I had been suffering horribly from a chronic case of Lyme disease since I was in high school and I was now thirty-one years old. I was so sick of being sick and had deteriorated to the point of needing someone to help me with basic daily tasks such as eating, bathing, walking, etc. I was in a wheelchair for the most part by this point in my life and I was miserable. I had started taking my prescribed pain medications and Ativan excessively just to escape my life. On this day, my mom found me lying back in a recliner and in her words 'barely breathing'. She reports that I was breathing about three or four times a minute even when she was shaking me trying to wake me up. She called 911 and I'm told that the paramedics came and rushed me to the hospital emergency room. I do not remember any of this. My memory begins when they were wheeling me out of the ambulance and into the emergency room.
I remember thinking I was dying and I felt totally okay with that. I remember feeling completely at peace and enveloped by love - that it was okay - that EVERYTHING was okay. I had no fear whatsoever. I have moments that I remember, sort of like snapshots in time, and I have a general memory of how I was feeling. I was told later that my eyes were not open, that I was 'unconscious', but I could see. The doctors assumed that I had probably had an accidental or possibly intentional overdose of pain medications so they told the nurse to give me a dose of medicine. Nothing happened. I heard the doctor say 'Oh shit' and told the nurse to give me another dose. Nothing happened. This is confirmed by my mother who never left the room.
I felt no pain. I felt as though I was a part of this experience physically and at the same time not a part of it. Like I was in it AND I was watching it or something. It's super hard to explain. Apparently, it all happened quite fast but to me it felt like it happened over hours. I was calm and then after they gave both doses of medicine with no response somehow I suddenly realized I wasn't 'done' here and I begged 'God' to let me stay. I told 'Him' that if 'He' let me stay that I would do something really good with my life and that I would fight to survive my Lyme disease. I felt like I was 'hugged.' Then suddenly, I was fully in my body - alert, aware, kicking, and screaming. I was in a massive amount of pain. I do not remember much after that for a couple days. I am told they kept me in the hospital overnight and are still unsure what happened to me from a medical standpoint.
Date NDE Occurred: 2005
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Illness 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
I was found barely breathing and taken by ambulance to the emergency room.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Mixed
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes
I lost awareness of my body
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 felt the most alert when I was feeling so at peace.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I felt the most alert when I was feeling so at peace.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Incredibly fast
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
Like it was slowed.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. It seemed like things were blurry and vague.
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? No
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? Uncertain
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? As described in my statement - extreme love and peace and joy and a sense of calm that I have no words for. Then, at the end, I had fear that I was not going to be able to finish what I needed to here (whatever that is).
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? Happiness
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? I felt united or one with the world
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe
The experience included: Life review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control It was more like in one moment I understood my entire life to that point and knew that I was not 'finished' here.
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? Conservative/fundamentalist Christian
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I was raised Christian and I now believe that there is NO religion that defines 'God' because 'God' can't be defined. It/He/She/Whatever just IS. I do not go to church but I practice spirituality. I pray and meditate regularly.
What is your religion now? Liberal 'I believe absolutely in ''God'' and that ''God'' is Love and is part of all of us.'
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I was raised Christian and I now believe that there is NO religion that defines 'God' because 'God' can't be defined. It/He/She/Whatever just IS. I do not go to church but I practice spirituality. I pray and meditate regularly.
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 had a sense that God IS love, that God is not anything from religion like I had ever learned. I knew my purpose was much more than I had thought and that my life was going to be about other people and giving love. I knew 'God' to be absolutely real and that death is not to be feared.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I am much more loving and kind and gentle.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes It feels difficult to 'remember', like it was an experience but did not have time constraints or exact moments - it was more about emotions and something that I cannot use our words for.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain I am still very confused about it all. I have difficulty with the concept of time itself (it feels so unnatural to me that we all rush around and sleep then get up and rush around and then sleep and then do it all again etc.). I feel like I have very strong 'gut reactions' to people. I often feel that I am excessively empathetic, like I take on others' emotions somehow but I have learned to separate myself from it. I also feel extreme sadness when I see cruelty in the world so I have stopped watching the news or reading the paper. Sometimes the world seems extremely harsh.
Since I became a nurse and started working in the emergency room and the intensive care unit I have had a number of times that a patient passed away or was in the process (we call it 'coding') and I just somehow KNEW they were watching us trying to save them. I have been there when patients were 'coding' and we were doing CPR and I just KNEW they were already gone, as sure as I know my own name. On one occasion I was the registered nurse for a man who was a 'terminal wean' meaning we turn off all the machines and medications and keep them comfortable with pain medicine and let them go. I was standing at the end of his bed looking at him and consoling his family and then I suddenly felt like he was hovering above me and I felt very peaceful about it - it was weird. It was shortly after that he 'flat lined' on the monitor. Geez this all sounds so strange when I put it here in print it's no wonder I've never told anyone.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The moment I asked 'God' to let me live because I promised 'Him' that I would make my life mean something and I promised that I would fight the Lyme disease with everything I had. This experience happened at a time when I was so sick of being sick that if it was possible to will yourself to die I probably would have. Basically I had felt suicidal for a long time but could not bring myself to attempt suicide so for me to want to live and to somehow 'understand' in my soul that 'God' was going to help me to recover from my illness and LIVE my life this time around was a HUGE deal. It still took another year but I made a full recovery from my illness and not only got rid of the wheelchair but also was able to go back to college and became a nurse.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I have shared it with one friend who is very ill, although I definitely have held back on many of the details and downplayed my experience out of fear of not being believed or being misunderstood.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Uncertain As a kid I heard a couple of stories about people going into a 'white light' but that's it.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real It was entirely life altering. It changed me at the core of my being. I have felt like I don't 'fit' in this world ever since this experience. I don't even know what this experience is called so I am posting it here in the hopes that someone will read it and tell me. I now believe that ALL life is connected and people tease me all the time and call me a 'tree hugger'. I really do believe that we are all connected and I cannot help but feel love and compassion towards others since this happened to me. It was REAL.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Uncertain There was one time during a guided imagery deep meditation that I felt like I left my body briefly and was in a beautiful garden surrounded in white light and for a split second I felt the 'relief' of peace and love that I felt during my experience. I miss it so much.