Do you believe people can communicate with the dead? They're called psychic mediums and the phenomenon is becoming increasingly popular.
More people than ever are turning to mediums for advice, answers, and healing. There's even a testing site in Arizona that claims to scientifically examine a medium's abilities.
Janeen Kokodynski is a busy mom.
"Between piano and drums to club baseball, to do re mi which is like show choir singing, so we're a very active family
Mason is 11, Hailey is 9, Kate is 5. She just started kindergarten last fall. Matthew would have turned 8 on June 10 of this year. Janeen was 18 weeks pregnant with her third child when an ultrasound revealed the baby boy was very sick.
"It became very real when we met with the pediatric cardiologist and he explained the complex heart defect that Matthew had," says Janeen. "It was an absolute roller coaster and then you know, you have the aspect of, we decided my husband and I decided to have Matthew have the series of three open heart surgeries called the Norwood procedure."
Matthew was born at the children's hospital in Los Angeles. At 2 days old surgeon's performed the first operation. Thirty days later on July 12, 2005, Matthew's heart stopped.
Janeen describes the time immediately after as an emotional roller coaster. She and her husband saw a counselor on a weekly basis for a year. They turned to their strong faith in god for healing, and even started a grief support group at their church.
"My heart is palpitating like, it's not regular and I feel like I am out of breath," says Debra Martin, a psychic medium.
About a year ago Janeen met Debra Martin, a psychic medium.
"You have his blue blanket or you buried him with a blue blanket or something with a blue blanket because I saw a blue blanket."
Her first one on one reading was earlier this month, an opportunity to connect with her son more personally.
"I seek this out because it just gives me confirmation again over and over again that he is, that he's still with me, he's just with me in a different realm in a different way and it brings peace, you know when you have the love for someone and you want them so badly with you in the physical world. It's difficult and so I know even though he's not here with me on earth I know that he is with me in more of a spiritual form and I know that he's safe I know that God intended him to only be on this earth for the 32 days he was here."
"To me it's like putting the pieces of a puzzle together, you get something, you write it down and the word that you get and the feeling that you get or exactly how you're hearing, exactly how you're feeling that's 100% right," says Debra.
Hans Pedersen is a FOX 10 producer -- a believer of what lies beyond. He volunteered for a reading, hopeful he would receive some answers.
"Is your dad crossed over… he is standing real close to you I can feel him in the room actually."
Medium. Dave Campbell realized his ability to connect to the other side at a young age.
"I don't think he got to say goodbye and that's kind of why he's here and I do this for healing," says Campbell.
Campbell and Pedersen had never met or spoken prior to this day, but during Pedersen's reading, Campbell was able to connect with Pedersen's father and a close friend.
"But I'm seeing that he's got the dog, I don't know why, but he's taking care of your dog."
"My dad and I had some issues, and you know, it's taken some time to be able to forgive him. This makes it a little easier," says Pedersen.
Thousands of people turn to psychics for help. Both of the mediums in our report say they rely solely on the information provided to them by spirits, and both have been tested by the Windbridge Institute for Applied Research in Human Potential, an independent research organization in Tucson.
"There's no way for trickery or deceit, or you know you couldn't do this if you weren't a real medium. You couldn't go through. You couldn't survive the testing you just wouldn't make it," says Campbell.
Campbell says the testing process involves 8 steps, all of which are listed on the institute's website. The process goes on for over a year. To date, Windbridge has certified 19 mediums, 3 in Arizona, including Debra Martin.
"It's hand and hand with spirits, they are teaching me every day new things and how to touch people and how to communicate and I'm constantly growing," says Martin.
During her reading with Janeen, Debra Martin, who knew she was a medium at age four, made mention of specifics like what the client was wearing in a tattered photo the grieving mom keeps in the car and Matthew's first birthday, when his family planted a tree in the backyard and released balloons in his memory.
"It's nice for me to be able to have that type of relationship with him on that level because it's all I really have."
Janeen looks for signs like a monarch butterfly and to photos to keep her sons memory alive.
Since Matthew's passing, Janeen has started the Arizona Chapter of the Children's Heart Foundation, along with a non-profit event called A Heartfelt Affair, a part of her healing process.
WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
Didn't find what you were looking for?