Sid Roth - A Car Accident Left Her Crippled. But What Happened Next Will Blow You Away
A freak car accident left her crippled but in an instant a supernatural hand lifts her up and she is healed of 39 physical infirmities next on this edition of it's supernatural.
Sid Roth: Hello. Sid Roth your investigative reporter here with Gary Distefano. And Gary, you're accident prone, but what happened to you shouldn't happen to anyone. I mean, you're driving your car and someone plows into you. How did this accident happen?
Gary Distefano: This happened in July of 1983. I was minding my own business driving a Toyota Corolla through a very busy intersection in New York state, New York city, actually in queens, and I was proceeding through a green light just about to shift into third gear, so I was going about 20 miles an hour and suddenly a Cadillac broadsided me. She was going about 80 miles an hour.
Sid Roth: What's the next thing you remembered?
Gary Distefano: Well I stayed awake during the entire episode and she embedded my car and at the last instant when she realized that she was about to hit me, except that she had already hit me. She tried steering away and at this point she plowed my car head on into other traffic that was standing at the light on the other side of the street. So my car was like this and then like that. And I stayed awake during the whole thing. It started going in slow motion and when the car stopped, it's not exactly like you see in the movies. There aren't people waiting in the wings to come out and take care of you, and pull you out of the car. And this was at 5:20 in the afternoon. If you know anything about New York city there's a lot happenings.
Sid Roth: Busy.
Gary Distefano: There's cabs and busses, and trains, and many, many people walking on the street, and was as if time had stood still. The car stopped. I realized that I was probably dead because it felt like I had been ripped open. What happened is at the time of impact I got thrown forward and my body broke in half from my neck down over the steering wheel on the right side. And I was a body builder at the time, so I was very aware of my body, and it sounded to me as if, and felt, as if I had been ripped open. And I looked down expecting to see blood literally gushing from the front of my body. And when I looked down I was wearing this very pretty yellow dress and there was not a drop of blood on the dress. So I immediately thought well they must clean you up before you go to the next place, wherever the next place was.
Sid Roth: You thought you were dead.
Gary Distefano: Well I thought I was, and by all rights I heard two bones in my neck, you know, crack. I felt everything on the right side of my body go and my arm got caught because it was down at the shift. And as the car collapsed my arm got caught between the steering wheel and the dashboard, and when I looked down my arm was the same size as my leg. These two fingers were hanging off. This finger was hanging off. It was not pretty.
Sid Roth: Now when you say you thought you were going to the next place. Out of curiosity, any idea where?
Gary Distefano: Well I didn't think I was such a bad person, so I thought I was going to heaven. And then I felt heat, and I looked up and there was fire. And so I thought well maybe I'm not going to where I thought I was going. And I realized, no, this is fire. I'm still in the car and nobody is coming to help me get out.
Sid Roth: So what hell was, was hell on earth. This car was on fire.
Gary Distefano: Yes. And you know, you want to get out. You figure, you know you see so much TV. The flames are traveling. It's a little car. It's even smaller now than when I had originally gotten into it and it's going to hit the gas tank and the whole thing is going to explode, and I'm going to die afterwards. And it just didn't see right that I should live through the hard part and then get blown up. So I was on a mission to get out of the car. And being an athlete...
Sid Roth: Now why were you on a mission? Why was it difficult to not just open the door and go out?
Gary Distefano: Well the left side of my car was now in the middle of my car with the Cadillac.
Sid Roth: Well that would make it difficult.
Gary Distefano: Right. So that was not even a possibility. So since I was already halfway to the right side, I figured the right side is the way I should go. So I went to move to the right and of course with my clavicle split in half it was kind of hard to maneuver. But I did get over there and couldn't get the door open. I did not realize that when the car had buckled, whatever parts of the car came in was keeping the doors from being open on that side of the car. But I figured, no problem, I'll just jump over the back seat and I'll climb out of another door.
Sid Roth: Broken clavicle and all.
Gary Distefano: I wasn't thinking that clearly. I just wanted to get out of the car. And of course as soon as I went to turn to get over the seat, that was not going to happen. Now I realized I was trapped and still could not understand why nobody was coming towards me.
Sid Roth: And the car is on fire.
Gary Distefano: Yes, the whole front of the car is on fire. Well adrenalin, that's a wonderful thing that happens in the body when you're under this kind of pressure. And all of a sudden there was like a reverse waterfall and I had energy. I felt like I could move a train. I actually remembered reading of stories of where cars had rolled backwards on the driveways and the mother came running out and lifted the car off her kids. I pushed the door and moved it about four inches, grabbed my body because it was just hanging, and I squeezed out, ran around to the other side, and I was married at the time to an attorney, and he was unconscious during the whole accident. Opened the door, I was able to pry the door open from the outside and he, like I said was unconscious. So I picked him up, he was also a body builder, and I carried him away from the car thinking any minute the car is going to blow up.
