Real Name: Christina Umowski
Case: Medical Mystery/Unusual Phenomenon
Date: February 1992
Details: A few weeks before Christmas 1988, Mary Umowski found her three-year-old daughter, Christina, unconscious on the living room floor. As Mary tried to call the doctor, Christina began convulsing. Doctors diagnosed her with Neurofibromatosis, a brain tumor that would compromise her vision, disrupt her physical coordination, and ultimately take her life. Every six months, they went for a follow-up MRI. Every time, they were told that the tumor was growing.
As expected, Christina fell far behind her classmates in physical ability. Her family was angry with God that this was happening to her. At the urging of a friend, in February 1992, they met a faith healing priest named Reverend Ralph DiOrio. Her father, Stan, was skeptical but was willing to do anything for her. During a prayer session, DiOrio called any children to come forward. Christina did so and spoke with him. He blessed her and touched her head. When they were leaving, she told Mary that she felt hot when he touched her head.
Within two days, it appeared that a miracle was occurring. Christina was able to start jumping rope, which she had never done well before. Two weeks later, the results of her MRI showed that the tumor had gone down substantially. Unsolved Mysteries had a specialist view her MRIs. He noted that her recovery was extremely rare with patients with Neurofibromatosis.
Recent MRIs have confirmed that the tumor has not returned. Christina is now living a normal life, which she believes is because of DiOrio's powers of prayer. Many are certain now that he has mystic healing powers.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the May 16, 1997 episode. Christina's family has requested her photo not be attached to the segment to respect her privacy.