Caring for the Elderly - Inspired by our Faith
Doctor Edward GATZ is a retired anesthesiologist who lives in Omaha, Nebraska, in the United States of America. He was born on April 19, 1937 in O’Neil, Nebraska.
At the age of 51, he began to feel dyspeptic (digestive) problems with a loss of weight and the appearance of growths on his hands. The diagnosis was interpreted as a paraneoplastic syndrome due to an occult cancer.
An endoscopy on January 9, 1989 revealed the presence of a cancerous lesion in the lower part of the esophagus. The patient was hospitalized at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and had surgery on January 18, 1989 for a partial esophago-gastrectomy. The biopsy showed a 3rd decree adenocarcinoma, and the examination specified that there was an aneuploid tumor. Doctor Gatz was advised to have chemotherapy, but he refused. He also refused to have radiotherapy.
On the day that Doctor Gatz’ cancer was diagnosed (January 9, 1989), his wife spoke with a priest, Father Richard D. McGloin, S.J., to tell him about her husband’s illness and to seek some consolation. This priest encouraged Mrs. Gatz to pray, and gave her the novena prayer to Blessed Jeanne Jugan, whom he knew through the Little Sisters of the Poor, since he had formerly been their chaplain at their Home in Milwaukee, and whom he held in veneration. Along with him, Mrs. Gatz began to pray to Jeanne Jugan every day, even after the control on March 8.
In fact, the first endoscopic control took place on March 8, 1989. The biopsy showed the presence of chronic gastritis, but no signs of recurrence of the tumor.
All the doctors therefore agreed that Doctor Gatz would not live more than “six to thirteen months.” Yet he is still alive and well today at the age of 71.
The promulgation of the decree of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, authorized by Pope Benedict XVI, acknowledging the miracle through the intercession of Blessed Jeanne Jugan (Sister Mary of the Cross) was signed on December 6, 2008.