This story is from The Pulse, a weekly health and science podcast.
When Chris Lundy was 10 years old, he got really sick. Out of nowhere he began experiencing daily coughing fits that lasted several minutes. They were extremely painful, and he would even cough up blood. Alarmed, his family took him to the doctor, but couldn’t get any answers.
When they couldn’t get a definitive diagnosis, Chris’s mom decided to take him to someone they described as “a healer.” His whole family went to the appointment. There, in a candlelit basement, Chris received a vial with some mysterious drops to place on his tongue, and astoundingly, the cough and symptoms disappeared without a trace.
Chris’s family is Haitian, and Vodou is an important part of Haitian culture. As an adult, he realized that the man who healed him was a Vodou Oungan or priest.
On this episode, Chris and producer Justin Kramon dig into what could have caused Chris to cough up blood, and what happened in that candlelit basement decades ago. In the process, Chris learns some important truths about Vodou and his family.