I had been admitted to the hospital on December 25, 2010 for what I assumed was renal failure due to previous history of cervical cancer. The tumor was sitting on the urethra and was blocking the passage of urine. I had a urinary stent in place. Previous to that, I had the right and left kidney operated on in August 2010 and a stent was left in place. I had been very sick and presented to my physician with infection coming from where the operation had been. I was in pain, given a swab and ordered to take antibiotics. I felt slightly better for a while, then on December 25th, I started to show symptoms of renal failure, with which I was all too familiar. The first night of my admission, I was being treated for renal failure. However, I was failing rapidly. I was aware of my surroundings but was too sleepy to communicate.
The first night of my admission I had experience an apparition in my room that spoke to me, my daughter was with me at the time. I didn't know what this spirit was saying, but I knew she was not happy. My daughter could not see the spirit and was upset that I was talking to no one. There was a different feeling in the room, like all noises ceased to exist. Then I saw another lady and a young boy come into the room looking for her. I pointed to the lady. The lady told me that she was not happy with me. I felt bad for her. Then a nurse came in and spoke to me. She said that she was sorry, that this lady had never done such a thing before. I saw that my daughter was visibly upset because I was looking at the 'ghost,' as she called it. I knew then after seeing that apparition that I was near death.
I was in and of consciousness quite often, I was aware of my surroundings but not oriented to time. I knew I was quite ill, but did not realize that the doctors had felt I was now full of cancer, they recommended to my family to just let me die. However, they did not agree with their prognosis. My family chose not to do that. I requested that life saving measures take place.
They insisted life saving measures be performed on me in the event I flat-lined. I remember my 3 children coming in and 1 by 1 they were saying their good-byes. They were crying, but I could not respond, my eyes wanted to open but they couldn't. I wanted to tell them that I was going to be alright. The morning of my event, a nurse who was changing my gown. As she turned me, she noticed a black spot on the linen, and then a black protrusion on my back. Doctors were alerted to this and it was then that they decided surgery was necessary. I was given a 5% chance of surviving. I was not fully aware at this time. It was while I was in my room that my experience started, the last thing I remember was my ex-boyfriend crying because I would not take him back, I told him to leave...I was very upset. To this day I think the stress caused me to convulse, my nurse found me having a seizure and the Code Blue was called...hence this is my experience.
This is what was happening to me during this time:
I remember entering a tunnel-like area that reminded me of an old basement. I was being whisked through that tunnel very rapidly. I was lying on my back, but yet I couldn't feel anything under me. Along the side of the tunnel, there were people that I didn't recognize. It was like they were all looking at me, they didn't appear to be very happy, and they were dressed strangely. As I was going through this tunnel, it occurred to me that I must be dead. Then it felt like someone was beating me, and I kept thinking to myself, 'Why are they beating me? I must be going to hell'. The beating finally stopped and I heard a male voice say, 'Do not be afraid.' I wasn't afraid; I felt no pain. But I did feel a bit of sadness, that my life on earth was over.
Then I stopped at the end of the tunnel. I was sitting up and I could see what looked like glass doors. I was seeing people of different cultures. I remember thinking, 'I don't see any of my relatives. These people are all strangers.' It was like they were in an airport, just walking around. Some were looking up at a sign that reminded me of an airport showing the estimated time of arrivals and departures. This sign had peoples' names on it. I looked for my name and it wasn't there. I continued to watch as the names came up very quickly. Then I heard the voice again, reminding me not be afraid. I was wondering if I would ever see my loved ones again if I go through the door. Hearing my thoughts, this voice answered, 'No.' Then I said, 'Well, Ashley (my daughter) is not going to be happy about that. I have to go back and tell her.' When I turned around that was it.
I woke up in the intensive care unit three days later on a ventilator and in critical condition. I had an abscessed kidney that was removed and the good kidney only had 10% function. I was in hospital for four months, and during that time I had another close call with infection but it was successfully treated.
Date NDE Occurred: December 28,2010
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes CPR given. Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function).
