I was in the hospital for almost two weeks after having a major heart attack. Approximately one-fifth of my heart was damaged which caused bradycardia (a slow heart-rate). The doctor decided to discharge me early. I was sitting on the bed waiting for the discharge paperwork to sign when I arrested. If the arrest would have happened a few minutes later my wife would have been driving me home and I would probably not have survived.
This is my perception of what happened when I arrested. If you can imagine a huge, tall smoke-stack (no heat or fire thank goodness - just a feeling of being in a tunnel) and you are at the bottom facing upward. It is dark all around you except at the top of the stack there is a bright light in the distance. You are rising rapidly up through the stack moving towards the light. There is no fear in your mind at the time, just an awareness of flying toward the light. I remember the light as being white and bright. As I reach the light, I seem to pass into a state of awareness that I have now transitioned into a room 'filled' with hospital staff. I look to my bedside and the nurse has tears in her eyes. My wife was taken away into another room. I notice the burns on my chest and that I have urine soaked jeans. Words cannot describe the tunnel experience. It was not bad and changed my life forever. Even five years later, the emotion of writing about the experience brings tears to my eyes. I am thankful for the experience and to be alive with my family.
Date NDE Occurred: 10/04/2000
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Heart attack Two weeks after heart attack had VF Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function) I had a cardiac arrest.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Mixed
Did you feel separated from your body? No No
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness? Normal consciousness and alertness My field of vision was focused on the end of the tunnel.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When traveling through the tunnel.
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 remember the speed of flying toward the light was very fast and I stopped immediately upon entering the hospital room. It was like moving from one location to another within a eye blink.
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? Yes The tunnel was dark and long with a bright light at the end. I was moving toward the light and passed through it into a room, which turned out to be my hospital room.
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 It was bright, white and circular - like looking through a long tunnel with a light at the other end. It was not like looking at a light bulb. The light was just white, no focused point.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I was 'flying' towards the end of the tunnel. I was not afraid. I was almost memorized by the light and its brightness.
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 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 Agnostic
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What is your religion now? Conservative/fundamentalist Agnostic
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 No - I always put my family first and still do. I have changed in that there is little that gets me upset anymore. I realize that day to day frustrations with work and so on are nothing compared to what is important to me - my family's happiness.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes The experience was not unpleasant. It is telling others after the experience - it is emotional for me to describe to others and difficult to hold back tears.
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? It was later that evening when I was able to think about the event. I believe it was a miracle or just one stroke of luck that my discharge was delayed just a few minutes longer. Otherwise, I would have surely died in the car.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes It was about a year before I told a co-worker about the experience. I broke down and cried from the memory - something never done before by me.
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 am not sure what actually caused the experience - whether it is the body's way of 'shutting down peacefully' or if we do pass into another state of being. Either way, it was a profound experience to me. I am not afraid to die at all and now try to live every day to its fullest.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. I was fully aware of what was happening and feel no different than now. My thoughts were clear then as they are now. I was just in a different place momentarily - or at least that is what it felt like.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? It might be neat if audio or even video recordings of the experience could be added to the site. It is hard to write in detail about such an experience. It would also be nice if you had the ability to instant message other people who might be online at the same time. It would be nice to ask others about their experience.