Consuelo Nevado, wife of Dr. Nevado

His hands are now completely cured. He attributes the cure of his hands from chronic radiodermatitis to the petition he made to Blessed Josemaria.

"I am an 'intern nurse,' working in operating theaters. I worked in the Social Security Hospital at Badajoz between 1955 and 1962. From 1962 until 1980 I worked as a theater nurse at the Nuestra Señora del Pilar Hospital in Almendralejo. Throughout this period my work was basically that of theater nurse during the operations performed by my husband, Dr. Manuel Nevado.

My husband, Manuel Nevado, began to work as an orthopedic surgeon in 1956 at Valdecilla Hospital in the province of Santander. There he specialized in general surgery, traumatology and orthopedics. He has told me, and I have seen it as a nurse on many occasions over the years, that he habitually set fractured limbs using radioscopic equipment, as was normal then. He also often used radioscopy to assist in removing foreign bodies. At that time, the instruments and equipment used for radiology were of poor quality, and provided only very limited protection.

Even when we got married, in December 1962, I remember that he already had some damage to his hands due to repeated exposure to X-rays. The back of his hands and fingers were hairless and the skin showed hyper-pigmentation and erythema in some small areas.

Slowly but steadily the condition of the back of his hands, but specially his left hand, became more and more noticeable, so that in June 1992 he had to stop operating altogether, because it was clearly impossible for him to carry on. At that date, I remember the appearance of large hyperkeratotic plaques, alternating with areas of increased pigmentation of the skin, and above all, of ulceration on the back of his hands. The worst was a large wound with hardened and infiltrated edges, that spread over the whole of the back of the middle phalanx of his left middle finger. My husband covered this ulcer, which was very ugly, with different types of dressings that I used to change frequently.

Although he did not normally talk about it, I noticed he was worried about what would happen to his hands. From time to time, he mentioned in passing that he should have a skin graft on his hands and fingers. But all the same, he didn't apply any remedy, for really there was no adequate medical treatment to stop the development of damage resulting from chronic radiodermatitis.

In November 1992 my husband and I made one of our usual journeys to Madrid. While we were there, he went to make some enquiries at the Ministry of Agriculture about the position of vineyards after Spain had joined the European Community. (We own some land including a vineyard, and we were wondering what would be the best crop to grow.)

When he came back from the Ministry, partly surprised, partly amused and partly grateful, he told me what had happened there. He had been speaking with a member of the Ministry staff, an agricultural engineer, who had supplied detailed information on the subject he was interested in. But that was not all, for when he noticed my husband's hands he asked what had happened to him to cause their condition. My husband told him that it had been caused by X-rays, that the damage was progressive and that there was no remedy. This man had then given him a prayer-card of Blessed Josemaria Escriva and suggested he should pray to him to obtain a cure.

My husband never told me anything else about the prayer-card, or whether or not he prayed to Blessed Josemaria. I must add that my husband has great respect for the privacy of others, and he likes people to respect his.

A couple of weeks later, we went to Vienna. My husband and I were both very surprised to find so many prayer-cards of Blessed Josemaria in all the churches we visited, and we commented on how widespread devotion to him had become. I also think we made some comment on how little appreciation we had, although he was so near us, in contrast with the way devotion to him had spread in other places.

I have afterwards learned that my husband prayed for his hands to be cured. I noticed that his hands were improving rapidly. He no longer asked me to change the dressing and I could see that the deep ulceration had formed a completely healed scar, and the hyperkeratotic plaques had disappeared.

His hands are now completely cured. In January 1993 he began to operate again as normal. I found out afterwards that he attributes the cure of his hands from chronic radiodermatitis to the petition he made to Blessed Josemaria."

Almendralejo, 1 July 1993