OF THE MATTER by Stanley Young
When the raging storm hit the wooden 53-foot motor
yacht that Donna Terody and her husband, Peter, were sailing from
Palm Beach, Fla., to the Bahamas in July 1992, she was sure she
was going to die. In fact, even before the bad weather moved in,
that was her plan. Beset by excruciating kidney problems she had
suffered since age 4, when her father began sexually molesting her,
Terody, a successful painter and a former New York City art-gallery
owner, had by age 30 become virtually bedridden. She was ready for
her life to end, she recalls, and a few months of living aboard,
she felt, was better than a few years in a hospital. "I felt
I'd leave it in God's hands," she recalls. "Either I'll
recover on my own, or I won't." For six hours, as the boat
pitched about in the 10-foot swells, Terody was thrown around her
cabin below decks.
"It was hell," she says. Finally, strap-ping
herself to a bed, she prayed: "God, just make it quick and painless."
That's when she felt a pull upward.
"There was a brilliant white light," she says. "Entering
it, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of peace and tranquility. Several
angels emerged and floated to-ward me, filling me with their healing light."
Suddenly she felt herself falling back toward her body. "I'm dead,"
she thought. But then a voice told her "You still have work to do.
You have to go back." When Terody woke up, she was facing a gigantic
angel. "I begged him, 'Please take me back,' " she says. He
vanished but left Terody with a strange sensation-well-being. "The
angels healed me," she says. "They sent me back to paint angels."
Leaving her husband behind (her marriage had been bad for years, she says),
Terody moved to Santa Monica, where she began creating ethereal pastel
images, works that now fetch up to $10,000. Often, she says her art enables
others to have their own angel encounters. Says Terody, 35: "People
were being comforted." None so much as her boyfriend, software developer
Rama Arya, 33.
In 1995 the couple were strolling on Venice Beach when Arya was felled
by a stray bullet to his upper back. Sensing he was gravely injured, Terody
put one hand on his heart, the other on his wound. "I had 100 percent
faith," she says, "that when I took my hand off, there was going
to be no more bleeding." And there wasn't. Called Miracle Boy at
UCLA Medical Center, where he was taken, Arya was fully recovered when
he left the hospital the next day. "It really was a miracle,"
says Terody, who lives with Arya in a Malibu ranch-style house. "That
incident showed me that all my pain and suffering was worth it."
Reporter Stanley Young - "People
December 22, 1997"
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