One year ago, on Sunday morning February 17, 2002, starting at about 7:30 A.M. I suffered several heart attacks (six to seven separate but connected events), which resulting in a terror filled trip to the nearest hospital, with my wife driving. While I was being prepared for surgery in the catheter laboratory I had the 'Big-One' and I died. The cardiac team then worked to revive me for twenty minutes without success, so they attempted to access my heart via another route.
At that time I was about ten feet above everyone and watching (the room had a very tall ceiling). The young man standing at my head was slapping me in the face saying; 'Chet, Chet, stay here.' I felt extremely concerned about the disappointment I was seeing. I especially worried about the man below and directly to my right. He appeared to be a Hindu looking man, maybe from India? This was very mysterious to me since I live in Western Montana. I later learned the doctor's ethnicity is Indian. Nevertheless, I could tell he was upset with current events and I somehow knew he needed help. I kept thinking someone needs to help him, 'Please won't someone help him,' because he really needs some help. Of course, everyone was so busy nobody could help. I wasn't doing anything so I guess it was up to me to lend a hand and help.
At this same time, I was ignoring a very strong invitation to leave. However, I knew for the moment, I was stronger than the invitation and I knew I could stay where I was as long as 'I needed to.' Still, I knew I couldn't stay there forever. I was totally focused on my concerns for the doctor and the desperate events below me.
As stated, the cardiac team then accessed my heart via my left side, there was blood everywhere and they had a hard time controlling the loss of blood in all the frantic work. This new route was more difficult, which I'm now told is a much harder and longer route to the heart. *This took another twenty minutes.* During this time the doctor encountered several collapsed arterial areas and he would have given up except I spoke and said, 'Watch this.' I was helping him. I believed I was speaking to him telepathically, but the doctor said I was talking to him. The doctor confronted me later saying he had never had a patient talk to him all the way through such protocol, this spooked him badly and he told my wife and me that he didn't want that sort of thing to happen to him again (no one can explain how I could talk to only the doctor). Anyway, my saying 'Watch this,' happened four different times on each difficulty he encountered. Spooky!
Well, they reached my heart (it's all on CD) and it was a complete and total surprise that their work ended by reviving me, all after being dead about forty minutes. They thought I would be brain dead, all clotted up, and a stroke victim. Still, I awoke in a private room in the intensive care unit. I saw a nurse doing her records at a small fold-down table and there was the same man who had been slapping me on the face in the surgery. I felt weak but sort of normal.
I looked over at this guy (he was reading a magazine) and I said, 'I know you.' Keep in mind - I had never met anyone at this hospital before. He immediately jumped up said, 'He's back!' and he flashed his outstretched palms at me and said, 'Where'd you go?' I said, 'I was above you about ten feet, you were slapping my face very hard and you were asking me not to go, but I was already gone.' He said that I couldn't know him, because we've never met.
So, 'What was it like where I was?' I tell everyone, 'Don't be afraid and don't plan on taking a break after death.' The invitation *was like* three hundred million people all at once saying a reverberating and surprising 'Hi!' instead of a simple 'hello.' It was all very upbeat and such a warm and good feeling, like getting home. The excruciating pain I had been suffering disappeared. Upon reflection, I must have appeared very vain not to accept the invitation, to go. I guess I was being true to my nature. I mean I have always sacrificed myself for everyone and everything. Throughout my life, in times of great strife, I unselfishly act for the sake of others. I had done this as a child, or as a young man in South Vietnam combat, and as an older person; I always take care of everyone before myself. I am honestly a totally unselfish person.
The doctor told me I came back to help, again. One of my doctors told me I should not be here, and that I should be dead. He thinks the mistake of my coming back is not the way things are supposed to unfurl in the universe? My other doctor asked me why I came back and I said; 'Maybe God isn't ready for me, or the Devil is too afraid of me.' He got a big laugh out of that, but I was being honest. I now live with weird feelings that after death, you somehow get debriefed for thirty to thirty-three years, and then you are given another try to do the best you can in a new physical life. Who knows? All I can say is that I have never thought about things like this before.
Oddly, I never joined or followed any religion, because I see them all as having turned into a commercial industry. I guess I'm not interested in public religion. I haven't studied the Bible or any other types of religious documents, so it bewilders me to think I should not fear death. Actually, it's the dying that hurts, not what comes afterwards. Think about it, let's take all your air away - and you don't get anymore. Now, that hurts in countless ways and it's fearful, but it's only temporary. I haven't become a religious fanatic nor have I changed my life. I'm still the same good person I've always tried to be. Except, now I am giving even more of myself. My life-long axiom has been; 'If you truly care about everyone, everyone will truly care about you.'
According to my doctors, I survived the biggest and worst heart attack you can have. I now have extensive heart damage and considerable loss of heart function. I also have back-to-back stents, so they're long enough to work. Yet, I look and act normal. To this very day, my doctors are amazed and dumbfounded about my heart attack and all these events. Maybe there is a reason for my being here and my reason just hasn't happened yet?
Just before my heart attack I felt like I was coming down with a mild cold, yet I had no classic pain symptoms. Still, just minutes before I fell to the floor I had taken three aspirins (I never take aspirin since I've never had a headache in my life). I can't explain why and I don't know why I took those aspirins. My doctors claim this one act saved my life in the long run, as it thinned my blood enough to keep oxygen available through the blockages.