I could see myself on the operating table during heart surgery. It was as though I was hovering in a corner looking down upon myself and all the equipment attached.Later, I was told that the team told my family in the operating room waiting room that the prognosis was not good and that if they could not restart my heart in the next 30 minutes, they would call a code. I then remember waking in recovery and feeling much pressure then total darkness. I was placed on a defibrillator. There was a sensation of more pressure and then a spiraling down into total blackness. I then saw a bright light and thought my mother was there telling me it wasn't time and I wanted to go to her so badly. She had been dead for 30 years. When I was recovering, finally, I felt as though I had been robbed of dying. I was despondent and confused. My personality had changed considerably and I felt I had been replaced by someone else. I still feel that I lost my soul. Does that make any sense?
Date NDE Occurred: 'March 6, 1980'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Surgery-related. Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
I had a heart attack and blockage of coronary arteries. At the time, I was female, 42 years old and weighed 105 lbs. Not a candidate for such an event.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely distressing
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes See narrative above
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? Less consciousness and alertness than normal I felt I was not the same person, that my soul had been stolen
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Three days after surgery, when I was finally weaned off the respirator
Were your thoughts speeded up? Faster than usual
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? No I had no recollection of time
Were your senses more vivid than usual? More vivid than usual
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Clear and unhindered
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. My hearing was not affected
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes At first it was a dark spiral and then a tunnel of 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? Yes My mother
The experience included: Void
The experience included: Darkness
The experience included: Unearthly light
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? An unusually bright light
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes A brightness so intense and peaceful
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? Some unfamiliar and strange place
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Total detachment
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 no longer in conflict with nature
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? No
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
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
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Greatly important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Catholic
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I quit attending church about 10 years ago. I have now returned to my Church in the past several months.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Christian- Catholic Experienced many doubts and have felt disconnected, unfeeling about my existance.
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was entirely not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience Why did I experience a spiriling downward into darkness before seeing the tunnel of bright light?
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes That experience has forever changed my life and the way that I have continued to live. It is most disturbing and makes me question my way of life and beliefs.
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 As I mentioned, my mother was there but told me to return
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any beings who previously lived on earth who are described by name in religions (for example: Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, etc.)? No
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? No
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God definitely exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? No
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? God definitely exists
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? No
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? No
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife definitely exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists No
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I moderately feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Slightly fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Not fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Are meaningful and significant
Did you gain information about how to live our lives? No
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? No
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? No
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Moderate changes in my life I changed jobs and followed a different path. I have felt lost and not myself but have managed a successful life in spite of my personal feelings. However, I still feel I am not the same person who they wheeled into that operating room in March 6, 1980.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Yes I do not interact with anyone else these days.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes No one understood what I was trying to convey.
How accurately do you remember the experience in comparison to other life events that occurred around the time of the experience? I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of the experience That experience has forever, changed my life and the way that I have continued to live. It is most disturbing and makes me question my way of life and beliefs.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain My perception of many things has been affected and my relationship with others has been altered.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The spiraling into darkness reminds me of entering Hell.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? No
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
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real It is always there, I never quit thinking about it.
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? Why did I experience a spiraling downward into darkness before seeing the tunnel of bright light?
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? None, you have been very thorough and I appreciate any feed-back you may be able to give me.
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