Experience Description

I had gone in for surgery on my left ear. They had given me pre-sedation medication a couple of hours prior to surgery and I don't remember much prior to actually going into the operating room. I had been anesthetized and the oxygen tube was in. The doctor gave me an injection of zylacaine mixed with something else to control the bleeding, and within thirty seconds to one minute, I went into cardiac arrest. They immediately called in specialists from other areas (cardio, neuro, etc.) who, lucky for me, were all there for surgeries. I was given CPR, eight to ten electrical defibrillations (front and back) and was told the doctor was very close to giving me open-heart massage, but I came back right before he did!

While all of this was happening, I mostly remember being a spectator, only not above it all, but from table level. I remember bright, bright lights, lots of arms and hands moving quickly over me and mostly faces, but not whole faces. Just faces from the nose up and worried looking eyes and expressions. I don't remember any noise, just complete silence. After a while, I remember pulling out the oxygen tube and screaming, 'AIR!!'

The next thing I remember was waking up in my room feeling completely exhausted and drained. I couldn't move a hair on my head. I asked my sister if it was over, and she was standing over me crying - I didn't understand why. Immediately, the doctors and nurse came in and explained what had happened and of course, the surgery did not take place. I had gone into cardiac arrest and they did everything they could to bring me back. I was told I was clinically dead for six and a half minutes! When I pulled out the oxygen tube and screamed for air was when I came back and realized I was drowning internally (which is what happens when you die; all the internal cavities begin to fill with fluids). Apparently, I also had an adrenaline rush at that time and began to fight (not fight, but I guess I panicked and was thinking I had to make it to the surface for air!). It took everyone in the room to hold me down on the table, but I guess I fell off at some point - I was told this but don't remember. I was told only one in 250,000 come back with full faculties.

Background Information:

Gender: Female

Date NDE Occurred: 1976

NDE Elements:

At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Surgery-related Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function) Cardiac arrest.

How do you consider the content of your experience? Mixed

The experience included: Out of body experience

Did you feel separated from your body? Yes 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 As above.

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When I saw the worried facial expressions. I couldn't understand why everyone looked so worried. I felt no pain, no fear and was completely content.

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 I felt I had been gone for a very long time, although it had only been a couple of hours.

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. Everything was flashed by me in brilliant light - arms and hands, the worried expressions on the faces - other than that, nothing but bright light.

Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. There was complete silence for me - and I'm sure people were yelling and screaming orders and such. It was very calming to me. I actually enjoyed the complete and utter silence.

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? No

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 The light was brilliant, almost incandescent.

Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm It's hard to describe, but while I was out, my whole being was in another place. I guess it was a differnt level because I don't remember seeing anything really; just the feeling of complete contentness.

What emotions did you feel during the experience? I do not remember any emotions other than curiousness as to why everyone else was so concerned about me.

Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Relief or calmness

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 Protestant

Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No

What is your religion now? Conservative/fundamentalist Protestant

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? Yes It is hard to express something so life-changing to others who have not experienced anything remotely close to my experience. People are extremely interested; however, it is something they really don't understand.

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? Yes. Like when everyone was beating on my chest and jolting me with 7,000-8,000 volts of electricity, why didn't I feel anything but complete and utter euphoria?

Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Just a few days after I left the hospital. I told some friends about my experience and they were surprised and shocked and curious. I think it made them think about their own mortality and what death will be like for them.

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 know this happened to me. I don't know why this happened to me, but I guess it happened to me to make me a better person and to not fear death.

What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real Over the years and having lots of time to think about it, my experience was a frightening thing, yet it was cool and beautiful at the same time. I know it happened and was very real, and that's all that matters.

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? Nothing other than what happened to me really happened and people who are skeptical need to have this experience themselves - it probably would make them nicer people!

Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? I can't think of any.