On July 22nd, I was en route to Washington, DC for a business trip. It was all so very ordinary, until landing in Denver for a plane change. As I collected my belongings from the overhead bin, an announcement was made for Mr. Lloyd Glenn to see the United Customer Service Representative immediately. I thought nothing of it until I reached the door to leave the plane, and I heard a gentleman asking every male if they were Mr. Glenn. At this point, I knew something was wrong and my heart sunk.
When I got off the plane a solemn-faced young man came toward me and said, "Mr. Glenn., there is an emergency at your home. I do not know what the emergency is, or who is involved, but I will take you to the phone so you can call the hospital." My heart was now pounding, but the will to be calm took over. Woodenly, I followed this stranger to the distant telephone where I called the number he gave me for the Mission Hospital. My call was put through to the trauma center where I learned that my three-year-old son had been trapped underneath the automatic garage door for several minutes, and that when my wife had found him he was dead.
CPR had been performed by a neighbor, who is a doctor, and the paramedics had continued the treatment as Brian was transported to the hospital. By the time of my call, Brian was revived and they believed he would live, but they did not know how much damage had been done to his brain, nor to his heart.
They explained that the door had completely closed on his little sternum right over his heart. He had been severely crushed. After speaking with the medical staff, my wife sounded worried but not hysterical, and I took comfort in her calmness. The return flight seemed to last forever, but finally I arrived at the hospital six hours after the garage door had come down.
When I walked into the intensive care unit, nothing could have prepared me to see my little son laying so still on a great big bed with tubes and monitors everywhere. He was on a respirator. I glanced at my wife who stood and tried to give me a reassuring smile. It all seemed like a terrible dream. I was filled-in with the details and given a guarded prognosis. Brian was going to live, and the preliminary tests indicated that his heart was OK, two miracles in and of themselves.
But only time would tell if his brain received any damage. Throughout the seemingly endless hours, my wife was calm. She felt that Brian would eventually be all right. I hung on to her words and faith like a lifeline. All that night and the next day Brian remained unconscious. It seemed like forever since I had left for my business trip the day before. Finally at two o'clock that afternoon, our son regained consciousness and sat up uttering the most beautiful words I have ever heard spoken. He said, "Daddy hold me" and he reached for me with his little arms. [TEAR BREAK...smile]
By the next day he was pronounced as having no neurological or physical deficits, and the story of his miraculous survival spread throughout the hospital. You cannot imagine when we took Brian home, we felt a unique reverence for the life and love of our Heavenly Father that comes to those who brush death so closely.
In the days that followed there was a special spirit about our home. Our two older children were much closer to their little brother. My wife and I were much closer to each other, and all of us were very close as a whole family. Life took on a less stressful pace. Perspective seemed to be more focused, and balance much easier to gain and maintain. We felt deeply blessed. Our gratitude was truly profound.
The story is not over (smile)! Almost a month later to the day of the accident, Brian awoke from his afternoon nap and said, "Sit down Mommy. I have something to tell you." At this time in his life, Brian usually spoke in small phrases, so to say a large sentence surprised my wife.
She sat down with him on his bed, and he began his sacred and remarkable story. "Do you remember when I got stuck under the garage door? Well, it was so heavy and it hurt really bad. I called to you, but you couldn't hear me. I started to cry, but then it hurt too bad. And then the 'birdies' came."
"The birdies?" my wife asked puzzled. "Yes," he replied. "The birdies made a whooshing sound and flew into the garage. They took care of me." "They did?" "Yes," he said. "One of the birdies came and got you. She came to tell you I got stuck under the door." A sweet reverent feeling filled the room. The spirit was so strong and yet lighter than air. My wife realized that a three-year-old had no concept of death and spirits, so he was referring to the beings who came to him from beyond as "birdies" because they were up in the air like birds that fly. "What did the birdies look like?" she asked.
Brian answered, "They were so beautiful. They were dressed in white, all white. Some of them had green and white. But some of them had on just white." "Did they say anything?" "Yes," he answered. "They told me the baby would be all right." "The baby?" my wife asked confused. Brian answered. "The baby laying on the garage floor." He went on, "You came out and opened the garage door and ran to the baby. You told the baby to stay and not leave."
My wife nearly collapsed upon hearing this, for she had indeed gone and knelt beside Brian's body and seeing his crushed chest whispered, "Don't leave us Brian, please stay if you can." As she listened to Brian telling her the words she had spoken, she realized that the spirit had left his body and was looking down from above on this little lifeless form. "Then what happened?" she asked. "We went on a trip." he said, "Far, far away." He grew agitated trying to say the things he didn't seem to have the words for. My wife tried to calm and comfort him, and let him know it would be okay. He struggled with wanting to tell something that obviously was very important to him, but finding the words was difficult. "We flew so fast up in the air.
