I collapsed while playing football due to a sub-arachnoid hemorrhage. I had surgical coiling in the brain and spent three days in a coma in an intensive care unit and five days in the high dependency unit. After a month in the hospital, I was discharged with a little disability due to the stroke but was mentally great. I was told how lucky I was to be alive as the night I collapsed, I could not be operated on due to the amount of blood in and around the brain and I was put on a life support machine. My family was told that I would probably not survive the night. My family was also told that they may want to seek religious guidance, which is pretty normal in Ireland, a priest came and I was anointed.
The next morning, I was operated on and it went well. I was past the worst of it, but was left paralyzed down my left side, which slowly returned albeit with a weak left side and foot drop. With intensive physiotherapy I am now back to about ninety percent function. While in hospital and up until a few weeks after discharge, I had no memory or thoughts of an NDE. I had never given it a thought before, as I knew very little about it. As a young man, I never thought about dying or what happened when you do. As far as I was concerned, you died got put in a hole in the ground and that was that. End of story.
This was probably comforting to me, in a way, because if there's no heaven there can't be a hell, thus there's nothing to fear when you die. While I had no immediate recollection of what or where I was or what happened, I did keep having dreams and thoughts of falling very fast for a fair distance, but there was nothing else: no tall buildings or bridges and it had nothing to do with suicidal thoughts, as I was quite happy. The more I thought about it the more I remembered and the experience came back to me.
Sometime while I was unconscious, I went somewhere. I don't know where or when, but I have this memory of a white light: the brightest light I've ever encountered, but it had no effect on my eyes. I have to emphasize that there was nothing other than this light: no loved ones, no angels, no voices or tunnels just light. With this light was peace, the most amazing feeling ever: love, comfort, inner peace and the weight of the world off my shoulders, it really was as simple as this. It can't be explained not with words, I've tried and failed. My only explanation of falling is I leaving this wonderland and I have struggled with it, I miss it and think about the feeling daily and try hard to remember. At night, I try to dream about it but nothing, this feeling can't be replicated and it gets me down. For a while, I was so down I did have thoughts of suicide just to experience the feeling again, the warmth, safety and love. I have a young family and have concluded that I'm on this earth for a reason, my family is that reason. I will be here for them, but when my time comes, I will be happy to go. While still not religious, I have now been thinking a lot about spirituality, life and death. When asked about how I felt about my experience my answer was simple: 'privileged'.
Date NDE Occurred: 28/03/13
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
I had bleeding around my brain.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
Did you feel separated from your body? No
I lost awareness of my body
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? My experience is of just being surrounded by this light and feeling, I felt totally conscious and alert although I've no feeling of getting there or coming back but think this dream of falling may have something to do with my leaving.
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Time seemed to go faster or slower than usual
Time felt slower due to the fact that I was so relaxed but it may not have been.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? No
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Nothing to see so I can't comment.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Nothing to hear so I can't comment.
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? No
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 The whole experience was an unearthly light.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm It was a place just full of light with nothing to distract me.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I felt love, comfort, peace, joy, calm and relief.
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? Everything about the universe That most people are bad and the world is an evil place.
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? No
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Not important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Catholic Raised a catholic but had no interest in religion and had a disliking for religions and churches as I seen religion as the cause of most wars and many deaths but I would never mock someone due to there faith and respected their believes.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I'm looking for spiritual guidance as I still don't think I believe in God or religion.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Moderately important to me
What is your religion now? Do not know At the minute I'm really confused, I now believe in something but as to what is what I don't know.
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 They were all consistent with my beliefs but I should put them more into practice.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes People are greedy and that causes suffering.
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? Yes The place with the light was definitely mystical and I was floating around in it and felt it.
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God does not exist
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? No
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? I am uncertain if God 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? Unknown
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 Uncertain I've no concept of where I was or for how long or if it was gateway for another place after death.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? Unknown
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? Not fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Unknown
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Are probably 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? Yes A strong sense of love and how good it can be.
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Slight changes in my life Slight changes in my life. I've no fear, none whatsoever. I am sad as the world I live in is a bad place.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Impossible, no words can explain it.
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 While it took a while to remember its now as vivid as anything else around the same time.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain Don't think I do, but I do get a constant urge to put my hand on people's cheek who are sad or in trouble to let them feel the love and to take away their pain. But I have not done it and probably won't.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The fact that I was able to experience the feeling of true love, peace, and live to talk about it. Although, I rarely do speak about it.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes About six months later; they were interested but not shocked, possibly influenced by it because anyone who has lost a loved one would probably want to hear about it.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Uncertain I'd heard of it happening but had no interest in it.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real Due to being skeptical that it happened then piecing it all together it was a few months later before I knew what had happened and it was just as real.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real That not only was it real, but as time goes by I'm getting further away from it.
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 miss it.