It was a Wednesday night August 2005 when I was rushed to emergency due to chronic abdominal pain and vomiting thought to be pancreatitis. My bowel had burst, my lungs collapsed and my kidney's failed. I was wrapped in ice due to my soaring temperature of forty-two degrees Celsius and no blood pressure. My body was pumped full of fluid which caused retention and my weight soared from 65-140kg within one week. It literally ripped me apart. The pain was so excruciating that my body started shutting down. I went blind and could not speak.
The exhaustion I felt was tremendous. It was as if a heavy wet black blanket was suffocating me. Moving and speaking were extremely difficult. I never cried, that was simply because I didn't have the energy. I had peritonitis from a de-functioned limb comprising most of my small bowel from the pancreas and duodenum, which had become twisted and had a perforation. I also had intra-abdominal sepsis due to carious collections. I had chronic immunological deficiency secondary to malnutrition. I developed multiple opacities in my lung fields, which were thought to be due to fungal infection. The surgeons operated to leave an open laparotomy wound down to the deep fascia. My belly button was on the left side of my body, my entire stomach open for nine months (the wound is still currently open at the top) and I could see about 5cm into my body. I have currently been in three induced comas and have had eight major surgeries.
Within two days of being in hospital, I was put into an induced coma and my parents were informed that I had forty-eight hours left to live unless I had surgery. The percentage of survival from the surgery was extremely minimal due to numerous complications.
During the coma, I could hear and feel, however I could not respond. I remember trying with all my energy just to lift my eyelids but my body would not co-operate. The exhaustion was overwhelming. It was during the coma that I experienced a white mist pass through the top of my head and work its way slowly through my body. It was a warm feeling and I remember thinking, 'It's cleaning me. This light is cleaning every cell in my body.' It stopped at my heart and spent some time there before it continued through my body. The next thing that happened I believe was while I was on the operating table. After consultations with my surgeons, they have admitted that it is not medically possible that I am alive. They informed me that my heart never stopped beating and they were sure I wasn't going to make it through the surgery or even through the recovery.
I remember being in a valley. (I would always get upset at funerals when I heard Psalm twenty-three 'Even though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil for thou art with me.') I saw a sandy pathway and black jagged rocks either sides. The rocks were the blackest of the black; they reached high into the heavens as if there was no ending. The only reason I could see these rocks was because there was a light that was in the valley. It turned the darkness into light. I had no body but I could see a man dressed in a brilliant white robe. His clothes were as bright as a lightning bolt. Light and love radiated from him and drenched me in absolute euphoria. His love for me was so overwhelming that I could only look at him in absolute awe. It was like being dunked into the Pacific with water rushing inside and outside of you, absolute saturation, every cell soaked in His love. He was walking towards me while holding the hand of a young girl. I knew that the little girl was me. Suddenly I was inside the little girl and could see through her eyes. I turned my head and looked up at Him. He was looking down at me with such compassion and love. His eyes revealed such a purity, a holiness, emotion beyond human capability. I knew that no human had the capacity to feel even a speck of the enormity of his love. I was His child and he loved me. He then spoke to me, not through words but through thought. 'It's not your time yet.' It was then that I came back.
When I awoke one of the first things I said was, 'I can see! I can see! It's as if scales have fallen from my eyes.' My mother who is a nurse responded with yes, I know that you can see. It wasn't the physical seeing that I was referring to, it was the spiritual. It was if a curtain had been placed across my eyes due to a traumatic incident that happened when I was eighteen. It affected every part of my life. The way I acted, the way I spoke, the way I viewed relationships and the world had all been infiltrated because of this one event. I had felt dirty and harbored feelings of guilt due to what happened. I had thought that God could not look at me. I had felt that I was never good enough. Through this event, I was able to see into my own heart. I was able to see myself as God sees me. Laying on my hospital bed with tubes covering my body, an open wound of 40cm x 40cm, hair falling out, skin peeling off my eye lids, water retention exploding me to a hefty weight of 140kg, I felt beautiful. I felt so beautiful, so pure, and so clean! This is how God sees me. I was able to forgive people in the past. I had previously thought that by forgiving someone was 'letting them off'. I now realize by not forgiving them that you are bound to them. So many realizations and truths were brought to light. I experienced another two comas, the second in which I saw hell. I didn't sleep for three days in the intensive care unit after the visions I saw. You will have to contact me to find out about that one! They actually had to tie me to the bed during that coma as I was trying to pull all of my tubes out which would have resulted in death.
