We had gone on vacation to Araxá from Belo Horizonte. My father, mother, and three sisters. I was the oldest. In Araxá, at the Grande Hotel, which still stands even today, there were outdoor and indoor swimming pools. It had rained the previous days and the water in the pool was green and very muddied. The sun was very hot and my father was very light skinned so he put tanning oil on himself, my mother and us girls. I jumped into the water, was playing, and wanted to go to one of the other sides of the pool. But the swimming pool had a steeply graded bottom and suddenly I fell into the deep part. I lost my footing and began going up and down in the water, yelling for help. I remember seeing bubbles going up as I was going down. I went up and down about four times and the last thing I remember of this part was that my dad jumped into the water and tried to grab me but we were slippery from the suntan oil. At that point, I lost consciousness.
Suddenly I was out of the water, dry, feeling happy and seeing a 360 degree movie. It started in the present (that very day) and went backward very rapidly but I was able to see all the moments of my life, with all the smells and tastes and sensations. When I arrived at the day of my birth, I saw myself transported, without knowing how, through a tunnel that was spinning but without making me dizzy. The tunnel appeared to be made of clouds that changed color the whole time and was immensely wide and long. People were gliding through in this tunnel. I was also gliding toward a light at the end of the tunnel. The light was very golden but was not blinding. It was an embracing, comforting light. I went along without understanding why, but I had never felt happier.
Then, someone who looked like a man whose head was covered by a cloak that looked more like a brown hood, called me by name and said, 'You were not supposed to be here, but if you like, you may continue on.'
I asked, 'And if I don't continue on, what will happen?'
He replied that I would return and continue living the life I had been living. I hesitated a little, he then made a gesture that looked as if someone were opening a curtain of clouds, and I saw my parents and sisters down below in a state of despair. I saw my body turning blue at the edge of the pool, and some people running across the grass toward me. The next moment the tunnel disappeared and I was once again back in my body, feeling very bad and deaf.
I was taken to the medical center of the Grande Hotel and was given antibiotics and serum. Two days later, we returned to Belo Horizonte. My deafness gradually went away after a little more than fifteen days, and I began to dream about the man in the hooded robe every night for three years. We became friends and he told me he would be with me during my whole life.
I couldn't get anyone to understand what had gone on with me. I began reading books that were way beyond my capacity as a twelve year old and it wasn't until I read Dr. Raymond Moody's book that I found anything like what I had experienced. By that time, I was an adult. I will never forget my experience. And what impressed me the most was the movie, and especially all the sensations of my life, up to that time. This caused me to later study physics and psychology but I never got involved with any religion. I lost all fear of death because I know that dying is passing through something that is absolutely not bad.
Date NDE Occurred: January 1955
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident Afogamento involuntário Other Afogamento, parada respiratória e cardíaca. Of course, I wasn't breathing, there was no heart beat or pulse.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I lost awareness of my body
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness? Normal consciousness and alertness
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? During the movie of my life memories.
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 was shown my whole life in a matter of seconds.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Did your vision differ in any way from normal? I was able to see everything in 360 degrees and the colors were fantastic.
Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? During the experience, but afterwards, when I returned to my body, I was deaf.
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 As I described above.
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 Inside the tunnel but I didn't recognize anyone.
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 Described above.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm Sim, o túnel.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Peace, tranquility, happiness.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? Happiness
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
The experience included: Life review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control I already told about the life review. Concerning the above, I was very new to all this.
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future I began having precognitions, prophetic dreams, and was able to find lost items, etc.
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? 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
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What was your religion prior to your experience? Liberal Não tinha qualquer fé ou religião
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I became more curious and found kids my age to be sort of dumb. I read more than normal to see if I could find out more about what happened. Religiously, nothing changed. I am still an atheist and always have been.
What is your religion now? Liberal Ainda não tenho fé ou religião.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I became more curious and found kids my age to be sort of dumb. I read more than normal to see if I could find out more about what happened. Religiously, nothing changed. I am still an atheist and always have been.
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? No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes At that time, fifty years ago, no one understood me no matter how often I told what had happened to my parents, a few professors, and doctors. They thought I was relating some kind of dream I had that was caused by the trauma of drowning.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain I don't know if what I described above would serve as a response?
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? I am unafraid of death, and to believe there was life after death. I started feeling the presence of people who had already died and to mentally converse with them. The man in the hood was with me for three years and taught me many things. Even today, I call him my guide.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes
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 was left feeling very emotionally unsteady.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. Today, many people speak about this and I feel happy that I was one of those who had this fantastic experience, and I also know that this experience changed the paths of my life since I was just a girl at the time.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? No.