On April 20 2002, while at work hosting a cribbage tournament with 85 people in the room, including my daughter, I suffered a brain aneurysm ('subarachnoid hemorrhage'), fell to the ground, ceased breathing and my heart stopped. I had no pulse for 10 -15 seconds. Two gentlemen, a fire chief and an orderly at a seniors' home, reviewed my vitals and began CPR instantly. They were in the room at the time just enjoying a game of cribbage, not on duty. When my daughter heard them say that I was dead, she ran upstairs crying. An ambulance was called immediately. The ambulance attendants administered a tracheotomy to give me air. They dispatched for another ambulance with oxygen. I was first admitted to the local hospital, where the doctor on call told my wife to be prepared for the worst. This hospital did not have the necessary equipment to diagnose my condition and so I was sent to the main hospital on the island. With a CAT Scan the doctors were able to determine my condition, but this hospital could also do nothing to assist my condition. The closest hospital was two hours away and the ambulance attendants asked my wife if she wanted a drive with them. She replied no, and that she had to go home and get some clothes. The ambulance driver told her that I might die on the way. She gave them her sister's cell number in case this would happen.
The neurosurgeon could not tell my wife enough about how critical my condition was. He mentioned that my brain wave patterns were at a 5 and normal was around 14 and third, and that if I slipped to a 3 they would classify me as brain dead. The bleeding on the brain was a Level 5, the highest it could have been, and they placed a shunt on the right side of my brain. I was unable to breathe on my own for about a month. I had to wait 10 days post-op before surgery. The neurosurgeon spent 6 hours in my brain looking for the problem and was ready to give up. At the last second, just before he decided to close up my brain, he noticed where the problem was and repaired it. The neurosurgeon told me that I was an extremely lucky man to have survived.
I remember standing in a dark area and just looking upon a bright light in the distance. The light was brighter than the sun, yet it did not hurt my eyes to look upon it. Beams of light were streaming out of it in every direction. As the light came closer to me, I could see the shadow of a person standing in the center of the light. I could determine the shape of the head, shoulders, arms and legs of this person. It has been said that I spoke a lot to my mother and father while slipping in and out of a coma. Both my parents have passed away - my father in 1975 and my mother in 1986. My father had stomach cancer and my mother suffered an aneurysm also. The only day that I can recall from this experience was the day I left this hospital and was sent to another hospital on the island for physiotherapy. What I lost during this experience is incredible. I could not breathe, I lost sight in my right eye, I was unable to eat, unable to talk and unable to walk - I was unable to function as a normal human being. All of these losses have returned now.
On a final note, my aunt and uncle, who lived in the city where the operation took place, mentioned to me that they had an entire congregation of Roman Catholic Nuns praying for me. I was given the Last Rites by a Holy Priest before the surgery.
Date NDE Occurred: 'April 20, 2002'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Surgery-relatedDirect head injury Brain Aneurysm Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
I had a brain aneurysm - a blood vessel ruptured on my brain, shutting off all life sustaining devices.
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? More consciousness and alertness than normal
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I was not able to see what was going on with my body. I only saw forward towards the bright light.
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
I don't quite know how to express this, but within the 10-15 seconds as I stood there looking upon the light it felt like an eternity. God created time and God controls time, therefore there is no such thing as time being recorded in the next world.
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 I saw only the shadow of a being coming towards me but did not get all the way, as I was revived.
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 More beautiful than what can be imagined.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Scared, hopeful, wondering and certainly unable to control what was about to happen.
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 I felt only the need to help and assist other people in this world and to show my love for everyone. I also felt the strong need not to own any worldly possessions.
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? Liberal Roman Catholic
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What is your religion now? Liberal Roman Catholic
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? No
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? Uncertain
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes My wife has mentioned many times that I came back not the same person that I was when I left. I was withdrawn, shy, sensitive and a loner. Now I enjoy company as much as I can get it.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Uncertain People don't believe.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Everything was especially meaningful to me, as according to my situation I should not be alive today.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I cannot get those persons to believe, understand or accept what I went through. I can strongly admit now that I am no longer afraid of death.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes Just a few days before my mother passed away a bright light entered my bedroom at 3am in the morning. I sat straight up in my bed and saw my mother dressed in her Sunday clothes. She smiled at me and I smiled back at her then fell back to sleep. This occurred on a Friday night and she was pronounced dead the following Monday morning.
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
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 would strongly like to mention that death is a doorway to another world. We cannot decide to destroy the gift of life that God gave to us, but only wait our time until we are called to our judgment. I asked God to take me home to his Kingdom, in most solemn praying and crying. He took me part of the way and returned me for some other purpose. Be very careful for what you pray for - if you pray for money, fame and fortune you won't get them, but if you pray to leave this world then God may call you on that as he did to me. Also, there is no such thing as time in the next world, so I can understand how a person can see his/her entire life flash before their eyes - this is their judgment.