On Feb. 17 , Dr. Issam Nemeh will return to Walsh University’s Barrette Business & Community Center to give a talk and conduct a healing service at 2 p.m. at 2020 E. Maple St. in North Canton.
Soft-spoken and patient, Dr. Issam Nemeh exudes the kind bedside manner that most people crave from their doctors.
But there’s another aspect that compels hundreds of people to turn out wherever he appears. Those who believe say that God uses Nemeh to impart supernatural healings.
On Feb. 17 , he’ll return to Walsh University’s Barrette Business & Community Center to give a talk and conduct a healing service at 2 p.m. at 2020 E. Maple St.
A native of Syria, Nemeh (pronounced NAY-mee), 58, attended medical school in Poland and emigrated to the U.S. in 1981. He did his surgical residency in Cleveland and is trained in anesthesiology, cardiothoracic surgery and pain management.
“It was always there, the experiences were always there, since childhood,” Nemeh said of his gift. “There wasn’t any specific moment.”
A devout Catholic, Nemeh, also has a medical practice in Westlake.
“The work I do is different from my specialties; it’s an energy,” he said. “When I was inspired to do it, I switched my life totally. It was about Jesus. In my mind, anyone coming to me was sent by him; Christian, non-Christian, it didn’t make any difference. We’re all connected. There’s no disconnection between us.”
When someone comes to Nemeh for healing, he said the experience is physical for him.
“When people come to me, I can feel it; I’m aware of their bodies,” he said. “When healing happens, I feel that healing. Sometimes, I even have an inner vision of what’s going on in their bodies.”
Betty Carty of North Canton has been attending Nemeh’s healing services for years. She described him as a humble person who is exceptionally close to God and understands how God’s love should be expressed during healing. She said his gift also extends to emotional healings.
“I have heard others speak about the healings they have received. I have also experienced healing in my own life, including some physical but undocumented healing.” she said.
Nemeh estimates that about 90 percent of the people he sees receive some form of healing.
“His mission is to complete our faith,” he said of God. “Healing depends on us. He is always available with open arms. It’s up to us to deal with it the right way.”
Nemeh said people seeking a healing should focus on God’s love, and on loving others, adding that healing can be hampered by a person’s hidden issues.
“God delays their healing because of that,” he said. “But we cannot look at them and cast judgment. My expectation is always a complete healing.”
Not everyone is convinced that Nemeh has a gift. In 2005 the Plain Dealer published a story featuring several people who claimed they paid Nemeh $250 for private healing sessions, but said they weren’t healed. The story also noted that a medical watchdog group in Canada filed a complaint with Ohio Medical Board that same year.
Page 2 of 3 - “Those people were sent, they were plants,” Nemeh charges. “We have a lot of people who don’t have (money), and I take care of them with out charging them. I expect skepticism. It’s healthy.”
Terie Jusseaume admits she was one of those skeptics when she met Nemeh in 2005. She had been asked by a friend to help at a local church where Nemeh was conducting a healing service. Despite her doubts, Jusseaume said she brought a picture of a chronically ill person she knew for Nemeh to pray over.
“After he did that, within in a week, he was fine,” she said. “I have had some unexplainable experiences, as have some people I’ve brought up to see Dr. Nemeh.”
Nemeh’s Path To Faith ministry charges $95 per person for public appearances, Nemeh said, to underwrite expenses. A typical service lasts about four hours.
“We travel with an entire team,” he explained. “For many years, I didn’t charge. But it’s become so big and time-occupying.”
In 2011, Nemeh was featured on the “Dr. Oz Show.” Oz did not flatly endorse or reject the idea that Nemeh might have a gift, but did note that there is an unexplained phenomenon known as “spontaneous healing,” in which the body heals itself.
The Rev. Joseph Fata said he invited Nemeh to conduct a prayer service in Boardman on the recommendation of his late friend, the Rev. Bradford Helman of St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Plain Township.
“I felt he was empowering people to understand that our faith and our God is constantly looking for ways help us and heal us, and to bring us to a better life,” Fata said. “It’s not something as evasive as we think...It was interesting to see how people were changed and transformed by the experience.”
A WAY OF LIFE
Fata said Nemeh never extolled himself as a “faith healer.”
“As he himself claims, he doesn’t heal people, but he allows God to work through him,” he said. “He opens people to what God has planned for us.”
Nemeh said he doesn’t know why he was chosen.
“Every single human being is chosen,” he said. “The human life is so precious. We are serving such a huge purpose. We discover our destination in Jesus.”
Jusseaume adds that Nemeh serves people of all beliefs because he believes that God doesn’t care where people come from.
“I like that he doesn’t have a stipulation,” she said.
“He doesn’t ask anything of you. He’s very loving.”
Fata agrees that what Nemeh does, goes beyond the physical.
“It’s really about the whole person and the whole community,” he said.
Page 3 of 3 - “Father Helman was telling me how his parish was transformed, and the experiences they were having as a community of faith, and I thought that’s what I wanted for my parish too.”
The service at Walsh is limited to 75 tickets, which are available at www.PathToFaith.com.