I was an Army officer, a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division and Special Forces operative assigned to the Joint U.S. Public Affairs Office (JUSPAO) in the Republic of South Vietnam. I had grown up in Saigon. I went to high school in Saigon in 1964-65 and was evacuated and stayed in Hawaii for a few weeks until returning to North Carolina where I enrolled in high school. I graduated in 1967.
Not very studious at the time, my dad 'volunteered' me for the draft and I was drafted into the Army in 1968. I attended Officer Candidate School, became an officer and paratrooper and was subsequently assigned to the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment 82nd Airborne Division and later sent to the JFK Special Operations School at Fort Bragg and became a psychological operations officer. In Vietnam, I was an advisor with Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV) and assigned to JUSPAO in the IV Corps or Delta supervising the Phoenix Program.
Upon returning to the states and being released from active duty in 1971, I returned to college and graduated in 1974 with a BA in Political Science/Psychology. I was somewhat disillusioned with life at this stage, joined the counter culture, and began experimenting with drugs and alcohol. I was having a difficult time (as were many others) readjusting to mainstream American society. In 1975, I spent a year in Saudi Arabia with the Vinnell Corp training the Saudi Arabian National Guard in Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training.
In 1985, I got busted with a hundred pounds of cocaine and sentenced to eighty years in prison in North Carolina. The federal and local government tried to make a deal with me that would have allowed me to bypass prison altogether if I would testify against my best friend and Vietnam buddy. I refused and while we were busted together, without my testimony the government couldn't prove that anyone else was involved and I was the only one convicted.
I should say here that back in the early 1970's I had met a 'psychic' in Virginia Beach, Virginia who was and still is an extraordinarily gifted clairvoyant. She predicted that I would be busted in 1985 back in 1980 and all of her predictions have come to pass. In any event, she plays a big part in this story so please bear with me with this.
While I was incarcerated, my psychic friend and I wrote to each other. In 1996, I wrote to her saying that my friend and lawyer had made some kind of a deal with the powers-that-be and that I was being paroled. She wrote me back saying that while I was being paroled it would take another two years. And that's exactly when I was paroled. Upon my release, I went to visit her and she told me that I had cancer and was going to die! Coming from anyone else, I wouldn't have been too alarmed but coming from her I was naturally concerned and immediately went to the Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital in Fayetteville and asked for an exam. I distinctly remember the nurse asking me if I'd ever had an 'Agent Orange' exam. When I replied in the negative, she set me up for some tests, one of which was a chest x-ray. I was sitting at home one night in 1999 when the phone rang about 8:00 pm and it was the nurse asking me to come in for another x-ray as the one they had taken had come back showing an unusual 'spot' in my lung. I returned for another exam and it too showed a 'growth' of some sort. It took the VA another eleven months to have me examined by the physicians at Duke Medical Veterans Affairs in Durham, North Carolina and that proved that I had cancer. Long story short is that they simply advised me that I had 'incurable' cancer and they weren't going to treat me. They advised that I go home and get my affairs in order.
I'd just been released from prison after a twelve year stint. Now that I was receiving a nice 'disability' check from Uncle Sam for 'service-connected' disease, I wasn't so inclined to take the word of the VA that I was going to die. I borrowed some funds and traveled to the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas for a 'second opinion'. The folks at MD Anderson also advised that I had a pretty bad prognosis. They said my chances didn't look too good.
While undergoing examination in Houston a counselor at the Fayetteville Veterans Center called me one night to advise that he had gotten me into the Leo Jenkins Cancer Center in Greenville, North Carolina if I wanted to go that route. Because I didn't have any medical insurance and the VA wasn't willing to pay for my treatment at the MD Anderson Cancer Center I took the good counselor up on his suggestion and hopped on the next thing smoking for North Carolina. I returned on a Sunday night and was in Greenville at the Leo Jenkins Cancer Center the next morning. I was examined by the oncologist there and advised that I was eligible for a 'clinical trial' should I choose to participate. I jumped at the chance and was immediately put on chemotherapy (my lung tumor was now 5.5 cm and also into my lymph system). My body's reaction to the chemo was nothing less than miraculous and that 5.5cm tumor was completely erased. All that was left was what they referred to as a 'smear'. With this, they scheduled me for surgery saying that they thought that they could simply remove part of my lung. When I awoke after surgery, however, they told me that because of the location of the tumor they had to take out my entire left lung.
