A 12-year-old girl from Brooklyn, New York, has said that she is on the road to recovery after Pope Francis met and blessed her during his visit to the city in September. The girl, Julia Bruzzese, said she believes in miracles, and thinks the meeting with the pontiff has greatly helped her.
Fox News reported on Sunday that Bruzzese had been forced to use a wheelchair after she suffered a sudden paralysis that doctors could not explain. While she had been apparently experiencing symptoms of Lyme disease, there had been no signs of the disease in her blood.
Bruzzese and her mother reportedly got to meet the pope at JFK Airport during a greeting.
"He looked me right in the eyes; I kissed his hand and thanked him, and I walked away [saying] 'she's gonna be okay,'" said Julia's mother, Josephine Bruzzese.
CBS News reported last week that the girl said meeting Francis was "the most precious moment of my life."
Five days later, doctors were able to detect Lyme disease in Bruzzese's blood, which meant a diagnosis and proper treatment.
"The miracle has begun," said the 12 year old. "Yesterday, I went to the doctor and for the first time they saw Lyme disease activity in my blood, and that just shows a miracle can happen if you believe, just like I did. If you believe and pray everything can happen."
In another interview with NBC New York, Buzzese said she is confident she will walk again one day. "It means that he's going to give me a miracle to walk again," the girl said. "I know I will walk again because of him."
It is the second time in recent weeks that Francis has been credited with performing a miracle. In September, an American couple from Arizona claimed that a blessing from the pontiff in 2014 healed their 3-month-old daughter's heart condition.
The Cassidy family had traveled to Rome in 2014 in hopes of seeing the pontiff in person during the canonization of John Paul II and John XXIII. After waiting hours in the rain at the barricade at St. Peter's square, Scott Cassidy lifted his daughter, Ave, to Francis, who was passing by in his popemobile. The pontiff reportedly asked about the girl's condition and gave her his blessing.
"When we got home in May, we went back to the cardiologist for a check-up. One of the holes was completely closed and one was half the size," revealed the child's mother, Lynn Cassidy.