The most vivid part of the experience was at one point I could see my mother holding me in her arms. She looked very sad, yet accepting. It appeared she was on the verge of crying but she wasn't because she knew I was going on to a better place. Slowly, I began to sink down away from her and I could see geometric shapes below me against a black background. They were silver-blue in color of various rectangular sizes. I said farewell to my family and friends one by one. I felt as though I couldn't breathe, and yet I wasn't suffocating either. The pain in my chest slowly subsided and I continued to sink down further past the shapes. Eventually, I found myself in what appeared to be a hospital room. A nurse or doctor walked in and I asked him if I was dead. He told me I wasn't completely dead but only sixteen percent dead and that he would be able to fix this easily. He then said, 'It looks like you've been hurt very bad, are you having trouble breathing?' I nodded in return. He lightly laid his hands on my chest and I could feel his compassion flowing into me, like a gentle warmth. Then I was able to breathe again. He asked me if this helped to make me better and I again nodded.
It got a little strange after this with various images of being in some high-tech hospital. I kept thinking I was in heaven, and heaven had a parallel spot in it for every place on Earth. There were many strange indescribable images there and I remember feeling very happy, like I didn't have anything to worry about. However, I think at this point these images were just dreams induced by the high amount of pain medication I was on at the time. I've heard it labeled as intensive care unit psychosis. So, I can't really say for sure if anything past the laying hands scene was part of the NDE or not.
Date NDE Occurred: 'September 11, 2007'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes AccidentDirect head injury 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
I was riding my bicycle and was struck by a car. Due to the accident, I was in the intensive care unit for about two weeks, then general admission for another two, then finally rehab for about one month. The accident separated my left shoulder, broke eleven of my ribs, and collapsed both of my lungs. It also caused several arteries to rupture and cause internal bleeding. I would later hear from one of the paramedics that the doctors reported I had a five percent chance of survival when they brought me in.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
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? Less consciousness and alertness than normal As above.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? The first paragraph from main narrative (above) in general. Afterwards, things were disorganized and nonsensical.
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
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Everything seemed more intense like I wasn't seeing it through my eyes but feeling it directly with my soul. It was like I saw everything as it really was instead of what a normal eye would see.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Similar to description of 'sight' above.
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? Yes There was the doctor I described in the main narrative. He appeared to be a very strong man, completely bald, of African-American heritage. He spoke in a deep voice. His hands were large but not inhumanly so, and yet very gentle. I didn't know him at the time, but he looked very much like a doctor I would later meet during my hospital stay while I was actually conscious.
The experience included: Light
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 Basically the shapes mentioned in the main narrative. They were rectangular, with several different layers that I seemed to pass through.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm It seemed I was inside a hospital in some other world. But, this could have simply been images I obtained from the real world hospital applied to this experience. At the time, I felt like I was in heaven, but it was so very much like Earth that I couldn't believe that was really true.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? On the one hand, I was incredibly sad to leave everyone behind. I felt like they would miss me very much. I also felt extremely relieved. I had died innocently, led a good life, and would be rewarded appropriately. I could also feel the doctor's extreme compassion for me and it comforted me.
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 Catholic
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Uncertain I always attended church weekly as a devout Catholic. I still go every week, though I think I'm less into it. I very much enjoy the priests' homilies, they usually hint at some of the things I've thought about since nearly dying. I think these days, I care less if I was to miss a week of church and I'm leaning more towards spirituality than organized religion. That is, I still believe in God and Jesus but I think I focus more on Jesus' teachings than the church's teachings - if that makes any sense.
What is your religion now? Liberal Catholic
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Uncertain I always attended church weekly as a devout Catholic. I still go every week, though I think I'm less into it. I very much enjoy the priests' homilies, they usually hint at some of the things I've thought about since nearly dying. I think these days, I care less if I was to miss a week of church and I'm leaning more towards spirituality than organized religion. That is, I still believe in God and Jesus but I think I focus more on Jesus' teachings than the church's teachings - if that makes any sense.
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? Yes I feel like spending more time with people, even if whatever we end up doing is boring. That is, I'd rather go see a bad movie with a friend than sit at home and watch TV by myself. I feel a little more sad when I part with friends or family to go back to the daily grind of work! (Plus I live about seventy-five miles from most of my family).
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes There was an almost dreamlike quality about what was happening, yet more intense. It was like I was feeling the experience directly with my soul instead of sensing it with my eyes and ears.
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? Nope, it was all pretty weird!
Have you ever shared this experience with others? No
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was probably not real Shortly after recovering, I was still in the hospital. Since a lot of the experience had me in the hospital, I guess it all sort of ran together. I figured it was all just a dream.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was probably real I feel like I've had a lot of positive changes to my personality and my life since then. Perhaps more so than ever before, I feel in tune with an omnipresent divine being, and spirituality in general. I think there was probably something more to it than just a dream now. However, I'm always skeptical and never like to accept an answer as being a hundred percent true, so I can't say it's 'definitely real'.
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 feel like the experience has had a lot of positive changes in my life. Physically, I have some lasting negative effects, but I think they are far outweighed by my personal changes. For one thing, I'm much more patient. I don't mind waiting in traffic or in line at the store. I am much more forgiving, having already forgiven whoever it was that ran me over (it was a hit and run so I don't know who it was). I never hold onto any anger over anything. I also feel like I am able to give advice to people or help random strangers out more often than I would have before.
What I struggle with now is that part of me really wishes the accident had never happened. The painful memories of being in the hospital and rehab will always haunt me, and the lasting physical effects are bad too. I could have lived a 'normal' and 'naive' life like everyone else. But then the other half of me, is glad it happened. I've somehow been transformed through this and become a better person because of it.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? I'm not sure.