I contracted Strep throat in Marine boot camp in California, at Camp Pendleton, and did not receive medication at that time. This lead to a case of Rheumatic Fever, which is an immune reaction to Strep throat in certain vulnerable people. The illness resulted in my eventual discharge, and when I flew home, I had to go to my grandparents, due to my being broke, and my parents refusing to assist me, due to my joining the military without their consent.
When I arrived, my fever spiked to 105 degrees, I became unable to move due to arthritic like pain and had difficulty breathing for three days. On the third day, during the day, I observed a grey curtain appear in the upper corner of the room. As this curtain moved from the corner toward me, it obscured all objects behind it until I could see nothing but the wall of grey. When it touched my legs, I became aware, in some non-audible way that it was the Angel of Death and it intended to take my life. When it swept up my body, I did not become numb, but had a sense that I did not exist past the curtain and was becoming shorter and shorter. When it hit my arms and waist, they also seemed to become stubs. During the entire event, I could not move, or speak, so I could not call out for help, although my grandparents were in the other room.
I heard a voice, that I somehow knew was Jesus, who said that if the grey touched my heart that I would cease to exist. I began to pray earnestly in my mind, and asked Jesus to save me, and I promised to make my time, energy, money and life totally at Jesus' disposal, in exchange for him letting me live long enough to finish my life task, and take care of my sister, who I wanted to verify as being a Christian. He accepted it.
At that point, I left my body, and felt myself go into blackness, and shatter like glass, with all my memories, thoughts, feelings, and identity fragment and ceased to be, in a manner similar to a movie I saw later that was called 'Freejack' in which the hero was being killed.
At some point, I felt myself reassemble, and go back in my body, and at that point, my fever broke, I no longer had the paralyzing arthritic pain, and I could feel my body and breathe easy. All signs of illness disappeared, and I eventually contacted my parents, reconciled and move home until I was able to get back on my feet financially.
After this event, I had several odd changes in my life. First, I had a series of dreamlike visions, in which I left my body, and saw heaven, hell, and various places in the supernatural realm. Next, I developed an unusual physical resistance to disease, emotional stress, and physical injury.
I tended to heal faster from cuts, dislocated joints, falls, blows and car accidents. I developed a fairly consistent pre-cognitive ability which helped me to avoid a number of car accidents, and pedestrian accidents while riding a bike, and avoiding being hit by a car.
I survived several accidents with high voltage, from contact with electrical current, including a downed lamp post, which had current running through it.
My moods, which had tended to be dark much of the time, tended to improve, with a joyous or happy mood becoming the most common feeling in my life. Any black moods tended to be short, and less deep than in the past.
I experienced several events after the NDE in which I seemed to pray for people and they experienced healing. I had started attending a church where faith healing was considered the norm in the church and people would lay hands on each other, either individually or in a group.
My feeling about the near death experience is that I wished it had not happened, because it was very unpleasant, but I believe the experience gave me some very positive side effects. I am not comfortable with being more aware of the supernatural and outside the normal, since I think it isolates me from those who have not had similar experiences. I do not share what I experienced with anyone but my sister, a few close friends, or people who I know I will not meet on the net. I would not wish my experiences on my worst enemy.
I no longer fear death, but I do not seek it out, since I am convinced that I have tasks I am to do here, and must live as long as I can. I received no instructions or great insights or conversations with the dead, during this event, nor did I see a tunnel, circle of light, images of the afterlife, or hell, at the time of the NDE.
Date NDE Occurred: May 6, 1976
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Illness I contracted Rheumatic Fever due to bad reaction to Strep throat, which resulted in my experience of crippling pain, difficulty breathing and 105 degree fever. I was staying with my grandparents, due to lack of finances to go to the hospital. Other 3 days of 105 degree body temperature brought about by Rheumatic fever illness, resulting in perception of the angel of death, and out of body experience during massive pain event and blackness that I believe to be death.I had contracted Rheumatic fever, that I did not have the finances to treat, and was in a sick bed for three days, paralyzed by massive arthritic style pain, and difficulty breathing, as well as a consistent 105 degree temperature.