I was in a wheel chair for ten months, dropped down to 55kg in four months and was anorexic (I'm 175cm tall). I vomited up to thirty times a day for about ten months, which was extremely painful with an open wound. I have lost a lot of hair and have numerous scars. I am still in recovery and due for another major surgery because the wound is infected and has developed a sinus. There were times that I wanted to die. I am not afraid of death anymore. We are all here for a certain time to do God's will. I can confidently say that even though I have been told I may never recover fully, I am a walking miracle. A miracle both medically and cured from past hurts. I believe that I will fully recover. The doctors are amazed at my progress. I am back teaching high school three days a week, which is exhausting, but hey, I'm teaching!
I am glad that I went through all the pain, it was worth it. The doctor's thought I would die from the pain, they are still shaking their heads. I would go through it all again, just to see His face. Just to experience His love. The miracles that happened during that time, and I have only touched the surface in this recount have cemented my beliefs in the Christian God. The only God.
Date NDE Occurred: 28/07/05
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes IllnessSurgery-related Life threatening event, but not clinical death . My parents were told that I had forty-eight hours left to live. If I didn't have immediate surgery I would die, if I had the surgery there wasn't much hope of survival.
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? Normal consciousness and alertness While I was in the valley.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? While I was in the valley.
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
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Did your vision differ in any way from normal? Not really, however the light was extremely bright but didn't hurt my eyes. I relate it to the purity of a lightning bolt.
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? Uncertain Through a valley.
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 saw Jesus. I instinctively knew him automatically.
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
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm The valley.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Absolute love and euphoria.
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 Christian
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I am indeed a stronger Christian now. I always had some doubt in the back of my mind. When I awoke I quoted many scriptures from the Bible word for word that I hadn't read. This assisted in verifying the truth of the Bible.
What is your religion now? Liberal Christian
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I am indeed a stronger Christian now. I always had some doubt in the back of my mind. When I awoke I quoted many scriptures from the Bible word for word that I hadn't read. This assisted in verifying the truth of the Bible.
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 Realization that the world hypnotizes us with images and words to lead us away from the truth. The meaning to life is simply to glorify God. We are all here for a reason, and it is His purpose. Humans are sucked into earthly desires, which blur their vision of reality. I came to realize that we often don't even know what is in our own heart. I relate this also to the subconscious (Freud).
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes It is easier to forgive and also understand why people do bad things.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes There are no words in the English language that are capable of describing the absolute euphoria and intensity of God's love.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes It was if I could feel other people's pain. When someone would come to see me, I would simply 'know' about pain in their life. While I was in the intensive care unit, I experienced the feeling of a heart attack when unknown to myself, the life support of the patient next to me was being turned off. She came in with a heart attack. I also could not see the patient a few beds away from me but could feel pain down through my left leg. I asked my mum to investigate and later found that he had been in an accident with damage to his left leg. Numerous events like this happened. For a time, it was if I took on other people's pain for a few minutes.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Several parts. The first coma, which I have explained but also the second when I had a vision of hell. After talking with my Year Ten English class about it a girl came up to me and told me she had seen the same thing. I never relayed the description of the animals I saw but she asked me about them. I asked her why and she said that she had seen them too and didn't sleep for three days. When I asked her to describe them they were the same as what I saw.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Straight away. Yes, people have been influenced. Often people break down crying when I describe what it was like in the valley, especially when I look into 'His' eyes. I have told people I don't even know, shops, on public transport etc. and the same reaction happens. The comment that a sense of tingling or goose bumps appear when I tell my story.
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. It is still extremely clear. I have had some memory loss due to all the procedures I have had, but this is still so pure in my mind.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. I know that it was real. The medical profession is confused, however I know that it is a miracle I am here.
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? I have heaps more to tell but its 12:43 am so it will have to be at another time.