I was on the operating table. I could feel the surgeons sawing into my head; the pain was unbearable. I couldn't shout out, so I thought I could make my heart beat faster to get their attention. As this happened, the surgeon said I wasn't deep enough under, so this was when my experience began. I had suffered a part3 lumbar fracture to my skull and fractured my back. I have possibly only told a few people this.
As the pain became unbearable, I was trying in my mind to think of a way out of my situation. I looked up and saw a grey cloud forming over me and a huge hand came from the cloud. I reached up and it held me. As I looked into the cloud, the hand disappeared. My grandmother and Uncle John who had passed away ten to fifteen years ago were overhead. In the middle was a circular-looking mist, spinning around. My grandmother said to me that everything would be all right. She said in Irish, 'A Gra, you will be fine.' My uncle said nothing, but I could feel his concern.
The cloud came back and the hand came out again. I tried to reach it but couldn't. It disappeared again. I felt myself float out of my body. I looked at my body and I saw calipers on my head. My flesh was pulled down from my eyes and my head. The surgeons were standing around. One said, 'It's such a shame, so young for all this to happen.' I tried to shout at them to tell them to stop what they were doing. I put my hand on one of their arms and tried to pull his arm down. I repeatedly shouted, 'Look at me, I am okay!' I couldn't understand why they couldn't hear me. I then came to the realization that I was outside my body and it scared me. I knew I could float between the rooms if I wanted to but I just stayed there. I had no desire to go anywhere. I was trying to understand what was happening me. After a few minutes, they took a break. (I found out later the operation was almost eight hours).
I felt like I was being pulled up and was in a void or blackness. I was motionless. I wasn't going anywhere. I was trying to make myself go forward but I wasn't moving. I remember being very afraid and was not comfortable. I was being taunted and felt an uncomfortable presence around me, but I couldn't see anything. I remember drawing away from it and trying to make sense of it. It started to tell me it wanted me. Others like it said 'Come with us.' They told me I was better to go with it and the others, as I would have an easier time than what lay in store for me. I could feel it was trying very hard to convince me and it seemed to be able to pull a part of me with it. I could feel hopelessness. Just about when I was about to give up, a being of light came in front of me like an angel. I asked, 'Are you God?' The angel said 'No, follow me.' It moved off in front of me. I couldn't follow it. Then another being of light came. Both were on my right and left side of me. They had no faces; they had wings and they were all light.
We traveled very fast into a tunnel. The tunnel was all different colors: blue, yellow, white, green, and red. We traveled very fast. I asked them to slow down and they said that we have to get there fast. I had nothing to fear. At one point, they let go of me but came back when they saw I wasn't making progress. Then they disappeared. I was then on my own again as I traveled through this tunnel. I came to a fork at the end of the tunnel. I wanted to go right and pushed toward the right. Then, I saw a small light in the distance and was drawn towards it, it became bigger and bigger as I approached it. I remember I could see my face. I was looking at myself. I had no legs or arms but it didn't bother me. I looked back and could see my mother, father, and sister over my bedside. I was sad. Then I said to myself, 'What was there to be sad about as they would be coming later.'
I was then in front of the being of light. I thought it was too bright to look into it, but I could. It filled me with awe. I was trying to recite poetry to describe it. I couldn't. I could feel its love and kindness. I asked it was it Jesus or Buddha or Mohammed? It said, 'I am the light.' It then started to tell jokes. It was making me laugh. I asked it, 'Who pays for the electricity around here?' I felt a kinship with it. The being wasn't judgmental or angry, just loving and accepting. I didn't need to talk to it as it could read my thoughts. The being then asked me to show what I had done with my life. I felt it was downloading all my experiences. I had no option because everything I had done was played in front of me. My girlfriend at the time was going through a hard time and I couldn't give her the support she needed. I saw myself walking out the door of the apartment. When I was gone, I saw her cry in torment. I could feel her pain and anguish. This made me angry and I cursed the light. It told me that this is not my fault. I tried to hide from it, but couldn't. It said, 'You are hiding all your life Francis. Come and show yourself to me.' I remember being crouched behind a black hill. I rose and said, 'Here I am, do with me what you want. I don't care.'
