The Our Lady of Mount Carmel Feast has come again to Williamsburg. As Italian-Americans honor Our Lady of Mount Carmel and San Paolino Di Nola, I wish to express my heartfelt thanks to Madeleine Matteo and the (late) Dr. Iamele, chief surgeon, Wyckoff Heights Hospital, who saved my life back in 1973 when I had a severe life-threatening injury to my forearm.
Madeleine Matteo was a nursing student at the Caledonian Hospital School of Practical Nursing in Brooklyn and, through the grace of God, was immediately on the scene and administered competent first aid and transported me to the family practice office of Dr. Iamele a few blocks away from the accident on Graham Avenue.
For hours, Dr. Iamele did painstaking surgery on my forearm in his office, and saved my life and full functionality of my arm, hand, and fingers, saying just four words as I moaned in pain despite local anesthesia: "grin and bear it."
No bill ever arrived, as it was gratis.
As we celebrate the two special saints of the OLMC Feast this year, I will honor in my heart these two special angels, Madeleine Matteo and Dr. Iamele, for their special gifts which saved my life that one evening.
Joseph N. Manago