoenix. There she confessed to Father Wissam Akiki and prayed over the visiting relics of Saint Charbel, a Lebanese monk.

She said her body felt different after praying over the relics, and she returned the next day for Sunday mass and experienced a similar feeling.

The next morning, Gutierrez woke to a burning sensation in her eyes. She said that’s when her vision started to return. A mere three days later, doctors confirmed that her vision was completely back.

How and why her vision returned is a mystery.

“We took her actually to two other specialists to look at the eyes and see how we can explain this medically, and in fact there was really no medical explanation,” Dr. Borik said.

Leaders at St. Joseph Maronite Church say no medical explanation is needed — they believe she was healed by St. Charbel.

“May this healing of the sight of Dafne be an inspiration for all of us to seek the spiritual sight, in order to recognize the will of God in our lives and to act accordingly,” wrote Bishop A. Elias Zaidan in a newsletter.

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