Cardiac catheter error resulted in bypass graft spiral dissection and iatrogenic heart attack followed by urinary tract infection related to non-sterile Foley placement later leading to urosepsis, septic shock, congestive heart failure, pneumonia, , renal failure, and subsequent neurologic injuries with loss of sensory-motor functions of right side of my body. I lost pulse and blood pressure for about four minutes and was intubated, started on medication, and maintained in a comatose state for eight days.
I have no memories of about two weeks of the month long hospitalization, but I do remember with clarity the experience.
I remember thinking, ‘So, this is what it is like to die.’ Then I felt myself released from my body. I saw my wife at the bedside and the people in the room working on me. I wanted to tell them I was OK, but I couldn't. I felt as if I was being lifted away and then I started to experience what I have come to call 'my tour.'
I started traveling to all sorts of places. Some were familiar. Others were not. I remember them, but I have a problem clearly describing all of them. Mostly because words alone cannot adequately convey the existence of them. They were all wonderful, remarkable, beautiful, and interesting. Some were landscapes. Some were places I remembered as a child. The easiest to describe were the landscapes. There was a valley with lush mountain sides and an exceptionally spectacular waterfall. There was a lush green field with flowers and children laughing and playing. There was a beach with crystal blue-green water and blue skies with a cool breeze and gentle lapping waves. I was shown places with other stars, galaxies, and planets. I lost sense of time and space and was instantly transported from place to place. I traveled to many places. I can't recount the number, but I do recall having a sensational sense of joy and happiness during the travels and did not want it to stop.
Eventually, I reached an area of darkness with a faint light in the distance. I felt a strong compulsion to travel to the light. The closer I got, the brighter it became. As I neared the light, I became aware of other spirits or souls present. I could not see them as if they were a picture or a face, but I sensed them. I could see what appeared to be a mixture of clouds, fog, smoke, and an ethereal mist connected with the spirits and the light. They were as if they were all one and the same. There were hazy outlines of indistinct figures present. I knew them. I was communicating with them, but we weren't talking. We just did it. It was instantaneous thought transmitted between us.
I met my sister who had died years ago from sudden cardiac death. I met my mother who died of cancer five years ago. I was happy to be with them, but I was also drawn to the light. It was the most brilliant and bright golden white light that permeated the entire area. As I got close to it, I felt an overwhelming power and presence that I recognized as God. I communicated with the entity that I knew was God. I asked questions and had answers immediately. I was filled with love, joy, and happiness and felt myself surrounded by unconditional love, forgiveness, and acceptance. I wanted to continue and to proceed on through the light to the other side, but I received a message that clearly said, ‘No, go back. It is not your time’. It was accompanied by visions of my wife and children. I did not want to go back, but I was not given a choice and them I awoke as the pulmonologist was shaking me.
I am a but vague after that, but I remember him asking me if I was OK and did I want to be intubated. At that moment, I felt extremely sad and wanted to go back to where I had been, but I couldn't. Then my wife and children came into the room and I realized that I was alive and had been sent back for some purpose. Although, I don't know what that is yet. I've been told by the minister that it may be to share my story. Maybe it is, but I'm not so sure. I'm learning that there are a lot of stories like mine. A lot more than I ever thought before. In fact, I was skeptical about such stories. I thought they were just the manifestation of some weird biochemical reaction in the brain that resulted in an hallucinatory experience, but now I am not so sure. I think now that I did experience a glimpse of the afterlife and was allowed to discover that God is real, Heaven is a paradise, and that we are all a part of that if we exercise our free will in the proper manner to deserve it. Just as there is a Heaven, there is a Hell. Just as there is good, there is evil. It is up to us to choose which path we take.
Date NDE Occurred: 'May 29, 2013'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Heart attack. Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I saw my wife at the bedside and the people working on me. I described who was there, where they were, and what they were doing. My wife verified it. She was quite surprised to hear me describe it so clearly.
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 More vivid images, more positive thoughts, an awareness of everything around me, the ability to communicate instantaneously with only thoughts, a feeling as if all knowledge was available to me at any time.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Standing in the presence of what I recognized as God.
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
Time did not exist in the way that we normally think about it. Things appeared to happen instantaneously whether traveling on the tour or standing in the light. There were no parameters that gave any indication that time existed. It was as if it had always been there and would always be there and was not affected by the constraints of time or space.
