Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/1/2014 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

Slovakian man fell victim to rare disease; suffered from condition since 2004

Suffering from a rare disease, Stefan Zoleik of Slovakia had tumors swelling on his face, reducing him to a modern day "Elephant Man." The tumor on his face eventually grew to 13 pounds, and his swollen face would make startle people in the street who would then stop and stare. Happily surgeons have successfully removed the growth form his face and Zoleik can once again live a normal life.

'Everybody was turning and looking at me,' Stefan Zoleik told journalists. 'It was very unpleasant. It also bothered me all the time when I moved my head.'

"Everybody was turning and looking at me," Stefan Zoleik told journalists. "It was very unpleasant. It also bothered me all the time when I moved my head."


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

6/1/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Deformity, tumor, operation, Elephant Man

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Called Madelung disease, fatty tumors grew on Zoleik's face. One tumor grew from ear to ear under his chin causing people to stop and stare at him in the street.

"Everybody was turning and looking at me," Zoleik told journalists. "It was very unpleasant. It also bothered me all the time when I moved my head."

Starvation never takes a vacation --

Surgeon Igor Homola spent five hours cutting away the growth. Zoleik is more than happy with the results. "This is amazing, much better than it was before, which was horrible. I don't even feel any pain now," he says.

Zoleik's fate was much happier than that of Englishman Joseph Merrick, "The Elephant Man." Born normally, growths on his face and body during his childhood eventually rendered him as little more than a sideshow attraction.

Merrick died on 11 April 1890, aged 27. The official cause of death was asphyxia, although his surgeon patron Frederick Treves, who dissected the body, said that Merrick had died of a dislocated neck. He believed that Merrick, who had to sleep sitting up because of the weight of his head -- had been attempting to sleep lying down, to "be like other people."

The exact cause of Merrick's deformities is unclear. The dominant theory throughout much of the 20th century was that Merrick suffered from neurofibromatosis type I. In 1986, a new theory emerged that he had Proteus syndrome. It was later proposed that Merrick had suffered from a combination of neurofibromatosis type I and Proteus syndrome. DNA tests conducted on his hair and bones have proven inconclusive.

In 1979, Bernard Pomerance's play about Merrick called "The Elephant Man" debuted, and David Lynch's film, also called "The Elephant Man," was released the following year in 1980.


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for SEPTEMBER 2016
Centrality of the Human Person: That each may contribute to the common good and to the building of a society that places the human person at the center.
Evangelization: Mission to Evangelize: That by participating in the Sacraments and meditating on Scripture, Christians may become more aware of their mission to evangelize.


More Health

Science knows of a 100 percent effective cure for antibiotic resistant STDs, so why aren't we using it? Watch

Image of Scientists know about an amazing STD solution that is 100 percent effective. So why aren't we using it?


Sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise in America, reaching levels never before seen by doctors. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Sexually transmitted diseases (STD) are on the rise in America, likely fueled by increased sexual promiscuity and growing ... continue reading

Researchers have discovered the human body's expiration date Watch

Image of Researchers claim the human body is incapable of exceeding a certain number of years.


Scientists have been reporting the average life expectancy for years, but new evidence suggests the human body is incapable of functioning after a certain amount of time. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine's ... continue reading

'What we gain in Christ is much greater than what we've lost' - Woman turns to God after illness sweeping U.S. hits home Watch

Image of Children in the US have been developing a polio-like illness (Facebook).


On Monday, the CDC reported a rise in acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) across the U.S., resulting in 50 cases within seven months. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Between January and August, the CDC reported fifty cases of the horrific disease that can leave children ... continue reading

HIV 'vanishes' from 44-year-old British man's blood Watch

Image of First man cured of HIV uses new therapy (Michael Jung/Shutterstock).


A new therapy for HIV patients has resulted in its first success! LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the <a href="">Telegraph</a>, a ... continue reading

'This is really a frightening situation' - 23k dead in global crisis Watch

Image of Thousands die each year as antibiotic-resistant infections strike hard.


Humanity has battled a terrifying foe responsible for stealing the lives of countless people. In the 1920's, when mankind finally found a way to overpower the deadly threat, we thought the war was won - but now, the danger has returned and is jeopardizing the lives of ... continue reading

Birth control leads to depression, increased risk of breast cancer and more Watch

Image of What impact does birth control have on your hormones?

By (CNA/EWTN News)

For the millions of women using hormonal birth control, side effects are nothing new. Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) - Headaches, mood swings and weight gain are all commonly reported side effects, not to mention more serious problems such as blood clots and ... continue reading

God is good! Man learns to walk after FOUR DECADES in wheelchair Watch

Image of Rufino Borrego (not pictured) no longer requires his wheelchair.


Rufino Borrego was only 13-years-old when he was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, leading to 43-years of his life spent confined to a wheelchair. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Borrego was diagnosed by doctors at a Lisbon hospital and he spent the majority of ... continue reading

5 things you NEED to know about drug-resistant superbugs and antimicrobial resistance Watch

Image of Do YOU know how to protect yourself?


The United Nations General Assembly voted to take "a broad coordinated approach" to antimicrobial resistance, which is growing at such an alarming rate, millions are expected to die by 2050. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "This is only the fourth time a health ... continue reading

St. Padre Pio helps dying newborn miraculously recover after 25 DAYS on life support Watch

Image of (Photo by: Ciara Wilkinson/Irish Mirror)


Three-month-old Caitlin Dooley suffered from a life-threatening heart condition since the day she was born. Just when the Dooley family began to lose hope, St. Padre Pio stepped in. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the Irish Mirror, at just 11-days-old, ... continue reading

Pray for the children with brain cancer - the number 1 cancer responsible for childhood deaths Watch

Image of The number one cancer killing children in the US is of the brain.


A new federal report revealed brain cancer is now the leading cancer killer of children in the United States. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Sally Curtin and her colleagues at the NCHS, part of the CDC, discovered brain tumors and leukemia are the two  most ... continue reading

All Health News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 3:14-21
14 This, then, is what I pray, kneeling before the Father,15 ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 33:1-2, 4-5, 11-12, 18-19
1 Shout for joy, you upright; praise comes well from the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:49-53
49 'I have come to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 20th, 2016 Image

St. Paul of the Cross
October 20: St. Paul of the Cross was born at Ovada in the ... Read More