The last time I remember falling over I broke my tailbone. Admittedly, I was drunk and didn’t even realise the pain until the morning after.
What followed was six months of perpetual agony. I guess I never realised the value of my tailbone until it felt like some cruel omnipotent and sadistic deity was hammering a burning hot stake into my rectum every time I went to sit down.
Fortunately, not everybody has the same sort of ordeal when they fall over. Some even come off better than they were before the fall.
Meet Mary Ann Franco from Florida, for instance, who has since been dubbed ‘the miracle lady’.
Over 20 years ago, Mary Ann was involved in a car crash which injured her spine and left her permanently blind, only able to ‘see blackness’.
But, just months ago, aged 70, Mary Ann accidentally tripped on a faulty tile in her kitchen which proceeded to flip up and hit her in the back of the head.
So far, not good – but what happened next is nothing short of a miracle that even doctors are struggling to explain.
According to The Independent, when recovering in hospital after a lot of intense surgery, Mary Ann awoke and found that her vision had completely returned.
Speaking to the paper, she said:
I looked towards the foot of my bed and said, ‘Hey, lady in purple, get me something for pain’. I was in so much pain, I wasn’t nice – and I’m always nice.
My niece said: ‘what did you say?’ and I realised I could see. They gave me more medication, and the next morning I could see all the trees, and white houses below from my small window on my side in hospital.
I was the happiest woman in the whole world. It was wonderful. Everyone came in and said: ‘You’re the miracle lady’.
Even neurosurgeons are racking their brains to try and understand it.
Neurosurgeon Dr John Afshar, who performed the operation, told ABC News of how Mary Ann’s vision was not intended to have been affected during the operation, adding:
The restoration of Mary Ann Franco’s vision is a true miracle. I really don’t have a scientific explanation for it.
One potential explanation is that the initial car accident affected an artery and restricted blood flow to the part of the brain controlling vision. Then, in the operation, that crushed artery could’ve been accidentally re-opened, causing her eyesight to flourish back to life.
Either way – science or unknown miracle, this story is still one of the most fascinating I’ve ever come across.
Joseph Loftus is a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist with four years experience working for international and regional press.
As well as working for UNILAD and LADbible, Joseph has worked as Liverpool Correspondent for Unsigned & Independent Magazine, as well as stints with the Liverpool Echo and Warrington Guardian.