I have a heart condition known as atrial fibrillation. This means that my pulse is irregular. Over time, this can weaken the heart and lead to the strong possibility of fatal strokes and heart attacks. Following the advice of the consultant, I was booked into the hospital undergo a procedure called 'cardioversion'. This is a process designed to shock the heart back into normal rhythm by means of administering an electric shock. I was to undergo the invasive version of cardioversion, whereby I would be laid on a table, and a wire would be passed through my groin and into a vein until it reached my heart chamber. Then a momentary electric shock would be discharged. It sounds dangerous and it is; there is a 15% death rate for someone of my medical profile/age. The element of risk increases with the age of the patient. The consultant said that I had the choice of undergoing the cardioversion now and having my atrial fibrillation alleviated for the next five to ten years, or else carry on with the possibility of being struck down dead by a stroke/heart failure without warning. I chose the first option knowing that there was a possibility of death. The hospital was also a teaching hospital, and whilst being prepared for the procedure, I was asked if I didn't mind the presence of a small number of medical students to observe and learn from the procedure. I knew I would be naked under their gaze on the table, but I model nude for life drawing classes in art schools and for artists generally, so this didn't bother me in the least. Anyway, I had a long chat with the surgeon about organ donation and the like. I said I had thought seriously about gifting my body for medical research with organ donation upon my death. The doctor said that, anatomically, except for the atrial fibrillation I was in good condition and there was always a shortage of bodies suitable for the instruction of medical students. He thought I had made the right choice. I signed the necessary forms.
The day came. I was laid out on the table, naked except for a sheet and ready for the cardioversion. I had been washed and my groin/pubic area shaved. To be honest, I was quite terrified. I was scared because I had been told that this hospital had one of the highest patient death rates in the United Kingdom. Apparently, it is known in medical circles as the 'Abbatoir.' I was not given an anesthetic, but was heavily sedated. I was not clear why I was not completely put 'out for the count'. The fact I was not unconscious meant that I was aware of the wire inside me creeping up through me towards my heart. I felt it reach my ventricle area. Then it happened. My whole body seemed to explode. There was a flashing white light and it was as though a lightning bolt was shredding me to pieces. I felt as though my mind was being forced out of my poor body. I instantaneous blacked out.
After momentary oblivion, the self-awareness returned. I was out of my physical body! I thought had I crossed the boundary into afterlife. I wondered if this what death was like? I had read before about the concept of the astral body and believe this is what I had become. I seemed to be hovering high enough over my physical body to see what was going on. The doctor had taken the sheet off me and unplugged the leads attached to my nipples, feet, and elsewhere. My metabolism rate, as I learned later, was undetectable and my pulse rate zero. One of the students round the table turned my body over, separated my buttocks and inserted a rectal thermometer. I heard the doctor pronounce me dead, as though it was almost routine. I had urinated copiously at the moment of my clinical death. It was rather disgusting and I felt ashamed. Rather unprofessionally I thought, the doctor gave my bottom a resounding slap and said, 'Dirty boy!' as he ordered the students to clean me up, remove me and make me presentable for the anatomist.
I felt anxiety, dislocation and bafflement. I thought how plump my body looked stretched out on the table. And I also felt the presence of other spirit entities around me; thoughts from these entities entered my own consciousness. There were all kinds of feelings and emotions like fear, annoyance, lust aroused by my nudity, and self-pity. I got the idea that these were the spirits of the people who had died that day, or recently, in the hospital. I seemed to have no control over my direction as I floated along, above my cadaver. It was like I was on a trolley into a room of some kind where I was laid on a slab and delivered into the hands of two nurses to be washed. I seemed to be regarded as an object rather than someone ostensibly latterly deceased. As they washed me, and they were quite comprehensive, they discussed the time they had the night before in some popular local disco. They only seemed to be aware of me as a onetime animate object when one said, as she turned me over, 'Nice bum!' as she applied soap to it. Then, rather surprisingly but no doubt as a matter of routine, I was fully shaven, probably to ensure I looked neat and tidy on presentation to the mortician. Once cleaned up, an ID tag with a bar code was tied to my left ankle.
I really couldn't understand why I was in a state of disembodied consciousness whilst my physical body was clearly dead. It had already become a bluish/grey color. I could think reasonably clearly, but I feared for what would happen once my body had been dissected for medical study. Would I be abandoned as a kind of spiritual wisp, a nothingness?
