On March 6, 2003, I suffered a near fatal accident when I fell down some basement stairs in a friend’s house. I was taken to the Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, New York. I suffered three fractures to my spine as well as severe brain trauma. I became comatose. The doctors told my family that I had very little chance of survival.
My mother, who lives in Florida, has had a great devotion to Padre Pio for as long as I can remember. She has a small relic of Padre Pio, a piece of his habit. She took the relic and taped it to a photograph of me. She began a prayer vigil, and through the night prayed to Padre Pio, asking for his intercession. The morning after my mother’s prayer vigil, I awoke from the coma which I had been in for eleven days. Still, the doctors were not optimistic. They only gave me a fifty-fifty chance of recovery. I remained in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital for twenty-one days. But I continued to make steady progress and finally was released from the hospital.
On one of my follow-up appointments at the hospital, I ran into some of the doctors who worked in the Intensive Care Unit. My memory of them naturally was a little hazy but they recognized me because they had treated me. I greeted them and they stared at me with incredulous expressions on their faces. The senior doctor said, “Look at you, walking and talking! You are the miracle man!” I almost wept when the doctor said that to me. I learned that “miracle man” was the nickname that the hospital staff had given me.
In December of the same year, an elderly woman, who had an epileptic seizure while driving, ran into my car head on. My car rolled over four times and finally landed on its side. The woman who was driving the car behind me told me that she was convinced that she was about to crash into my car as well. She said that she had lost control of her car but at the very last second, her car simply turned of its own accord, and she missed hitting me by inches.
These experiences, these near brushes with death, changed me completely. I used to be a non-practicing Catholic, living in sin, going to Mass on Christmas and Easter only. I have now returned to the Catholic Church in earnest. I work as a film maker, and have worked in all aspects of the film industry. I hope to make a full-length feature film on the life of St. Pio. I carry his relic with me now at all times.
I may be called the miracle man by the doctors, but we all know who the real miracle man is! From the bottom of my heart, thank you St. Pio for not losing faith in this sinner.
– Peter D. Bove