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Baby on life support for 25 days recovers after father puts Padre Pio relic on bed

The body of St Pio lies in the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie (AP)

A three-month-old baby has defied the odds and made a miraculous recovery from a life-threatening heart condition – after her father placed a relic on her bed.

Caitlin Dooley was born on May 12 and was put on life support for 25 days as she struggled to stay alive.

When her heart function dripped to a low of 33 per cent her parents Kieran and Sandra, from Ireland, feared her only hope was a transplant.

Then “something clicked” and she started to make an amazing recovery.

Her father now says her dramatic turn around coincided with Padre Pio’s relic being put in her hospital bed.

“People can make up their own minds about these things, but it has made me think,” Kieran said speaking to the Irish Mirror.

Caitlin first started showing symptoms when she was just 11 days old as she was not feeding properly and then her oxygen levels started to drop to alarming levels.

While they are meant to be at least 95 per cent they fell to 60 per cent.

Three days later it was even worse as they dropped to 37 per cent.

Caitlin was rushed to ICU and was diagnosed the next day with Dilated Cardiomyopathy.

Her condition deteriorated and doctors raised concerns over her other organs failing.

Kieran and Sandra had Caitlin baptised, and were given time to hold her knowing her condition could worsen at any time.

After 25 days on life support her father said “something amazing happened” and her heart function increased to about 70 per cent.

Caitlin was taken off her ventilator and doctors were no longer considering a transplant.

The nearest thing to an explanation her parents got was “something clicked within Caitlin and she just took off.”

Cardiologists have said her heart function is now “technically normal”.

While Kieran said staying in the Ronald McDonald house impacted on Caitlin’s improvement, he also said his use of the relic matched the timeline of her recovery.

He is now planning to raise funds for Ronald McDonald house, which runs on donations.

Padre Pio's body was taken to the Vatican in February (CNS)
Padre Pio’s body was taken to the Vatican in February (CNS)

Padre Pio, born Francesco Forgione, was an Italian friar and priest, who was canonised by Pope John Paul II in 2002.

He was famous for showing signs of stigmata for most of his life.

He was a sickly child who suffered from gastroenteritis in early life and typhoid fever aged ten.

Padre Pio entered the novitiate of the Capuchin friars at Morcone aged 15 taking the name Pio.

He became ill again aged 17 and could only digest milk and cheese and was sent home to recover.

Though he was ordained in 1910 he had to remain at home because of his poor health.

His battle with illness continued into later life, including being diagnosed with cancer – which was healed after two treatments.

Caitlin’s ‘miracle recovery’ has not been verified by Vatican officials.