Thought I had gas before shock diagnosis - then miracle, says Ireland AM Star

Thought I had gas before shock diagnosis – then miracle, says Ireland AM Star

IRELAND AM star Joe Shannon believes he experienced a miracle after having a vision of his late mother on his deathbed.

The celebrity chef was diagnosed with colon cancer after doctors discovered a blockage in his gut in March last year.

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Popular celebrity chef Joe Shannon spoke candidly about his cancer diagnosis earlier this year
As things got worse in July 2021, Joe received last rites from the priest

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As things got worse in July 2021, Joe received last rites from the priest

And after a grueling five-hour operation succeeded, it turned out that the cancer had spread to Joe’s liver.

He got worse and worse and in July 2021 he became very ill and even received last rites.

Sligo native Joe, 57, told The Irish Sun: “Unfortunately I got a very aggressive infection and ended up in intensive care.

“At some point I received my last rites from the priest.

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“They were very, very worried that I wouldn’t have made it through the night.

“The infection had taken over my body and I was very weak.”

Joe explained how that night he saw a vision of his late mother and woke up to find he had witnessed a miracle.

He said: “I’m not saying I’m a religious person, but I’m going to tell you this story.

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“My deepest night I was in a kind of comatose sleep. And in that situation, I saw my mother, who died in 2007, smiling down at me at the foot of my bed. I thought she was taking me to the next life to be honest.

“I wasn’t scared but the next thing I know I was awake and the doctor was like, ‘You’re a miracle man, something dramatic has changed for the better and there was a reversal of where you were 12 hours ago were.’

“I told the doctor about my experience and joked that maybe it was the drugs I was taking.

“And he said, ‘Look, I’m a medical professional, but all I can tell you is that something strange has happened and there’s been a reversal of where you were 12 hours ago – and I can’t answer it .'”

Joe has made a full recovery and says he wouldn’t even have gone to the hospital if it wasn’t for his wife Marie.

HOSPITAL TRIP

He said: “We were in the middle of lockdown. One of the days back in March 2021 I was chatting on a Zoom call and suddenly I felt terrible stomach cramps and choking.

“It was just a general spasm like wind pain.

“I hadn’t gone to the bathroom so I figured it was just a simple thing like constipation.

“I took all sorts of laxatives and thought if I went to the toilet all my problems would be over, but that was far from it.

“This pain lasted for two days and finally I gave in to my wife who insisted I go to the hospital.

“Like many men, I was stubborn and thought it was a bad case of constipation.”

The Virgin Media star went to Sligo hospital on a Saturday with convulsions and was told he had cancer just three days later.

CANCER SPREAD

Doctors said there was a serious blockage between his small and large intestines that required surgery.

Joe explained, “The next day, Tuesday, the surgeon said to me, ‘Look Joe, we removed a tumor from you, it looked very aggressive and I suspect it’s cancerous.’ The lab came back and it was confirmed that I had stage three cancer.”

Joe started his chemo but had to stop after one session when they found out his cancer had spread.

He added: “So I started the chemo and at the same time the doctor started the tests.

“When it came to my second chemo session, they found that a second tumor had developed in my liver. So we had to sit out the chemo for a month.

BRUSH WITH DEATH

“I had a second operation where they removed part of my liver and gallbladder.”

Joe recovered from his death and fought off further infection.

He finished his chemotherapy this year. He said: “On April 18th I completed my last of 14 sessions.

“I am now without signs of illness. No one can tell me if it will never come back and there are spots on my liver for them to watch. Every three months I go to the hospital and get tested.”

He added: “I’m not afraid of death because life doesn’t owe me anything. I had – and hopefully will have for a while – a great life, a brilliant wife and children. I was raised by beautiful, loving parents, brothers and sisters.

“I have great friends and have had the pleasure of meeting amazing people. I’ve made a lot of mistakes and could have made better decisions on occasion, but show me anyone who’s different.”

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Joe feels lucky to be able to monitor his cancer and wants to spread the word so others can get checked out. He added: “Some people walk the streets with cancer and don’t know it.

“I had no symptoms beforehand which I can tell you I would really like to say that even if you feel 100 per cent you should go to your GP and have simple tests done. Early prevention is key.”


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