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. I could see clearly without glasses. I could see distant and near without restrictions. In this world I am legally blind even with glasses.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I could hear without having to focus on it. I wouldn't really call it hearing as we know it. It was more of an experience associated with sound that consisted more of thoughts, images, and feelings rather than actual sounds. However, I did hear sounds clearly during my tour.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
The experience included: Tunnel
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes There was a sense of darkness that could have been a tunnel, but I couldn't see walls or anything like that. Although, there was a light off in the distance.
The experience included: Presence of deceased persons
Did you see any beings in your experience? I sensed their presence
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes My sister, mother, and grandmother.
The experience included: Darkness
The experience included: Unearthly 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 experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm After traveling through the darkness into the light. The entire place was unearthly. It was the area that was an ethereal mixture of clouds, wispy smokiness, fog, and the brightest light I have ever seen. It was where the hazy outlines of spirits existed and where I felt as if I was one with them and God.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Joy, ecstasy, love, happiness, and a comforting sense of peace and calmness. I felt as if I belonged there.
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 or purpose
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe It was as if I was a computer and was receiving an endless download of knowledge. I asked questions and received answers immediately. It was at the same time without delay. Anytime I posed a question, the answer was presented. It was more pronounced in the presence of God.
Did scenes from your past come back to you? I remembered many past events
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes The light area was a boundary. I wanted to continue, but did not. However, there was no limit to Heaven as I sensed it. It was infinite. It also consisted of more than could be described.
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? Not important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Protestant More skeptic than true believer
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I now know that God is real and that Heaven is real.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Christian- Protestant
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was both consistent and not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience Please see above in the description of the experience.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes God is real. Heaven is real. There is an afterlife and we will all be subjected to a day of reckoning at that time. What happens to us will depend on the choices we make.
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 sensed their presence
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.)? Yes Jesus. I was made aware when I was with God. I was given the information that Jesus was a manifestation of God. I could feel the presence, but did not clearly see it. It was included in the totality of God as I experienced it. It was a voice of reassuranc
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? No
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes Again,see above in description of experience.
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? I was uncertain if God exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Yes See above in description of experience. The light and the presence of the entity. It was clearly God. It was present everywhere and a part of everything. There were no limits on the power of God. There was unconditional acceptance, forgiveness, and Love.
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? Yes I know God is real. I know that the afterlife is real. I know that Heaven exists and is a paradise that is available to all of us if we choose it to be by making the right choices while we exist in this world.
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are not meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? Yes I got the impression that our purpose is to exercise our free will in the proper manner to enable us to honor and love God so that we can return to God willingly.
If we choose to follow evil, then we will suffer the consequences accordingly. The conseque
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife probably does not exist
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes See above in description of experience. The existence of God and Heaven was verified. It is real.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I slightly 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 prior to your experience? Are not meaningful and significant
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? Yes We are all creatures of God and God wants us to remain so. God does not favor any specific religion or sect of faith above any other despite the claims that are made. Any individual can be allowed to enter Heaven and become one with God if the right choices are made and they choose God over evil.
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? Yes The existence of these difficulties, challenges, or hardships is to allow us to learn and to exercise our free will as described above in order to gain the knowledge and experience required to maintain God's will so that we can remain as one with God fore
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes Simply put, it is the central theme for everything. It is the core principle that we are all supposed to follow. It is what will allow us all to become one with God in this world and the next.
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Large changes in my life I don't work so hard now. No more eighteen to twenty hour days. I make more time for family. More time with charity and volunteer work.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Yes Some colleagues do not believe me and have distanced themselves. Family life is better. I have a more positive outlook now. I am less concerned about the small things. I work less and spend more time on relationships.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes
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 I lost memories of the month I spent in the hospital, but I can remember clearly the experience without any problem.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? No
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Being with God and with my relatives.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I told my wife about it after I was intubated. She was very surprised and was somewhat skeptical until I described what happened when I left my body. I told my brother, but he doesn't believe it. He says he believes that I believe it, but he doesn't.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I had heard of them, but never believed it. I don't think it affected my experience. My knowledge was hearsay from people who claimed to know others who had experienced it. I still don't know anybody personally who has ever gone through it.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was probably real At first, I was uncertain. But, after talking to my wife, I knew it had to be real. I described things that happened while I was dead that I shouldn't have remembered. I believe it was definitely real now. I can still remember it vividly.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real Real. Not hallucination. Not weird biochemical reaction. Real.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No