It was an uncommonly hot and humid spring day. It began that morning before I went to work at 4:30. I was having a difficult time breathing, and felt very lethargic. After a cup of coffee, I felt a bit better, and so began my ‘normal workday’. Anyone who has ever driven a school bus knows there is no such thing as a ‘normal day.’ My normal day would consist of clocking in a 5am, staring my bus, as well as several others, doing a pre-trip inspection, then go into the bus barn to check my mailbox, and a cup of coffee, then do my morning run at 5:20, clock out at 8:40.
Then go to the horse farm (I owned and trained race horses.) I would jog, train, groom, and do any vet or foot care needed on any of the fourteen horses we had in the barn. After doing this, I would muck out the stalls, then head to the main house for coffee, and discuss what needed to be done to certain horses on certain days. Then at 11am head back to bus barn for my second run of the day. A skill center run, a place where junior and senior students go for vocational training. That week I had an additional run (third run) at the skill center where I took the building trades students to a site where they were building a house. I was to wait at a location nearby until it was time for me to pick them up approximately two hours later. In this case, I waited at a small park a quarter of a mile away.
The heat was unbearable to sit on my bus, even with all of the windows open. So I found a tree with some shade and sat down on the grass to read a book. I fell asleep which was very uncommon for me. When I woke up, I had about five minutes before I had to leave to pick up the students. And so began my fourth run of the day. I picked up the building trades students and brought them back to the skill center. I parked my bus to wait for my next run, which began in approximately fifteen minutes. Run number five, the longest run of the day, which began at 2:20 and ended at 6:15. I began this run by picking up my skill center students, transporting them back to school, dropping them off, and picking up my high school and elementary students and do the take home run.
After completing the take home run, I had to return to the high school to do another run for students who stay after school for tutoring and take them all home. I clocked out at 6:15. This was a Monday, and Monday is my golf league night, as well as my softball league night. Luckily, this particular Monday the two schedules did not conflict. Often times I had to choose which one I would do if the starting time of my softball games were early. We had the 9:30 late game that night so I could do both golf and softball. I always chose softball over golf when the times were overlapping. After clocking out of work, I immediately went to golf course and began our nine hole round. While on the course I sweated profusely, and complained to my playing partner (who was also on my softball team), that I was having a hard time breathing, and was just super tired. I drank a lot of water that night.
I have always had a hard time breathing in the spring because of pollen allergies, and also when it was humid like most people. I shot the worst nine hole round of my life that night, but I just chalked it up to a long workday, and being tired. After completing golf, I picked up my girlfriend, and we went to my softball game. I got there just in time to for the start of the game. In between innings, I would comment to the guys on the team, that I just can’t get a deep breath today. As bad as my round of golf was, my softball game that night was spot on. I was having the best game I have had in a few years. I was the shortstop which is the most important and athletic position on the field. I turned several double plays, and made some great running catches. I had hit two homeruns, a triple, a double.
The game went into extra innings and ran well into the night. All of the other games were finished on the seven other fields and many of those people were watching our game. I remember telling my pitcher that it was nice to have such a large audience watch us. It was the fourteenth inning. We were on defense. They had a runner on first with one out. The batter hit a shot down the left field line to the fence. The left fielder threw the ball to me the cutoff man. I turned and threw the ball home just in time to throw the runner out. My adrenaline was really flowing after that great play, and my heart was racing, and I couldn't catch my breath what so ever. I made the motion for a timeout. I took two steps toward my pitcher and collapsed. I was dead before I hit the ground. It was just past 11:30pm.
I remember looking out to left field from my shortstop position, and there was my grandfather (who died in 1978, but went to every one of my baseball games up until his death) walking toward me. I was so happy to see him. He was a young man, not the elderly man I knew when he was alive. He got to the edge of the grass, and the dirt of the infield, I walked toward him. He never said a word, but he was telling me to come with him. He turned back toward the left field fence and we began walking toward the fence. I asked him, ‘grand-dad, what are you doing here?’ He stopped, turned and pointed toward the pitcher’s mound. I turned and saw a large group of players, spectators, frantically running to and from there. Then I saw two blue cleats, pointed toward the sky. My blue cleats. Then like being sucked through a vacuum house, there I was lying face up on the ground with one person holding my shoulders, another holding my legs down, a woman talking at me, another man with his hands on my chest. The one with his hands on my chest yelled my name, and something else. I began to get angry because they were holding me down. I told everyone to let me go, I was fine, and just wanted to go home.
I raised my head and I was dead again. Again, I was with my grandfather out in left field, only this time we were approximately a hundred feet above the field. I could see hundreds of people running around screaming, some crying, and some keeping others from gathering too close. I saw two people open the gate to let the ambulance into the outfield grass. I saw my girlfriend being held back by my best friend and seeing her hit him and screaming let me go to him and he would not. I saw the paramedics use the paddles to shock my heart to get it to restart. I saw them put me in the ambulance. I saw my girlfriend get in with me in tears. What I remember next is a feeling of complete peace unlike I had ever felt before.
