In August of 1996, I was involved in an automobile accident. I received a large number of injures including a blow to the head. After I had been transported to a hospital, I slipped into a coma for four days. When I woke up I had a catheter inside me and my left hand was taped to my chest. My hand had been crushed and my wrist broken. I was also paralyzed on the left side and could not sit up. Quite a lot of tubes and wires were attached to my arms, chest and head. I was in a lot of pain but somehow I knew I would be all right. I did not remember how I had gotten in this bed or this shape. I still don't remember the accident. I understand this is normal for head injuries like mine. I was probing the thick white tube of the catheter with my fingers when a person I choose to call Bertha said sharply, 'Don't pull on it, or it will hurt.' She was right. With tears running down my face, I said, 'Then you get it out!' She turned and left me in pain with no explanation as to where I was or how I had gotten there. I hope all you medical types take note: when coming out of a coma, a fella is confused and needs sympathy more than he needs advice. It was not long before a nurse, like an angel of mercy, came to my rescue. As she was removing the catheter and all the unnecessary tubes, she explained that her name was Barbra, and I that had been brought in by life-flight four days earlier. I had a crush injury to my left hand and wrist, some broken ribs and a whole list of cuts for which I had received some twenty-eight stitches, and also a traumatic brain injury to my right frontal lobe. Then she asked, 'Do you remember the accident at all?' I responded that I did not remember it at all. The only thing I could remember was about my stay in this hospital, and it was about waking up one time in the dark. I had thought that it was early morning at home and that I was going to be late for work, so I got out of bed and started looking for my clothes. I remember trying to look out the window, too, but for some reason I could not open the blinds. The window had vertical blinds. Then someone put me back to bed. I asked Barbra. 'Was that why Bertha was such a B##$% to me?' Barbra gently explained that I could not possibly have gotten out of bed. She made no comment about my choice of language. After lowering the side rails, she helped me to sit on the edge of the bed. With me holding onto the IV stand as a crutch and Barbra holding me up on the other side, she helped me to stand. I was quite shaky and it was one of the most difficult things I have ever done. But the paralysis went away, some. I had been wearing an open-back hospital robe. At this point, modesty was not an issue. But Barbra told me my family had brought me some new clothing, including some shorts. They were in the closet, which was a wardrobe cabinet by the window. It stood away from the wall and was maybe six feet tall with two doors in the front and a drawer in the bottom. As she was helping me into my shorts, I told her I just remembered that someone had left an L.E.D. sign on the top of the wardrobe. I could tell it shocked her when I said this. She asked, 'What did it say?' I explained the sign had not been turned on and it had been dark. She helped me back into bed and said she would be right back. She returned with a doctor who questioned me about the sign. I told him that the sign was twenty-four inches long by four inches wide. It had a dark color that either had a black or gray plastic face with red L.E.Ds. It was not turned on, so it had no message. The doctor stood on a chair to get the sign and lifted it up so I could see it. It was the same sign that I had just described. Then he explained that it had been left high up in the room to help with a study of Out Of Body Experiences. I had not at the time thought that I had been out of my body. I also had not had any of the classic tunnel experiences, nor had I seen a light. That was sixteen years ago. Now I'm not so sure. The only message I brought back with me is that I would be all right. I guess it was not my time. Since my experience, death has not been as frightening to me as it had been before. For a long time, I have felt the need to share this with someone. I will admit I did not have a clear head at the time. This story may not prove anything, but it did happen to me, just like I said. I'm certain that even in death I will be OK. I have recovered completely, except for my left hand the 'social finger' is fused in a functional position. This does get a lot of laughs. So far, everyone I have encountered that's had a NDE reports a happy outcome from it. I do believe we survive beyond death. I am not qualified to explain what happened to me. However, after a lot of research and thought, I have come to some conclusions. As I see it, I was near death. What is evidential to me is that I could not have gotten out of bed. In what I remember about having gotten out of bed, my left arm was not injured. I could not move the blinds even though they were light plastic or vinyl. I was not alone; someone put me back into bed. Although I did not see them, I trusted them. I'm 5'4' but I could see the top of a six-foot wardrobe.
Date NDE Occurred: August 1996
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident. Direct head injury 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
In August of 1996, I was involved in an automobile accident. I received a large number of injures including a blow to the head. After I had been transported to a hospital, I slipped into a coma for four days. When I woke up, I had a catheter inside me and my left hand was taped to my chest. My hand had been crushed and my wrist broken. I was also paralyzed on my left side and could not sit up.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Both pleasant AND distressing
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes As the nurse was helping me into my shorts; I told her that I remembered that someone had left an L.E.D. sign on top of the wardrobe. I could tell it shocked her when I told her about it.
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? Normal consciousness and alertness
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I had woken up in the dark one time. I thought I was going to be late for work, so I got out of bed and started looking for my clothes. I remember trying to look out the window, but for some reason I could not open the blinds. The window had vertical blinds. Then someone put me back to bed.
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? No
Were your senses more vivid than usual? No
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I could see the sign, even in a dark room but the sign was not lit. However, I could not see out the window at all.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I don't remember any sounds, but the other person or entity must have told me to get back into the bed.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
Did you see any beings in your experience? I sensed their presence
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Uncertain When someone put me back to bed.
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? No
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? I felt safe, that I was being taken care of and that I would be all right.
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? No As Above.
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? Christian- Protestant
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Christian- Other Christian
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was entirely consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes We are not material. So chasing after material things is not as important to me now.
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 When someone put me back to bed.
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I sensed their presence
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? No
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God definitely exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? No
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? No
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 probably exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists No
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I slightly feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Slightly 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 possibly 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? Moderately compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Large changes in my life If my brain was pumped full of drugs to shut it down, and yet I was conscious. For example, I was aware of being over by the window, as well as having seen the L.E.D. sign on top of the wardrobe. 'I' was not in my body, and my mind was not in my brain. I have survived outside of life and will survive death. Large changes in my life.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Uncertain I have strong memories of this event, but it doesn't seem as if it could have really happened, that is, according to the usual beliefs people have. Having had a head injury, maybe I shouldn't trust my memories, but they are so real.
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
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? No
Have you ever shared this experience with others? No
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Uncertain I may have heard about them, but did not think much about them. All I could remember was something about a tunnel and a light. I did not see a light so maybe I did not get that far.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was probably not real I am not qualified to explain what happened to me. However, after a lot of research and thought I have come to some conclusions. As I see it, I was near death. I have strong memories of this event, but according to how people usually see things, it could not have happened. Having had a head injury, maybe I shouldn't trust my memories, but they are so real.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I am not qualified to explain what happened to me. However, after a lot of research and thought I have come to some conclusions.
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? No.
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