I had been coughing a lot and been sick. My mother took me to the doctor who sent me to the hospital. I had pneumonia and trouble breathing. After I had been in the hospital for at least a week and was not getting better, I had surgery to have mucus removed - my mother says it was a blockage between my bronchial tubes and my lungs.
I was taken into surgery, a mask was put over my face, and ether was dropped on the mask. I was told to breathe it in. The next thing I knew, the nurse was saying frantically, 'Breathe out, Honey,' over and over. I could see the doctors and nurses because I was looking down on them and myself. At this point, things started to happen very fast and I was drawn through a tunnel toward a bright light. Other lights along the tunnel were people. I was very excited because when I got to the end of the tunnel I would know everything!! I was moving very fast!! I never did make it to the end of the tunnel. I think I saw some things about my family's move to Anacortes that would take place in a year and I also saw a woman who might be me grown up.
I woke up in the hospital bed. The doctor had pulled one of my teeth because it had been loose and I had money from the tooth fairy. I started to get better and eventually went home. No one ever mentioned that I had stopped breathing during the surgery.
Date NDE Occurred: around Easter 1954
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes IllnessSurgery-related Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function) Undergoing surgery.
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? I was moving fast and I was not walking or running - I was just moving.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I think I was most aware when I was rushing toward the light and excited to get to know everything.
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 Everything was happening very fast.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Did your vision differ in any way from normal? Brighter and just so different than anything else.
Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? I don't remember the sounds so much - I did remember the nurse telling me to breathe and I must have been asleep then.
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 It was a tunnel that was dark with lights that were people - at the end was an incredible bright light.
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 The lights along the tunnel were people but I did not know them. They were encouraging.
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 The brightest light I have ever seen - it was welcoming.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I was a little bit scared of what was happening because it was so fast and I had no control over everything going so fast. I was also excited to get to know everything. I did not have much understanding of religion nor had I had any people I knew who had passed on, so the light felt like more of a source, and the lights that were people were an encouragement.
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
The experience included: Vision of the future
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future I think I might have seen my family's move to Anacortes that happened in the next year - at the time of my experience my family was not contemplating such a move. I may have seen myself as an adult. All this was just glimpses.
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 My family was Christian but not overly religious. I did not have a good understanding of religion at 8 years old.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What is your religion now? Liberal I have Christian and other religious interests. I believe in reincarnation.
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 would know everything when I got to the end of the tunnel but did not get there.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No
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? After having this experience - even before I knew it was a NDE - I thought of it as some kind of milestone in my life. I felt I had lived through this for some reason. When things got difficult, or I felt like giving up, I remembered that I had lived through this illness for some purpose.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I tried to tell my family about it when I went home from the hospital but they did not listen or seem interested. I talked about it from time to time through the years but considered it a reaction to ether. Not many people seemed very interested. I met a woman who had had a near death experience herself and she was finally someone who was interested. This is when I became convinced that I had had a near death experience myself and began to talk about it as a NDE.
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 probably real. I just did not know what to make of it. I had no one to talk to and no frame of reference. I was only eight years old.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. I firmly believe this was a NDE. I think about it often and wonder at it. I do not like hospitals and though I have had some surgery am very uncomfortable with it.
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 was so young when I had this experience. I did not have much understanding of religion or religious figures. I did not know any people who had passed away to meet me in the tunnel.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Perhaps some questions for someone who had this experience as a child.