Amy Stamatis was a perfectly healthy nurse, wife and mother when her mind seemingly “went out the window.” Years later, she now believes she was “possessed” — a dramatic spiritual event that nearly claimed her life before she says an exorcism healed her.
“I’ve never had any kind of mental problems, never been on medication,” Stamatis recently said on the third installment of “The Playing With Fire Podcast.”
But something changed one night when she was working as a flight nurse and her team picked up a burn patient.
Listen to Stamatis tell her story — and hear from another woman who helped heal her:
“While I was in the ER [writing a] report, something wasn’t right with me,” she said. “I went upstairs to do my chart and it’s like my mind went out the window.”
Stamatis said she couldn’t write or think clearly. After her shift, the then-marathon runner went home, tried to go running with a friend and found herself struggling to jog in a straight line. Clearly, something wasn’t right.
“I told my husband, ‘I think I’m having a nervous breakdown,’” she said.
Doctors put Stamatis on anti-depressants, but nothing seemed to help — and then the situation worsened. Within days of her initial symptoms, this healthy and vibrant woman with a family and a successful career was suddenly institutionalized.
“I was doing some really crazy things,” Stamatis said. “They ended up putting me in a psychiatric hospital … doctors said, ‘We’ve never seen anything like this.’”
She said was tested for everything from mental illness to seizure disorders, but no one was able to definitively pinpoint what was wrong. On one visit with a friend, she began claiming that she “had a demon,” though that clearly wasn’t something for which her doctors were screening.
Meanwhile, Stamatis’ internal chaos continued to metastasize and she started experiencing intense suicidal inclinations — something else she had never felt before.
“I was in and out of hospitals. I went to Mayo Clinic … nobody knew what was going on,” she said. “I wanted to kill myself.”
And that’s when the most pivotal moments of Stamatis’ journey began. It was eight months after her initial struggles when she found herself sitting in the second-floor window of her family home, pondering what would happen if she plummeted to the brick patio below.
“I was sitting in the window and I thought to myself, ‘If I fall out of this window, I bet I’ll die,” she recalled. “So, I fell [backwards] out of the window.”
Stamatis said she didn’t try to brace herself nor did she attempt to soften her fall — the normal response from a person experiencing such a scenario. She landed on her head, broke most of her ribs and her back in three places and laid practically lifeless on the patio.
It was a transformational moment in more ways than one.
“They didn’t think I was going to survive,” Stamatis said of her injuries, noting that, years later, the impact of that fall persists. “I’m paralyzed from the waist down.”
As Stamatis laid in the hospital barely clinging to life, her church and others around her prayed that she would heal. That’s when Cindy Lawson came into the picture. Lawson, who had heard about Stamatis’ story at church, didn’t know her, but felt compelled to help.
“The Lord just spoke to me and said, ‘I want you to go and I want you to lay hands on her and cast a demon out of her and I’m going to raise her up,’” Lawson said on “The Playing With Fire Podcast.”
Lawson then recounted what unfolded when she entered Stamatis’ hospital room.
“The minute I walked into the room, that demon placed his eyes on me and never took his eyes off of me and just glared at me as if he would have killed me if he could have,” she said. ”The demon spoke … in a very deep voice and said, ‘Why are you here?’”
Lawson, undeterred, said she was familiar with possessions and had performed deliverances (a Protestant term that mirrors exorcism) on others in the past.
“I got the oil out of my purse and … I said, Amy, ‘This is anointing oil and I’m going to anoint you and I’m going to pray,’” she recalled. “I could feel the demonic spirit in her.”
In the end, Stamatis believes she was healed that day when Lawson commanded the demon out. Soon after, her mental capacity returned and she has never experienced anything like that plight again.
Now, she’s close to her faith and hoping her story helps others facing similar struggles.
“It’s brought me so much closer to God,” she said. “God’s love is amazing.”
Listen to the rest of the story on episode three of “The Playing With Fire Podcast.”