Vatican Investigates 'Miracle' Recovery of Man Shot in Head

The Vatican investigates the "miracle" recovery of a man given blessed rosary.

ByABC News via logo
April 1, 2009, 8:32 PM

April 2, 2009 — -- When Jory Aebly was shot in the head, execution-style during a mugging five weeks ago in Cleveland, Ohio, that should have been the end of it. Doctors at the Metro Health Medical Center told his family it was a "non-survivable" injury, according to the hospital's Web site.

But Tuesday, a very-much-alive Aebly was wheeled to a press conference before he went home in what some believe is a true "miracle," possibly good enough to help earn deceased Pope John Paul II sainthood.

"It's one in a million," Dr. Robert Geertman, a neurosurgeon involved in Aebly's treatment, said in a press conference just days after the shooting. "My jaw was on the floor after a day or two of seeing he is hanging on. ... I'd say it's pretty miraculous."

The connection between the 26-year-old's incredible recovery and the late pope came in the form of hospital chaplain, Father Art Snedeker, and a single blessed rosary Snedeker gave Aebly soon after the shooting.

"[Pope John Paul II] promised me that he would always pray for the patients at Metro and he blessed a dozen rosaries with special patients here," Snedeker said in the press conference. "The first night that Jory arrived and I performed the sacrament of the sick, I also asked Pope John Paul to pray for Jory and to protect him."

Snedeker gave Aebly the last of the rosaries that were blessed by the pope.

From then on, Aebly repeatedly amazed doctors with consistent improvement culminating in his release Tuesday, just two days before the fourth anniversary of John Paul's death.

"I stand before you today and can say, to my mind, Jory is a miracle," Snedeker said at the press conference.