And there was my grandfather and I above the clouds. I could still see the ball field and all the chaos, and the ambulance beginning to drive away. As this was happening grandfather took me to a place where there were three rooms. The first he showed me had a glow like that of the sun, but it wasn't hot. It was warm, peaceful, inviting, and an overwhelming feeling of love. The second door was grayish. It too had a feeling of peace, but wasn't as inviting as the first. At the third door, another male figure was waiting. My grandfather hugged me and walked through that door. I began to walk to that door, but there was a feeling of apprehension, and maybe a little fear. The male figure standing in front of that door said to me ‘If you enter through this door, you will never return.’ All I can remember next was fear. Not a fear of going to ‘hell’, but a fear of never returning, and I had so much yet to do. I put my right foot through the doorway, and then that feeling of being sucked through a vacuum again. I opened my eyes and it was clear to me where I was. I looked up at the ceiling at the florescent light and began to cry. That's when my girlfriend held my hand and we cried. I was back among the living.
Date NDE Occurred: 05/11/09
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Heart attack. CPR given. Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
How do you consider the content of your experience? Both pleasant AND distressing
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes My telling Scott, (the man who had his hands on my chest when I was revived the first time) I was fine and to let me go home. My yelling at Dave who was holding my shoulders. Seeing Mike M, and Mike G, opening the leftfield gate to let the ambulance in the field. My best friend holding my girlfriend back.
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 I think I was alert throughout the entire experience. It was like everything was in slow motion, except for the five times I was revived, where it was total chaos, and I had no idea of what was happening. The detail, the ability to see every single thing that was happening and understand that I was in fact dead and all of those people were acting, and reacting in response to that.
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
The earthly events I saw were in real time until I focused in on one particular area. Then it was super slow motion but also real time. Very hard to explain.
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. Broader, more detailed. It was like watching on a big screen television, then being able to zoom in to whatever specific area to see and hear clearly right down to the beads of sweat dripping from someone's forehead and hitting the collar of their shirt.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Mumbled, but again when I focused or zoomed into one specific area or person, I heard everything very clearly.
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
The experience included: Presence of deceased persons
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 The male figure may have been Jesus, or God, or my father, or any person God chose.
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 first room glowed like the sun, but not the same color. The color is indescribable for me.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm There were three rooms, one that felt warm, safe, inviting, peaceful and full of love. The second a grayish dark room, for perhaps meditation or prayer. The third a dark narrow long doorway, where I felt apprehension and the fear of never being able to return from. But I knew I had to enter this doorway to get back to the first door.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? The out of body experience was very peaceful. The times I was revived, I felt total chaos, and had no idea what was happening. Even though during the out of body experience I was very aware of what was happening.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? No
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? No
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Uncertain I don't understand the question.
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 I had to return. I had too much to do.
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? Christian- Other Christian I was raised catholic, but it was to rigid with to many rules for me. I drifted away from that to basically someone who just beleived and had faith in a higher power I call God.
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? Christian- Other Christian
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 just that I no longer fear death. My entire life I was affraid of death, and dying before I was able to touch someones life in a positive way. I have learned that we all do something for people every day of our lives even if we dont know it.
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 Just the male figure that said if you enter this doorway, you will never return. The figure I believed for the first two years after was my biological father. Now I believe that figure as well as my grandfather, was GOD.
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I actually saw them
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.)? Uncertain the male figure had a full beard. It could well have been Jesus
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? No
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes just that every living thing is connected
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? Yes the 3rd door the male figure said if I enter this doorway I will never return
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
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are probably 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 seeing my grandfather and being above the clouds, and the 3 rooms, the male figure
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? Not fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Unknown
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are probably meaningful and significant
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Are meaningful and significant
Did you gain information about how to live our lives? No
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? No
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? No
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Moderate changes in my life I’ve learned to slow down and smell the roses. God created them for us to enjoy.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Yes I am more conscious of other's needs, feelings, desires, and what not. I'm not as selfish. But again, I have a fear of large crowds now because so many people were there when I passed away. I avoid groups of ten or more when possible.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes From the lack of oxygen to my brain during that time, parts of my brain don't function normally. I can’t write in detail anymore, and my memory is jumbled. I remember every event, but sometimes in different order. Like I omitted four of the five times I was revived because of the fear I felt each time.
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
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? All of it.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I don't share it unless someone asks me about it. It’s very emotional for me, and often times it brings me to tears.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes My adopted mother had one as a young girl, and told me about it.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real That God definitely exists. That the only thing that matters in life is love. Not physical love, but I liken it to that of a love a parent feels for their child.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real It was real. All the things I saw on the field, the things they said and did were all verified.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes Driving home from the hospital with my girlfriend. I had a panic attack because I felt I was being held down on the ground (as I was when I was revived each time) when I put on my seat belt.