On September 10, 1975 I fell ten meters (thirty feet) from a rooftop where I was working as a plumber.
On the street below, I struck a cauldron of tar. A wave of hot tar spilled out over me. Lying there on the street, I was conscious and felt no pain but very warm. I cannot remember the ride to the hospital. At the hospital, the doctors started working on me right away. Because they thought I was in tremendous pain, they gave me a shot of morphine.
I remember quite well that they called the hospital in Beverwijk, specialized in burn treatment, asking for advice. Doctor Hermans sent an assistant with a quantity of wrappings and Flamazine (ointment used to treat burns, ed.)
Lying at the first-aid station, I had the first out-of-body experience. I saw myself lying on the table and heard the nervous yelling of the doctors and assistants. What I said earlier about the morphine, because they thought I was in tremendous pain - I wasn't, because I was not in my body.
They were wrapping up me in a sort of net, like a sausage, when Doctor Hermans' assistant entered. He got very upset and told the others to unwrap me. They were also trying to take off my Tee-shirt, but because it was stuck to my skin with the tar, they also tore my skin. I had truly never seen anybody get so angry; I almost had to laugh despite the fact that it was my own body.
After I was treated as best as possible, they brought me into intensive care. They brought me in a glass-encased sterile room and put me to bed.
The first week after the accident, they injected me literally full of morphine, to keep me in a sort of coma. Afterwards a doctor and my parents told me that I had not been conscious for one moment during that week.
The funny part is that I can remember everything that happened at the intensive care. I know my parents came to visit, that my father had to throw up when he saw me, that my mother did not know what to do and could not stop crying.
Also a nurse came to sit by me whenever she could manage the time. I knew she was taking courses in surgery assistance. I saw her and her colleagues working the whole week, with me and other intensive care patients. One given moment, I knew precisely what patient was given which medication and what time.
When I still had not died after one week, I was given penicillin. Because of the lack of morphine, I suffered withdrawal symptoms. I slowly regained consciousness and that is when the pain also started.
When I told the nurse, what she was studying for and how far she had progressed, she was incredulous. Afterwards I never saw her again; she avoided me as if I were some sort of pariah. Another nurse I told of the medication patients were getting and she also reacted very strangely. After this, I did not mention it again.
Five weeks later, I was released from hospital. I spent three months at home to heal from the burns and the concussion. I did not have any more out-of-body experiences afterwards.
Date NDE Occurred: 10 september 1975
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes AccidentDirect head injury Zie boven Other 'Zware brandwonden, zeer zware hersenschudding, neus en kaak gebroken, schouder ontzet, knie? kapot.'. Severe burns covering about twenty-five percent of my body and a heavy concussion.
The ambulance took me to the nearest hospital. From there they wanted to transfer me to a hospital in Beverwijk, specialized in burn treatment, but the staff did not dare to because of the concussion and other injuries.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes 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? Normal consciousness and alertness
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? The whole week.
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
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Did your vision differ in any way from normal? I do not know if you know how big the letters on the label of a medicine bottle are? From the glass room I was in to the other end of the intensive care, it was about fifteen meters (forty-five feet). Either I was standing next to them when a patient was administered medication, or I watched from my room.
Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? I cannot remember if my hearing was different. One ear was full of tar, so I suppose it was less clear.
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: Void
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? No
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I remember quite clearly I had a choice to pass over or to stay. I chose to stay, because I thought myself too young to die.
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
The experience included: Life review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control Trust myself that everything will be fine.
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? Liberal Geen
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes Made me realize that there is more than this life. I now believe a person does not lead one life but a few, maybe even several.
What is your religion now? Liberal Er is meer tussen hemel en aarde waar de mens geen weet van heeft
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes Made me realize that there is more than this life. I now believe a person does not lead one life but a few, maybe even several.
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 has been thirty-one years and I still have difficulty talking about it. When I try to talk about it, people's first reaction is disbelief.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes Clairvoyant people tell me I have this gift too. I admit I have never tried to.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? It made me realize that there is more than this life. I now believe a person does not lead one life but a few, maybe even several.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes At the hospital; disbelief and being shunned. A few years later I told my girlfriend (my future wife); at first she did not believe me, but later she was intrigued.
Influence, thinking about life after death.
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 could see and hear everything around me, including that what was happening to me. I was even reading along in the books of the nurse sitting opposite of me.
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? Yes My father passed away in March of 2004.
I had not seen my parents for eight years because of an argument. When we got the message my father had died, we went over and made up. Perhaps no NDE but at night my father visited me to tell me everything was all right. Afterwards I had contact for three more times.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? About four months after the accident I started having nightmares. Every night I would dream about the accident. I saw myself fall down and strike the cauldron of tar. Lying there on the ground, my boss had my head in his lap. The paramedics had to cut my hair loose with scissors, because it was stuck to my boss's pants.
At that time, I also started having headaches. These migraine attacks were so intense I had to lay down flat on the floor beside my bed, waiting for them to subside. During these headaches, I saw myself back in the hospital, screaming from the pain of the burns. At that time, I felt the burn scars glow.