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 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 I was aware as I saw the Angel of Death, of every detail in the room, every pain and tactile sensation of my body, as it lost awareness, and of my thoughts and feelings, except where the grey curtain touched me, since I did not seem to exist past the curtain.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I was at a high level of consciousness from the beginning of the event, until I left my body, where I felt my body lose consciousness as my identity shattered, and I lost my memories, emotions, and thoughts. I returned to my body in a different but high level of consciousness, since the pain and fever were gone.
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 The events of my death, leaving my body, and returned seemed to take a long time, and my conversation with Jesus seemed conversation, in a way, although I sensed this was all occurring very quickly.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
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? Yes The Angel of death visually, but without any conversation, but just feelings that I knew who he was, and a conversation with Jesus, in a still small voice, but with no visual or tactile component.
The experience included: Darkness
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? Relief that my life was over and the pain was ending. Irritation at not being able to finish my life tasks and be able to take care of my younger sister. A sense of urgency that I needed to do something to save my life, since I could not move or speak.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Relief or calmness
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 When I left my body, and felt my memories and past and thoughts and feeling shatter, I saw my past events, as I lost them, and awareness of myself.
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? No
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 At time of event, I had faith and relationship with Jesus, but limited church contact, and struggles with religious doubt and depression.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I give more and consistently a part of my income to help the poor and destitute by supporting local shelters, as well as the church, and give my time and energy to helping people by my work, and do things to care for my elderly parents, such as buying groceries, doing chores, and running other errands.
What is your religion now? Conservative/fundamentalist I have come to a more consistent and stable faith, and more active philanthropic lifestyle, and effort to live in a good manner, and to be moral.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I give more and consistently a part of my income to help the poor and destitute by supporting local shelters, as well as the church, and give my time and energy to helping people by my work, and do things to care for my elderly parents, such as buying groceries, doing chores, and running other errands.
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 knew that Jesus was there, that he was talking to me, and the conversation was not touchy feely, but just like two people working to achieve common task. No real emotion involved but just a calm discussion and agreement of what I would do if Jesus allowed me to finish my life tasks.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I was more self-centered and focused before the event, and now I see my life as being abut caring for and protecting and serving my family, friends, and people that Jesus sends into my life. I no longer pursue my personal dreams as the center of my life, but focus on loving and caring for others.
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? Yes Precognitive ability to avoid car accidents or bike accidents most of the time, and sense of threat that could not be seen, before it appeared. Faith healing on some occasions. Unnatural ability to recover from emotional and physical injury. Ability to sense haunted places and supernatural ghostly events. Ability to make friends with and get along with animals of various types. Improved ability to move in darkened rooms and outdoors without hitting objects or limbs.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The fact that I survived the situation at all, was amazing to me, since I went from three days of unbearable pain, high fever, and inability to move or breathe easily to health in a matter of minutes.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes To a very limited degree. I have only shared this with my sister, a couple of close friends, and people I know on the net, who I never except to meet, and do not plan to meet. I am very closemouthed and hesitant to share what I experienced, since I usually get a bad reaction, and disbelief.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I had read about near death experiences in books, and was very surprised that my experiences matched none of those described. No dead relatives. No tunnel of light. No life review with angelic being. No vast insight into reality. No heaven or hell visions at the time. I was very puzzled.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real. I did not doubt my experience at all, but was very troubled by the implications of it, since I had expected the afterlife to be more pleasant, and inspiring.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. I had a stable life change, and I still have the abilities I gained after the NDE, and periodically, I have visions as well, so the event changed my life and experiences permanently.
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? If you become aware of the supernatural, or develop even minor supernatural abilities, there is a price of being isolated from people. They either think you are nuts, or they avoid you, since most people are comfortable living in a world where they are descended from monkeys, their lives have no meaning, and they do not have to ever answer for bad actions.
I have learned to be very circumspect about sharing what I have seen, and I DO NOT see it as a clear blessing, since knowing what I know, and seeing what I have seen, forces me to deal with those realities, and demands that I be a better person, and to act on what I know in a positive way. I am not carefree as when I was younger, and I am more aware that my actions can have permanent and eternal consequences. I have learned that what I do, no matter how small, matters in the big picture, and I think ignorance may be bliss.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? I was very pleased with the questionnaire and thought it was very useful.