In my mid-forties, my pancreas began to malfunction due to a birth defect later discovered during surgery. My health began to deteriorate quickly and it was feared that I had pancreatic cancer. I was hospitalized numerous times and had one major surgery before it was decided to do life-threatening surgery on my pancreas.
The night before my surgery, I had a vision. A dark figure appeared in the corner of my bedroom and made a hand motion for me to come. I somehow knew the figure to be 'Death' and I refused to go with him. The vision was real to me and seemed nothing like a dream. I shivered for hours.
The next day, I had surgery that lasted fourteen hours. After the surgery, I was in a coma and the doctor told my wife I had a 50/50 chance of survival. Sometime after the surgery and during the coma is when I had my experience.
It started with me flying through the sky and was very pleasant. All of a sudden, I dove downward and entered into the water. I kept getting deeper and began seeing my entire life flash before me. I remember seeing details of my childhood and later life that I had completely forgotten. Watching the births of my children and seeing them grow up again had deep meaning for me. At the time, my children were seventeen, nineteen, and twenty-one. At the end of the dive, I entered what seemed to be like a cave and I was surrounded by people or beings of some kind. I can't describe them because I never saw them. I just felt their presence and could hear them talking about me. They were trying to decide where I should go next. At that point, I was frightened and began making a case why I should go back. My major concern was I didn't want to miss my children growing up and doing something with their lives. I argued that I had put a lot of effort into them and I deserved to see how they turned out. After I made my case, a 'Presence,' whom I did not see but who seemed to be in command, decided to send me back. The entire trip reversed and I woke up in my hospital bed.
The vision or my experience did not seem 'dream like' and I have never forgotten the details like with most dreams. I did not speak about this to anyone for months. I finally discussed it with my wife and one life-long friend that I knew had experienced something very similar. After my experience, I had a significant personality change. My children and close friends have noticed the changes. They have all commented how on much more pleasant I am.
In the past two years, I have clinically died twice but did not have similar experiences.
Date NDE Occurred: March 2000
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Illness. Surgery-related 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
Along with the surgery and coma, I had chronic pancreatitis which had become life threatening.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Mixed
Did you feel separated from your body? No
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness? Normal consciousness and alertness When arguing my case to go back.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When arguing my case to go back.
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
My life went by very fast.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I could not tell the source of those speaking.
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 Going from the water to the cave.
Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Uncertain I saw people from my past and I felt the presence of someone talking about me.
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? No
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? It started out very pleasant and them I became fearful.
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 I reviewed my entire life and I think it has made me a better person. I did not learn anything new.
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? Yes I believe more strongly in God.
What is your religion now? Moderate
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I believe more strongly in God.
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 treat people better than I did before and I don't get upset over little details that used to upset me.
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 experience made me know how much my children meant to me.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Three or four months to discuss it with my wife and a lifelong friend. My wife was just happy I was alive. I think she thought a lot of my experience was drug induced. My friend has been through almost the exact same thing so he believes the experience was real. We often discuss it and I have told him about this website.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes My friend I mentioned above had his experience before I did and he had told me about it.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real All of the details made the experience real to me.
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? I heard about your organization on 'Coast to Coast AM' (radio) and it made me feel better knowing that there were other people who had been through the same experience.