I had severe chest and upper stomach pains the night before my cardiac arrest. My doctor had sent me home with acid reflux medicine (obviously misdiagnosing my condition). The morning of my cardiac arrest (I don't remember any of it except for fleeting moments) I called my daughter to tell her I wasn't coming over and that I had called 911. That was on Thursday morning at around 7:00 am.
I did not 'come to' until that Saturday and later told her that I remember being above my body but not knowing it was me. All I remember was a feeling of sympathy for the woman and wanting to help her because she looked like she was dead. I later realized that it was me I was looking at and it was just a fleeting moment and the next thing I remember is that I woke up in the hospital with my daughter by my side and she had explained what happened to me.
In the days between Thursday and Saturday, I have told people that there were many people in my room. (I thought they were doctors and nurses) They say, 'No, you were only allowed a couple of people at a time to visit you especially in the intensive care unit.' I still maintain that there were many people in my room. Who do you think they were? Some were bending over me and speaking in whispers.
Date NDE Occurred: August 2, 2001
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Heart attack Cardiac Arrest Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function) I had experienced a cardiac arrest.
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? More consciousness and alertness than normal I just felt powerful and like I had directness with the spirit.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When I was thinking to myself 'Oh that poor woman, someone help her.'
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 Hard to explain, just that sense of plugged up ears and incredible quietness in the room.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? Yet I felt as though my ears were plugged because there was incredible quietness in the room except for my thoughts.
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? No
Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
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
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Despair and wanting to help the woman which later turned out to be me.
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
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
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I cannot eat meat now - that has just happened to me. I cannot go to AA meetings any longer because I seem to have developed a 'sensitivity' and really feel peoples' pain in the meetings. I also know that there is a great love in this universe and I feel it around me daily.
What is your religion now? Liberal Embrace Native American and Buddhist teachings now
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I cannot eat meat now - that has just happened to me. I cannot go to AA meetings any longer because I seem to have developed a 'sensitivity' and really feel peoples' pain in the meetings. I also know that there is a great love in this universe and I feel it around me daily.
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? Uncertain I feel as though I was my own angel - as I didn't realize it was me until later and I was helping the woman.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I have a more heightened feeling of love and understanding for my family and friends. I want to help people more now.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Because most people do not believe me or think it is just my imagination.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes Very aware of the spirit world. I feel things that are really hard to explain - certain smells, sounds, music that is not playing on a radio or TV or outside source.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Yes, the fact that I do have great compassion for people because I felt so bad when I saw 'the woman' there, I wanted to help her and in fact, I did say out loud 'Someone help her.'
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I waited for at least three weeks to share my out of body experience - most felt it was my imagination. Others have told me I need to join a group that have experienced what I have.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes Just things I read in books or saw on TV. However, what is strange about mine is that I was in denial as to who it was - I didn't know it was me that is why I am certain that it is not my imagination.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real. As I said above, I did not know it was me - I thought it was someone else but she looked familiar and I had such a feeling of love and compassion for her.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. Because I have an overall better feeling of compassion for myself and others and I also can feel other people's pain.
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? Daily things become mundane to me - I sometimes want to reach out to people who are hurting even when no one else feels their pain. I was standing in line at the grocery store and they needed to check a price on an item I had and I could feel this woman in line behind me was really angry. In the past, I would have been impatient with her but this time I turned around and said I was sorry for holding up the line and I touched her arm and she was shaking. She looked at my eyes and said it was okay, she was just having a bad day and I KNEW IT! I could feel it. It was downright scary but beautiful at the same time because my kindness seem to help her.