Photo: Bob Dinga
Ernie first went to Brazil to see John of God in 2002. He was there to support a friend but ended up experiencing a healing of his own: John of God removed an egg-size tumor from his back. Ernie says he was given no anesthesia before or during the surgery, and he felt only a minimal amount of pain.
"In the beginning, when he actually made the incision, I felt a sharp pain almost like a paper cut," Ernie says. "And then I didn't feel anything after that."
Despite the fact that the surgery was performed on a risky area (close to his spine), Ernie says he had no reservations going into it because he believed it would be a success.
Oprah Show producers spoke to Ernie's U.S. doctor, who confirmed that Ernie did, in fact, have a tumor on his back that is no longer there.
"I think you can't really explain it medically in terms of what we know," Ernie says. "But we all know about the human body being more than just flesh and blood and bones. We know it to be a form of energy."