May 24th, 2005 started out like any other day. At around 10:30am my neighbor’s son, Mike showed up in a car. He was so excited! He wanted me to take a ride in it with him so he could show it off. Mike, 18 and his girlfriend Ashley, 17 sat in the front seats. I piled into the back seat behind Mike, who was driving. As my seat belt clicked into place, the car rolled over a rough spot on the road. I heard something like metal make a ‘cracking’ noise and Mike immediately said, 'What the hell was that?' 'I don’t know, but I heard it too' I said. In a panicky voice, Mike said 'There’s something wrong with the steering!' Then there was another very similar noise to the first one and Mike started yelling in a much panicked tone, 'There’s no steering! There’s no steering! What do I do?' I leaned forward, placed both my hands gently on his shoulders and in the calmest tone I could muster, I said, 'Don’t step on the brakes and don’t step on the gas, just coast to a stop.' 'What about the cars behind us?' he asked still talking in a loud, panicked voice. 'They’ll have to stop too,' I said, still trying to sound and, at this point, remain calm.
We hit a jeep, head on! The sounds of crushing metal and breaking glass were all around me as I flew forward and then came to an abrupt halt against my seat belt before being slammed back into the seat. The jolt took my breath away. As I peered at my feet, I did a quick self-assessment. I inhaled and then exhaled, sensing every part of my body. 'Wow, that hurt but I’m OK,' I thought to myself, when suddenly, there was another impact, this time on the driver’s side of the car. As I was tossed forward again, like a rag doll, into a seat belt that had loosened during the first impact, I slammed into the headrest in front of me. As my chest folded around the headrest, I felt and heard the bones breaking.
When I came to my senses, I realized my left hip was pinned between the seat and the door of the car. Ashley was already out of the car and Mike was slumped forward in the driver’s seat with his head resting on the steering wheel. As I turned slightly, to look down so I could unfasten my seat belt, there was a strange, yet outrageously painful shifting in my chest. I nearly passed out from the pain and then realized I could no longer breathe! I managed to unfasten my seat belt and pry my hip loose from between the seat and the door. I tried to open my door but it was stuck shut. As I leaned for the opposite door, Ashley opened it. 'Mike is stuck! Can you help him get out? I can’t.' she said, as she held up her arm which was dangling at an awkward angle with a bone protruding out of it. As I went to turn, to try to help Mike, I passed out from the pain. I came to, realizing I still couldn’t breathe. I somehow managed to crawl out of the back seat only to pass out on the ground by the rear tire, again.
'Honey, Honey, we need to move you. Cars are still trying to pass by and they can’t see you lying here. I’m afraid they are going to hit the car and you could be killed. Can you move? Hello, can you hear me?' I felt a hand on my shoulder and I could hear someone far away, talking. But who was it? I finally opened my eyes to a woman’s face and she was talking to me. She sounded so far away. With her coaxing me, I was barely able to hold onto my chest with one hand and crawl on my other elbow and knees across the road. As I neared the shoulder, I could tell I was going to pass out again. I knew I wouldn’t be able to catch myself and that my face was going to hit the ground so I leaned toward a clump of weeds, hoping it would soften the impact.
I came out of the blackness to Mike screaming, 'Help me! I can’t get out of here! I don’t want to die! Where’s my Mom?' My motherly instinct kicked in and I wanted to go help him. When I tried to move, I passed out again from the pain. At some point, I was fully conscious and felt like I was lying in a pool of warm water. 'Gosh, I hope I didn’t piss myself!' I thought. The woman who had helped me across the road was kneeling next to me. I tapped her on the arm to get her attention and in one-syllable breaths whispered, while motioning toward my stomach, 'Am I bleeding?' She helped me lift my shirt and unfasten my jeans and said, 'No, you’re not bleeding.' I knew that at that moment I had suffered internal injuries. I could feel my stomach swelling and the warm puddle was getting bigger and spreading over more of my stomach. As I tried to take a deeper breath, I passed out from the pain again.
A flood of fragmented thoughts is all I have for memories of the next few days. Please bear with me as I struggle to make some sense of it all. I would hear Mike call out for help. I wanted to help him so I would try to move. Then everything would go black again. No sound, no thought, just blackness. I thought of my Mom and how sad she was going to be when she learned of my death. I thought of my kids and can’t even put into words the emotions that flooded me about the loss they were about to endure. I sorted it all out, or so I thought and finally concluded that my older two would go to live with their Dad and although sad, they would be ok. My younger two would go to live with my parents and although sad, they too, would be ok. I could feel myself slipping away again; I knew this was it. This was the end. I was going to die. As I exhaled, what I thought was my last breath, I prayed, 'Dear God, give my Mom the strength she’ll need to take care of my boys one day at a time.' Then, as I let the last of my breath out, I prayed, 'Thank you Jesus. I am coming home!'
