Experience Description

It was May 5th and I was in my private room on the ninth floor of the University of Cincinnati Hospital recovering from a surgery to remove my first and second rib. My husband and my three year old had just left from visiting me and I didn't feel good. I progressively felt worse as the evening went on. My chest felt heavy and my heart was pounding. I kept ringing the call button for the nurse and when she came in, I would tell her something was wrong with me. They kept saying I was fine and then leave the room. Finally, I begged them not to leave the room again because I thought I was dying. I was so frightened. The nurse yelled at me, 'You are taking up our time from patients who really need us.' She then left and the huge oak door took forever to close.

I felt afraid of the left corner of my room. Like there was something evil there. Then that part of the room became black. There were no more walls in that corner just blackness but it had a consistency to it. I was very aware of this and I guess it's what you refer to as a boundary. I did not want to get any closer to that black abyss. It is interesting to read what the nurses wrote in my chart at this point. I went into respiratory arrest and she found me with the sheets wrapped around my wrists and my arms entwined in the bedrails. I was holding onto my bed because I did not want to be taken to and through that area. I knew that was a line that if I crossed I would be no longer be in this world and I had a four month old at home and a three year old and I also thought strongly about not being able to leave my mother. It felt like a battle to me. I was NOT GOING TO GO.

Then I was given oxygen and I remember being brought down to the intensive care unit where they took x-rays and found my left lung had collapsed. I stayed down there a day then was put back up in the private room; only to have both lungs collapse again and brought back down to the intensive care unit to be intubated and paralyzed. I was in this state for three months. My eyes were taped shut but sometimes I could hear. I was very ill now. My heart was failing and I had a total of twenty-seven chest tubes from my lungs repeatedly collapsing. Towards the end of this dilemma, I all of a sudden was sitting in a room that had a window but not a window that looked outside. A big window looked into a big room that had a long desk or counter. On the other side of the room was a hospital bed with me in it; but I swear I convinced myself it was a manikin dressed with my long blond hair to look like me. 'They' even put tubes in this manikin. I got angry because I didn't want my mother to see this. I thought it was an awful joke. The more I looked I had to turn away. Then that's it.

Later, many months after my discharge from the hospital, I went back to see the nurses from that intensive care unit. I had never laid eyes on them because my eyes were taped shut. I knew the nurses from the step down unit but not from the intensive care unit. Anyway, I went in, I was talking to them, and I gravitated toward where my 'pod' was. They asked if I wanted to see my room. I pointed it out and went in. It was that room that I saw what I thought was the manikin but was me lying in that bed. And it had a glass window looking out to the nurses' station. It was weird. I think I couldn't handle that experience and had to explain it to myself in terms that were more comfortable to me.

Background Information:

Gender: Female

Date NDE Occurred: May and June of 1994

NDE Elements:

At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Uncertain I had 8 cardiac arrest's within a couple weeks following surgery. Clinical death I have no idea what you are asking in this question?

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 was lying motionless in the hospital bed with tubes in my mouth and nose. I was about ten feet away and I quickly convinced myself it wasn't me, that it was a manikin made to look like me. I had an awful feeling about this sight.

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? The first one completely conscious. The second was in the intensive care unit and intubated. There were times there that I was comatose.

Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning There was no time or it was a different time than what we have.

Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I did not hear sound like we know sounds. It's like information was just portrayed into my head.

Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No

The experience included: Presence of deceased persons

Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Uncertain I felt like there was a female with me. An older female but she wasn't someone I knew. After I thought, maybe it was my grandmother. This female was a calming influence to me in this frightening situation; I feel I was pleading to her.

The experience included: Void

The experience included: Darkness

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? The first one, awful, awful, awful fear, negative energy and the sight of the blackness, blackness that went into infinity that started in the corner of the room scared me. I did not want to go there and I felt I was being pulled in that direction.

Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? No

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

The experience included: Boundary

Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes It was complete blackness that had a definite beginning. But the blackness had no apparent ending. I did not want to go near where the blackness began. I knew I would be crossing an area where I would not be able to come back. It also had a negative feeling.

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 felt I pleaded to stay. Finally, I think a female gave me reassurance that I was staying.

God, Spiritual and Religion:

What was your religion prior to your experience? Liberal I was brought up Roman Catholic which was frightening in itself.

What is your religion now? Moderate I classify myself now as a Christian

Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes For a long time I thought what I experienced was the door to Hell. And it made me feel horrible. For the last for years, I have floundered with trying to come to terms with this experience. I can't talk about it with anyone because they can't comprehend.

After the NDE:

Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes The pure feelings and horror. I have a hard time describing what I saw because it is not something 'normal' people can understand and I think they will think it odd. It was a very personal experience.

Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes But it seems to be focused around very unimportant events that just leave me feeling weird.

Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Maybe knowing we do have a soul. I have to do good things now. I have compassion now. The worst part is the confusion.

Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes My mom. She has been supportive in my coming to terms with it and frustrated too. I'm not sure of any influence. I rack my brain trying to remember if there was something I was supposed to tell her.

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