Ostensibly dead, I was now an artifact and not a person. Clean, I was wheeled into another room down the corridor. Here, I was put on a sort of giant set of weighing scales, used for cadavers. My torso was put onto a kind of bucket, with my head and limbs dangling over the side. From there, I was take to another smaller, dimly lit room where my body was placed onto a glass-topped table. After a little while, two people, students in white coats, came in and took serial photos of me, supine and prone and arranged in various positions. I was then put in the main morgue, stretched out on a large marble shelf. I was squeezed in with other dead bodies, some covered in sheets and others naked. There didn't seem to be much space, as I was laid over a couple of old men, both with grey-beards and obese; one completely bald and the other with a torso covered in tattoos - ugh!
In the morgue, the presence of what I took to be the astral bodies of the dead people there was quite palpable. I got the feeling of welcome, and once again, other emotions such as shock and outrage, and resentment at being plucked from the living world. I got the sense, more and more, of something very sinister lurking over me. I would describe this as a spiritual presence both malignant and at the same time seductive. I had the feeling it wanted to absorb me, and enfold me in an embrace that would end up in my oblivion. Something in me, as I floated in my non-physical state, wanted to surrender to this blackness and lose myself in it forever. But another voice seemed to be saying, 'Be careful! Don't!' I could liken it to the pull of gravity as the presence seemed to be pulling me closer and closer into its embrace.
Then I sensed another presence, paternal and benign. I felt my spirit being pulled away from the 'force of darkness.' I wondered if that 'force' was the devil? I felt utterly exhausted, drained, and my consciousness ceased. After an unknown interval, consciousness returned. I thought that, perhaps, I was not dead after all. I was back in my physical body stretched out on a slab, obviously still in the mortuary, but although I could discern what was going on, I could neither move a muscle nor communicate. My first thought was that I still looked as though I was dead, and was I going to be put into a fridge? The room was brightly lit and tiled. There was a small table alongside me on which were a selection of surgical instruments. I knew what was going to happen to me. I was by now thoroughly fed up with the whole experience, and I hoped that whatever they were going to do to me would be done quickly.
I heard the mortician drone on about the tissue samples he intended to take, and felt the lines being drawn on my torso with marker pen to indicate where I would be dissected. But as I was about to be sliced, one of the attendees noticed a trickle of saliva dribble from my mouth. At first, the mortician refused to accept that there were signs of life, and wanted to press on with cutting me open. He said my corpse was still fresh, and would provide valuable medical data. Lying there, my naked body was the source of much discussion, but luckily, instruments began to show a barely discernible pulse.
I was brought back to life largely with the help of heart massage and a defibrillator. All this meant that the cardioversion failed, leading to my near demise and was too risky to be repeated. My atrial fibrillation, which is severe, will therefore continue and I will probably die from it in the not too distant future. Anyway, I am spiritually ready for this. I am happy that my body will become a valuable asset for medical study. I have had a couple of OBEs earlier in life, but nothing as dramatic as the one I have described above. What happened to me has made me think very closely about religion, the relationship of the earthly to the spirit world, the idea of life after death; I am anxious to find out all I can, which is the main reason why I have joined a spiritualist/occult circle who seem to have a good understanding of these matters.
Talking to the medical people whilst getting over my NDE/OBE, I learned that there are many instances almost every month at that hospital where bodies presented to the mortuary are in fact still medically alive but seemingly dead. Sometimes such cases have gone undetected, so that the unfortunate individual has ended up dissected. So I was very fortunate!
Date NDE Occurred: 20 october 2012
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Surgery-related.
Death as the result of the high-risk medical procedure: cardiac inversion
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 Wispy, sylphlike, and naked
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness? high level of consciousness
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? High level of consciousness
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I could see and hear properly
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. As above
The experience included: Presence of deceased persons
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes The spirits, so I thought, of the other recently dead in the hospital morgue.
The experience included: Darkness
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes As I was pulled away from the malign entity, I described
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I had an idea of being in purgatory
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Surprise, curiosity, terror and a wish to die
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe The sheer nastiness of the dark entity I had described
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 thought another force, which saved me from the dark entity, returned me.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes From Catholicism to the occult
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Large changes in my life
After the NDE:
How accurately do you remember the experience in comparison to other life events that occurred around the time of the experience? Yes Yes
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? Thinking how beautiful I looked when seeing myself laid out naked. The fear of absorption into the malignant entity.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I shared it with the people with whom I now worship. They took the view that my experience was, in no way, uncommon.
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 would love to experience it again, as I would know what to expect.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Not at the moment