Julia Vorobjova: The X-Ray Woman

The story of a woman and her curious healing powers

Somebody save the “X-Ray woman”. She has been healing hundreds of people for years and years, including illustrious people who ended up in history books. Now she is abandoned, alone, in a poor room in Donetsk, surrounded by the sad grayness of the rural Ukraine, the land of coal mines. Julia Vorobjova, seventy years old, salaried worker with a missionary smile, is not a common sensitive sorceress: she is like a superhero, as she is given exceptional powers which allow her to see and foresee other people’s diseases by simply looking “inside” their bodies.

The list of people who have benefited from her unique abilities is surprisingly long and, naturally, quite uncertain: Julia’s piercing eyes examined many Soviet Politburo members, such as Breznev and his successor as head of the PCUS, Andropov. Then, Boris Eltsin, Mikhail Gorbaciov, the first lady Raissa and the French president Mitterrand.

Even Pope Wojtyla, during a visit to Ukraine, was monitored by Julia’s magic eyes who gave – they say – precious advice to the Vatican medical staff. Then, with less shame, she was questioned by actors, singers, writers and even a dozen Soviet cosmonauts who included a visit to Julia in the long list of superstitious rites to celebrate before every launch. In fact, it is no coincidence that the lady is a honorary citizen of the Moscow stellar city, pride of Russian space research.

Julia’s story starts on the 3rd of March, 1978, in a dusty space of the Petrovskaja mine in Donetsk, she is sitting at the wheel of her crane, hacking on the old and insecure control panel. It short-circuited with a 380-volt-electric shock. Rescue and medical response: instantaneous death. Her body was left at the municipal morgue and then offered to medical students by her relatives. Here, a miracle happens.

A student, instructed by a professor, operates the removal of a toe, but, as he approaches the seemingly dead foot, he is hit by a splash of blood: Julia is still alive. Taking the lady back to the hospital, it takes her about one year to come out of her coma and heal. When she wakes up, she notices a missing toe and, above all, she discovers her “powers”. Disbelief is a must.

Suspicious scientists come from the University of Moscow, ready to disprove the phenomenon, but they have to admit that there is no rational explanation: Julia can see inside their bodies. It is true, although unbelievable. Julia is then addressed to the secret “90th department” of the KGB, which monitors science and research. People start checking her services out and she doesn’t miss a thing.

After the end of USSR, after the demolition of secret structures, she is forgotten and abandoned to her destiny. She keeps on offering aid to patients for free, without any income. She just asks for a board and health care. Official papers say she has nothing to receive and, therefore, she appeals to newspapers, invokes a bit of charity and recalls a verdict expressed by Moscow scientists: her inexplicable powers work on everyone but herself.