Sid Roth: I mean, in the natural you should not have been able to do anything.
Gary Distefano: No.
Sid Roth: All right. Okay, so you pull him away. Now what happens?
Gary Distefano: Well he came to and asked me if I would kindly go back and get his briefcase because he was an attorney and he needed that, and I just figured okay. So off I went back to the car thinking I'll pick up my pocketbook, couldn't grab that because it was on the back seat, got his little briefcase and decided everything is starting to collapse in my body. The adrenalin was ebbing away and I needed to lie down. I just felt that I needed to lie down. And there was a lot of glass. Glass was everywhere on the street. And still aware that not one person had come to my rescue. Everything had stopped. People were watching, but nobody was coming towards me. So I only can imagine that I must have been moving at super speed because in my mind it was taking forever. But I took his brief case and I went to the sidewalk and I fixed my dress, and I laid down.
Sid Roth: You had enough presence of mind.
Gary Distefano: I figured, you know, just look nice and just lay right now the briefcase and just analyze what I was going to do next. And it was the first time in my life that I realized I wasn't in control and I wasn't going anywhere.
Sid Roth: Well you know what, the truth of the matter is even if you're in control, you're really not in control. You don't understand what I'm talking about? Hang in there. We'll be right back and I'll explain. Don't go away.
Sid Roth: Hello. Sid Roth your investigative reporter here with Gary Distefano. She just minded her own business and a car plows into her. All of a sudden the car is on fire. It's all bashed in. She can't get out. She finally gets out and the ambulance comes, takes you to the hospital. What happened?
Gary Distefano: I was in the trauma center for 36 hours. They were positive that I was going to have a heart attack. They did three ekgs. We determined within the next ten hours that I had the entire window from my side of the car in my back. So that took another ten hours to pull all the glass out of my back. And after the 36 hours when they became convinced I wasn't going to have a heart attack they just threw me on a regular floor with a broken neck, all my ribs broken, a broken clavicle, the right arm useless, everything hooked up to the left arm and they sent up the first meal, which was chicken on a bone. That was very exciting. And I realized it wasn't safe in this hospital. There was a team of doctors, all the heads of different departments, everybody arguing who was more important. One guy would come in and put something on me. The next one would come in and say, who put that on you? You're the doctors, I'm the patient, one of you figure it out. After five days of complete insanity taking x-rays of the wrong side of my body, wrong medication, wrong everything, I got out of the hospital. It was now the weekend. I had to wait two more days and finally got to an orthopedic surgeon who examined me, took a few X-rays and put a clavicular splint on me, and basically that was the first glimmer of hope that I may even have some semblance of a normal body. Because at this point after a week, my shoulder had completely collapsed inside my body and this whole half of my body basically didn't exist. It had just kind of caved in.
Sid Roth: And your body was very important to you. You were a body builder.
Gary Distefano: I was a body builder and I had spent the previous year building up to a competition, which was supposed to take place two weeks after this accident, and I was supposed to do very well in this competition, and I just was so devastated that my body was disappearing right before my eyes and there was nothing I could do. Besides the body building, I played tennis, I roller skated, I rode a bicycle, I was an athlete and I was very, very angry that somebody had done this to me and just didn't seem like I would ever, you know, have a normal body again.
Sid Roth: What's all this paraphernalia here?
Gary Distefano: Well this is just some of the stuff that I had to endure during the recovery. When your neck is first broken it's very swollen, so there's a thicker collar. And then as the swelling goes down they get thinner and then this was the last one as I recall. I had a clavicular splint on for most of the first year and then after that came off I had a back brace, which had steel bars all through it. There's four steel bars. And if you could see, I'm not really a huge person and this thing would just dig in and uncomfortable doesn't even come close to it. And I was horizontal for almost two years.
Sid Roth: That sounds awful because you were an active person from what you tell me.
Gary Distefano: Yes. This was depressing, just demoralizing. It was humiliating. I couldn't do anything by myself. I couldn't get out of the bed by myself. I couldn't shower myself. I could not do anything by myself. But I just have a pretty strong willpower and I determined that one way or the other I was going to get out of this bed. And eventually after about two years, I was able to get up, and at that time we discovered that I had lost all the cartilage in both knees. I don't know if you've noticed, but it's kind of difficult to walk or do steps, or do anything without cartilage.
Sid Roth: Oh sure. All right. All right, I know the cane. I know what that's for. What's this?
Gary Distefano: Well when we discovered I had no cartilage, the doctors decided to put me in a wheelchair. And I had been in bed for two years. There was just no way I was getting in a wheelchair. So they fitted me for braces. You could feel the weight of this baby. It's heavy. So what I had to do is I had to pop my kneecaps to the front of my foot, of my leg so that I can slide these on and they have nice hinges, so it helps you.
