I was in extreme pain and feeling very weak, so my wife called my personal doctor, who instructed her (with the help of my priest-friend) to take me to the hospital emergency room immediately.
They put a tube in my nose and down my throat. I continued to feel excruciating pain. My priest-friend was next to me holding my hand. Then I saw myself dying, my body deflating like a balloon. I was feeling good and relaxed, telling myself, 'This is it; I am dead.'
Then I felt myself rising up to where everything was bright white. Suddenly, I was in presence of a human form who was clothed in white. I couldn't see the face. I told myself that this figure must be Saint Peter, holding the key to Heaven. Then the figure spoke to me in English, saying, 'What are you doing here?' I answered, 'I do not know.' The voice said to me, 'Go back.'
At that moment, I opened my eyes, and the excruciating pain returned. My priest-friend was next to me, still holding my hand.
A few days later, I was discharged from hospital so that I could have time to recover before having surgery, which took place in September of same year (1996). Since then, my life goes on in the company of my dear wife.
Date NDE Occurred: 'July 14, 1996 in the evening'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? No Illness Other Pancreatitis. Excruciating pains
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? No
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? Normal consciousness and alertness Yes.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Yes.
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
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? No
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 I saw a human form whose face was concealed. Since I did not know who it was, I assumed it was Saint Peter, whom I learned about in my youth - the one who holds the keys to Paradise.
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 I saw a very bright white light, much brighter than lights usually are.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
What emotions did you feel during the experience? None, really. I was accepting the situation calmly. I was feeling good.
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? Conservative/fundamentalist Christian
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes It reinforced my belief in my Church and in everything I learned from the religious education I received from my parents and my teachers, who were the Brothers de La Salle and the Jesuits.
What is your religion now? Conservative/fundamentalist Roman Catholic
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes It reinforced my belief in my Church and in everything I learned from the religious education I received from my parents and my teachers, who were the Brothers de La Salle and the Jesuits.
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 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? No
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain Although I am still unable to fully understand this religious experience, I have the strong feeling that it contained a message for me, something about achieving something in this life before the final call.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Not really, except that now my faith is stronger.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I shared it with priests, my doctor and my wife.
They agreed with me that it may contain some kind of a sign for me. They said that they have heard that other people have also had similar experiences - each one, perhaps unique in its own way.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes During WWI, when I served as secourist [paramedic] in the Red Cross, and later on as soldier in Indochina (1946-1948) I have seen death very closely, including when an enemy soldier put a gun to my back. I was waiting for the final shot with calm, not panic.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real The experience has always been very vividly in my mind and body since the day it happened, July 14, 1996.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real This transcendental experience I went through is definitely a reality and not a dream or a nightmare. I am convinced that there is a message in it for me but I have not determined for sure what the message is.
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? I am glad to have had such an experience.