Experience Description

I was in the Army when I received a series of injections prior to deployment. One of these (which doctors believe was the Anthrax vaccine) caused severe damage to my heart. The damage resulted in 3rd degree AV Block, leaving me with an average heart rate of 7 beats/minute. This necessitated the implantation of a permanent pacemaker. All went well during the first two surgeries; however, six months after the second, a lead in my pacemaker was dislodged and was causing misfiring in my ventricles. The doctors needed to fix it immediately, so I went in for surgery again.

The physicians failed to provide a back-up pacemaker for surgery for when they disconnected the original. This caused immediate cardiac arrest and clinical death of approximately 3 minutes (according to the surgeon). When this happened, I felt a tug on my chest and then heard many voices in the distance. I felt as if I were falling down and backwards, but only the top portion of my body. My legs stayed firmly on the table. I was grasping with my arms trying to reach the table when I realized my arms were tied to the table right by my side. This is when I noticed I was looking at my body on the table. But I was very close to my body, almost as if I were sitting on my own shoulder (minus my legs). I could see the entire scene of the operating room. It was fairly dark and extremely peaceful. I remember thinking that everything is fine and everyone would understand later. There wasn't an ounce of fear associated with this experience. It was wonderful!

Then I woke up as they were wheeling me down the hallway to my hospital room. I was extremely confused and kept telling all of the doctors and nurses that something happened and they had to tell me what it was, as if they had all of the answers. I just wanted someone to tell me what I had experienced. With time, however, I started to sort it out myself. At first, I hadn't even realized that I had a near death experience. The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized that that was exactly what it was.

Background Information:

Gender: Female

Date NDE Occurred: March, 1995

NDE Elements:

At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes IllnessSurgery-related Clinical death Heart 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 See above.

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? At first it was a little "muffled" (for lack of a better word!), then it was as clear as anything one can imagine.

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 understand what was happening at first.

Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? Just at first the people in the room talking (but I couldn't understand them), then everything was silent.

Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Uncertain Maybe a dark tunnel going upward from where I had "fallen" off the table, inside which I was grabbing for the table.

Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No

Did you see an unearthly light? No

Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I just felt extreme peacefulness.

The experience included: Strong emotional tone

What emotions did you feel during the experience? See above.

Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe All I knew was that it was absolutely no problem at all to die and that, if it is that peaceful, I need to tell others not to be afraid of death.

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? 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 I'm not sure if the reaching for the table had anything to do with returning to my body.

God, Spiritual and Religion:

What was your religion prior to your experience? Liberal Presbyterian

What is your religion now? Liberal Presbyterian

Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes Death is NOT scary or horrible, in fact, it is peaceful and wonderful. I seem to want to thank whoever or whatever it was that gave me the chance to see this.

After the NDE:

Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Because I am seeing it through my "eyes" and it is very hard to explain, although I can visualize it perfectly. No one can understand. I've tried drawing what happened to let others get a better idea, however, this doesn't always work.

Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain I have been able to foresee certain events, but I am likely to pass this off as coincidence!

Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The worst was awakening and not knowing at all what had just happened. The best part is that I now know that when you die, you don't "just die".

Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes The only thing I can say is that they want to know more...and I cannot give them any answers.

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 think I've said it all.