After spending a holiday of one week in Malta during May 1992, I was experiencing a very stressful period in my employment and was ready for a holiday. My wife and I shared the holiday with my sister and brother-in-law. My sister was and still is a nursing sister in midwifery. During the holiday I found myself, feeling what I thought was continual indigestion, which left me tired and lethargic all the time. The fact that I was on holiday made me determined to enjoy myself and I joined into every part of the trip trying to, with difficulty, keep up with the rest of the party.
On the day we flew home, I felt worse than I had done the whole time. We boarded the plane and came to the serving of the in-flight meal. I sat in a window seat, one of three, my wife next to me and my sister next to the aisle on the left of the plane. The meal was served and we discussed how good it was and after remarking, 'This chicken is good.' I found myself still in my seat but outside the airplane to the left in a very large room brightly lit with curtains draped all around the walls from floor to ceiling the seat appeared to be on a raised part of the floor with two steps down. Across the room to my left, some steps led up behind the curtains, which I presumed was out of the room. All the light came from this point and was much brighter from behind the curtained 'entrance'.
I took in the scene a small group of people came from these steps across the room to stand in front of me. There were five adults and two children male and female all dressed the same, in pale tight fitting clothes they all had the same hairstyle (or a tight fitting black shiny helmet?) shaped into the nape of their necks. All of the smiling people I strongly felt had an air of friendliness, love and well-being. After a few seconds (during the experience, time seemed irrelevant) two of the adults one male and one female came up the steps towards me they both took my left arm and stood me up. The man then crossed behind the chair to my right side, the woman still holding my arm. At no time in all this were any words spoken, I 'knew' everything! I was aware that I was going to be led across to the steps leading into the bright light. At no time did I feel frightened or nervous. I was in fact very relaxed, not feeling ill, and happy to be led away.
At this point, I heard a faint voice say, 'JOHN,' and then louder, 'JOHN,' and then my sister's voice saying in a distressed voice, 'I think he is dead,' then a strange voice shouting, 'Get him over these seats!' Then I was back in the airplane being pulled over the seats in front, which were empty (I found later that my sister with her medical experience had taken my pulse which had stopped. No one could say how long this had been). I was given oxygen for the rest of the flight and felt well enough for the one-hour taxi home. Within a few days, I was in a cardiac care ward for six days and after being an outpatient for several weeks, it was thought that a virus had affected my heart and lungs leaving me with Post Viral Syndrome. I am fully recovered now and in family conversations since then my sister still maintains she could not find a pulse at the time and that she did not suspect a faint. Having said this my wife and brother-in-law, they agreed with her.
At this time, I told them of my experience. The memory of it is very clear. It altered my outlook on the subject of dying. I am not religious in any way. This is the first time I have related it to anyone since.