Even though I was only five years of age when this NDE took place, I can still see the intensity of the bright light of the room. For years I discussed this with my mother, wondering if it was just the brightness of an operating room but it was so very intense that I have dismissed that aspect.
I went into the operating room in Dodge City, Kansas, 1950 for a tonsillectomy. It was to be a simple surgery and a short stay with a promise of a very sore throat. Note: tonsillectomies were very common in the 1950's.
Sometime during the surgery I found myself on the ceiling in the corner of the room watching the doctor and his surgery room staff frantic about 'stop the bleeding,' and 'we are losing her,' statements. I was only five years old but I can still hear the words and see the intense bright light and the red blood on the little body below as I watched them from above.
It was only a short time for my experience though I understand later that I was in surgery much longer than expected because of a 'few' complications.
I didn't see Jesus, a higher power, relatives or go through a tunnel but I thought it was strange being up in the corner of the room at the ceiling.
Note: I was a child that believed in Jesus, as my parents were Roman Catholic.
The next thing I remember is waking up with a very sore throat and telling my mother this story. The physician thought it was a great imaginative story until I told him what he spoke aloud to his surgical staff. He stated that yes, there had been some problems with a nicked artery but that it wasn't life threatening.
My mother told me to never tell anyone of this occurrence. Dodge City is a very small town and I belonged to a Roman Catholic Church.
As I grew up, I investigated everything I could find on anything of this nature and found nothing until Dr. Raymond Moody's publication - 'Life After Life.' Even though I didn't go through a tunnel, see relatives, see my tiny short life passing before my eyes, or a sense of GOD; I knew that this had happened to me and can see the scene in my mind's eye as if it were yesterday. I have always been open to 'more' than hard facts and know that there is 'more' for us after we die. That death is not a horrible, bad thing to experience and that we go on to another dimension.
No one will ever get me to say it was just a dream or that I imagined the whole scene. It's as real today as it was fifty-seven years ago. And at my age - I don't really care who believes me any longer.
Date NDE Occurred: 1950
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Surgery-related Other 'Since as a child I was told never to talk about this to anyone, I'm not sure how to categorize this answer.'. I could hear the doctor and nurses talking about saving me during surgery and I could see all the blood.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Mixed
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Uncertain 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 As above.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? See the comment above. As a small child I don't recall 'time.'
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 It was strange to be suspended near the ceiling and watching the panic going on below. It didn't seem to bother me at all. Of course maybe a five year old wouldn't be too bothered by this and just find it fascinating.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Did your vision differ in any way from normal? Intense Brightness, color of white and a gold, vivid red blood as watching the scene. Hearing was acute.
Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? Hearing was extremely acute but not loud.
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? No
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 The room that I was in was extremely bright but didn't hurt my eyes.
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 wonder how I got up here near the ceiling? It sure is bright in here.
How can I be up here watching what is going on below? Not sure I thought, 'Is that me?'
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Relief or calmness
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 I was only five years old so I didn't have much of a life to review.
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Uncertain I left the ceiling area to return to my body. However, I don't remember entering my body.
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? Conservative/fundamentalist Roman Catholic I'm not sure if the Roman Catholic Church is considered fundamentalist.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No Though I switched to Catholic Light (Episcopal-Anglican), I am never too far from the Liturgy of the mass that I love.
What is your religion now? Liberal 'Episcopalian the current church I belong to is very Liberal and seems to be open to many beliefs, types of people. No one blinks when I say that I had another ''synectic'' happening.'
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? No Though I switched to Catholic Light (Episcopal-Anglican), I am never too far from the Liturgy of the mass that I love.
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? Uncertain I knew that this was real and not a dream but didn't know why.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes My first marriage was a disaster with my ex-husband saying I was a 'crazy broad' and I made sure that before I got married again that this person would understand and believe in me. And he does.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes As a five year old it went something like this: 'Mommy, I heard the doctor talking during surgery.' 'Connie, you were dreaming.' 'I was near the ceiling and saw what the people were doing.' 'Connie, you just imagined it.' 'How come I could hear them talking?' 'You must have woke up for a second.'
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I started dreaming intensely and many of these dreams involving family members came true.
These dreams became even more intense as I got older. By the time I was in high school, I dreaded going to sleep. One of the dreams were about my older brother having something in his eye. The next day, he walked into a boiler shop and a one eighth inch piece of steel was projected into his eye, which blinded him. I also had short visions of future occurrences i.e., seeing a woman before she was hit by a van and stating that she would be hit by a van. I asked God to take away this 'ability.'
I also am fairly intuitive at the present time and my visions and thoughts are accurate at least 85-90% of the time.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The extreme bright light seemed warm and comforting. It had a warm glow. I was not frightened and even as a small child I was afraid of heights.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I shared the beginning of the experiences with my mother and she seemed to be quite accepting though she may have just been humoring me at that age. My parents believed in re-incarnation so maybe they understood more than I realized. I don't think they wanted me to go around talking about it since it was such a small town and my father had a family business.
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. Even at such a young age, I thought about it often as I was growing up and never forgot the experience.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. I'm much older now and feel I understand a lot of things that are unexplained. The experience has made me much more open to paranormal views and ideas. I don't 'pooh-pooh' anyone's vision, experiences, or life because it is different than mine.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Uncertain I have not had another NDE but I have had many paranormal experiences.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? Even though I was a small child when my NDE took place, I remember it as if it was yesterday and try to live my life with two rules: Love (kindness) and Forgiveness for all.
I also have grown up looking at life differently and actually laughing at some of the silly things that people are so wrapped up in during their lives. I am continually amazed at how complicated people make their daily existence and how unkind people are to each other. This current situation of our government has greatly stressed me to the point that I can no longer read or listen to the news. Everything seems to be accelerated, moving faster and faster with intense fighting and arguing. I find solace in like-minded people, my family, and in my meditation Koi garden and art.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? If you are interviewing a child, you need to change the tone of the questions to apply to a child's thought process.