A Mormon missionary who almost died while preaching scripture in Argentina has revealed how his church leaders only told him they would ‘pray’ for him as he bled profusely and begged for their medical help.
Keely Peterson, now 24, from Ogden, Utah, explained that she was raised a ‘devout Mormon’ her whole life, and was delighted when she was sent to South America at the age of 19 to begin her missionary work.
But when the then-teenager developed a strange lump in her back – which left her in so much pain she could barely walk – her pleas were constantly ignored by those in charge of the tour.
She said she struggled to see a doctor for weeks and when she did, she was given ‘mysterious pills that made her so bloated’ – and even after her mouth and nose began to bleed, her ailments remained untreated.
A Mormon missionary who nearly died while preaching church scripture in Argentina has revealed how leaders only told him they would ‘pray’ for him as he bled profusely.
Keely Peterson, now 24, from Utah, grew up a ‘devout Mormon’ all her life, and was delighted when she was sent to South America at age 19 to begin her missionary work.
But when the then-teenager developed a lump in her back – which left her in so much pain she could barely walk – her pleas for help were repeatedly ignored by those in charge.
He said he struggled to see a doctor for weeks and even after his mouth and nose started bleeding, his ailments were still untreated. He was spotted while traveling
He spoke about his harrowing journey during a recent appearance on the Cults to Consciousness podcast.
Kiley told host Shellys Ann Sola that she spent seven months in Cordoba, Argentina in 2018, trying to convince locals to join the church.
But he admits that looking back it felt like they were taking advantage of those who just ‘needed someone to talk to.’
He recalled being forced to wake up at 6:30 in the morning to study the scriptures and spend hours going from house to house in the hot sun – sometimes only returning to his hotel at 10pm.
Not only was he paid for his work, but he said his parents had to pay a fee of $450 per month during the mission.
He also claimed that he was paid only $50 per month for food, which often left him without enough money to eat.
‘You can only afford the bare minimum with what you were given,’ says Keeley, adding that days without food are considered normal.
The 23-year-old explained that at one point on the trip, he developed a serious stomach bug that left him sidelined for days.
Keeley (left) talks about her harrowing journey during a recent appearance on the Cults to Consciousness podcast hosted by Shelley Ann Sola (right).
During his appearance, he explained that he lived in Córdoba, Argentina for seven months in 2018, while trying to convince locals to join the church.
Keely (seen on tour) recalls hours spent in the hot sun and claims he was only paid $50 a month for food, often leaving him without enough money to eat.
At one point in the trip, he developed a stomach bug and had to go to the doctor. They gave him a shot in the back, and a ‘lump’ soon grew at the site of the injection
‘I was hallucinating [lack of food], it was horrible. I went to the hospital and they gave me a shot in the back and said that would fix it, it would stop me from getting the rash,’ she revealed.
‘But then, after that, I got a lump on my back where the shot was injected. I started having back pain and it got progressively worse. It was killing me.’
Kiley said she eventually went to see another doctor, who told her she had developed a ‘little cyst of fluid’ and that she would be ‘better’ after taking some anti-inflammatories.
He followed her advice but it kept getting worse – and not only did the pain intensify, but it soon began to spread to other parts of his body.
‘I felt really tough all the time,’ he explained. ‘It was radiating down my leg, if I walked too long I would sit down and cry because it was the worst pain I’d ever felt.
‘I contacted my mission president’s wife because she’s the one to call if we need medical attention, and she told me to just take ibuprofen.’
Keeley said she knew ‘something was seriously wrong’ and went to another doctor – but this time, he gave her several pills which she described as ‘muscle relaxants’.
He revealed: ‘He opened the cabinet, grabbed this scoop of the sample and put it on the table and said, “Here’s the muscle relaxant.”
‘He just gave me all these drugs. Then she asked me to put lemon on my butt.
‘He said to cut a lemon in half and put it on my butt and it would stop my back pain. I was very disappointed.’
Surprisingly, the medical professional’s whimsical advice ‘didn’t work,’ and the medication made him feel ‘out of it’.
He also tried ‘shock therapy’ as recommended by a physical therapist and saw a chiropractor who tried to crack his back – but nothing eased the pain.
Then, things take a fatal turn when Kelly wakes up in the middle of the night with blood coming from her nose and mouth.
Kiley (seen on tour) said the lump was starting to cause severe pain, but when he reached out to the mission president’s wife for help, he was told to take just ibuprofen.
Then, things take a fatal turn when Kelly suddenly wakes up in the middle of the night with blood coming from her nose and mouth.
Panicked, she called the mission president, who replied, ‘We can say a prayer.’ Kylie said she knew ‘prayer wasn’t going to cut it’ at that point, and went to the hospital
‘I woke up around two in the morning with a bloody nose. I’ve had a bloody nose before so I was like, “Oh it’s okay.” But then it kept going and suddenly it came out of my mouth too,’ he recalls.
‘It’s everywhere, there’s a lot of blood. It was like drainage from my nose and mouth. It wasn’t stopping.’
Panicked, she woke up her roommate who called the mission president and told him what was happening. But to his dismay, he replied, ‘We can say a prayer.’
The former Mormon said he knew at that moment ‘prayer wasn’t going to cut it’, so he went to the hospital.
He soon discovered he had a herniated disc in his back and flew home. Thankfully, he seems to have fully recovered, and he and his parents eventually leave the church. He was recently spotted
Unfortunately, she was told that ‘no doctor’ was available as it was a holiday weekend, so they ‘stuffed her nose’ and ordered her to eat ‘sweets’ until Tuesday.
After days of ‘terrible’ bleeding and weeks of unrelenting pain, she finally got an X-ray the following week and found out she had a herniated disc.
He was told he needed more testing, but would have to travel four hours to the capital to get it.
Although the mission president apologized to her because he ‘couldn’t understand that she was in so much pain’ – he was in no rush to get her the help she so desperately needed.
Kiley said he was told he would only be able to travel to the capital when they were due to go there on a mission ‘in a few weeks’.
‘They didn’t care enough, I was four hours away from the capital. My health was not worth the four hour bus drive,’ he said.
After more than a month of suffering, Kiley was finally sent home when she was told she would need back surgery.
Thankfully, he seems to have fully recovered, and he and his parents eventually leave the church.