On the morning of June 5, 2000, I had a medical procedure (cystoscopy) done in an outpatient clinic at the hospital where I worked. I had requested the whole day off from work, but after the procedure was done, I decided to go to work anyhow since I felt absolutely fine. About an hour later (11:30 am), my secretary found me in my office in a semi-unconscious state and called for help. I was transported to the emergency room where they immediately began giving me fluids to help raise my blood pressure, which was dropping quickly. Eventually, they transported me to the medical intensive care unit and continued efforts to raise my pressure. They told me I was in septic shock and that my kidneys and brain were at risk of shutting down, and other organs would soon follow. When they could no longer keep pumping fluids into me because I was going into fluid overload, they began to give me blood transfusions. At one point the nurse was taking my blood pressure and said, ‘She's forty over Doppler (meaning a blood pressure of 40/0); get ready to call the code.’ I remember thinking to myself, ‘wow, this is serious,’ but I didn't feel any emotion connected to that realization. It was as if I was an outside observer.
Then, I became acutely aware of a deep warmth enveloping my body. I experienced a sense of peacefulness that no words can fully express. The intensive care unit and all the people in there were no longer in my perception and instead I was in my grandmother’s kitchen with my grandmother, my aunt and my brother. They were all deceased relatives of mine. My aunt was standing at the sink, grandma next to her, and my brother was sitting at the table. They all looked radiant, almost glowing. My aunt, who had elephantiasis while living, no longer had swollen legs. I only communicated with my aunt; the others were silent. The communicating was by telepathy. There were no actual words spoken, but we understood each other completely. My aunt wanted to wash my hair, which was a favorite ritual of ours when I was a child. As I communicated with her, I noticed the face of a child circulating around her head. The face was cherub-looking and glowed like the others. I ‘knew’ the child was a male, but I didn't know who he was. After a while (not sure how long because time had no meaning) my aunt said, ‘Tell your Mom I'm happy and that everything is good.’ As she said that, I ‘knew’ I was going back. The two incidences of ‘knowing’ that the baby face was male and that I was going back were knowledge that I had no doubt about. They were as if they were a part of my own existence. Like, how can you question your own arm or leg? Still, I wondered who the child was. When I knew I was going back, I looked away from my aunt, began to search for my husband and children, and suddenly was aware again of being in the intensive care room, which now felt cold.
The blood transfusions that had been given to me earlier began raising my blood pressure and my condition steadily improved the rest of the night. As I lay in bed, I had no awareness of physical illness related to my condition. All I felt was an intense desire to share my experience. Nothing else mattered. The next afternoon my parents came to visit me and I began to tell them about my experience. When I described the unknown male baby face, I noticed my mother turning rather pale. She then told me that my aunt had lost her infant son shortly after birth, but didn't tell anyone as she didn't like to talk about it. I gave my mother the message from my aunt and asked her why she would say that. My mother then told me this story: In 1966, my aunt had a high-risk surgery for her elephantiasis and died shortly after. Just before my aunt went into surgery my mother told her that if she didn't make it to send her a message. At the time of my near death experience, my mother was having trouble with her own fear of growing old and dying. It seems this message was comforting to her. Over the next six months as I recovered from my illness, I continued to feel an intense desire to share my experience with anyone who would listen. At the same time, I also experienced a profound and deep sadness that I was ‘here’ rather than ‘there.’ One day, without reason, I became aware of the realization that there is no ‘here’ or ‘there’ but only oneness. From that moment on, I continue to experience oneness in my living form and rejoice in life at every moment.
Date NDE Occurred: 6/5/00
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Illness 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
At the time of my near death experience I was in the medical intensive care unit in septic shock. I worked at the hospital and my co-workers found me semi-unconscious in my office and transported me to the emergency room. They tried to save me for many hours but I just kept getting worse, until finally my blood pressure was very low, and they were about to call a code.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
Did you feel separated from your body? No
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? More consciousness and alertness than normal My near death experience is more crisp and clear than any other experience in my life.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? While I was communicating with my aunt.
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
Time had no meaning.
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. Everything was crisp, sharp and glowing during my experience. I could not only see it with my eyes (although I was unaware of my eyes and my body) I also felt it with my senses. The visuals had emotions contained within them.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Since we were communicating in a telepathic kind of way, there was no hearing. There was mostly ‘knowing’.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
The experience included: Presence of deceased persons
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes I encountered my aunt, my grandmother and my brother, who were all deceased at the time of my experience. I also encountered my cousin, who was also deceased. I didn't have knowledge of his existence prior to my experience.
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? No
Did you see an unearthly light? No
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Incredible peace and warmth.
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
The experience included: Special knowledge or purpose
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe I had an understanding and ‘knowing’ about everything except the identity of my cousin. But I didn't care.
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 It wasn't a physical barrier, but I ‘knew’ I was being sent back and it was not my decision.
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- Catholic I was, and still am, not a practicing catholic, even though I spent 3 years in the convent as a young woman. I refer to myself as a catholic because that is the church I was raised in. I am really basically "spiritual"
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Christian- Catholic
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 Prior to my experience, as a nurse I had many experiences with death and dying and always believed there was probably something more. I never really speculated in-depth about what that more could be. I also had many vivid premonition dreams/experiences. I still do.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes Probably the biggest change is the knowledge of oneness: that there is no ‘here’ and ‘there’ or ‘you’ and ‘me’.
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? No
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? No
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? Yes Prior to my experience, I was unaware that my aunt had lost an infant son shortly after birth.
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? No I became acutely "aware" of oneness only after my experience.
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? Yes From the beginning to the end of my experience I felt the presence of God within the warmth and peacefulness. They were one and the same.
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 probably exists┬
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes My aunt's legs were no longer swollen. She told me she was happy and everything was good.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I did not fear death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Not 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 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? No
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? No
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Greatly 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? Large changes in my life Since my experience I live my life with great joy. There is little drama because I always have a sense of the big picture. The knowledge of oneness permeates everything I do. Life is perfect. The way I look at everything and approach everyone is completely different. One thing that remained the same is the high level of altruism I had that prior to my experience.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Yes I no longer allow people to treat me poorly. I gravitate toward joyful people and experiences.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Words do not describe my experience, but I keep trying to find a way to communicate it. At the same time, I know I'll never be able to find the words.
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 remember my experience as if it just happened, and it's been 13 years.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes Prior to my experience, I had premonition dreams only during sleep. Now I have psychic experiences while awake.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I have shared my experience with many people. I am more controlled about who I share it with now than I was thirteen years ago. At first, the desire to share was intense. My husband, who barely came to the hospital while I was ill, did not believe my experience and was embarrassed by my telling people about it because it made him uncomfortable. We divorced a few years later. Most people, however, have a positive reaction. I had one experience several years ago. I was driving to the hospital to visit a friend when I realized I was going the wrong way. I pulled over to turn around in front of a flower shop, and decided to go in and get some flowers for my friend. The owner of the shop was in the back room crying when I entered. I asked what was going on and she told me her husband had died recently in the middle of the night. He had not felt well and she made him sleep in another room. She was distraught that he died ‘alone.’ I found myself telling her about my experience and she sobbed and was relieved knowing her husband didn't really die ‘alone.’ I left the flower shop ‘knowing’ there was a reason I had gone the wrong way.
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 just knew. Plus, the validation of finding out about the existence of my cousin.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No