At the time of the story I was an agent of the State Police chosen to be in service to the Department of the Postal Police. On 19/06/1991 at 16:45, I was doing an escort service to a postal van. Coming out of an elevator, at the post office in Naples, I found myself in front of six robbers. One of them shot me in the chest. The bullet hit me at the base of my neck cutting the subclavian artery sharply, and hitting against the bone of the scapula it fell down cracking the first and second rib. The projectile was broken in two and came out from the shoulder blade. During the trip in a police car to the hospital, I was suffocating to death. I spoke with a colleague who tried to keep me awake, but, in my mind, the memories of my life disappeared with frightening frames in succession as the brain itself was emptying. When I arrived at the hospital, I went into a coma. They managed to stabilize my condition and, at about 12 pm, they took me into surgery. The next day, the second operation started at 19.00 and ended at 03.30. The previous day, I was more conscious, aware, and calm because of the need to redo the operation. When I was asleep, under general anesthesia, I saw a little light in total darkness and wandered towards that definite direction. I felt absolute peace and a feeling of well- being. Suddenly, an invisible force restrained me. I felt as if some people were judging me. The feelings were positive and negative, and I was in a state of anxiety. Then, as if by magic, that mysterious force that was holding me back was gone and I continued to travel. A very large light appeared and I felt a state of absolute well-being. The more I approached the light, the more I knew that my place was with her. When I reached behind me, it opened a beautiful vision. There were thousands of lights, the same as I was (I was a light) and all of them moving with harmony. I was happy because I knew that my place was with them. Then suddenly I returned all the way back at breakneck speed, and found myself lying on the operating table. My body was still asleep but I felt, that is I heard and felt everything from a state of anxiety. I witnessed the last hours of the operation until my body started waking up from the anesthesia. I was shocked by what I experienced. I felt the need to tell someone, so at about 10.00 a.m. when I decided to talk to the monk. He was often in the intensive care to bring comfort to people hospitalized. He very carefully listened to the whole story and then said something that upset me. 'Dear brother', he said, 'for 25 years I have been coming here and nobody has ever told such a story. If this is all true, it is great because, under anesthesia it's really impossible to dream.' Then he added, 'It is very likely that during the operation you had a crisis and they lost you.' At approximately 12.00 on the tour, I asked the medical supervisor of one of the doctors who was present at the operation, if there had been some difficulty during surgery. He was very hesitant but then told me that for a time they had lost me. So, I decided to keep that beautiful experience to myself. Now, after 21 years, I have told my experience to only a few people because there is a lot of skepticism. The only person who ever expressed belief was that monk.
Date NDE Occurred: 19/06/1991
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Surgery-related 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
On June 19, 1991, I was in a gunfight and was rushed to the hospital. They operated on me for an emergency reconstruction of the SX Subclavian artery through the application of Bay-subclavian bypass. The day after, I was brought back to the operating room to repeat the surgery because the bypass operation was not working. It was during the second operation that the event occurred.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
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 When I woke up and felt my body was still asleep.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When I woke up and felt my body was still asleep.
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
A feeling of deep space which was profoundly dark until I saw a beautiful light.
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. Throughout the trip, I saw and felt but not as usually happen with the visual field of the eyes. I had an overview of everything that surrounded me. After that, when I found myself in the operating room with my body still asleep, I had a normal visual field even though my eyes were actually still closed.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I did not hear, but I felt both positive and negative feelings. Then when I found myself in the operating room with my body still asleep I had a normal hearing range.
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: Void
The experience included: Darkness
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 A light much larger than the sun but shining as a white light. It instilled peace and tranquility.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Beautiful and indescribable. The peace and tranquility cannot even be imagined.
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
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
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Uncertain
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
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Uncertain
What is your religion now? Moderate
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Uncertain
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? Uncertain
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I mostly look forward to never doing things that could hurt someone.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Uncertain
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes Following that experience, I started writing poetry (which I never did), painting with much more passion, and above all I enjoy reading. Most upsetting was the fact of having the awareness to believe in providence; in time of need asking in your heart, and that inner voice that was previously so small is now living and speaks to me from the inside of my ego.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? When I pray and I ask for something from my heart, knowing myself to be comfortable with my conscience, it is granted to me.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I told my experience to very few people after some years but their first reaction of wonder then vanished as persistently they tried to give the thing a plausible explanation.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I had previously heard of stories like that, but I did not give much weight to the thing. The thing that convinced me to write was a program on History Channel watching Dr. JEFF Song who told about a girl who had the same experience.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real As previously described, during the second operation I was more relaxed and aware, and then when I woke up I felt my body was still asleep. I heard and felt without being able to move but aware that I had returned from that wonderful trip.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real As previously described, during the second operation I was more relaxed and aware, and then when I woke up I felt my body was still asleep. I heard and felt without being able to move but aware that I had returned from that wonderful trip.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? If this is death then I am sure it will be beautiful.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? The questions are well formulated.
© 2014 NDERF, Jody Long & Jeffrey Long, MD. All Rights Reserved.