I was in the hospital for 5 days. I had been drinking when I was beaten severely by my ex-husband. I was in a coma going through seizures. I do not remember anything at the hospital except the experience and the day I woke up. My family was called to the hospital to say goodbye because my body was deteriorating and the seizures could not be controlled with medications. This is according to family who came in one by one to say goodbye, my sister was praying over me saw the heart monitor flat line and I stopped breathing. She was holding me crying and demanding me not to be dead. She said at the moment I died, I finally was finally resting. About five minutes passed, she was still holding me when I opened my eyes and said ‘Hi Madeline!’ The doctors had no explanation as to why I came back. Later that week after I came home I told my sister of my experience.
My account: This is my only experience during my hospital stay. I woke feeling an incredible calm, like I had just passed through a tornado. I was led through whiteness to a white horizon, which I thought to be a road because I was walking on it. There was an area to the side of the road where I saw a badly mangled dog. I felt it was alright but stared at it with sadness. Then a man and (I dare to describe him as resembling the pictures I have seen of Jesus.) Came walking up to me. He stood beside me with his arm around my shoulder and walking me forward. I asked what will happen to the dog. He said, ‘Don't worry its okay.’ I didn’t feel satisfied with this answer and as I started to ask what he meant, I was sucked backward so fast I can't explain it. I was in my hospital bed and I opened my eyes to see my sister's big blue eyes filled with tears and she seemed shocked to see me. I remember saying ‘Hi Madeline’. That was it.
FURTHER E-MAIL DIALOGUE WITH DR. JEFF:
11/2/03 - Dr. Jeff
Thanks for your remarkable contribution to the www.nderf.org web site (Near Death Experience Research Foundation). We anticipate posting (anonymously) your account in the near future, and will promptly notify you when we do. Your contribution will help us learn about NDE, and will be an inspiration to many. I have some ideas about the aspect of your experience involving the mangled dog which I would be glad to share with you, but to help me understand this aspect of your experience, I have some questions. I understand the mangled dog was beside the road. How close were you to the mangled dog when you returned to your body? By this I mean with regard to the road you were on, were you ahead of, behind, or beside the part of the road the mangled dog was beside? Also, the figure with you, at the time you returned to your body, was the figure in front of you, behind you, or beside you? These answers and any additional details you could provide (including your own insights to this) would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again for sharing!
-Dr. Jeff Long
11/3/03 – Leona
Hello Dr. Long,
Thank you for your letter. I will be glad to answer your questions. This road seemed to be the size of road you would see in the country but I could not tell you it was dirt nor could I say it was paved. But there was a fence, along my right. It was about 2-3 feet high. The fence seemed to be maybe 15 feet from where I was. The dog was on the ground just on the other side. The distance from me to the dog was 15 to 25 feet. It was in front to my right and when I passed it I turned to look at who had their arm around my shoulder and to ask my question. There were never actually any words that came out of my mouth. But I knew he under stood. As I passed the dog the figure was in front of me facing me then turning with his arm across my shoulders. I remember his right hand was comforting, he held my right shoulder with it and his left hand was touching my left shoulder as he was guiding me on this road continuing in the same direction, he was beside me,. I was ready for the answer. All this was going on at the same time. Then damn vacuum. All at once it was loud and the peace was gone. I felt robbed. I was not upset but I wanted back the peace I had felt. I think I slept after that. I think it was the next day that the doctors and nurses looked shocked; they remarked how they never expected me to ‘make it’. I knew something I knew they didn't. I wanted to keep it that way. Only my sister and my Mom were aware of my experience.
My Mom, when she found out she was dying of cancer- Questioned me a lot about it. I told her ‘Oh Mom- Don't fear it, look forward to it. The peace is incredible you will not feel the pain anymore. Note: She suffered so badly since the age of 30 of rheumatoid arthritis. There was not a day when she was not in pain. When she was diagnosed with cervical cancer she did not tell me she was dying. Anyway she thanked me and told me how lucky I was to have experienced what happens after this life. She seemed more assured the more we talked about it. I have handled the deaths of my Mother and Father easier than my sister. I know I will see them again. I know they have visited me after their death. My Mom visited twice and my Dad once. They were checking on me. But they must have moved on because they have not been back.
I don't know if I mentioned this in the questionnaire but I was concerned about how I looked. My hair was tangled and my gown was stained. My sister said "Well for 2 days you were thrashing and sweating, I don't know how your body took such a beating. I hope I answered your questions. Feel free to write me again if you have any more.
Thanks for the additional information! One concern I had with posting your account is the imagery of the mangled dog. There are many people who visit our web site who have lost a beloved pet, and I think some understanding of this aspect of your experience is very important to avoid unnecessary concern about what happens to pets after they die. Given this, I would greatly appreciate your comments on my best guess as to why the imagery of the mangled dog occurred, and I would certainly be interested in your comments on this aspect of your experience as well.
