I was at home, preparing Thanksgiving leftovers for family and friends that were staying the weekend. I bent over to pull the turkey out of the bottom of the refrigerator. As I was lifting the heavy bird, I started having what I thought was heartburn. I ignored it and sat down at the kitchen table to begin making sandwiches for my guests. After several minutes, the pain started to get a little worse, so I asked my husband to finish the sandwiches and I went to lie down on our bed for a little while after taking some antacids. I began to get really hot and started sweating. The pain spread down both arms and was getting worse. After a little while, I called my husband into the room and told him what was happening. At that point, I couldn't sit up. He asked me if I wanted to go the hospital and I told him that I thought I had better. He had to help me up from the bed. I made it out to our vehicle on my own and he drove me to the nearest hospital that was twenty minutes away. I remember that he ran several stoplights on the way and I was getting onto him because I didn't want him to get a ticket. I started sweating profusely and my arms and chest were hurting very badly. We got to the emergency room. He pulled up to the emergency room door and went running in to get someone with a wheelchair. I had to be helped into it.
The nurse that wheeled me into the emergency room parked me next to the wall and said it would be a little while before I could get into triage. Another nurse came in, took one look at my face, and decided to wheel me straight back to an examining room. I remember them helping me onto a table and telling me to take off my shirt so they could do an electrocardiogram. Now, all of a sudden there were people all around me poking me with needles and putting an oxygen mask on my face. I felt like I couldn't breathe with it on and kept pulling it off. One nurse asked me what my pain was like on a scale of one to ten. By then I couldn't answer her because I was in so much pain. I just looked at her and she said, 'Eleven, huh?' I nodded. My husband left the room to go park our truck in the parking lot because it was right at the door of the emergency room. The doctor came in and I was given morphine for the pain.
The next thing I remember was that the doctor was right in my face yelling my name and telling me not to leave them. Not to go to sleep. All of a sudden, his face morphed into my husband's (who was not in the room at the time). Then everything went black and I totally relaxed. It was a very, very peaceful, calm feeling. There was no pain, no stress, and no worries. The next thing I remember was I was standing at the door of a very dark space looking out at a beautiful fall day. There was a dirt road leading off into the distance and I was at the beginning of it. There was a forest on either side of the road and the trees and plants were all bright colors of autumn. Right in front of me, there were two boys, around the ages of six and eight, and they were standing there facing me and holding hands. I couldn't make out their faces because the sun was shining very brightly in the sky above and behind them and their faces were in dark shadow. I believe it was because the place behind me was so dark and the sun had nothing to reflect off to light up their faces. I could see the hair on their heads and arms very well because the sun was highlighting it. It was like the boys were in silhouette. That was all I remember before I woke up.
When I came to, my head was turned to the left, I looked up to the head of the bed, and there was a guy adjusting several IV bags that I was hooked up to. There were all kinds of people standing around and one of them told me that they had almost lost me. Apparently this all happened very quickly because my husband had not returned from moving the truck. I tried to sit up so I could look for him and my chest and side were very sore. That's when they told me that they had had to use the paddle on me three different times because my heart had stopped and started, and stopped and started. One of the nurses told me that he had to do CPR on me the first time because the machine was in another room and my heart had stopped so quickly that they weren't prepared for it. I was put in the intensive care unit for several days while they ran all kinds of tests on me. The doctors told me that there was absolutely no damage to my heart so they weren't calling it a heart attack. It was just an episode of sudden cardiac arrest. I was put on heart medications for a couple of years just to be on the safe side, and now I am off of them and I feel just fine.
Date NDE Occurred: 'November 24, 2001'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Sudden Cardiac Arrest Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
Sudden cardiac arrest.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
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? Normal consciousness and alertness When I was facing the two boys I saw.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When I was facing the two boys I saw.
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? Uncertain I don't remember passing through a tunnel but I felt like I was standing at the mouth of one.
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 didn't know the two boys but I felt like I did. Nothing was communicated.
The experience included: 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 I saw the sun and it was very bright.
The experience included: A landscape or city
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 relaxed and at peace.
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? Liberal Baptist
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What is your religion now? Liberal I do not practice any certain religion.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? No
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? No
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The two boys seemed like they were very important to me but I still can't figure out why, or who they were.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes A nurse in the intensive care unit asked if I had had an NDE and wanted to know what it was like. She seemed very interested.
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 felt like my experience was very real and I still do. I feel like there is meaning behind it but I still can't figure it out.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real As above.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No