Then everything went white! Not black like before and I could feel myself moving amongst all this whiteness up, away and traveling fairly quickly. Then from below I could hear the woman that had been sitting with me start calling out, 'Oh, my God! She’s stopped breathing! Hurry get the paramedics over hear, she’s stopped breathing!' As I thought to myself, 'I need to calm this woman down. I need to let her know its ok. I want to go,' my feeling of flying slowed down.
The next thing I remember is the paramedics trying to strap me down on my back. My eyes flew open and I started shaking my head no, vigorously. I used my hands to point to my chest and make the breaking motion. I told them in one-syllable whispers that, 'I want to stay on my side.' The paramedic tried to tell me the pain was from the seat belt and not to worry that my chest wasn’t broke. I shook my head no and again, pointed to my chest and then made the breaking motion again. 'How do you know?' he asked. I pointed to my ear and mouthed, 'I heard it break.' He agreed to let me stay on my side but informed me I would have to stay like that until we got to the hospital. I mouthed the word good to him and then shut my eyes as I passed out again. The only part of the ambulance ride I remember was when it turned to go up the hill to the hospital. I remember the pain and how uncomfortable it was.
I don’t remember arriving nor do I remember much of anything about the emergency room. The one thing I did find peculiar was the doctor’s ability to wake me up anytime they wanted to ask me a question. There are no memories of anything in between the questions, no pain, no thoughts, no noises, nothing.
I remember them asking me to sign something, giving my permission to remove Mike’s eye. I figure they must have thought I was his mother. I would just shake my head no.
As they were taking me into surgery, my Aunt was there. She asked what the surgery was for. One nurse said it was to fix the broken bones in my chest and another nurse corrected her and said, 'No, she’s bleeding internally and it might be her spleen.' Then all was black again.
On May 27th, as my consciousness started processing thoughts again, I could tell I was about to wake up. As my consciousness started processing thoughts again, I could tell I was about to wake up. Did I dare open my eyes? Where would I be? Was I dead and waking up in the afterlife? Would it be Heaven? Would it be Hell? Would it be something or somewhere else? I thought for sure I was dead and was waking up in Heaven. I couldn't hear anything, not my breathing or even my heartbeat. I finally mustered up enough courage to open my eyes. Boy was I pissed! This is a joke, right? I'm in the hospital? My thoughts, my anger, my disappointment; it was all spinning out of control! This couldn't be right! I had fought death while lying on the side of the road and lost! I remembered giving in. I remembered giving up. I remembered dying! I was in the sky going somewhere! I remembered the bright white all around me, the lack of pain, the peacefulness I felt and the joy. Where was that now? This is not right. This must be a joke. God, this isn't funny. This isn't fair. I want to go home. 'Please take me home,' I prayed.
Date NDE Occurred: 'May 24, 2005'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Uncertain Accident Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
I was a passenger in a head-on car accident.
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 never looked back so did not see anything but heard everything and chose to ignore it, that is, until the woman who had been sitting next to me started yelling, 'She's not breathing, get the paramedics over here, Dear God she's stopped breathing!' Then, when I thought to go back and let her know it was ok, that I wanted to go, I was instantly back in my body. I met her later and she verified that she had called out for help when I quit breathing.
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 The white was like no white here on Earth. It was pure and glowing, and radiant. I knew everything that was happening below me but had no desire to look back until the woman who was with me started panicking; whereas before, I couldn't really distinguish any sounds because of the pain and going in and out of it. The feeling of flying was phenomenal! It was like no other experience I've ever had.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? As I was flying through all the whiteness, everything was clear; vision, smell, hearing, thinking, all of it was crystal clear once I left my body.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Faster than usual
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
Like I said before, it was like my thoughts, present, past and future all melded into one thought.
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. All I saw was bright white but it was unlike any white I have ever seen.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Prior to leaving my body, everything was a 'buzz'. I couldn't hear the sirens, I couldn't hear the people around me clearly; everything was jumbled. After leaving my body, I could hear everyone speaking clearly all around the accident site, I could hear the sirens, the paramedics, everything!
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? Yes, and the facts have been checked out
The experience included: Tunnel
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Uncertain I could not distinguish a tunnel per se, but was surrounded by a brilliant, radiant white light. I could tell I was moving by the voices on the ground getting farther and farther away.
