As candle light flickered throughout the sparsely lit “healing room” of Susana Armentia, of Glen Cove, Deysi Escobar recounted the time she believes the 47-year-old saved her son’s life.
In August, Andrew Escobar, who had been diagnosed with cancer a year prior, was confined to a hospital bed after his condition changed from bad to worse. “He was unable to eat, drink, or even stand up,” Escobar said. As she recalled her son’s condition, dozens of religious statues — Jesus, the Virgin Mary, Buddha and others — looked down on her from their perches on the walls of the room where Armentia worked, which is densely decorated with healing crystals and other accoutrements of her craft.
Armentia, a self-described spiritual healer and psychic medium, visited Andrew in the hospital and performed “reiki” — a healing technique that, according to practitioners, uses touch to channel a healing energy into a patient, reviving their physical and emotional wellness. Three days later, Andrew was able to return to his home in Glen Cove. According to Escobar, the nurses couldn’t believe the progress he had made. “It was a miracle,” Armentia added.
Speaking of her family’s experience with the healer, Escobar told the Herald Gazette, “Without her, I believe that he would be dead.”
Armentia, who was born in London and grew up in Spain, moved to Glen Cove when she was 12. She said that she has connected with spirits her whole life. It wasn’t until her daughter’s death in 2008 that she decided to turn her unique gift into a more serious endeavor. Armentia has been doing readings for years, but has since started a business from her home, adopting the name “Angel of Hope.”
“I made Angel of Hope to give hope to anybody who loses somebody, who needs healing, or just feels lost,” she said. In many cases, clients come to her for closure after the death of a loved one. In addition to individual appointments, Armentia will also attend parties or other group events to give readings.
Armentia said that her first experience with the spirit world was when she was a little girl still living in Galicia, Spain. “I would go to people’s wakes and I would see a spirit talking to me,” she said. Armentia thought she was going crazy, and ignored the spirits for most of her youth. But once she started listening, she said, she learned to hone her connection to help others.
Even though she has built-up confidence in her ability, Armentia is frequently surprised by her own premonitions. “I’m a skeptic myself,” she admits. “Sometimes I can’t believe when I give people a message and they confirm to me that it’s true.”
That’s why, Armentia said, she is conscientious of who to approach about her readings. “Not all people are accepting,” she said. When in public, Armentia will turn herself off to spirits, and only allow them to communicate with her if the message is urgent.
Though sessions with clients usually last an hour, Armentia said the relationship doesn’t end when a session does. “I’m not just going to forget about them,” she said. “They leave knowing that I’m going to be there to answer their calls or their emails.”
Escobar said Armentia has consistently supported her through the ups and downs of Andrew’s treatments. “Susana has given a lot of support,” Escobar said. “She’s been there just as much as real family.”
As the Herald Gazette concluded its interview with Armentia, she asked this reporter if he would be open to hearing what she had sensed during their discussion. After he obliged, she said she felt that the reporter was being followed by the spirit of a cream colored Labrador retriever.
Two years ago, this reporter experienced the death of a dog that fit the description.