I went into hospital for emergency surgery. I had very bad cramps and pain in my abdomen. The doctor, my GP, was unsure if it was my appendix or something to do with my reproductive system. I was in much pain for about twelve hours, I was unable to sleep or stand and walk upright so in the end so my GP sent me to the hospital. Doctors there were still unsure what the problem was but agreed that I must undergo surgery as soon as possible. This was my first time in hospital as a patient and I was laughing the whole time prior to the operation, I think it was just nerves. My mother was there, so was my ex-fiancé. I went in for surgery - they decided on laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery, there was the normal drill of being put under anesthesia and all went black...
Next thing I was aware of was someone's voice saying loudly, 'Cardiac arrest imminent!' (I don't use this word - imminent, it's just not a word common in my vocabulary).
The next thing I was aware of was - I am not in my body anymore. I can't explain this any clearer than this - I was just 'hovering' in and out of rooms in the hospital (I think). In one room I was hovering over someone having an operation, directly above the bed, I saw a scalpel pierce the skin, saw flesh being cut and blood oozing out. I was not scared, I was not sad, I was not happy. (All of this is VERY unusual for me as normally I am a very moody person and am shocked at the sight of blood. Put it this way, when they first put the drip on me in hospital and I got up to pee - walking with that trolley with the drip on it - I sat down on the toilet and the blood somehow went back up into the tube and I almost fainted. Upon seeing this I had to be brought back to the bed in a wheelchair by a nurse. My fiancé had a fit, 'What happened to you Babe?' So did I - but I had another fit of laughter!) Anyway, as I said I was not affected by what I saw - I was very 'accepting' and strangely 'calm'. At first I seemed to be somewhere near the ceiling, then all of a sudden I was inches away from this (what seemed to be) operation.
Next thing I was aware of was I was suddenly in another 'room', hovering above another bed where a woman was giving birth, I could hear her screaming, pushing, heaving, I was directly above (inches away) from the baby's head crowning and then being born, it was almost as if I could actually 'feel' the baby draw its first breath. I remember thinking to myself (very calmly), 'Oh, there is such a fine line between birth-life and dying-death.' I can't say I was emotional about this, I just accepted what was happening to me and what I was seeing without question - again, unlike me.
I don't know timeframes or for how long I was hovering in and out of rooms but after this I seemed to 'travel' fast, a long distance, it was dark - perhaps a tunnel. At the end of the tunnel was light, a light so bright, and before me were silhouettes of people, beings, souls (it seemed there were heads and shoulders but I could not see faces or anything below). Oh, I can't tell you how many, they fanned out endlessly in front of me, there was one at the front (at the head, tip, front) and behind this one - zillions more in a sort of never-ending triangle, or pyramid, into infinity with the light shining bright behind them. Again I was not scared, nor happy, nor sad. I felt at peace and accepting of what was happening to me. I questioned nothing.
My mother fell pregnant with me to a German man living in Australia. She was only a few months pregnant when my father was killed by a car in a hit and run accident whilst he was crossing the street - this happened before my mother's eyes. I never did meet my father. The reason I tell you this is because at the head of the triangle of silhouettes was my father. I did not see a face, he did not speak to me, but immediately upon being there I just KNEW it was him. I stayed here for a time with these 'souls' in the light, it was like I belonged, it was like we were ALL ONE. At peace. Then it was like I was taken to one side (not led or anything, not told or moved - it just happened). I was still there in this place but at one side with this 'soul of my father.' It was not like he, or for that matter 'they', spoke to me but there were still words (that does not make sense I know) but it was like telepathy or something - the words were, 'Deanna, it is not your time yet, you must go back.'
This I just accepted...
The next thing I remember is hearing the doctors telling jokes in the operating theater and them laughing and me coming around - still with my eyes closed, then next being wheeled out and the nurse lightly touching my face saying, 'Deanna, wake up, wake up.' I woke up and opened my eyes and the first thing I asked him was, 'Can I still have children?' He laughed and said, 'Of course, you had an ovarian cyst removed, it was quite large, but everything else in there checked out just fine and you can have children, don't worry'.
