An Arkansas woman with no history of mental illness said she suddenly found herself in deep emotional turmoil in 2006, with doctors unable to diagnose her rapidly deteriorating condition.
Within months, overtaken by suicidal thoughts, Amy plunged from a second-story window, was paralyzed and nearly died.
Now, she’s speaking out, explaining that she believes she experienced a dramatic demonic possession — and healing. Her experience is told in detail in the new book, “Playing with Fire: A Modern Investigation into Demons, Exorcism, and Ghosts.”
“I’ve never had any kind of mental problems, never been on medication for anything like that,” Amy said in a recent interview, noting that, within days of her affliction, she went from a successful nurse to a person who couldn’t think clearly.
Listen to Amy share her story on “The Edifi Podcast With Billy Hallowell” at the 42-minute mark:
Amy’s personal drama unfolded one day while she was working at a hospital and dealing with a burn patient who had survived an explosion.
“While I was in the ER giving [a] report, something wasn’t right with me,” she recalled. “I went upstairs to do my chart and it’s like my mind went out the window.”
Amy wondered what was unfolding; the mental duress continued to afflict her when she later went for a run and was unable to jog in a straight line.
“I told my husband, ‘I think I’m having a nervous breakdown. My mind is not right,'” she said.
As “Playing With Fire” explains, doctors put Amy on antidepressants, but she said the drugs did nothing to curb her problems — and the situation further devolved.
“They ended up putting me in a psychiatric hospital,” she said, “And the psychiatrist said, ‘We don’t know what we’re dealing with. We’ve never seen anything like this.'”
As time went on, Amy was in and out of hospitals, with suicidal thoughts suddenly overtaking her mind and heart.
“Nobody knew what was going on. And this happened in April and through the summer,” she said. “I was so messed up. I wanted to kill myself and I just could not think how to do it.”
One day Amy found herself sitting in a second-floor window sill at her home, as thoughts of death once again flooded her mind.
“I was sitting in the window and I thought to myself, ‘If I fall out of this window, I bet I’ll die, because it’s so far down and it’s a brick patio,'” she said. “So, I fell out of the window.”
Amy said she doesn’t remember much of what unfolded next, as she landed on her head on the hard patio two stories below.
“Any person in their right mind — if you’re falling you’re going to brace yourself … that’s a normal reflex,” she said. “My legs and arms were not broken. I did not brace myself.”
The impact of the fall was sweeping, with Amy breaking the majority of her ribs, puncturing her lungs and breaking her back in three places; 14 years later, she is still paralyzed.
“They didn’t think I was going to survive,” she said.
But while Amy lay in her hospital bed recovering, a stranger named Cindy felt compelled to visit. While there, Cindy performed what some Christians call a “deliverance” (similar to an exorcism).
“She felt really led to come see me,” Amy said. “[She] said when they got there I looked at her and I had a male voice come out of my mouth saying, ‘What are you doing here?'”
Amy believes Cindy cast a demon out, and that her life was transformed as a result.
For her part, Cindy has also openly spoken about the experience.
“I could see the demons,” she told KATV-TV last year, noting that she uttered a simple command in that hospital room: “Lord, in the name of Jesus, I command that these demons release her and come out of her and that she comes to her right mind, in Jesus’ name.”
In the end, Amy believes she was healed.
“My family saw a difference and they were thinking, ‘Something’s better,'” she said, noting, though, that there are still mysteries surrounding her story.
Mainly: Amy, who was a churchgoer before the incident, isn’t sure why she was afflicted. Regardless, she is now much closer to God, and is encouraging others to cling to their faith.
“It’s brought me so much closer to God and to know that his love for me. It wasn’t him that did that — of course, it was the enemy,” she said. “God’s love is amazing. Seek the Lord with all of your heart.”
For more stories like Amy’s be sure to read “Playing with Fire: A Modern Investigation into Demons, Exorcism, and Ghosts,” a book that dives deep — through a journalistic and Christian lens — into the cultural discussion about spiritual warfare, demons, exorcism in the Bible and other related topics.