Prior to getting ill, I was not being the best husband and father. I was smoking two packs a day and drinking way too much. I was not abusive to my family, but rather very disconnected.
I was admitted into the hospital 12-08-14 with what I thought was a bad flu. They found that I had Legionnaires Disease and things got progressively worse. By the end of the week, I could no longer breathe easily and I felt in my heart that I was not going to survive. I even instructed my wife to go home and find the life insurance papers. My wife and I were even arguing during my first few days in the hospital. On December 12, things took a turn for the worse. I had to fight for every breath. I was in a state of panic as if I were being held under water. It was decided I had to be put on a ventilator to breathe and I remember slowly slipping into unconsciousness. I remember looking back at my wife and asking her to help me. My vision started to narrow, as darkness closed in. I remember feeling very sad because my kids were not in the room for me to say goodbye to. Then I was gone into unconsciousness. My wife said they called a 'Code' something; a large group of medical people rushed in with a cart, and pushed her out of the room. She did not know what was going on but remembered a nurse looking at her with concern and sadness. I did not know it, but my wife was frustrated with the doctors and was trying hard to get them to transfer me to another hospital. She felt they were letting me get worse.
Sometime during all of this, after I went unconscious and subsequently into a coma, I remember I was all of a sudden standing in a beautiful meadow. There was tall, waving grass and the most calming sunlight. It felt so very calm and peaceful. Ahead of me, and about 30 yards away, was a stand of trees. The trees were so thick and close together that I could not see into them. Then my paternal grandparents emerged from the trees, holding hands. They walked out and stood in front of me, closer to the trees than to me. My grandparents are both long deceased and I was VERY close to them when I was younger. They looked great, the same as I remember them when I was a child. They were nicely dressed, smiling and holding hands. I called out to them, joyful at seeing them and I wanted to go to them. I don't recall seeing them talk, but I could hear them clearly, telling me not to approach them. I said I wanted to go with them but I heard them in my mind telling me not to come any closer that I had to stay there. They said it was not my time and that they only wanted to see me. They then, still holding hands, walked backwards into the thick stand of trees and out of sight.
The next thing I knew, I woke up and a bunch of nurses were holding me down as they worked on my ventilator tube. I could hear them say that I should not have woken up yet and they tried to calm me down as they sedated me again. I woke up a day and half later and discovered I was at another hospital. After my wife continued to fight with the doctor in the state we lived in, they relented and called the other hospital because they were known to have treatments that are more effective in cases like mine. I was in a coma throughout the transfer. The second hospital sent a medical jet to our little regional airport and airlifted me to their hospital. They saved my life. I know in my heart that I went to a place between our world and the afterlife. My grandparents were able to come to me for a brief visit but they did not want me to go with them. They were letting me know it was not my time to die and join them. I think I was very close to heaven, where they are.
There have been profound changes in my life since the experience that I would like to share at some point. Changes that can ONLY be attributed to God. Also, I had a blood tech come in a few nights later to draw blood, as they did about six times a day. I had not seen her before and she did not know me. She closed the curtain, which is not normal, and said 'I'm praying for you'. I have never had a medical person go there before and I'm sure they do not normally start a conversation with a patient that way. She went on to say, without knowing that I had some issues prior to becoming ill, that God will sometimes take someone all the way down and then pick them up again to prove His love. She said I was being given a second chance. She then left and I never saw her again during my several week stay there.
Date NDE Occurred: 12-12-2014
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Illness. Life threatening event, but not clinical death.
I was in the hospital, diagnosed with Legionnaires Disease. I slipped into unconsciousness and could no longer breathe on my own.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
Did you feel separated from your body? No
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 could 'hear' my grandparents words as they stood there smiling at me.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When I was standing in the meadow, looking at my grandparents.
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? No
Were your senses more vivid than usual? More vivid than usual
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Vision seemed very acute and colors were more intense.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I could near my grandparents talking, but I don't remember them moving their mouths. Also, the words seemed to be coming from both of them at the same time.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Uncertain I remember by vision tunneling as I was slipping into unconsciousness and the next experience was being in the meadow. I'm not sure of the time lapse there or if it was immediately upon going out.
The experience included: Presence of deceased persons
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes Paternal grandparents, both deceased: Grandmother: 1994, Grandfather: 1974
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? No
Did you see an unearthly light? Uncertain A type of sunlight, but very intense and soft at the same time.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? Some unfamiliar and strange place A very color-intense meadow. Long, tall, waving grass. Soft but bright, warm sunlight to my left. Nearby, a stand of trees (woods), very dense, could not see into it.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Calm and joy at seeing my grandparents. A little unsure of where I was.
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 no longer in conflict with nature
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
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 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- Protestant
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I finally feel totally dedicated to God and I am so in debt for him giving me another chance. My wife actually takes some credit for all of this because before I got sick, she was praying for God to deal with me because she could not stand the drinking anymore.
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
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I have a VERY strong belief in God having a very specific purpose for me and I feel it involves my children. I am now very devoted and dedicated to being a godly father and leader.
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 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 Yes My grandparents were obviously 'alive' and had come from somewhere that seemed nearby but unreachable to me at that point.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I moderately feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I slightly 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? Not fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are 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? Slightly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes Definitely felt love radiating toward me from my grandparents
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Large changes in my life Prior to my experience, I had strong addictions to cigarettes and alcohol. These addictions were removed from me in an instant, first the smoking then the drinking, but with absolutely no withdrawal symptoms.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I am closer to my family more than ever. I have always loved them, but we are now all so close (my wife and two kids) and we all acknowledge a stronger spiritual connection.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No
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 as accurately as 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? Yes Hard to put into words, but I know I am now very in-tune to spiritual things. I can easily identify both blessings and spiritual threats. I feel like I am now receiving spiritual 'frequencies' that were previously unavailable to me.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Being near my grandparents meant the world to me; also, the unidentified lab tech who talked to me about God. I felt she came to me with a specific message.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes About two days later, when I was able to speak to my wife. She believed me, and felt God was involved.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes Just general knowledge, from stories.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real I just 'know' it was real. I was at that 'place' and saw what I saw, felt what I felt.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I remember it vividly and I treasure the experience. I can also acutely sense the other 'realm'...I can just feel its presence.
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? Just that it happened and it totally changed me. I don't exactly know what it is, but I feel I was struck down to get my attention and then put back in place for a reason related to God. I have the strongest and strangest feelings at times and I can tell when God is moving me.