They're so pretty Mommy," he added. "And there are lots and lots of birdies." My wife was stunned. Into her mind the sweet comforting spirit enveloped her more soundly, but with an urgency she had never before known. Brian went on to tell her that the "birdies" had told him that he had to come back and tell everyone about the "birdies." He said they brought him back to the house and that a big fire truck and an ambulance were there. A man was bringing the baby out on a white bed and he tried to tell the man that the baby would be okay, but the man couldn't hear him.
He said the birdies told him he had to go with the ambulance, but they would be near him. He said they were so pretty and so peaceful, and he didn't want to come back. Then the bright light came.
He said that the light was so bright and so warm, and he loved the bright light so much. Someone was in the bright light and put their arms around him, and told him, "I love you but you have to go back. You have to play baseball, and tell everyone about the birdies." Then the person in the bright light kissed him and waved bye-bye. Then whoosh, the big sound came and they went into the clouds.
The story went on for an hour. He taught us that "birdies" were always with us, but we don't see them because we look with our eyes and we don't hear them because we listen with our ears. But they are always there, you can only see them in here (he put his hand over his heart). They whisper the things to help us to do what is right because they love us so much.
Brian continued, stating, "I have a plan, Mommy. You have a plan. Daddy has a plan. Everyone has a plan. We must all live our plan and keep our promises. The birdies help us to do that because they love us so much."
In the weeks that followed, he often came to us and told all or part of it, again and again. Always the story remained the same. The details were never changed or out of order. A few times, he added further tidbits of information and clarified the message he had already delivered. It never ceased to amaze us how he could tell such detail and speak beyond his ability when he talked about his birdies. Everywhere he went, he told strangers about the "birdies." Surprisingly, no one ever looked at him strangely when he did this. Rather, they always got a softened look on their face and smiled.
Needless to say, we have not been the same ever since that day, and I pray we never will be.
IMPORTANT COMMENTARY: Dr. Jeff's response to Azure: Thanks! This NDE was sent to us via an e-mailed chain letter (as noted in the posting). We will add these additional comments to the posting. As noted, if there are legitimate concerns about the authenticity of any posted account, we are interested in hearing about it. Thanks again! From Azure on NDERF's Bulletin Board Forum (under “fake, fake, fake”): Lou's experience appears to be genuine. I got the certainty on reading the sister site (near-death.com) yesterday - yes, his experiences have been experienced by other as well and are not unique in the suspicious sense. Extraordinary? Certainly! My apologies! But this one is certainly airbrushed: http://www.nderf.org/a_father's_story.htm It is the famous "birdies" NDE, which is one of the most beautiful - so beautiful it has been assumed to be fake. But www.snopes.com has done research on this issue and it appears that while the NDE itself is genuine (the father in question is Lloyd Glenn from Alison Viejo, CA), it has later been airbrushed - to appear more palatable to mainstream Christians and to appear even more beautiful. Mr. Glenn is Mormon, as is his son; the original NDE contains components distinctive to LDS creed. Both the original and airbrushed versions can be found at http://www.near-death.com/forum/fake/000/02.html
Date NDE Occurred: 12/7/2000
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Surgery-related It was an angiogram. I was awake and my heart seized Clinical death How do you consider the content of your experience? Positive
Did you feel separated from your body? Uncertain
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Completely out. Heart had seized.
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
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? Yes They were in an area, similar to conference table. I knew everyone there, but only remember my grandfather after I came back to earth. They spoke to each other, but without words. It was as if they knew what they were thinking. The death angel, or whatever he is, was the only voice I heard.
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Extremely happy, confused.
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
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 When I initially entered the room, or area, the people I knew were in deep none verbal discussion. They seemed to be in disagreement. As my body traveled and I reached the end area the person or death angel offered his hand and said, take my hand and I will take you there. This was audible. I screamed, "No!!!!" And, at that time, I knew what my grandfather and the others were in disagreement about.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What was your religion prior to your experience? Moderate catholic
What is your religion now? Moderate catholic
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes For several months I felt the most content feeling. I didn't even give a lot of thought to what had happened. Then I had a feeling of some impatience and a little anger. That really wasn't that bad because I was so easy going before. I believe it has balanced me out.
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? No
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The best was seeing the people I love. The worst was the confusion at the end with what was happening to me.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Everyone I spoke to was touched by what I experienced. I have shared it with people when the opportunity would present itself. They seem to be amazed.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No