I was fifteen and in the ninth grade. During the afternoon of April 15, I noticed my lips and ears felt swollen. The swelling continued into the evening. When my parents took me to the emergency room I was given Benadryl and sent home. By the next morning, my entire body was swollen. I tried to get dressed, but kept passing out. I was in and out of consciousness as my parents rushed me to our doctor. The last things that I remember were being carried into an examining room and put on the table and hurting very much.
I heard a rushing sound and then became aware of the room around me. I was looking down at myself and my parents, who were holding one another and looked frightened. I remember feeling an indescribable sense of peace - it was so profound and complete it seemed as if I was swimming in it - as well as feeling very alive, with no pain. I realized I was dying, but I felt so calm and relaxed about it! I thought for a moment that mom and dad would be very sad, but I knew that they would be all right, and that we would be together again. I became conscious of a presence near me; it felt feminine and very, very gentle. It, she, spoke to me, but I don't recall much of what she said. I remember becoming aware of how much I knew, as if I understood the workings of the universe. I heard the presence tell me that all things would be plain to me. I then felt, as much as saw, a light ahead, intense but not painful. I felt an overwhelming desire to go into it. At the same time, I was aware of the doctor coming into the room and telling my parents he was giving me a shot of adrenaline to keep my heart going. Everything faded, and I became conscious of being in my body and in pain.
Date NDE Occurred: April 16, 1972
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Allergic reaction 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death' . Allergic reaction to something that was never determined.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I clearly left my body and existed outside it
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness? More consciousness and alertness than normal I remember thinking that I knew so much about everything, and that everything would soon be knowable.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Soon after I was out of my body.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Faster than usual
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning Time seemed irrelevant. My parents later said that only a minute or two passed before I was given the injection; I seemed to experience so much more than I could have in such a short time.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Did your vision differ in any way from normal? 'Vision' seems only partially accurate. I felt that I was seeing my parents, the room; and myself but it wasn't exactly the same as visual sight. It was as if I was 'seeing' the reality of the time and place.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? Yes, and the facts have been checked out
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes I was aware of another person or being; it was feminine, and she spoke to me. It was a feeling of presence, not really 'seeing.' She told me everything would be alright, and that (when I thought about having so much knowledge) I would know the secrets of the universe.
The experience included: Void
The experience included: Light
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? A light clearly of mystical or other-worldly origin
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes I became aware of a light that seemed to have been there all along - bright but not painful.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Peace, Love, Joy.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? incredible joy
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? I felt united or one with the world
The experience included: Special Knowledge
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future
Did you come to a border or point of no return? I came to a barrier that I was not permitted to cross; or was sent back against my will
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What was your religion prior to your experience? Moderate Episcopalian
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes My father was an Episcopal priest, so I grew up in the church. This experience has made my faith very real and immediate. And at times when I've doubted the tenets of the faith, I think back on this experience and the doubts fade.
What is your religion now? Liberal Roman Catholic
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes My father was an Episcopal priest, so I grew up in the church. This experience has made my faith very real and immediate. And at times when I've doubted the tenets of the faith, I think back on this experience and the doubts fade.
The experience included: Presence of unearthly beings
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? I encountered a definite being, or a voice clearly of mystical or unearthly origin
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I actually saw them
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes I felt I knew so much, and would know so much more.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain I believe I was visited by my deceased father in a dream, and I've felt my deceased sister from time-to-time. Several times I've had inexplicable foreboding shortly before a serious event occurs.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The sense of peace and the presence of the other being or person have taken away the fear of death. I find myself anticipating being there again.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I told my parents about it four or five years later and my wife shortly after we met (about seven years after the incident). They all responded very positively. Later, my father had two experiences as well. I don't think they were really influenced by my experience.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real. For days afterwards, I felt very calm and happy. Life seemed to be less fragmented and chaotic.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. Even after all these years, the experience is as vivid as the day after it happened. I'm often able to lie quietly and feel the echoes of it even now. It's been a source of comfort to me over the years.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Uncertain Insofar as I am able to recall the feelings, thoughts, and emotions when I meditate or am quiet, yes. There haven't been any externally-caused experiences, though.