Experience Description

The morning after my bypass surgery, the fog from anesthesia and morphine was lifting. I started to hum 'Nantucket Sleigh Ride' by Mountain. I hadn't heard the song for almost thirty years. Then I started to remember looking down on an open chest and a heart lying there still. Then I saw two probe like things touching the heart and the memory stopped.

After a week when I went to have half of my staples removed, I asked the surgeon if he played Mountain in the Operating Room. His response was the question, 'Looking down or the light?' He said that many of his patients have reported these events and yes indeed he did play a Mountain CD during the surgery.

Background Information:

Gender: Male

Date NDE Occurred: 'April 20, 2003'

NDE Elements:

At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Surgery-related Other open heart surgery

How do you consider the content of your experience? Mixed

The experience included: Out of body experience

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? More consciousness and alertness than normal The memory is still more vivid than any other memory I have

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? As my heart was not beating and right before it was restarted.

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? No

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? No

Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No

What emotions did you feel during the experience? Curiosity.

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? Liberal

Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No

What is your religion now? Liberal

Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? No

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? No

Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No

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? No

Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? No, the whole thing is just a very vivid memory with no emotion attached to it.

Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Other than my doctor it was a few weeks later and they basically thought I made it up.

Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes 'Coast to Coast AM' radio show.

What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was probably real It is just too vivid not to be real and my surgeon confirmed at least the music part.

What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real Again it is just too vivid of a memory.

At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No