My Doctor said, “What Have You Done”

About 20 years ago I attended a seminar given by a priest who had returned from a trip to San Giovanni Rotondo. His testimony about Padre Pio was very inspiring and since that time I have developed a very close relationship with Padre Pio. I keep a small Padre Pio prayer card in the left pocket of my shirt at all times. Every night I place it on my night table before I go to bed. I obtained a Master’s Degree in Theology and Pastoral Ministry from Barry University and I am also a Certified Public Accountant. My wife and I have been active parishioners at St. Timothy Catholic Church in Miami where we head the Evangelization Ministry. I also teach Bible classes on Tuesdays. In 2010, I was diagnosed with severe aorta stenosis. My aorta valve should have had an opening of 3 cms. and mine showed only .75. To confirm the findings, my cardiologist, Dr. Hugo Garcia ordered a transesophageal echo test. The test showed the same results. My doctor explained to me that I was going to have to have open heart surgery. I met the doctor who was going to perform the surgery, Dr. Nirberto Moreno, at Baptist Hospital of Miami. When he saw the results of the echo test, he characterized the aorta stenosis as “critical.”

Before the surgery, I had to have one other procedure, a heart catheterization. The procedure would take a close look at my arteries in order to determine the entry point for the open heart surgery. It my arteries were in good shape, the surgeon would go through the side of my chest. If the coronary arteries were obstructed, the center of my chest would have to be opened for the surgery. The heart catheterization procedure was performed at South Miami Hospital on April 12, 2011. As I was coming out of the sedation, my cardiologist, Dr. Garcia, said to me, “Mr. Contreras, what have you done?” I did not understand what he meant and was afraid that he had bad news for me. “I have not done anything. But I have prayed a lot,” I replied. “Well, keep praying,” my doctor said. “Your aorta valve now shows a 1.44 cm. opening. You do not need heart surgery.” I had been praying to Padre Pio since January, asking only that my coronary arteries would be healthy. Well, Padre Pio went all the way for me!”

Jorge Contreras

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