I had been sick for several months with gall bladder problems. My gall bladder ruptured and I was rushed to the hospital. Surgery was performed to remove several gallstones. I was released after several days with a drain in my side. They could not get all the stones because they felt like it was too much for me to do more surgery at that time. I was released the day before Thanksgiving, returning the next week for the doctors to try to remove the rest of the stones.
I went into some type of crisis on Sunday night. I was taken to the hospital in an ambulance and immediately taken to surgery. I woke up two days later in the Intensive Care Unit in very serious condition. I wasn't expected to live. I drifted in and out of consciousness, not really sure if from the infection, the surgery or the drugs. I slowly got better. I still wasn't able to get up or move very well but I was becoming more aware of my surroundings. My family was told I was going to make it. My doctor wasn't ever sure I would. He still marvels at my rebound. I don't. I know the reason for it.
I remember feeling very bad that day, different from the day before because I was feeling better each day. I was in some sort of trance not able to talk very well. The doctor was called and I remember a lot of medical personnel coming in and out taking blood, hanging medication in my IV. They called my family and I remember being given the phone to talk to my daughter, who was living in Alabama. She was crying and I told her I was, ‘Okay, cheer up and go Christmas shopping.’ She asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I said to see you. As the day wore on the nurses kept watch over me and I still didn't really understand that I was so sick.
I dozed off to sleep. I remember a road with small white gravel. I was bare-footed but remember thinking, ‘I wonder why this doesn't hurt my feet’. The sun was shining, birds singing, beautiful flowers were growing along the road and a breeze was blowing. I knew I had to walk down this road but didn't know why I knew this. I also knew where I was; again, I don't know how I knew I was going to heaven. There was a very thick and dark forest on one side of the road. The left side was beautiful and sunny; the right was dark and seemed gloomy. I remember wondering how it could be so dark on that side and so beautiful and bright on the other side of the road.
I also knew something was in that dark. It was an evil beyond evil. I knew if I let one little toe step into that darkness I was lost forever. As I walked, I became aware of something in the woods following me. At first, I could only see eyes. Bright burning red eyes, but I wasn't afraid. I knew it could not harm me if I stayed on the white path. The further I walked (it seemed short but then again it seemed forever) the lighter the forest got.
I was beginning to faintly see the shape of the creature, a little at a time. Being a horror-movie fan, I could see it was a demon, with a huge misshaped body with wings and horns protruding from his forehead. I began to smell a faint bad odor of something I did not recognize, I later realized going over this experience it was sulfur. I continued to walk and came to a hill. It wasn't very steep but I was beginning to think I was getting tired.
I started up the hill when in my mind I heard a voice that called my name and said ‘stop’. I never heard the sound, as we hear, but I heard it in my soul and mind. I knew this was Jesus. He told me I could not go to the top of the hill and that I had to go back because my son needed me. I remember speaking somehow to the voice and saying that I had come so far and I was so tired and that I was so exhausted from being sick and tired of life, my husband was very abusive. Jesus told me it would be okay, because he had something better for me. I remember wanting to stay, there was so much peace and love there.
I started to turn to walk back down the path when I looked back one last time and I saw that demon standing on a small hill in the forest. I could see all of him now and knew this was Satan. I felt pity for him and he turned and walked back into the darkness.
I woke up with several nurses and doctors standing around my bed. My first reaction was to ask, ‘Why are all those people in my room?’ My doctor told me I died for almost 3 seconds. I had been asleep or out of it for several hours, not the few minutes, as it seemed to me. I saw my husband and son standing outside the room and thought the smile on my son's face was so beautiful and thought this is the ‘better’ of which Jesus spoke.
I recovered very quickly and was released from the hospital a few days later. I immediately went to see my aging Mother and my Daughter and had a wonderful Christmas that year. I have told the story many times over the years; the details have never dimmed nor have I forgotten anything about that wonderful glimpse into heaven. I have often thought I should draw a picture of what I saw but something always stops me. I guess I was the only one meant to see the gates of heaven that day.
Date NDE Occurred: 'December, 2004'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Illness Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
I was extremely sick from my gall bladder rupturing. I was in ICU for 2 weeks.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Both pleasant AND distressing
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I heard someone crying. Later, I knew it to be my son but somehow, although I knew it was he, I wanted the peace the world had for me in heaven. This is very unusual. I love my son beyond anything in this world and normally the sound of him crying would have put me in panic mode.