Sid Roth: Okay. So you have all this paraphernalia. By this point you had gotten a divorce and you decide, I know what I need. I need some sun and fun. I'm going to go to Florida. So she's laying out on the beach. She can't walk. No one knows this because she's just laying there and a nice looking guy says, 'let's go in the water'. And what did you say to him?
Gary Distefano: I said, 'no thank you. I just do sand. I do sun. I don't do water,' because there was no way I could get to the water. I had put all of this stuff in a bag.
Sid Roth: So he turns out to be a masseuse. He starts giving you a low price massage. Why did he do low price massages?
Gary Distefano: That's his ministry.
Sid Roth: Really?
Gary Distefano: Yes.
Sid Roth: But I understand you got more than that. He started, as he's massaging you, what is coming out of his mouth?
Gary Distefano: Everything about Jesus, everything you wanted to know and especially didn't care about. He just did not stop.
Sid Roth: So what's wrong with that?
Gary Distefano: Well I'm Jewish and I really didn't think that I was supposed to hear any of this and it didn't have anything to do with my life.
Sid Roth: So why did you keep going back to him?
Gary Distefano: Well he was a really good massage therapist and I would go to sleep, figuring he'd just stop talking and I would sleep, and I'd wake up and he was still talking.
Sid Roth: So you're still pretty messed up. You go back to New York and all of a sudden something hits you in your house or apartment. What hit you?
Gary Distefano: Well what actually happened was I had just moved into an apartment and was bending down to pick up a box, and obviously when you're not in good shape to begin with there's no real correct way to bend. And I picked up this box and I herniated a disc, which imploded inwards, paralyzing my sciatic nerve.
Sid Roth: Just want you needed.
Gary Distefano: Why not? I had the left side, so now I have the right side is a mess. The left side has basically left me as a stroke victim. I could not left this arm, the leg, my eye, everything on the left side of my body was destroyed.
Sid Roth: Now you were in that condition for, what was it, a few weeks until your parents came?
Gary Distefano: Right. I was in and out of consciousness for about two weeks. I had just moved to this apartment, no phone yet.
Sid Roth: By myself?
Gary Distefano: By myself.
Sid Roth: That must have been awful.
Gary Distefano: It was horrendous. It was frightening. I remember cutting off all my hair because it had gotten so matted and knotted from the delirium that I was in. I don't remember eating. I don't remember much of anything except periodically waking up and wondering where I was and why nobody was looking for me, and I couldn't move. There was just no way for me to move.
Sid Roth: So your parents came in, found you.
Gary Distefano: Yes.
Sid Roth: Rehabilitated you a little. No?
Gary Distefano: No.
Sid Roth: No?
Gary Distefano: No.
Sid Roth: No? Why?
Gary Distefano: They determined that I needed surgery and I determined that the theory I had developed during the first time in the hospital was that the reason they called practicing medicine is because if they knew what they were doing they would call it doing medicine. And I figured this is my back. I'm not going to take any chances. I at least have half a side that's working, so we're not going to do that. I just wasn't going to have surgery. And since I could no longer take care of myself we made a family decision that I was going to move back to Florida with them and they were going to take care of me and I would just do one step at a time definitely not surgery was never an option for me.
Sid Roth: Be right back after this.
Sid Roth: Hello. Sid Roth your investigative reporter here with Gary Distefano. And this woman, I mean, she was, you're almost like a stroke victim. Tell me what was wrong with your body.
Gary Distefano: Okay. From the neck down the two bones in the neck caused unbelievable pain because you're supposed to have a curve in your neck. With the way the bones healed, they healed straight, so there was constant pressure. The clavicle came together. It took months and months for it to come together, but my shoulder healed slanted down. The ribs came together. These two fingers never recovered. They had permanent nerve damage in them. The cartilage in my both knees were gone, so I wasn't able to walk without the braces and canes. After the herniated disc, this side was basically useless. It was just like not happening on the left-hand side. I had bursitis and arthritis in every joint.
Sid Roth: That's enough. So you leave New York. You come to Florida, you go to, you're going to get me depressed.
Gary Distefano: I'm sorry.
Sid Roth: And you got to Florida. What happened next?
Gary Distefano: I got to Florida and I met another person that God put into my path. And his name was Peter, and he was a Jeweler, and he convinced me that he had wonderful Jewelry to show me, and the way to a girl's heart, you know is Jewelry. And so I followed him back to his place, and he left me standing in the middle of this room. And I noticed that you could not see the color of the carpet because of the amount of stuff that was on the floor and it was all Jesus stuff. It was posters and tapes, and Bibles, and I was just a little upset to say the least, because I thought he had tricked me just like the other one eight years before. He came out with the Jewelry. I wasn't interested at this point. I just wanted out of, you know, his presence. I said, 'look, I don't know what all this stuff is, but I'm not interested. I got this other maniac talking to me for eight years. I'm not interested in Jesus. I'm Jewish. I'm in a lot of pain. Go away'. And as I was limping towards the door to get out of there it occurred to me that I didn't have enough information to be this angry.
