I lost all bodily strength in an instant. I went to bed, and when I woke up in the early hours of the morning, my chest felt like it was being crushed. Luckily, I was staying with my sister and brother-in-law and I called to them for help. Because I could not catch my breath, my calls were not very loud but they were loud enough for their dog to hear me and start barking. When my sister came into the bedroom, I asked her to call the Emergency Squad because I thought I might be having a heart attack. When the EMTs got there, they were not sure what was happening but advised me to go to the hospital ASAP.
They put me in the ambulance, and during the ride to the hospital (about 20 min) while they kept spraying nitro under my tongue to ease the pressure, (it didn't) I had the first NDE. I was aware of everything going on in the ambulance, but at the same time, I was in a long hallway. It reminded me of a hotel hallway, because I was aware of doors all along both sides. At the end of the hallway was one door that had such a bright light behind it, the rays were seeping out on all sides of the door. I had no body; just a consciousness. Then there was a great roaring sound (like a jet plane, just before it begins to go down the runway) and I was suddenly traveling at an unbelievable rate of speed towards the door at the end of the hallway.
Although I had the sensation of moving at a great rate of speed, I could not get any closer to the door. I had a sense of such peace and acceptance that, although I knew what was going on, it was okay no matter what happened. It was a total surrender.
When we arrived at the hospital, they put an oxygen bag over my nose and mouth, and once I was settled in a bed, I experienced the next NDE. It was the same hallway, the same door, the same light and the same sensations. This time, however, I began to feel my body lift out of the hospital bed. Before it could leave completely, however, a doctor came by and the experience ended.
After a week in the Intensive Care Unit and another week in the general hospital, I was discharged on Thanksgiving Day. I came away from the experience with a profound sense of peace. I certainly no longer fear death, and I also no longer fear life.
Date NDE Occurred: November 19-20 2004
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Pulmonary Embolism 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
A pulmonary embolism caused the chest-crushing sensation and my inability to get enough air.
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 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? More consciousness and alertness than normal It was immediate and lasted until the experiences were over.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I was highly alert immediately and this lasted until the experiences were over.
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
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. The light was the brightest light I've ever seen, yet I could look directly at it without blinking. I did not have a body; it was all mind.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. My hearing was sharper than normal; especially the ability to hear things coming from two places at one time without confusion.
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? Yes It was like a hotel hallway with doors on both sides, and at the end of the hallway there was a main door with light pouring out all around it.
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: 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 It can't be described other than to say it was beyond pure white and looked like it could light the entire world once the door was opened.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm The level of consciousness was greater than I thought possible
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Total peace and acceptance.
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 united or one with the world
The experience included: Special Knowledge
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control
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
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What is your religion now? Liberal
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
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? Yes It was a 'knowing' that I didn't need to know anything.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes This is what I live by now: Don't judge people. Try to focus on the important things and let the rest run off my back. Also try to show others how to do the same.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes I could say it was 'peaceful', but it was so much more than what we consider peaceful. The same is true of all the emotions I felt during the experience.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain It seems that I am now more in tune with things about to happen. Nothing major, just snippets of things.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Not really. The whole experience was so beautiful; it would be difficult to pick out any one part of it as 'special.'
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes While I was in the ICU, my sister asked me, 'Did you see the light?' I told her about my experience at that time, and I have told others over the years when the topic has arisen.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I'd read about NDEs before but it did not affect my experience in any way because I was IN the experience before I knew what it was.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real At the time it was happening, I knew what it was. I was amazed at how unafraid I was during and after the experience. Actually, even in the beginning, when I thought I might be having a heart attack, there was absolutely no fear. Just total peace and acceptance
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real think it was the most real experience I've ever had; and I've had some doozies. I know it was real, because it changed me so much more profoundly and on a deeper level than anything else I've done or experienced.
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? After my experience, I used to volunteer for the local Hospice and felt drawn to vigil work. Not because I spoke to the patients, (they were usually unconscious) but because death no longer frightened me, and I knew I would not project fear onto the patient. I was with my father when he died. When he took his last breath, I saw the completion of a circle û because he had aided in my delivery at home and was there when I took my first breath.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? I don't think so. The experience is so hard to put into the words we generally use, that it really isn't possible to describe the depth of the emotions. I think you have done a good job trying to collect information but please keep in mind that when I say 'peaceful' and 'accepting' it was so much more than that.