At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Illness I had a heart infection (endocarditis), complicated by heart failure, sepsis following dental extraction and cocaine use. Life threatening event, but not clinical death . At the time I was going through an extreme emotional struggle my father had cancer, and my relationship with my husband was in shambles. I had turned from my career as a nurse and sought refuge from the numbing drug cocaine caused Endocarditis (an extremely dangerous heart infection).
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 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? More consciousness and alertness than normal This is another concept that is very hard to explain. Once I got to the stage, where I entered the light there was an all knowing awareness of everything beyond any explanation of earthly senses. Communication was on a different level. I was complete (void from any one emotion). Time and space no longer had any meaning.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I was in a coma during the entire experience. My husband tells me that they tried everything to wake me. He even pinched my toes and fingers so hard that they started to bleed. The doctors and nurses tried for two days to stimulate me with pain responses but I never even responded even with a flinch.
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 There was no time and no limitations of space. I had no body within the light and felt complete freedom.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Did your vision differ in any way from normal? There was extreme clarity and crispness to my vision during the experience. This is interesting because while I was in the coma a piece of the infection broke off from the heart valve permanently blinding me in my left eye. Before the experience I had perfect vision, since the experience I am legally blind in the left eye.
Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? I remember hearing guitar music in the distant background. I could also hear my girls giggling. Apparently while I was in the coma a person came to play guitar music for me at my bedside late at night and my sister brought in a radio and played Christian music through headphones to comfort me.
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? Yes I was in three different levels. The first level was a dark, cold, clammy, and very loud vortex that pulled me down leaving me feeling very exposed. The second plane was in a field of long green grasses and a brilliant blue sky. In the distance, I saw the most brilliant inviting warm yellow-white light. Once I entered that light is where I became separated from my body.
The experience included: Presence of deceased persons
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 I saw my nephew who was my age and died tragically. He stayed with me and expressed an interest in needing to let my sister (his mom) and family know he was safe. I also saw my grandparents, and a cousin who passed away. My grandmother was surprised to see me they had been expecting my father (who was dying of cancer). I was taken to an area and left alone. In this area, I received an all knowing gift and was told (not in a verbal way) that this is heaven, it does exist but I needed to go back and spread the news that heaven does exist and that the teachings of Jesus were real. I was to be a messenger of good faith despite all of the destruction that my drug use had caused. I was reassured that once I completed my destiny to be a messenger that these riches and more awaited me upon my final death. After that communication, the next thing I remember was waking from my coma to find my doctor sitting at my bedside late at night. He was on call and tended to my monitors while the intensive care unit nurse took a short break. He was surprised to see that I actually woke up.
The experience included: Darkness
The experience included: Light
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? Yes The light was bright but not blazing to hurt your eyes. The light had an energy that drew me near and made me want to enter it above all else. It was obviously a gateway to a place where I felt a strong need to go.
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm Level of darkess and nakedness. Level of beautiful field where I had an encounter with my girls and directed them away from the light. Level of entering an being within the light.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Once again this is hard to explain. I was beyond emotion. I was complete. I was whole. A feeling much more that completely satisfied and happy.
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
The experience included: Special Knowledge
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 I did not have a life review per se however when I was pulled into the vortex of darkness the only way that I got out was to ask for help. I prayed God please help me. At that moment I felt something reaching for me, I took hold and again asked for help. I was pulled up and out of the horrible pit and placed in a serene field of grass and brilliant blue sky where I saw my children and was enticed by the white light.
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? Uncertain
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 Methodist
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Uncertain I now am sure of the teachings of the Bible. I am now convinced of the rewards of heaven. I now know that there are modern day prophets and that the teachings of the Bible transcend all ages.
What is your religion now? Moderate
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Uncertain I now am sure of the teachings of the Bible. I am now convinced of the rewards of heaven. I now know that there are modern day prophets and that the teachings of the Bible transcend all ages.
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 have always had strong intuition. However, since I had my experience I have an even more heightened intuition. I have a strong sense of what is going to happen next. I am no longer afraid of fears I had in the past. I was not afraid to die. I had a sense of knowing my purpose on earth. I had never really read the Bible but since the experience I can recite scripture and find passages where I can feel a connection.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes My husband and I have worked out our relationship and we are harmoniously raising our two beautiful girls. Before my dad passed away, I had the chance to show him that I had changed. I was there when he died and helped guide him on his final journey. I have started speaking out about my experience and offering hope to those feeling hopeless. I have started work again as a medical writer. I have rebuilt relationships that I destroyed during my drug use days.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Uncertain I am a writer so the experience was easy to put to paper and explain how I became my soul without my body. What is nearly impossible to explain is how I interacted with family members who previously passed. We communicated without words but in the most intense emotional way that cannot be explained with mere words from earth.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes Strong intuition of knowing what comes next. I often have dreams that come true and many dΘjα vu experiences.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Everything. This was a life changing event for me. Interestingly I did have one drug relapse nearly six months following the experience but I believe that was because I had become so aware of my surroundings and what was going to happen next that I wanted to suppress the flood of information being processed in my brain. My relapse was short and I found a way to live with my new gifts because my most vivid memory of the experience is that my job was not complete until I spread the message and I might not receive the wonderful reward that is waiting if I do as I was destined.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Once I came out of the coma my family was very devastated by my whole illness because they knew that it was caused most likely from the drug use. However, when I went into the coma and had my experience I was not high. I told them of my experience and shared the song lyrics written on paper. To my surprise, my family believed me and was amazed by the evidence. I still needed to gain my families trust so I do not think that they truly believed all that I was saying about being a messenger for God until nearly a year later when I walked the walk that I said I would. I was put in jail for about two weeks for a drug violation. I shared my experience with others and had an overwhelming experience, other inmates wanted to read the Bible with me and hear my story. It gave them hope in a hopeless place. In fact once I was out and changing my life for the better I started the HERO project a resource program for education and awareness to Honor our Esteem and Respect Ourselves.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I have always heard stories about the light. My cousin who passed away had a near death experience before his final death described a light and meeting family members who were behind a chicken wire in the tunnel leading to the light. I do not think that it influenced what I felt or experienced because his story was only a story mine was an actual experience.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real. Being a nurse and reading my chart afterward all indications pointed at imminent death or vegetative state. But I was alive and had an increased ability to clearly think, know and understand. No one could live through that and still come out ahead.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. The reason that I am writing this out tonight is that I had a dream two nights ago that has affected me ever since. It was a dream of the experiences that I had leading up to my experience full of the fear and anxiety that I felt when I was doing the drugs. My dream showed me a different perspective this time. I was a like a fly on the wall watching the doctors and nurses working on me and I could actually see my family crying at my bedside and experienced their pain. The anniversary of my experience is next week and my awareness is usually elevated during these times.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Uncertain The dream that I had the other night where I experienced my family and the medical surroundings instead of what was going on inside was during normal sleep with no medications. The dreams that I have that come true always occur on full nights of sleep with no medications.