About a month later, I was rushed back into the hospital and scheduled for another pneumonectomy because I had developed what's called a 'fistula'. A Fistula is a hole where they had tried to sew up my bronchia tube and this hole was allowing air (with the air, bacteria) to seep into my abdominal cavity. Fistulas are the leading cause of postoperative mortality in cancer patients. And it's here where my story really gets interesting!
When I awoke from this second pneumonectomy and looked across the operating room, I saw all of my surgical team in a 'football-like' huddle. They were praying for my soul as they later told me that I had died and they weren't able to revive me. In any event, one of the team members turned around and saw that I was looking at him and he shouted, 'He's alive'! With that, they all came running over to me. I didn't realize what had happened as my last recollection was looking into the face of a nurse who had put me to sleep. They were all excited and told me of how I'd died and that they didn't ever expect to see me alive again. After they had all tended to me doing whatever it was they needed to do, they began to filter away. All except one. This one doctor simply stood by my bed side and eventually said to me, 'You're probably wondering why I'm still standing here.' To which I replied, 'You probably want to tell me more about my dying.' 'No', he said, 'that's not the reason.' I said, 'Well, what's up doc?' He said, 'I want you to know that I've been conducting these same type of surgical procedures for the past twenty-seven (I think he said twenty-seven years - I could be wrong on this) years and something happened today that I've never experienced before. It's had such a profound effect on me that I've got to tell you about it.' I said, 'Okay, go ahead.' He said, 'We had you wide open and were removing some fatty tissue off of your heart to use to tie up the fistula when all of a sudden you started talking out loud. We all jumped back as it took us all by surprise and we thought you had come out of anesthesia. But when we checked and discovered that you were still under anesthesia we just stood there and listened to you talk.' To this I said, 'Well, what did I say?' He said, 'It's not so much what you said as to whom you were talking.' I said, 'Who was I talking to?' He said, 'You were talking with Jesus Christ!' When he said this, I thought he was some kind of a nut and I didn't really know what to say. But noticing that he seemed to be a little astonished at it all I came back with, 'Well, was He talking back or was I just hollering out into the void?' He quickly said, 'We couldn't hear any other voices but it sounded like you were engaged in a two-way conversation.' He finished by assuring me that this would be included in his after surgery notes and then he too went on his way.
I didn't give it too much thought until about a month later when I returned to Virginia Beach to speak with my psychic friend, Ms. Joy. When I entered into her office, she looked at me with a really peculiar stare û with an astonished/fearful/surprise look. Her stare was INTENSE to say the least. She crossed the room sideways, never taking her eyes off me as she made it to her desk and sat down. After about one or two minutes of simply staring, she began to cry and eventually said, 'Chris, you know that you died last month on the operating table.' I said, 'Yes, they told me that I had.' She said, 'Did they tell you that you also had a 'face-to-face' meeting with Jesus Christ Himself?!' When she said this, I almost fainted - it was incredulous and she really had my attention now! I said, 'Yeah, they did but they couldn't tell me what He had to say. Do you know what He had to say?' She said, 'Yes, I have the whole thing'. I blurted out, 'Well please, let's have it - what did He say?' She said, 'I'll tell you what He said but first I need to tell you this - when you came in to see me last year and I told you that you were going to die that was it, that was your time to die. You are not supposed to be here right now. Now I'll tell you what happened and why you are still here. Chris, when you died and you left your body, you screamed out at the top of your lungs that you were sorry if you had hurt anybody in any way while you were on Earth. You screamed it out with so much emotion and conviction that you startled everyone around you. He (Jesus) happened to be near and came over to see what all the commotion was about. At first, you had no idea who you were talking with. You were just telling Him that you had just gotten out of prison and were receiving a big government check every month and that you wouldn't ever have to work anymore and that you weren't ready to die - you wanted to go back and have some fun. You got Him laughing and He instantaneously cured you of your cancer and sent you back to life. Chris, you are now going to live for another twenty-six years. Isn't that great? Do you want to know what you're going to for the next twenty-six years?' I said, 'Yes, what am I going to be doing?' She said, 'Chris, you are going to spend the rest of your life helping others who have had similar experiences as you. Isn't that wonderful? Do you want to know why you're going to do that?' I said, 'Yes, why?' Smiling now, Joy said, 'Because that's all you want to do!'
