Three years ago, as he traveled down Market Street during his visit to Philadelphia, Pope Francis kissed 1-year-old Gianna Masciantonio on the head.
The Holy Father didn’t realize she had a debilitating brain tumor but the story made headlines and the tumor eventually disappeared.
Nearly three years later, Gianna is back at her old stomping grounds at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). .
She was previously diagnosed with Histiocytosis, a blood disorder that eventually formed a brain tumor. It’s now gone and chemotherapy is just a distant memory for Gianna.
Her parents say the doctors at CHOP, with a touch of faith from Pope Francis three years ago, saved Gianna’s life.
Commenting on her recovery, Phillip Storm, chief of pediatric neurosurgery at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said it was nothing short of a miracle.
“From what I thought at age 4 months when I operated on her, if you would have told me she’d be running around getting ready to start preschool, I would have told you you’d be crazy. It just wouldn’t happen,” he said.