When I was five years old, I became sick with a streptococcal sore throat (strep throat), and had to go to the hospital. This was complicated by the fact that I had then, (and have now) a mild, generalized case, of an ailment known as Myasthenia Gravis (MG) -- which, if left untreated, results in death from exhaustion, even if you only lie in bed! It has been described as the 'disease which saps strength.' Before the drug Prostigmine, (and later, the drugs Mestinon and Mytelase) were discovered, ninety percent of Myasthenics (MG) died. Now, ninety percent live. (I felt I should give this info first, because MG is not that well known, even today -- although it is getting to be better known. But I used to envy people with Diabetes because at least non-diabetics knew what their disease was! Also, it is important to what I experienced. But I digress here. Sorry.
Anyway, I was five years old, had MG, and now also had a strep throat. In the hospital, I was in a ward with about twenty other children. (I was told later I was running a one hundred and eight degree temperature.) Anyway, all of a sudden, during the night, (I remember it was dark in the room) I suddenly found myself looking down at all the little beds in the ward. I don't remember going on the ceiling -- but I do remember thinking how much all the little beds looked like shoe-boxes -- and you don't get that perspective unless you are looking down from the ceiling.
Then, all at once, I was surrounded by a bright, blue light, and felt myself being drawn to -- somewhere. It was as if I was being drawn through the sky, the blue was of that color. I didn't know why this was happening -- like most children, I accepted what was happening as the way it should be.
Then, suddenly, I found myself in a beautiful garden. The closest description I can give is that it looked a bit like 'Tellytubbyland' -- but with higher hills. In front of me, when I arrived, were all these beautiful ladies! All but one had long blonde hair, and all were dressed in white dresses. Each one was under an individual bower. The lady in the center had long, dark hair, like my own. And she was looking at me, looking at me very, very intently. I sensed she had a great and kind desire to know me, to know all about me.
Then, suddenly, I was back in my bed in the hospital. It turned out that, in addition to having one hundred and eight degree temperature, the busy nurses had forgotten to give my MG medication! If ever there were a 'formula' for having a near-death experience, this has to be it! And it probably wouldn't have been a 'near' death experience, if my father hadn't stepped in, and told the nurses to give me my medication!
For about thirty-five years, I always referred to this experience as 'the Magic Life'. I had NO idea it was a near-death experience, until one day, my mother told me about the one hundred and eighty degree temperature, and my father telling the nurses to give me my medications! She also told me that, at that time, all my relatives on both sides of the family were alive -- including both sets of grandparents. All my relatives EXCEPT the woman I have been named after -- my mother's sister, who died at the age of nineteen from pneumonia and high blood pressure.
I believe it must have been my name-sake, the beautiful lady with the long dark hair, whom I saw, in the midst of the other beautiful ladies, with long blonde hair, whom I think must have been angels.
Date NDE Occurred: 1950
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Illness Life threatening event, but not clinical death I'm not really sure which of the first three choices apply. I had an experience, (see below), but it was never investigated or confirmed.I was in the hospital with strep throat. I was running a one hundred and eight degree temperature.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? No No
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 Very little difference, actually. But I did have a sense that I was in a strange but friendly place, and that there were many pieces of knowledge which were hidden from most people.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I was conscious and alert all through the experience. But I think that when I went through 'the blue sky', I had a heightened sense of consciousness and alertness.
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
Did your vision differ in any way from normal? Well, the only thing different was that I remember that the 'blue sky' tunnel was very, very bright. It DID NOT hurt my eyes -- just was very bright.
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? Uncertain It wasn't a tunnel that I felt I was going through. I felt like I was going through the sky.
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
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? Uncertain There may have been some 'twinkling stars' in the 'sky' I was going through. I honestly don't remember whether or not.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm As I mentioned, the area I landed in looked like a beautiful garden -- "Tellytubbyland" with higher hills.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? As a child, I didn't question what was happening, of course. I accepted it as normal -- but, as I said, I do remember thinking, at the beginning of the experience, how much all the little beds in the ward looked like little shoeboxes.