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
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
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I felt joy, peace, love, and happiness; everything good.
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 no longer in conflict with nature
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe This is a hard one to explain. It wasn't like questions were answered or anything like that. I just knew. I don't know how I knew, I just did and nothing felt out of place, or wrong. I was going somewhere; I didn't know where. I just knew that I wanted to go.
The experience included: Life review
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? No
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Moderately important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Unaffiliated- Nothing in particular- Religious unaffiliated
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? Unaffiliated- Nothing in particular- Religious unaffiliated
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 Having been raised in church, I knew there would be an after life, but had always been taught that once I died, I would be asleep until Christ (Jesus) came back. I was very much awake and alert, which is against what I had been taught.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I spent 18 months believing I was dead and trapped in a horrible afterlife or I was in the hospital in a coma and everything was a terrible dream. Because of this mindset, I took risks that I would not have taken otherwise. I was careless, defiant, morally corrupt and just not good to myself. I was great to other people but had no standards for myself. Once I realized I was alive, I made drastic changes, took responsibility for myself, and moved on. Doctors say I suffered PTSD but that does not explain the voices, faces and other paranormal things I experienced after this incident.
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 Awareness that there is life after death, there is peace, love and happiness eternally.
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? No
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 I didn't have time to ask specific questions but I didn't need to. I already knew everything I ever would need to know. I was comfortable, unafraid, very sure of everything. It's hard to explain.
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 As soon as I realised I was no longer in my body, it confirmed for me that there IS life after death. Although I did not reach my final destination, I was enlightened to the fact that there is one.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I greatly 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 meaningful and significant
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Are possibly meaningful and significant
Did you gain information about how to live our lives? Yes Don't be afraid to die, it's the next step to the rest of your life. But at the same time, don't be afraid to live. Make every moment the best moment of your life. Have No regrets! Every choice you have ever made, has made you who you've become! There should be no shame or regret in that!
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? Uncertain I came back thinking I was still dead. It took about 18 months for me to realize I was actually alive. When negative things would happen I would laugh it off, after all, nothing could hurt me because I was already dead. Since then, things don't get to
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes During the experience everything was love. I was love the whiteness was love, the feeling of flying was love. It was awesome!
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 am more accepting and patient toward others. I have a totally open mind and fully believe that anything normal or paranormal is possible! I guess you could say I am open-minded to the point of being naive or gullible. I don't doubt any strange experience that people relate to me as being anything but the truth as they see it.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Yes I am very accepting of people now. I no longer feel the need to change the way they are. If there is an altercation, I can stay calm and be accepting of their feelings and emotions without feeling like I have been personally attacked.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes There are not enough earthly words to explain the experience. Amazing, phenomenal, awesome; those are about as good as it gets and those words don't even come close to the reality of it all.
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 Before the experience I was in and out of conciousness, as I was after. But during the experience I was fully awake and alert and aware of everything.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I had a NDE in utero that I do not remember but all my life I have been able to see, see-through people. As a child, I would try to point them out to my mother but she couldn't see them. After this NDE I had faces, thousands of them, try to come through the ceiling while whispering. It freaked me out and I yelled at them to talk to me one at a time and then they all disappeared. I've been physically touched by people who weren't there twice; one was my Uncle Larry who had passed away that day and the other time was someone unknown to me. I've seen small families that I could see through that were dressed in unfamiliar styles of clothing. I've had dreams that came true and I've met people that I already knew things about that I should not have been able to know.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The experience was meaningful because now any prior doubts I may have had are gone.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes It was 3-4 years after that I first shared the experience. A very short version of this experience has been published in a book titled Visits to Heaven by Josie Varga. No one other than Josie has really paid much attention. It took me a long time to sort it out and I still don't have the 'after' figured out but I am in the long drawn out process of trying to put it into a word document and maybe one day into a book.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes My mother hemorrhaged when she was 8 months pregnant with me. She had a NDE and out of body experience which I have heard told several times during my life. I too was oxygen deprived and almost didn't survive. I don't think knowing about NDEs changed or affected my experience at all. Mine was totally different than my mothers.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real There was no doubt it was real. It was the only thing I could remember the details of clearly. The crash, the events and all other things have taken years for the details to come back to me. But the experience has always remained crystal clear with no changes in the events.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I've never had any doubt that what I experienced was real. I can recall everything about it with crystal clarity.
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? It was the most amazing and positive I have ever felt!
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? There are no other questions that I can think of.