I was fourteen years old and I was being operated on for appendicitis at San Giovanni Hospital in Rome.
Once I had been anesthetized, I suddenly found myself running down a long black tunnel. In fact, this was my soul leaving my body, running fast inside this tunnel so I could reach a white light, a bright ring. The very moment I reached the light, I turned around and, retracing my steps, ran back through the tunnel at the same speed, until I reached where I had started - only to turn around again and run back down the tunnel towards the light. Repeatedly, I ran towards the light, and then back to where I had started and then back towards the light again, over and over. While doing this, I enjoyed a feeling of serenity, peace and calm.
Once I awoke after the surgery, I felt extremely tired, as if I had just run a great many kilometers! The feelings of 'detachment' and 'running fast' towards the light are the most difficult experiences to explain. It felt sort of like an emergency - back and forth, back and forth - as if a disaster were attracting me towards the light, but another was pulling me back towards my body.
Date NDE Occurred: 1996
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Uncertain Surgery-related 'Illness, trauma or other condition not considered life threatening'
I was in the operating theatre for an appendectomy.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
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 In the tunnel.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? In the tunnel.
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
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. The colors were strong, the speed was fast, the light strong, everything was stronger.
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 The tunnel was dark, and it narrowed as it approached the white light.
Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
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
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Happiness, calm, peace, lightness.
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
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? Scenes from the world's future
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
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Uncertain
What is your religion now? Liberal
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Uncertain
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? Uncertain
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes The feeling of speed is difficult to explain, as is the feeling of the soul detaching itself from the body and running fast.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain I think I have become more sensitive to certain things, I've got a stronger approach with the dead people who often come to talk to me in my dreams. I have had a premonitory dream in which I talked to Death a few days prior to my dad's death.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The feeling of speed and the basic elements of my experience have remained imprinted in my memory.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes But not everybody believes me. As soon as I came out of the theatre, I talked to my mum, but I don't remember her reaction. I think she thought I was still under the influence of the anesthesia.
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 definitely real I knew right away that the experience was definitely real.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I still see that the experience as definitely real.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No