Experience Description

Surgery-related. I was having ten vertebra fused (as follow-up from auto accident). The surgery should have taken no more than three hours - I was in surgery for over five -- as I my heart needed reviving more than once. With all of the back/bone pounding, this bruised my heart. I was in the post-operative room coming to and talking to the patient in the bed next to me -- when I couldn't breathe. The patient in the bed started screaming for help. I floated out of my body and watched the medical team work on me -- then saw lots of white light -- then faded to nothingness.

Background Information:

Gender: Female

Date NDE Occurred: August 1980

NDE Elements:

At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Surgery-related I was having 10 vertebr' fused (as followup from auto accident). The surgery should have taken no more than 3 hours - I was in surgery for over 5....as I my heart needed reviving more than once. With all of the back/bone pounding - this bruised my hear This was a day full of life threatening events. I never should have gone into intensive care after the post-operative room -- but due to my heart bruising and needs for restarting my heart multiple times. I was having surgery to fuse ten thoracic vertebra as follow-up to an auto accident. The surgery was supposed to take less than three hours. I was in surgery for over five hours because my heart kept stopping during this surgery. I had no recollections of these near deaths due to the medications. Finally I was in the post-operative room 'coming to' as they say. I began taking with the patient in the bed next to me asking what she had done -- idle chit chat. As I was answering one of her questions I began choking, stopped breathing, gasping. She (next to me) started yelling for help as she could see I was having troubles. Almost immediately, I floated out of my body to watch as the nurses/doctors came to my bedside. I heard muffled discussions between the medical folks. Then I saw bright light with no real time reference, and then faded to nothingness. I didn't see myself nor anyone/anything else while in this state. My official post-operative plan was to go back to a normal two bed ward but given this event, and the events in surgery, they opted to put me in intensive care for three days. I was doped up during this time and only had very few moments of consciousness or unconsciousness there. Once back in my normal ward room -- three days post event -- I began piecing what occurred back together. I lost three days of time and asked many of the nurses and doctors what had happened, after the fact.

How do you consider the content of your experience? Positive

The experience included: Out of body experience

Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I didn't view myself in this disconnected state. I didn't see other 'entities' either, when in this out of body state, of any shape or size.

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? The actual instance of out of body and the initial moments of when the medical team was running to my bedside were VERY clear. From there, memories become sketchy.

Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning Other than the initial moments, time was uncertain. After this post-operative experience I was put in intensive care for three days and was doped up.

Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Everything being said, as I was viewing my body being treated by the medical folks, was muffled. I don't recall anything else.

Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Uncertain

Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No

The experience included: Light

Did you see an unearthly light? Yes After viewing my body being tended too, things turned to lightness then faded to nothing, as stated before.

Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No

The experience included: Strong emotional tone

What emotions did you feel during the experience? Calm, curiosity, warmth.

Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe I say yes here only because I had this strong sense of calm and that everything would be okay. There's got to be some sense of 'knowledge' attributed with this.

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 Not unless you count on the 'everything will be okay' feeling.

Did you come to a border or point of no return? No

God, Spiritual and Religion:

What was your religion prior to your experience? Moderate Raised Catholic - but have not actively practiced since late high school years

What is your religion now? Moderate As I age I'm becoming more open to re-establishing a more formal religious program...but have not yet taken actions.

Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I don't think this relates to the OBE but I realize that memories and sharing one's life in a positive way are all that really counts for our time here on earth. Everything else is fleeting.

After the NDE:

Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes All I can recall is very short in time span -- could have been less than a minute. It would be interesting to explore it a bit more in discussion with someone else, to see if I can dust off more of the details.

Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain I do have either really strong awareness skills or intelligence e.g. I state what I believe to be the 'obvious' and folks are amazed on my insights frequently. And/or I have this uncanny ability to 'know' where things are, even when I'm geographically separated from people.

Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Best, I don't fear death. Worst, I'm curious and want to know more about this 'place' and 'event' -- but don't want to do anything to trigger a Near Death either.

Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Some don't believe. Some are curious. Although I've not talked to anyone else who's been there to.

At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No