I had been in the hospital with medications in an IV for my heart failure and got a horrible leg cramp in my right leg which was the most painful I had ever experienced and asked to stand up. My daughter was in the room at the time, it was 1:00 am but I didn't know that at the time. She got me up and as I stood at the head of the bed and tried to put my foot down it was the last thing I remembered. The next experience was hearing a lot of people in the room yelling ‘Carole get up, come back to us, open your eyes’. I remember I was looking at myself in that bed and saw my body lying there limp as a doll, my arms and legs in a weird position. I kept hearing the voices calling to me; I saw myself sitting up, looking at all these nurses and people in front of me. I remember distinctly seeing this young nurse who had been taking care of me. I glanced over the other people and saw a young man who had taken me earlier into another room for a cardiogram. As I was looking at them, I saw a grayish light pass over each one of them. I saw myself lying down again and suddenly heard a voice in my head say: ‘do you want to live or die?’ It was so peaceful and the voice was so calm. For a second, I guess I almost said ‘to die’ but I kept hearing those nurses, yelling ‘Open your eyes, Carole come back to us. Open your eyes.’ In that second, I decided what I wanted and I said, ‘Yes I want to live’. At that moment, I opened my eyes: everyone was there as I had seen in my out of body state. They were all excited. After that, I could never forget everything that happened and never will. I knew it had happened because the nurse who I recognized came right over to me and said, ‘We were so afraid we were going to break your ribs because you are so fragile’. I knew for sure what had occurred. They took x-rays and had not broken my ribs. Thank God.
Date NDE Occurred: 'September 16, 2011'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Uncertain Heart attack Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
Only that I was blessed and grateful and am still in the wonderment of it and that I was chosen to experience it. I still can't believe it but know it did.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I saw those nurses and recognized 2 of them and I heard that voice that asked me about living or dying. I heard all the nurses’ voices the whole time telling me to come back to them and open my eyes
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 was hearing real voices, besides the one that got me out of the experience. I can’t explain it. My heart had stopped and I had no pulse.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I don't know for sure but heard them screaming at me and heard the voice asking me what I wanted to do.
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? No
Were your senses more vivid than usual? More vivid than usual
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I saw those nurses and could see all their faces, no blurring like I usually experience, because I have a cataract in one eye. I cannot see that well.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Nothing was different.
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? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
The experience included: Unearthly 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 No unearthly light and I didn't go up in it. The light was a grayish light but bright and it was on all the nurses’ faces.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Peaceful, calm and happiness.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Relief or calmness
Did you have a feeling of joy? Happiness
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? I felt no longer in conflict with nature
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? No
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
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 I had just lost my daughter-in-law to cancer 3 weeks before I ended up in the hospital. I felt so awful for my son and was trying to understand why I was asked that decision to live or die.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Moderately important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Unaffiliated- Nothing in particular- Secular unaffiliated
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes My spiritual practices are even more heightened and I definitely believe in higher beings out there.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Unaffiliated- Nothing in particular- Secular unaffiliated
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was entirely not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience I am still in shock over this whole experience and still asking why it happened to me. Trying to rationalize it and make sense of it but i just dont get it. Why was I allowed to live and my sons wife so young and wonderful taken. Will never understand but tryiing to. I was not religious at the time and am still in the phase of wonder and I believe in God but am more spiritual than religious. I experienced a miracle and am eternally grateful but have no idea why I was given this chance
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I am no longer a cynic on anything. I believe anything is possible and I will never judge people again.
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? I heard a voice I could not identify
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any beings who previously lived on earth who are described by name in religions (for example: Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, etc.)? No
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? No
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Uncertain I cant answer that with certainty because I know what I heard was it mysticl or oneness dont know but whatever it was I who had been a cynic for years over these supposed experiences now believe with all my soul because I experienced something that is unb
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God probably exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Uncertain Something was asking me the question of my life or death. Was it a God or being other than I dont know and probably will never know. But something brought me back
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? God definitely exists
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Uncertain I tried to understand what possible meaning could there have been for me to have been allowed to come back and not my son’s wife, who had crashed as well; she lived for a few hours more and then died.
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are possibly meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? No
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife does not exist
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Uncertain Hearing that voice at the time didnt rattle me at all and I had no thought other than I was being asked a question from somewhere and I had to respond.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I moderately feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Moderately fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Not fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Are meaningful and significant
Did you gain information about how to live our lives? No
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? No
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? No
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Moderate changes in my life I believe there is a reason that we are here and I am hoping I will find that reason and do whatever good I can in this life, and be more grateful for every moment.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Uncertain Uncertain I am confused by people in how they view things that I may have viewed in the same way before. It’s been a little difficult to be the same as I was in terms of what I believe in now and how I feel guilty that I had this comeback and others haven't. I do feel a lot of survivor guilt because of the proximity of my son’s wife's death and my experience.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No
How accurately do you remember the experience in comparison to other life events that occurred around the time of the experience? I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of the experience I had just gone through hell so to speak with the congestive heart failure disease and had suffered alot with the hospital treatments and recall it all but this was like I remembered every second and was in the seconds or minutes as my life had actually stopped.
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? Hearing those nurses’ voices emotionally begging me to come back and that unearthly voice giving me that decision will stay with me forever.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Right away I told every in the hospital including the Chaplain who came to visit me. I related the whole story to anyone who would listen. When I left the hospital and went to a Rehabilitation center. I told everyone there as well. Some believed me and seemed to get excited about it, but some who were wary.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No I never believed what I had heard.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real I viewed it as a miracle and almost impossible to believe. I still recall every moment and always will.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I went through something that I thought never existed and I saw myself looking at people and at me and still marvel at the thought that it actually happened to me. It was real and no one can ever tell me different. I was there in and out of my body but it was quite different from what I had ever heard and that was what made it so impossible to comprehend.
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? Only that I was blessed and grateful. I am still in the wonderment of it and that I was chosen to experience it. I still can’t believe it but know it did. I had just gone through hell, so to speak, with the congestive heart failure disease and had suffered a lot with the hospital treatments and recalled it all; but this was like I remembered every second and was within the seconds or minutes as my life had actually stopped.
© 2014 NDERF, Jody Long & Jeffrey Long, MD. All Rights Reserved.