It was at this point there was a small cave with bowls like very old drinking ones. Behind the table were seven hooded figures. I was asked to choose a bowl. I studied them and chose one. The hooded figures said nothing and moved away. Then, I was in a very dark place and was sitting. I could hear talking from behind me. I looked at the blackness and felt there were beings trying to reach me, but like some black transparent wall couldn't reach me. I felt they knew me.
After this, the angel of light came and asked me to go with it. It was at my right side. It showed me a pit with lights coming from it. I asked, 'What is this? Is it hell?' It said, 'No, it is all the prayers and good intentions coming from earth to here.' It was like an inferno of light on small particles.
I asked where is hell? It then showed me that there is no hell, as I know it, only darkness. I then was shown an army of angels. These angels had wings and a sword and a bow. Some had a lance. There were thousands of them marching into darkness. The angel of light asked me if I wished to join them? I said, 'No.' It asked if I was afraid? I asked, 'Where are they going?' It replied, 'They are fighting the darkness or evil as you know it.' I asked if they will survive and it told me, 'No, they love the light and God and are willing to do battle for love.'
I then saw a city in silver and gray and a forest of beautiful trees, but no sound. Then I was back in front of the light. It told me that all there is was love. After everything, love was constant. It told me that I was to return. I said, 'No, I am staying.' The light was my size and was ushering me to a portal. I asked, 'Why should I return? If it gave me a convincing answer, I will go.' It said, 'You are going back for yourself. Your time is not up yet.' I told it that I would go gladly for you and I would do my best in everything I do. I would change myself and tell others that there is nothing but love and to love one another. The next thing, I was back over my body and looking down upon myself. I was trying to figure out how to get back in. I said, 'I will be stuck out here.'
I remember being back in and the pain was huge. After I woke from a coma two months later, I was blind and in a wheelchair. The fact that I was blind and I had a fifty/fifty chance of seeing again or that I had temporarily lost the use of my legs didn't bother me. I was okay with it all. If I was blind, I remember saying to myself I will have to learn Braille and my legs did bother me but I accepted it. All this happened twenty years ago and I never spoke about it much because I know that it is true. If you were to ask me to prove, it I don't think I would bother as it is something inside that tells you it happened. I don't see that it is off great importance I treat is as normal.
What I can say is that when my father died, the day before he took a stroke, I told him what to expect. I didn't know he was going to die. I asked him how he wanted to be buried. He said cremated. I asked if he was on a ventilator would he want to continue on it? He said, 'No.' I also told him that when or if he was on a ventilator that when they unplugged it he would float over his body and would be seeing everybody in the room. I told him they won't be able to see you, but come before me I will know you are there.
So that is my story. I hope you can take some reassurance from it. I think everybody's experience is a separate and personal experience. The thing about dying is that there could be ten thousand people there but you are the one that will take this journey alone.
Date NDE Occurred: 1/15/2007
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Surgery-related. Direct head injury 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death' . I had a serious car accident. My head bent the steering wheel in half. I was given the last rites. I was told by a professor of mine that I was about to die. I have a good sense of humor so you will excuse me if I say that even in the face of death I was able to tell a joke when I was told this. I told my professor that if I was going to die I wanted the nurses to know I was still capable from my hips down. Then I felt myself leaving and fighting for my life. It's an unusual experience. One minute you feel you can get up and walk. You feel great. Then you feel you're in a fight to stay there.
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 clearly left my body and existed outside it
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness? Normal consciousness and alertness The pain was a big factor but I was no different than normal.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When I was been operated on.
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 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? Yes Tunnel, full of color.
The experience included: Presence of deceased persons
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 My grandmother, uncle and two beings of light and some type of malevolent being.
The experience included: Darkness
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 Bright loving huge light.
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm distintive a hole with lights comeing out of it/a city silver and grey
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Anger, calm, love, confusion, peace.
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
The experience included: Life review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control My girlfriend's anguish on her medical condition. I learned there is only love and helping others.
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? Moderate
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What is your religion now? Moderate
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? No
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 knew there were answers to questions but I didn't ask them.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes To fully explain what it was that I experienced, I was embarrassed. I thought people would think of me as crazy. The surgeon asked me if I experienced anything unusual. I told him '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? Love, only love.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes About six years, some accepted it, others tried to compete, others went silent so I kept it to myself.
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 definately not real I wouldn't believe it.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. It makes sense to me and if it's not real why is there love.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? No. Thanks for letting me share my experience and I hope it will be useful to others.