I was having a heart attack after shoveling snow. My wife drove me to the hospital. The doctor said I was having 'a really good heart attack' not long before I blacked out at the time of my arrest. There was a brief darkness, a sensation of going through a dark void of some sort then I was in another place. I saw dogs playing in a grass-covered field and I was with them. I have always loved dogs. I think they were dogs that I once had as an adult or child. I'm a minister and I don't really believe 'all dogs go to heaven' but there they were! Then I was in a different place. It was bright or red? Then there was an extremely bright light, like a vertical column of light. But it was much more than light, like a pillar of pure energy. It was sparking, sparkling, and much, much brighter and whiter than any sun. I floated over near it. I don't know if I wanted to or not, but I was about 6 inches from it. It was not hot or cold, just pure white energy. I was face-to-face with whatever this was. I took it to be the pure divine presence of God. I felt if I touched it that would NOT BE GOOD. But I felt total peace and that God was going to take care of everything, take care of me, and take care of my family. There was a low rumbling going throughout everything, like the lowest note on an organ. It was a very holy sound. The sound wasn't intimidating as in 'scary' but it was intimidating, as in totally awesome and awe inspiring; maybe coming from the pillar? Then I realized, 'If I am here, I am either dead or dying!' So I said a prayer, 'Please send me back! Can I go back? If there is any way, please send me back!’ The next thing I felt was the paddles shocking me. 'Ow!' Those things hurt! I remember looking up at the doctor and he looked at the paddles like, 'Wow! They worked!' I did not know, but they had shocked me 15 to 20 times in the past 40 minutes. They were getting ready to call my time of death. The doctor had come out several times and told my wife absolutely nothing was working and there was no response to anything. When they tried one last time that is when I came back to consciousness. They transported me to another hospital by helicopter where I arrested two more times on the flight. They put a big stent in my heart in the left anterior descending artery. They shocked me, yet again, to start the heart up and it started. The best hope they held out to my wife was that I would have significant organ damage, almost certainly significant brain damage, and that I would likely live out the rest of my days in a nursing home. When I woke up, I was in the cooling blankets. As soon as I could move again I started talking and telling jokes. My family and my wife couldn't believe it. A year later the only damage they have found is an EF of 35% for my heart, but after running 5 kilometer races for several years, it is up to 40%. [Editor’s Notation: EF or Ejection Fraction is a test that determines how well the heart pump with each beat. 50-75% is the normal.] I hope one day to get it up to 50% again which is a normal reading. Soon after my experience, I noticed light was too bright, especially sunlight. Sounds were too much also. That has continued to get worse the past several years to the point where this winter with the sun on the snow, I almost could not even look at it without a LOT of discomfort.
Date NDE Occurred: 2/22/2011
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Heart attack. Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function).
Heart attack, with arrest, no breathing, no pulse, in emergency room. They tried to revive me for 40 minutes, which was longer than protocol, because a nurse there was a parishioner of mine and she urged the doctor to keep trying.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? No
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 Hard to explain. Somehow more real than everyday life. It's like the filters were removed and I was experiencing life as it really is.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When I was 'face-to-face' with the pillar of light.
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? No
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. I could see things MUCH more sharply, accurately, vividly during my experience.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Hearing was also like 'feeling' in my soul. It was like more than hearing.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes Dogs, which I think were mine, but had died.
The experience included: Void
The experience included: Darkness
The experience included: Unearthly 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 Pillar or vertical column of pure energy.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? Some unfamiliar and strange place It was kind of a room or space where this pillar of light was.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Peaceful. Unbelievable calmness. Happiness. I thought, 'This is GREAT! I could stay here forever!'
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? No
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? Yes It was the pillar to which I was brought close.
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 wanted to go back.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Greatly important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Protestant
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes Not really changed but my conviction of their reality is absolute.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Christian- Protestant
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was entirely consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience That God is light and in him is not darkness at all. I have preached on that since then!
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes More accepting of all sorts of people.
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? No
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? No
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.)? No
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? No
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? No
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? No
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 possibly 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 definitely exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists No
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I moderately feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Moderately fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Not fearful in living my earthly life
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? Moderately compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes That I was loved unconditionally.
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 have REALLY lost my fear of death. I hate heights, but I would go sky-diving now. Moderate changes in my life. I have REALLY lost my fear of death. I hate heights, but I would go sky-diving now.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I think they have gotten better, more loving. Every day is a blessing!
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes See above. It was awesome, peaceful, inspiring.
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 th I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of th
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? Facing the light, hearing (feeling) the vibration.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I shared it immediately. They were amazed and did not know what to think.
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
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real
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? I can't wait to meet the pillar of light again. I know I will.
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