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Home Exorcism Leads to Medical Diagnosis

An Albuquerque, New Mexico, man thought his wife was possessed by the devil. Stephen Gutierrez performed a home exorcism dousing his wife, Lorina, with holy water before taking her back to the hospital, where doctors finally diagnosed her with a rare disease.

Initially, Lorina was diagnosed with the flu. However, she began to suffer from paranoia, memory loss, and the inability to speak coherently. After a brief stay in a psychiatric hospital, Lorina was sent home. Her behavior worsened, leading Stephen to believe she was possessed by a demon.

Stephen took matters into his own hands. He attempted to perform an amateurish—and ill-advised—home exorcism. It didn’t work. Stephen then returned Lorina to the hospital.

Doctors diagnosed the 39-year-old mother of three with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, a newly discovered disease where antibodies cause the brain to swell. Tumors are associated with half of all cases. Doctors located and removed a 6” tumor from her ovary.

This is another case where a premature exorcism was performed before a person was competently and completely examined. The Gutierrez family is incredibly lucky. Although Lorina’s disease cannot be cured, it can be treated.