Sid Roth: That's amazing thought.
Gary Distefano: Well I did go to college, so I figured.
Sid Roth: It's still an amazing thought. So what did you do?
Gary Distefano: I asked him for what he had read and then my plan was I would read it and explain to him where he's gone astray because I'm convinced that they're all crazy. And so he handed me a Bible and it was a very basic Bible, no special writing, no concordance or any, you know, special information. It was just Genesis to revelation, 948 pages. I figured I'd read it like a novel and be back to him in a week.
Sid Roth: A week?
Gary Distefano: A week. I read a lot of books while I was crippled.
Sid Roth: Yes.
Gary Distefano: So you know, you're laying in bed for two years, you read a lot. And so 948 pages was like a week's worth of reading. Well I was reading and it was interesting, but it wasn't doing anything for my pain. And then one night Peter invited me, after he told me he wasn't going to date me now he invites me for a date. It was a trick to get me to this church. And I said, 'church? I'm Jewish. I don't even go to the temple. Why would I ever go to a church'? And he said, 'it's a date'. So I was desperate, so I went. And when we pulled up to this building I saw hundreds of people literally being sucked into the side of the building. I was positive it was cult. I thought there was some kind of tractor beam on the side of the building. If you got anywhere near the parking lot they just get you in there. And I wasn't going to park in the parking lot. So we parked outside and I limped in, and there was very young people there, huge amounts of people. Everybody had a lot of hair, very big hair in this church. And he sat me down next to a guy who had long blond hair and he was leaning over, and he had this denim jacket on, and on the back of the denim jacket was the biggest Jewish star. It had to be about this big, and in the points, the six points, there were pink sequent crosses and then 'Jesus' written in pink sequence right across the whole middle. That was it for me. I thought I was just going to lose my mind. I wanted out and I couldn't get up. It was like my body became like lead. I could not get myself off the seat. So I just started crying.
Sid Roth: Was it your physical infirmities that was doing it?
Gary Distefano: No, no, I don't know what exactly it was.
Sid Roth: Something supernatural.
Gary Distefano: Something was sitting on me.
Sid Roth: Okay.
Gary Distefano: And I didn't hear the music. I didn't hear the message. I just wanted out of this place so badly. You have no idea. Finally, the whole thing ended. We leave and I just tell Peter, 'do not ever take me to this place again'. I just felt like I should not be in a place like that. Along this time I am getting worse and worse, and worse. I can no longer sleep. I can't sit. I can't lie down. I obviously can't walk.
Sid Roth: You wanted to even commit suicide.
Gary Distefano: That was the plan.
Sid Roth: Okay. What happened?
Gary Distefano: Well I made a plan to kill myself. I picked the date. And I had had my gun out and I was saying good-byes to people in my head and I realized with the ways were going in my life that I would shoot myself, but I'd probably miss and I would still be here and in worse shape than I already was. And so I decided to pray. And I could not say the prayer that everybody was trying to get me to say, this prayer of salvation, because I just didn't believe all the words and I figured if this Jesus is really God he's going to know I'm lying and this is not a good way to curry favor.
Sid Roth: I agree.
Gary Distefano: So they did tell me that he was merciful. And so my prayer basically was that he would kill me. My actual words were, 'Jesus'.
Sid Roth: Quickly, what happened?
Gary Distefano: 'if you're really God then you know what I'm going to do. You do it. I give my life to you. Do with it what you will. Amen'. A hand took my shoulder, lifted me straight up off the floor and this surge came through my body, and just everything came out. And I was standing up. I do not know how I had gotten up. And I was testing my knees, jumping around the room, pinching myself.
Sid Roth: What about your cartilage that's missing?
Gary Distefano: It's there.
Sid Roth: It's there. Where did it come from?
Gary Distefano: The great physician.
Sid Roth: You really believe.
Gary Distefano: I had no choice.
Sid Roth: How many conditions were you healed of?
Gary Distefano: Thirty-nine. It took me two weeks.
Sid Roth: I have no choice. And I say the same thing to you. Whether you're sick or not, you're sick if you don't have intimacy with God. The only thing worth living for is intimacy with God. The only way is to tell God you're sorry for offending him. Believe the blood of Jesus washes away your sins. And just as Gary prayed just an honest prayer, Jesus help, those two words, you can do it, because I tell you there is nothing that will bring, you feel the peace? That's the peace of God that's flowing right through this television set right into you. Someone's neck just got healed right now. That's God. I tell you, that is God. So good. He's so good. Gary, he's so good.
Gary Distefano: All the time.