I was in so much pain, so scared, so helpless. I remember the doctor saying, 'Hang With Me Buddy. Anthony, Hang With Me,' over and over but it got fainter each time, the room light faded, I began to feel colder and colder. I fought for every breath and every breath hurt. I started thinking 'What have I done that I shouldn't have? What did I not do that I should have?' Have I made a good difference during my time here? I'm not going to say it was like a movie but I remember a lot of good and bad times. I was scared that I would die and go to Hell. My thoughts were also as if they came all at once, yet I wasn't confused. Other than forgive me, my main prayer was to allow me to die with a smile and a pleasant look on my face so nobody would remember me and be sad. I had a friend die that way and I still remember the look on his face.
Suddenly the breath I was fighting for wasn't there, it didn't hurt, the room darkened and all sound quit. Then without breathing, I was breathing and I could see, not only the doctor and nurses in the room, but in the room facing the Catheterization Lab, behind glass looking at me. My wife was next to last standing to my left. She is a cardiac nurse and had barged her way into the room. She and the other four in the other room had distressed looks on their faces, so sad, so afraid. I never looked down where I was and wasn't aware anything physical had changed. I wanted to tell them all, especially my wife that I was better than great not to be sad. I felt perfect, no pain, warm, loved, complete, and peace. While I looked at everybody, it was through different eyes, not like we see in our bodies. A non-judgmental, peaceful, complete and equal love, but not love as we know it, a higher level I don't think we can achieve here on earth. I can't explain it but I have longed for it ever since.
I remember thinking of my two daughters still at home, my wife, my parents, my older daughter, my grandkids and either thinking or was told I needed to go back. I remember thinking if I do this is going to hurt like Hell and to this day I'm not sure if I went back willingly or was made to go back. When I went back I was right, immense pain, guilt, separation, the heavy feeling was back again and cold all over again. Scared but no longer of dying but of living, truthfully I wanted to stay so bad. I think I freaked the staff out when I started telling them where they were standing yet all sound was gone.
To this day, I seldom tell people, except the ones I feel compelled to tell. When I do I tell then I never saw a tunnel, never saw the light but better, I felt it. The worse part of this is not being able to explain. We hear about Heaven, God and all that but until you experience them, words cannot describe, imaginations cannot imagine.
Date NDE Occurred: 1-31-05
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Heart attack Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function) . Heart attack, one hundred percent blockage. Angioplasty failure and the doctor was going back in to try and open it back up.
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 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 was alert all the time until I went back, my highest was when I came alive yet it was not the consciousness and alertness of the physical world. Human terms when I was breathing. Higher level when I was not. Two totally different levels.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I was alert all the time until I went back, my highest was when I came alive yet it was not the consciousness and alertness of the physical world. Human terms when I was breathing. Higher level when I was not. Two totally different levels.
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 I was there but not in the sense of what we know. I felt unobstructed in my vision, limitless mobility.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Did your vision differ in any way from normal? I have bad eyesight but after the last breath I was perfect and whole in every way.
Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? Very acute until last breath, then it stopped. I'm still not sure if my hearing was myself or God that said I had to go back.
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
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? No
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Warmth, love, perfection, complete, lightness.
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
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 In sorts I did. I saw how I had dedicated my life to United Parcel Service (UPS) and not my family. I saw past accomplishments and failures. I had always been passive at work, took a lot of crap but suddenly that changed. I have been more passive with strangers, but I now stand up for myself. I'm not sure if I learned anything or not, it did change my life. Seven months later, I found out I have an incurable cancer, my wife cried but I just smiled, the doctor was confused. I fear life not death. This is not life; life begins when you stop breathing. I learned also not to judge or to do so lightly. I judged myself harshly but I was judged with Grace.
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 Southern Baptist but haven't gone to church in over 15 years.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes My wife and I are both Southern Missionary Baptists yet we do not discuss religion. She went religiously since birth but I am on and off. I tried going back to church after my heart attack after years of skipping but couldn't. I believe there are two different Gods. The one taught about in most churches and then the real God.
What is your religion now? Conservative/fundamentalist same as above.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes My wife and I are both Southern Missionary Baptists yet we do not discuss religion. She went religiously since birth but I am on and off. I tried going back to church after my heart attack after years of skipping but couldn't. I believe there are two different Gods. The one taught about in most churches and then the real God.
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? No
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes My wife and I fussed a lot and didn't get along well. We still fuss but I love her completely. My relationship with my parents is still good. My relationship with work is a different thing, it's bad. I no longer devote my life to UPS and fight back when they do wrong to others or me and that is every day. I was and sort of am still a workaholic but not like I was.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes The peacefulness, calmness, love, warmth, painlessness. Basically a feeling of being perfect in a perfect setting. I can't describe, no words can.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? No
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? I had questioned the presence of God and have since at times. I knew lying there all the money I had collected, all materialistic goods, all the records set at work meant nothing; I could not buy another breath. All that really mattered was family and what had I done what had I not done, what should have been done differently. I never saw the light but I felt it so I know He is real, whatever name you call Him. I was spared Hell, something I thought I deserved. I was spared the sting of death. I was shown love, not like we know it but pure and complete.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Few occasions, mostly with dying people or people that have someone close die. Then only when I feel compelled to do so.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No I saw a movie in the 1970s or 1980s about it but it was nothing like what I expected, nor was it like the movies.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real. It seemed too good to be real. Something changed inside of me. I became more honest, more willing to stand up to wrong people, stand up for people and myself. Yet more compassionate. I do not cry, yet tears fill my eyes when I tell about my experience. I forgive others easier. I love easier but with a different love. It changed me.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. Even though I sometimes try and forget to look scientifically at it, I can't. A part of me stayed dead that day and a part of me that came alive. I hear the words uttered that were heard then, remember the pain, the fear, yet mostly I remember the feeling when I came to life. I find myself longing for that feeling again yet as a physical person I can't reach that feeling again. I can't go back to who I was, I've tried. Worldly stuff means little now as does longevity.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Uncertain I re-live it often, especially when a second heart attack started and again with the cancer when chemo backfired. Both instances hurt but I remembered the experience and toughed them out knowing if it all ended physically it is not the end but the beginning.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? At first I thought I was crazy and that's probably up for debate. I feel cheated, yet blessed. Cheated that I got a taste of perfection, blessed that God didn't judge me like I judged me.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? You might look at question 33 and consider re-wording it.