May 14, 2015 - Reported here and here. A brave Galway boy celebrated his eleventh birthday last week – two years after his family was told that he had lost his battle with cancer. But Stephen Reilly’s 2013 trip to turned out to be a miraculous one – because he was pronounced cancer-free two months ago. Stephen, from Eyrecourt, was diagnosed with bone cancer at the age of six which spread to his lungs and lymph nodes – and Stephen lost one of his legs.
The lowest point was on New Year’s Eve 2012, where the family ended up in Our Lady’s Children’s ospital, Crumlin, to be told that the cancer had returned. “After two days of tests the doctors told us that the cancer had spread to his lungs and lymph nodes and that there was no more that they could do,” says Stephen’s father, Michael. But he family had already booked the pilgrimage and went ahead with it anyway – and while the Reillys were out there, Michael says a couple of strange things happened. Stephen saw a statue of Our Lady move, Michael himself saw what might be described as the impression of a giant hand over his son’s head – and more critically, just two days after getting back he had scans which showed a slight improvement.
Over the next few months he went from strength to strength, and in July of that year, the Galway Hospice took him off their books. Michael believes that this is down to a miracle in which Medjugorje – the town where Our Lady appeared to six local children in 1981 – has played its part. And last month Stephen and his dad Michael made a return trip to the pilgrimage mountain, where Stephen was determined to make the climb unaided. “I only carried him through a really hard part and the ramp to the cross at the top,” says a proud Michael of his courageous son.
Cancer Miracle of Medjugorje: Galway schoolboy gets cancer all clear two months after making pilgrimage to the holy site.
A seriously-ill child has been miraculously cured of cancer after a trip to pilgrimage site Medjugorje. Stephen Reilly, 11, battled an aggressive form of bone cancer for five years but was pronounced cancer-free two months ago after a five-year battle with the disease. His family claim he had a miraculous recovery after a trip to the religious site in Herzegovina. Dad Michael, from Eyrecourt in Co Galway, said: “Stephen was six when he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a very aggressive form of bone cancer – just above his right knee in April 2011.
“He underwent eight months of aggressive chemotherapy and limb salvage surgery to remove the tumour. “In December 2012 while undergoing leg-lengthening surgery in Cappagh hospital, he took a bleed and we nearly lost him. “Over the following weeks, Stephen’s leg started to swell and by New Year’s Eve we ended up again in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, where we found the cancer had returned. “After two days of tests the doctors told us that the cancer had spread to his lungs and lymph nodes.” Stephen’s right leg was amputated in January 2013 after his condition deteriorated. Two weeks later, doctors found that another tumour had appeared on his stump. But Michael and his wife never gave up hope and decided to take Stephen to Medjugorje.
Dad of four Michael told the Connacht Tribune: “My wife Nora booked us a trip and we went out in April 2013. “When we got there, I carried him in my arms up and around Apparition Hill which is a fairly steep and craggy climb to the place where Our Lady appeared. “The following morning, I joined a group of pilgrims to climb a mountain called Cross Mountain which is over 500m high and is even steeper and craggier. “I made a promise that if Stephen ever survived I would carry him to the top.” During the trip, Stephen told his parents he saw a statue of Our Lady move, while Michael said he saw some sort of light that seemed like a giant hand over Stephen’s head. Less than a week after they got back home, Stephen’s scans showed some improvement.
His condition continued to improve until he was declared cancer-free two months ago. On April 30, Michael and his son returned to Medjugorje as promised. The relieved dad said: “I kind of fulfilled my promise as Stephen climbed Cross Mountain on crutches with one leg. I only carried him through a really hard part and the ramp to the Cross at the top.”
Learn more about these events
at CrownofStars.blogspot.com and Medjugorje.hr (official).