I was stung by a wasp or something while jogging early one morning, returned to my house and yelled up to my wife to come down, that I’d been stung, while I attempted to get out my epi-pen. I’d been stung often while painting houses during college, and had had localized swelling, but no serious anaphylactic episodes. After an initial shot of epinephrine, I temporarily revived, but then passed out.
My wife called the rescue squad, and they arrived, with more shots of epinephrine, but were unable to revive me with oxygen, monitoring heart rate and discussions between the two of them.
I then had an out of body experience, hovering above, while observing the attempts to resuscitate. I heard them discussing that they couldn’t get a pulse while they were communicating with the hospital by radio. It was dark above and very calm, peaceful. I had no fear of dying but realized that I was dying. I remember thinking to myself, chuckling, ‘I can’t believe I’m gonna die from a bee sting.’ Then, while not seeing a presence but sensing one, I was having a one-sided conversation, ‘I know that this is your call, but I’m not ready, with this young wife and family and I’m going to fight this.’ It was completely quiet; I couldn’t hear any of the voices trying to revive me. Then, I heard this very loud ‘Whoosh’ while feeling a quick downward thrust and reentering my body.
As I was back, I took a deep breath. The Paramedic thought that I couldn’t breathe and was about to do a tracheotomy, but I waved him away from me. They rushed me to the hospital Emergency Room, where it took several more shots of epinephrine to bring me around. My neighbor, who is our family doctor, was at the hospital and oversaw the Emergency Room recovery.
I was admitted overnight for observation, as they were concerned about the opposite effect from the epinephrine, such as respiratory problems or heart attack. I remember saying at the time that I was going to give up being a lawyer and do something completely different. My doctor suggested that I wait awhile to make any momentous decisions. As it turned out, I didn’t stop practicing law. I told my friends and my doctor about the out of body hovering at the time, and have repeated it through the years in discussions with friends/co-workers. I haven’t felt particularly uncomfortable about telling the story: it still gives me goose bumps to tell it.
Date NDE Occurred: 'Fall of 1988'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Allergic reaction 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
I was stung by a wasp.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I saw the paramedics and my wife over my prone body, watched and heard the paramedics giving me shots and discussing that they couldn’t get a pulse and relaying that information over a radio/walkie-talkie to the hospital or dispatcher before I re-entered my body and they took me to the hospital.
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? More consciousness and alertness than normal
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? While urging the presence that I was not ready to die and would fight this, I sensed that it was clear that I was going to die at the time. I wasn’t fearful, but was prepared to argue my case that I wasn’t ready and would fight it.
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Time seemed to go faster or slower than usual
Time seemed to stop/suspend during my interaction with/plea to return, in the silence, then, to speed up as the WHOOSH and I re-entered my body.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? No
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. No different, just from a higher vantage point, maybe 5 feet above my prone body and a few feet above the emergency squad paramedics.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. No different, I could hear what occurred below except when it became silent while hovering: just before addressing the presence.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
The experience included: Tunnel
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Uncertain Not a tunnel, per se, but from hovering and silence. After I thought ‘I’m not ready, I’m going to fight this’ from silence to a very loud ‘WHOOSH’ and the sense of fast movement down to re-enter my body, at which time the voices around me were instantly switched on, as if a volume had been turned on.
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
The experience included: Darkness
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? No
Did you see an unearthly light? Uncertain I cannot now recall if there was some light that I was communicating with in the distance. Where I was hovering was dark, but I seem to recall some light in the distance and my thoughts were directed toward that being/light.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No Just the dark space in which I hovered.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Calm, peaceful, incredulous that I was dying from a bee sting, no fear but determination that I would fight it.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Relief or calmness
Did you have a feeling of joy? No
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? No
The experience included: Special knowledge or purpose
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? No
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
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 See above responses. I thought to myself, but directing this to the sensed presence, ‘I know this isn’t my call, but I have this young wife and family and I’m going to fight this’ From complete silence I heard a loud WHOOSH and felt myself quickly move from above to return to my body, almost instantaneously.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Moderately important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Protestant
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Uncertain Probably more definite beliefs in a supreme being and an afterlife
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Moderately important to me
What is your religion now? Christian- Protestant
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was both consistent and not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience While I consider myself religious, and was raised in the church, I am a lawyer and logical thinker. I have a belief in a higher being, but am less certain of literal biblical depictions. This confirmed my sense of a higher being. I don't recall having a fear of dying, but at the time that I faced death, I was not fearful that this was the end of my being, in one form or another. In that sense, I believe I am more confident now of some continued existence after death.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes More of a sense of the importance of using my time on earth positively: that the time is uncertain.
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 No voice, just a sense of an unearthly presence that, my sense was, had control over my fate.
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any beings who previously lived on earth who are described by name in religions (for example: Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, etc.)? No
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? No
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Uncertain the peaceful sense while hovering, before returning to my body, and complete comfort and awareness of a presence that I directed my pleas to - it wasn't an "if you;re out there..." but more of a knowing that the presence was there and had control over my
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God probably existsÂ
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Yes only the sense, but I clearly had the sense that I was communicating with a being, a presence
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? God definitely exists
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? No
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? I was uncertain if an afterlife exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife probably exists Yes the presence of a being that controlled my destiny and whether i would return or not; complete calm and no fear of my situation - i.e. had the presence not allowed me to return, I wasn't fearful, just insistent that I wasn't ready.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I slightly feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? Unknown
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Not fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Not fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are meaningful and significant
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Are meaningful and significant
Did you gain information about how to live our lives? No
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? No
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Uncertain I felt love from the presence, and expressed love for my family. Again, while I was fully aware that I was dying, I was very calm and peaceful throughout. Just incredulous that I would die this young from a bee sting.
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Moderate changes in my life Moderate changes in my life. I have a greater sense of peace regarding an afterlife, and a fair level of curiosity regarding scientific research on similar experiences, but before now, I’ve not sought to share my experience beyond friends and family.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Uncertain Uncertain I would hope more aware/sympathetic. Although, I was and still am very empathetic.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No
How accurately do you remember the experience in comparison to other life events that occurred around the time of the experience? I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of the experience it was, and remains, very vivid in my memory
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain I feel a sense of intuitiveness with connecting with people and understanding their perspective, big picture understanding.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The out of body experience itself must have an explanation beyond the scientific/medical explanations. I believe it is more than oxygen deprivation or a pre-death brain state. Something real occurred.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Immediately and whenever it comes up in conversation with friends, associates
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Uncertain Generally, but no specifics. I had done no research, just generally aware of such a thing as an ‘out of body’ experience, because afterward, I described it as such.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was 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? Not that comes to mind.