My best guess about the imagery of the mangled dog is as follows. I may be wrong, and your ‘take’ on this is probably the most accurate. I think the road you were on was a representation of your travel along your earthly life journey. The fence you saw to your right was a ‘boundary’, suggesting you should not cross it. Most of the time we encounter boundaries in NDEs, they are a boundary between where the NDEr is, and where they cannot go if they are to return to their physical body. Such boundaries are almost always directly crossing the path the NDErs are going in their experience. The boundary you describe was different, in that it was not crossing the road you were on, but beside it. I think the dog represents your broken life up to the time you were hospitalized. Your earthly path is now away from the pain and damage you have been experiencing represented by the dog. This suggests the importance of staying on your life’s path (or road), and not straying too far off the path. It is very significant that you looked at the figure you encountered (I am quite suspicious it was Jesus) at the time on the road that you were passing the dog. I think the experience indicated that after you passed the dog on the road (passing this event in your life causing the NDE), you reached a readiness to see who was helping (guiding) you along the way, which was what the figure was doing. Your account is a beautiful representation of the help I think we all have on our earthly journey, and how we all have to come to a point of readiness to see and acknowledge the divine help available to us all. It was probably very important to you for your earthly journey that you came see how you can turn to others for help on your life’s journey, and that the divine is always with you on your earthly journey. I suspect you were not very far along the road past the dog when your experience ended (please let me know). You may be able to come up with some special meaning about the dog in the context of this discussion.
Thanks again for sharing your remarkable experience! Please feel free to agree or disagree with any of the preceding. I would greatly appreciate it if you could share your thoughts on this.
-Dr. Jeff Long
Hello Again Doctor,
As I believed at the time and as I still believe is that this creature was passing through the death the same time I was. I am comforted to know that all God’s creatures are ‘processed’ in the same way. I do feel however that there is a screening of human beings. Some go on to the next level with ease while others have a more difficult journey. I feel I was sent back because would still be needed for something here. Whether it be strength for my family, my children or providing care and love for someone in need. I don't know what it is. Maybe I still needed to prove my faith in Jesus. Maybe it was to take care of my ailing father after my Mom died. He was terribly heat broken and lonely. I moved in with him and cared for him out of love. I have already been rewarded for that. God sent me the most wonderful person I have ever met. We fell in love and married in April. He has a pure heart and things I thought impossible, we have accomplished together. I often prayed for this man. He always tells me ‘I prayed for you to come along’. At that point in time we were cleaning up the wreckage of our past when we met. If I was ever certain about anything, I am certain God put us together. I know there is more for me to do. I feel it and I will be ready.
As for boundary I didn't feel it was a boundary at all. It didn't represent anything to me but I was not there long enough to make any interpretations. I was on the road moving forward, I saw the dog, I saw him**,I felt the arm on my shoulder, I looked at him, expressed concern for the dog and whoosh! I cannot tell you anymore than that except that to me time did not matter. My experience ended right after the whoosh of the vacuum. I would like to know what you thought of my concern about my appearance. It puzzles me.
Leona 11/3/03 – Leona
P.S. Referring to him as the figure or the man makes me uneasy. He was someone of authority and great knowledge. I don't want to be presumptuous by calling him something. So I prefer ‘Him’
-Dr. Jeff Long 11/5/03 - Dr. Jeff
Thanks for the additional comments! To answer your question about your concern about your appearance: I don’t know what to make of that. You nearly died, probably were on many medications, and this could have something to do with it. I would emphasize that prior studies have established that medications do not affect the likelihood of a NDE occurring or the content of a NDE when it happens. If you are OK with this, I would love to post your remarkable NDE account (anonymously) on the www.nderf.org web site with the dialogue pertaining to your experience below. If this is not OK, please let me know. Thanks again for sharing your remarkable experience! Best regards,
Date NDE Occurred: May 1997
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Uncertain Illness Seizures Clinical death
How do you consider the content of your experience? Positive
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes Without pain. No regard as to my looks or appearance I was not aware of my body.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I was fully conscious and alert during my experience. My sister said I was dead.
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning Time was not relevant.
Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? Rushing of wind, A Vacuum.
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes Fast, tunnel, white
The experience included: Presence of deceased persons
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes A man with long hair and beard and white garments. Resembling people from the bible.
The experience included: Light
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes A man with long hair and beard and white garments. Resembling people from the bible.
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
The experience included: Special Knowledge
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe A feeling of knowledge, I can't describe it.
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 wasn't involved in bringing me back, Only God and Madeline.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What was your religion prior to your experience? Conservative/fundamentalist
What is your religion now? Moderate Christian
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes The incredible peace is hard to describe. I felt beyond absolutely wonderful peace and was free of all worries
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain My father and my mother have visited me once since their death, my father once and my Mom twice.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The peace was the best. I don't feel there was any worst except I was disappointed about having to leave there.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes My mom was relieved to know there was no pain and was not afraid when she died.
She died of Cervical cancer she was in excruciating pain.
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? That's about it.