Kidney failure, Seizure due to Urinary Sepsis.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Both pleasant AND distressing
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? No
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
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? The entire time of the experience until the very end and no more until 3 days later.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Faster than usual
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Time seemed to go faster or slower than usual
I felt rushed, as I went through the tunnel; it felt like I was going through at break-neck speed. Then the speed seemed normal after that.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? No
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. My vision was more acute. I could see everything more clearly, and I could see farther than normal.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I suffer from hearing loss and usually rely on lip-reading to get a sense of what someone is saying. My hearing was improved, and could hear what was happening, I could hear voices, but I could not hear noise. I was focused on my thoughts, and whoever was the voice that communicated with me through my thoughts.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
The experience included: Tunnel
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes The tunnel appeared damp, and gloomy. The walls were like an old basement wall. Alongside one of the walls people were standing there looking at me, as I was being whisked along. They were dressed strangely in clothes that you would expect to see on prostitutes. I remember a man dressed in black wearing a hat. It was like they were sneering at me.
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes I saw beings of different nationalities. They were not familiar to me.
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? No
Did you see an unearthly light? Uncertain I could sense that I was in a light, but no brighter than a lit room.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? Some unfamiliar and strange place It was not familiar to me. It appeared to me as like an airportàthere were doors, but made of glass and had signage similar to ETA and departure signs in airports, but this sign had people names flashing, the names flashed very quickly.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Initially I felt worried, that I was going to hell after viewing the people who did not look happy along the tunnel wall. As I progressed, there was still uneasiness, but yet a curiosity. Sadness was felt as I knew I was dead. But I had no fear.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Relief or calmness
Did you have a feeling of joy? No
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? I felt united or one with the world
The experience included: Special knowledge or purpose
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? No
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No I remembered many past events. I was thinking of past events, things that I wanted to be forgiven foràas initially, I thought I was going to hell, while I was feeling the gloom in the tunnel. I recall that I had a replay of my most joyous life events starting with my marriage and birth of my children, this played forwards and then it went backwards. I am still not sure if this occurred prior to or during my event.
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes The boundary was the doors that I encountered. I did not go through the door. It was like I was given the option.
Did you come to a border or point of no return? I came to a definite conscious decision to return to life I decided I needed to go back when my question was answered by the voice of whether I would see my family again. When he said 'no' then I told the voice. 'I have to go back'. I turned around and then three days later woke up in the intensive care unit. I knew if I went through the doors then that was the end of life.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Not important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Catholic At that particular time I was not a practicing Catholic. I was indifferent to whether there was a God or anything after this life. I had lost all faith.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Slightly important to me
What is your religion now? Christian- Catholic I am still not actively practicing any religion. I do pray at times, and believe there is a God.
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was entirely not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience I had read about life after death but didn't believe it. I did not expose myself to much of it, as at the time I had very little faith.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I have a strong belief that there is something out there after we die. I now have a strong belief system. I do not practice religion, as I don't feel it is important, because I pray to God wherever I am. In a way they have. I am not a practicing Catholic, nor do I think religion is important.
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? I heard a voice I could not identify I heard a male voice, it was calming. It appeared to know what I was thinking. As I asked questions, it answered them.
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any beings who previously lived on earth who are described by name in religions (for example: Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, etc.)? No
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? No
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? No
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? I was uncertain if God exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Yes The male voice that answered my messages by communication through my mind, I was not sure who he was, he did not identify himself.
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? God definitely exists
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? No
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are possibly meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? No
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? I was uncertain if an afterlife exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes After viewing the glass doors, I knew that there had to be another level that was behind the doors.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I moderately feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Slightly fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Slightly fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are possibly meaningful and significant
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Are meaningful and significant
Did you gain information about how to live our lives? No
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? No
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? No
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? No changes in my life. No changes in my life.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes It was difficult to express the atmosphere, the surroundings at the time. It appeared gloomy at first then brighter as I progressed through the tunnel. There was a feeling of no pain. I was aware I was dead, but it was like I knew without being told, that it was not final and that I had a choice. It is hard to describe the emotions that changed so rapidly, as well as the tunnel.
How accurately do you remember the experience in comparison to other life events that occurred around the time of the experience? I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of the experience I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of the experience
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? No
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I was in hospital maybe a month or so. I told my family, and they were amazed. I told a nurse, and she said that I wasn't the first one to tell her that they experienced something. I share to people who I feel won't criticize. I have had people try to tell me that its malarkey and that the brain still lives for a while after death.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I have read a few experiences, but always remained skeptical.
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