A Colombian woman who was the victim of a severely disfiguring acid attack and who planned to end her life later this month changed her mind on the spot after speaking with Pope Francis.
The Daily Mail is reporting on the incident which occurred during the pope's visit to Colombia when Consuela Cordoba approached him to speak about her plans to end her life with a doctor’s help.
Cordoba was injured in 2000 when her ex-partner threw acid into her face, causing severe disfigurement. Even though he served a mere month in jail for the attack, she has since been forced to live inside a mesh body suit and needs tubes in her nostrils to breathe and can only consume liquid food through a straw. Since the attack, she has undergone 87 operations in an attempt to reconstruct her face.
She was recently diagnosed with a brain infection and decided she could no longer live with herself. Because euthanasia is legal in Colombia under certain conditions, she was given permission to be euthanized on September 29.
However, when Pope Francis visited the country last week, Cordoba was selected to talk to the pontiff and brought out of the crowd to meet him.
The two hugged and then she asked the Holy Father to permit her to end her life.
She recounted: “He said ‘no,’ he was not going to do it. He told me that I was very brave and very pretty.”
His kind words changed her mind on the spot.
“That changed my life,” she said. “Now I want to live. Dr. Gustavor Quinonez was going to give me the injection, but I’m not going to do it because God is going to bring greatness to my life.”
She continued: “So that I do not die, they will donate for the surgery that I need, which will cost several million pesos.”
Even though she had gone so far as to plan her own burial, she now has a new lease on life. “I am going to tell Dr. Gustavo thank you very much for your injection, but it is for another.”
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