On December 16, 1996, I was driving to work with my sister. It was about 8:00 am and it was rainy and foggy that morning. We came to the stop sign at the intersection of Creek Road and Route 194. The intersection has a bridge off to the left and it sits on a rise preventing me from seeing any oncoming traffic. Two previous vehicles had their headlights on and passed by me without any problem, so I thought it was clear to pull out and I did. Unfortunately, there was another car traveling at about sixty mph directly behind the bridge at the time of me pulling out. He did not have his headlights on and was driving a dark colored Honda Civic, which had a low profile, making it even more difficult to see from where I was sitting. My car was t-boned at about sixty mph. I was taken to the York Hospital where I was found to have a lacerated spleen and liver as well as three spinal fractures, three pelvic fractures, a collarbone fracture, left leg fracture, all ribs on my right side were fractured and I had a head injury. The doctors were unsure if I would walk again or even if I would survive the next twenty-four hours. My sister was unharmed because my body had taken most of the impact. Fortunately, my spleen and liver lacerations had clotted off and the trauma surgeon felt I would be okay without surgery. I was in and out of consciousness for the next five days.
On December 21, 1996, I woke up in the trauma unit and the doctor felt I was stable enough for the staff to make me get out of bed to a bedside lounge chair for a few minutes. I was not at all in agreement with the decision but with enough pain, medicine on board they used a mechanical lift and got me into the chair where I remained for the next twenty minutes. The staff then returned me to my bed, much to my relief. About two minutes after the nurses left the room I started having difficulty breathing and having severe pain in my chest. I rang the call bell for the nurse and the next thing I remember is the staff all running around me yelling. They put the head of my bed down and the foot of my bed up so I was in a slanted position.
A tall bald black man was wheeling me into the operating room because I started bleeding internally. I remember telling him through difficult breaths 'Don't let me die!' He looked right into my eyes and said, 'You're not going to die today!' That was the last words I heard. I remember seeing a bright beautiful light that started out in front of me and quickly was all around me. It was so intensely bright and white, but it did not hurt my eyes or make me squint. It was so bright white it had almost a blue hue to it. There is nothing on Earth I can compare it to, so it is very difficult for me to explain. But it was the most welcoming and beautiful feeling I ever had. I felt so incredibly free and I was intensely happy and felt no need for anything. There was no sense of time during this period. I just knew I never wanted to leave this sense of peace and wellbeing. One thing is for sure, I was NOT dead! I was more alive than I had ever been before. I saw a figure of light come towards me out of the light. This figure was very tall. I am guessing it was about eight feet tall or so. I am saying 'it' because I could not tell if it was male or female. The 'being' spoke to me although the words were not heard with my ears. It was as if someone was speaking in my head, although it was not my voice I heard. Everything was so crystal clear and seemed to make perfect sense although logically it was impossible. The figure told me 'You must go back; we are not ready for you yet.' I remember feeling like I did not want to leave. I kept saying 'Why? I don't want to go.' But I was already leaving. I started to feel like I was falling from the ceiling back into my body and I remember landing with such a big jolt that I woke up.
I saw the surgeons standing around me for just a second. They were talking about 'feeling a burn.' The next thing I remember was waking up after surgery the next day in intensive care. My family was crying and standing over me. I woke up and told them I saw an angel. They told me I had died on the operating table but that the doctors had brought me back. I thought they were nuts! I didn't believe I was ever dead. It took two doctors showing me paddle burn marks on my chest to convince me that I had ever been gone. I had lost three-quarters of my total blood volume and my heart had failed. I was without a heart beat for eleven minutes until they brought me back through shocking my heart. I then had undergone surgery to repair the bleeding coming from my spleen and liver. I had such a hard time believing that I was ever dead because I was never more alive.
Date NDE Occurred: 12-21-1996
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident had a car accident on 12-16-1996 and was in the hospital at the time of my NDE Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes
I lost awareness of my body
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 As above.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I was most alert when the light came all around me. I have a hard time explaining what it felt like, but it was like everything was crystal clear and I heard silence and everything at the same time. It was like I had complete and total awareness for the first time in my life. It was as if I was reborn.
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
There was no sense of time anymore.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Everything was incredibly clear and vivid.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. It was as if I was hearing someone else's voice in my head. I was not hearing with my ears any longer. It was so clear and perfect.
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? Uncertain The light I saw started out in front of me and was almost immediately all around me, enveloping me in its warmth.
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 I was approached by a tall figure of light. I believe the figure to be around eight feet tall. I could not tell if the figure was a male or a female because it did not have a gender. I also could not tell by the voice which seems to sound strange but it just did not seem as if gender were present.
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 It was the most intense brilliant white light I had ever seen before or since. It was so white it was almost blue, like the center of a flame.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I was the happiest I ever was during my experience. I felt warm and free from any need or pain I had ever felt. There was no pain, hunger, thirst, or time.
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
The experience included: Special Knowledge
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? Moderate Lutheran
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes While I was raised in the church and believed in God, more belief was validated and I am sure that we do not die but go on to exist elsewhere.
What is your religion now? Moderate
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes While I was raised in the church and believed in God, more belief was validated and I am sure that we do not die but go on to exist elsewhere.
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
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 remember feeling as if I knew the answer to every question I ever had.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes My family is much closer and I am more open with my loved ones than before.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes The feelings of overwhelming joy I felt during the experience and the light that I saw - compared to anything on earth.
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 as if I am able to sense spiritual activity and am more aware of my place in the world.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I started telling my family as soon as I woke up. It was if I HAD to tell people even if they thought I was crazy. It was a force out of my control.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I had heard about people saying they went through a tunnel and saw people that had died before them when they had a near death experience, but not much more than that. The topic never really interested me too much.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real I knew it was difficult to explain but I knew it had happened.
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