Going into the operating room I had an unusual amount of peace. I was joking with the staff and doctors. I had no fear at all. I remember counting backwards from ten, but don't remember what number I got to. It was several days later that I began to remember what happened during the operation. And only a few days ago I first shared it with my wife in fear of being considered a nut.
I remember standing about ten feet up and ten feet to the side of my body on the table. A person was standing next to me, but I didn't look at him/her. I had no fear, or questions to ask, I just observed.
Around the table were at least a dozen nurses and doctors. But what was so emotional was the presence of white people that I can only describe as angels. Each angel was guiding the hands of the staff that they were standing next to.
I heard no noise, no voices, and no music. It was peacefully quiet.
I don't remember details to specific, such as what tools were used, or the exact position of my body, but only because I was focused so much on the angels guiding the staff in everything they did, from walking, to the use of the tools within my chest cavity.
Even after the operation, I still had an unusual peace and no fear. The doctor said it was the best operation he had ever gone through, there were no problems at all, and he was impressed at my rate of recovery.
I was released from the hospital only fourteen days after having my chest opened, deflated lungs, and patched esophagus.
Date NDE Occurred: July 16, 2003
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Surgery-related 'Perforated Esophagus since I was 13. Torn while choking on food, rushed to ER.' Life threatening event, but not clinical death . Perforated esophagus. Pre-existing hole torn by food lodged in the hole. Doctor found air, spit, and food sitting on my heart. Chest cavity should have been infected, but no infection was found. Doctor told me I had less than one percent chance of living through the operation (afterwards!!). And less than forty percent chance of living past one year.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Uncertain 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? Less consciousness and alertness than normal As above.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? The whole time I had the experience, my level of consciousness was the same. I was only paying serious attention to the angels and their guiding.
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 I didn't begin to remember the event until a few days after the procedure. I do not know how long I was in the operating room.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Did your vision differ in any way from normal? Besides the fact that I was standing in midair, not hovering, and there was no ceiling (at least none that I remember), everything was in color, and the primary light came from the operating room lights.
Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? There was no sound. Peaceful to me is no sound, it was peaceful.
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 There was an angel standing next to me, but I did not make any attempt to communicate with them, or to look at them. I was concentrating on the angels guiding the operation.
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? Peace and lack of fear. Nor did I have any questions or comments to the angel next to me. I knew not to bother the angels.
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 I could tell that because the angels were guiding the doctors that I was not going to die and that everything was going to be okay.
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 Christian
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I became bolder to approach people and tell them about Jesus.
What is your religion now? Moderate Christian
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I became bolder to approach people and tell them about Jesus.
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? No
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I became more bold afterwards, but also more emotional.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Uncertain It was peaceful, but makes me emotional. I get teared up when I think about it. Not in a bad way, but in a 'Thank God!' way.
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? The angels were the focal point, that meant a lot to me. It showed me that I am always being protected, and I am here for a reason.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes It was a few days after the fourth anniversary that I told my wife. No one else knows, but I am going to tell my pastor. Other than that, just you.
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 thought, and still think, it could be a dream. But I also feel it could be real. I have no way of proving any of it was real, other than I lived through an operation I should have died in, and I had no infection where there should have been.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was probably real. I feel the same way as stated above.
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'm still not sure if what I experienced was real, but I know God had to have helped the doctors.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? The religious questions are vague, should simply ask what religious affiliation are you with.