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 No I was five years old, and hadn't even started elementary school, so I really didn't have any past life events to review. However, I now know I can't be a complete Agnostic all the time. Perhaps there is a heaven and/or hell after all. I'm still ambivalent about it all. Maybe because every time I discussed anything remotely out-of-ordinary with my parents, (ghosts, UFOs, as well as OBEs), they always said this was 'silly'. Because, I think, Judaism is more concerned with the here-and-now than the Hereafter, and, liberal as they are, they were trained that way. Still, I myself can't help wondering if, perhaps...!
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 I was 5 years old, and wasn't too aware of any religion. The religion I was born into was Jewish -- but at the time, I didn't have any religious feelings of any kind.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I can't be a complete Agnostic every day now. It's very possible, I think, for God to exist.
What is your religion now? Moderate Jewish but Very very liberal! I tend to feel I have a different religion every day! In my heart, one day I'm Buddhist, one day I'm Episcopalian, one day I'm Atheist, one day I'm an Agnostic, one day I'm Catholic, etc.! Sometimes I feel Jewish -- but very rarely. I figure -- If there's One God, (for Hindus, and Polytheists,
a chief God), people are actually more alike than they are different, and that the basis of all modern religions -- to treat others as you would want to be treated -- is the same for everyone!
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I can't be a complete Agnostic every day now. It's very possible, I think, for God to exist.
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
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? Yes I had the idea that there is much hidden knowledge, like I said.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes My parents still think it's 'silly', or a 'dream'. But my sister is also interested in the paranormal, and we've become closer together -- at least when discussing this experience.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain I think I came out of the experience more psychic. I don't have much to compare my psychic abilities before it happened, as I was five at the time -- but just having this experience made me realize that there can actually be things we don't know about yet.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? It was all an adventure! Each part was meaningful and significant, and heightened my belief that something 'else' after death may indeed be possible.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes For a long time, I didn't tell anyone. Probably because memories of the experience kept fading in and out of my consciousness -- there were times in the past when I couldn't remember it at all. And, as I said, I didn't even know it was an NDE, until my mother told me all the details, and so I called it 'The Magic Life', before then. I remember I asked someone once WHY I didn't want to tell others, and she said it was because I was afraid of being mocked.
But I recently told my sister, and a few close friends, on separate occasions, and they were all fascinated. But still, every time I tell the story, it seems to go a little bit more away -- for a while, at least.
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 definitely real. It happened. It was real to me. It was NOT a dream. It all happened exactly as I described it. Being a child, I was dazed by it all, and didn't know what it meant. I may have told some people, I don't remember -- but was probably put down, as the meanderings of a child's imagination, then.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. I remember it happening. And there is more and more research being done into NDEs. Besides, at five, I didn't know anything about my name-sake, or that she had died. But I saw this lady, with long dark hair, in the midst of all the ladies with long blonde hair. If I had imagined it, I think ALL the ladies would have had long blonde hair -- because that's how it is in fairy tales. But the lady in the middle had DARK hair, (like mine!)
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes During my 'trip through the sky', I had a very definite, slightly dizzy feeling. Years later, watching the program 'Strange Universe', it was mentioned that rubbing the spot behind your right ear, can evoke the feeling people have when they are dying, but not any light. Curious, I finally tried it -- and it was the same feeling! But I guess I rubbed too hard -- because I can't do it again!(And so I wonder does this mean I can't die now? Or that I'll definitely go to Hell? It's confusing!)
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? At the time this happened, I was living in an apartment in a large apartment building. It seemed to me that when I saw the ladies, they were actually in the back garden of the apartment building, (with additional foliage). But, of course, when I looked there after I came home, the extra foliage was not there.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? It would be nice if I could get a copy of what I've written!