My cancer metastasized to my neck three years later and I went back to the VA only this time to the chief oncologist at the VA Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia. The doctor there also advised that my cancer was 'incurable' and even put it on paper saying that he had advised me that there was 'no chance' for a cure and that I would be dead in another six months. So I returned to the Leo Jenkins Cancer Center in Greenville and underwent surgery to have the tumor removed. The doctor there told me that he hadn't been able to get it all and that I was going to die - I simply replied to him not to worry about it that I had it covered - that was almost four years ago. And the beat goes on...
I suppose that I could go on and tell you much more but you're probably tired of reading all of this by now. If you would like to hear more let me know. But if not, please know this: THERE REALLY IS A SPIRITUAL PLACE WE GO TO WHEN WE DIE AND THAT THAT GUY WE'VE HEARD ABOUT SO MUCH IN SUNDAY SCHOOL REALLY DOES EXIST AND HE'S DOING NOW THE SAME THING THE BIBLE SAYS THAT HE WAS DOING TWO THOUSAND YEARS AGO - HE'S CURING PEOPLE OF DEADLY DISEASES. MY NDE HAS RADICALLY CHANGED MY LIFE AND I WILL DEVOTE EVERY MINUTE THAT I HAVE LEFT SERVING MY NEIGHBOR AS IF HE/SHE WERE MYSELF. THANKS FOR LISTENING TO MY STORY.
Date NDE Occurred: 2000
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes IllnessSurgery-related Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function) 'I died on the operating table according to surgical team (surgeon) and came back to life. One of my surgeons told me that while under anesthetics I began talking aloud and was talking to Jesus Christ. I was instantaneously cured of incurable (stage 3/B).
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes 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 See above.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I don't remember my experience. It was all told to me by my physicians.
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 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? Yes
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 I was told that Jesus' light was Brighter than the others.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm ?
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Excitement.
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
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 I was brought up in the Episcopalian church but have not attended regular church since adulthood.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes There is absolutely NO DOUBT in my mind as to the REALITY of JESUS CHRIST.
What is your religion now? Moderate
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes There is absolutely NO DOUBT in my mind as to the REALITY of JESUS CHRIST.
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
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I am much more 'spiritual' and will devote the rest of my life helping others. I'm no more interested in money or anything except helping my fellow man.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes My entire life has changed. I now believe in the 'afterlife' and in Jesus Christ. I know that we retain our Individuality after 'death' and that we can communicate with other 'spirits' we can talk and hear and otherwise discuss things with others.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I have told my story to many, many others.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No If you met face to face with Jesus Christ I think that part would be especially meaningful. It was and is to me. It has changed my life. There are things happening in my life now that can only be explained/described as miraculous.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. My experience is somewhat different than most in that others (i.e. my physicians and spiritualist) told me what I did while I was unconscious. Other than that, I am becoming MUCH more spiritual as each day passes and I'm a different person than I was before. I am interested in only helping others - nothing else.
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 feel that we are at the 'end times' and we, as a society, a nation, and as individuals had better change to reflect LOVE FOR OUR FELLOW MAN and really mean it at the depths of our souls or we are in for World War III in which millions will die within our lifetime. We are destroying ourselves with selfishness, greed, and disrespect for others.