With that, I was wheeled out to the recovery room. They lined me up in a row with others who had just had their operations. This is where and when I started to FREAK OUT in a major way. Everything I had just experienced came back to me in flashes every time I closed my eyes, I was screaming inside. I felt paralyzed, I was trying to get the watch nurse's attention, when I did she coldly told me, 'You are to wait here under observation for one hour.' I said, 'But you don't understand what has just happened to me. I need to talk to you (I grabbed her arm), or talk to someone, please I am afraid.' She said, 'Look I don't have the time for this, there are others here I must attend to. You will have to wait here one hour!' She peeled my fingers off her arm and walked away. I was near hysterical, I could not keep my eyes open, but every time they closed, I saw flashes of blood, scalpels cutting flesh, I came to the realization I had just died - I was jumping out of my skin in fear. Every time this happened - I tensed, I jumped, I was in pain because of the operation and I thought I would 'die' again. After about ten minutes, I think I composed myself (I had no choice) and concentrated on keeping my eyes open. There was a clock directly in front of me and I swear I watched the second hand go around fifty times then when my time was up, I screamed at the nurse to have me taken back to my bed. Two male nurses came to wheel me back to my bed, along with my fiancé who later told me that I screamed abuse at the watch nurse as they were wheeling me out. Apparently, I called here every foul name under the sun and the male nurses where hysterically laughing at me during my 'performance'.
It did not end there though; I got back to my bed. I was put in a shared ward (I had private health cover which entitled me to a private room - but as luck would have it - none were available that night!) I was freaking out still, my fiancé was there and I was trying to explain to him what had happened in dribs and drabs - but it was all coming out wrong, mixed-up. He was saying, ' Deanna, it's the drugs OK.' I was saying, 'NO, NO it's not! Something happened!' I would not let him leave me; I kept him there by my side from 11:00 pm until 2:00 am when the duty nurse finally kicked him out. I never slept. I stayed awake until the sun came up four hours later because every time I closed my eyes I had flashbacks and truly thought I would die if I slept. I finally fell asleep exhausted sometime after daylight and had 'dreams, nightmares, visions of the whole thing over and over and over again! I have never dreamed of it since though.
After I returned home, when I was recovering from the operation, I spoke to two people about my experience. My fiancé - who pooh-poohed it! And a close girlfriend of mine who worked in the medical industry. She said 'D, it happens all the time. The stories I could tell you about how many people die on the operating table and are revived - usually due to too much anesthetic... (etc. etc.).' It took a long time for me to talk to my mother about it for obvious reasons.
I have since bought quite a few books on the subject and my experience is fairly typical of NDEs. I have told a few people about it over the years (it's been about five years since it happened) but this is the first time I have documented it.
Date NDE Occurred: 1998
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Surgery-related Clinical death I was having 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 did not feel I had a body as such.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I felt awake.
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? I do not know how long I was 'away'.
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes It felt like a tunnel - I felt I traveled a distance.
The experience included: Presence of deceased persons
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes Only one, but I felt 'as one' with others who were there. The only thing that was communicated as such to me was that I had to 'go back'.
The experience included: Darkness
The experience included: Light
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes It was a very bright light.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm Where I was was beautiful and peaceful.
The experience included: Special Knowledge
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe I felt that in the end we shall all become 'as one' entity.
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? No
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 I was told I must go back as it was not my time yet. I had no emotion, nor choice in this matter, I was completely accepting of this with no emotion.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What was your religion prior to your experience? Liberal
What is your religion now? Liberal
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I feel there is a life here after now.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes It is hard to explain out of body experience and a feeling of total acceptance.
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? The best was that I did experience this, the worst was the fear immediately after I awoke from surgery.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Most were accepting of my story.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? No