Jeannie Gaffigan‘s “whole life” has completely changed — for the better.
The comedy writer wife of Jim Gaffigan tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week’s issue of finding out she had a six-centimeter benign brain tumor last month, “There’s just going to be so much to come out of this for me. All of this is a miracle.”
On April 18, Jeannie’s tumor — which was wrapped around her brain stem and suppressing several of her cranial nerves — was removed in an over nine-hour surgery at Mount Sinai hospital in New York City.
Jeannie is now at home recovering, and her surgeon Dr. Joshua Bederson tells PEOPLE his team believes they successfully removed all of the papilloma of the choroid plexus.
“Every thing has completely strengthened my faith in God,” says Jeannie, 47. “Because I told God, I said, ‘God, I’m not ready to go. I have work to do. Please help me.’ ”
Jim and Jeannie, who reside in New York City with their five children (Marre, 13, Jack, 11, Katie, 8, Michael, 5, and Patrick, 4) say the entire health ordeal has made them believers in miracles.
After being able to meet with the “top guy” (Bederson) when his scheduled surgery was delayed, they were, by chance, in the area when Mount Sinai senior physician assistant Leslie Schlachter urgently called.
“It’s a miracle that lead us to that place,” says Jim, 50, who admits it’s been hard to watch his wife go through such a scary process, and now, a difficult recovery.
He says, “Jeannie went through so many procedures. Like, she got an X-ray three times a day that — you would take a day off from work if you got, like, one of these.”
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The comedian also praises his wife’s diligence in finding an answer to mounting problems, like dizziness, headaches and hearing loss — the symptom that ultimately lead her to getting an MRI and discovering the tumor.
“I’m so grateful that Jeannie had that initiative and that’s where if people do have these symptoms and they’re concerned, they should check them out,” he says.
- For more from Jim and Jeannie Gaffigan, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday
The Gaffigans have been overwhelmed by a “complete outpouring of love and spirituality” since announcing Jeannie’s tumor, she says.
Adds Jeannie, “I have no doubt that there were supernatural powers helping me through this. No doubt.”