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 I was very aware of everything as I walked. It was as if I had been given new eyes to see this world: I was more aware. I was seeing the beauty of the world more; and sensing the evil of the forest more. I sensed a wonderful peace and calm I have never felt before and never have, since that day.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When I was speaking to Jesus.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Faster than usual
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
It seemed a short time and then it seemed to be a long time. I felt I had only been gone a few minutes but it was hours in earth time. I felt I had walked a long way but I got there fast. Time didn't seem to exist.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. The vision of waking up in the world seems duller, less happy. I loved seeing my family but the world was as bright.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. My hearing was very good and clear. This is amazing since I am deaf in one ear and have a hard time understanding words, at times, and do wear two hearing aids.
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? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Uncertain I remember hearing my son cry but never saw or heard anyone else.
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 A glow was around everything, as I walked toward the hill I saw a brighter glow, shining behind the hill.
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm A sunny, beautiful world. Flowers were so big and beautiful and I could smell them. I could hear the birds singing but it seemed different: more peaceful. The grass was a bright, vivid color green. Everything seemed cleaner and brighter. It all seemed so peaceful, a peace I had never felt before.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Peace, calm. I was very aware of the beauty of the world.
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 no longer in conflict with nature
The experience included: Special knowledge or purpose
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about myself or others I knew everything about where I was. I knew it was heaven, I knew about the evil, I knew about the rules of the walk. It seemed to all rush into my mind; but I felt a true sense that I had always known somehow.
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
The experience included: Awareness of the future
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes The forest was a boundary. I knew I could not go there. The hill was a boundary when God told me I could not go there.
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 didn't want to go, back but I also knew that I was going to and I just did it.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Slightly important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Catholic
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I go to church more and my belief is stronger. I don't question the existence of heaven or hell.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Christian- Catholic
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was both consistent and not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience I always knew about heaven but I always thought heaven and hell was a separate place in that when we die we went to heaven or hell no in between. My experience seem to tell me we have a choice even then
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I don't take things so seriously. I am calmer.
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 I heard Jesus in my mind and soul. I did not hear actual words. I instantly knew it was the voice of Jesus. I never heard the Satan figure but I knew his evil and knew he wanted me to step into the darkness. I also felt pity for him; and a sense of sadness he felt because I had not listened to him.
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.)? Yes Jesus and satan
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? Uncertain I didn't seem to think there was another lifetime but it was a feeling that I had always been
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes We are connected to God and he gives us a free will to choose even at the time of death
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God definitely exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Yes He is real and he is in his Heaven
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? Yes I know I will go back there one day. I know I have a purpose here to help my son and daughter. But there seems to be a stronger need to help my son and watch over him. I know people when I meet them. I sense their presence and instantly know if they are good or someone I don't want to know. I have a need to be kinder and more patient.
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? Yes We are meant to love each other and a mother's love is very powerful
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 I knew this was heaven and that there was all that was promised in the Bible there. I knew about the evil in the forest and knew I still had a freewill to choose which path I was to take
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I greatly feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Greatly fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Not 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 not meaningful and significant
Did you gain information about how to live our lives? Yes There is a life after death. We need to live as close to out purpose as possible
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? Yes That it all means nothing when we die. All the hate, and frustrations, and worries of life are gone. The love is the only thing that stays with you.
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Slightly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes Love is the only thing we take with us. I still felt the love of my children
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Large changes in my life Large changes in my life. I am more patient, more compassionate. I have a sense of knowing whatever life throws at me, that there is someone who is watching over me.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Yes I try to stay closer to my family. I don't wait to tell them I love them because I know in an instance it could all be gone.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No I was only uncertain of people's reactions when I told them, but somehow it didn't seem to stop me from telling anyone who would listen.
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 It had been years but i have never forgot one detail and the images in my mind are as clear as the day it happened.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I sense people's inner-personality. I can tell if they are all right or someone I don’t want to know. I also have a sense when something is going to happen.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Knowing there is something after death and knowing I will go to heaven.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes That day: they were excited. I am not sure if they were. My husband seemed to change slowly; before he was mean and abusive. He slowly stopped all that and renewed a belief in God. He would have never been in church but he expressed a desire to go to church and he is a nicer more pleasant person. My son is calmer and he would wonder if there was a God, now he says he knows God exists.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I was nurse and had heard stories of these experiences; but no real knowledge.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real I just knew it was real: a knowledge I can’t explain. It was a sense of being special and knowing that this was a true gift I received.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real It was real. No doubt in my mind. I was on the road to heaven.
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 had one other experience, several years before this one, when I was very ill in the hospital, but it was almost the opposite of this one. It felt sad and gloomy.