It was my very first delivery at age 31 yrs. Pregnancy was uneventful because I had regular medical checkups with my experienced obstetrician. Both my parents are doctors and therefore, I was medically guided during the entire period of my pregnancy. I had false labor a week prior to my due date for a normal delivery/vaginal delivery. I was sent home and a week later, the contractions were regular between 15 minutes apart. It was October 13, 1973 at approximately 2 PM when I was brought to the delivery room. The attending nurse prepped me. I had the contractions with intense pain and it escalated to almost 17 hours during the night. I could feel the baby wanting to come out but it couldn't. Since my father was a doctor and I was already exhausted, he agreed to an emergency cesarean section.
The minute the doctor injected Demerol into my left vein, I blacked out entirely and had no recollection of what had happened. At this moment, it was pitch black and I lost my sense of sight, hearing, speech and feelings. I had no idea how long it was until I saw a bright light. This light grew larger and larger into a tunnel. Inside this large tunnel, there were myriads of bright, multicolored lights on its walls where I flew alongside the tunnel. I also heard angelic songs, which I'd never heard before. I felt I was flying and I felt at peace with myself. I did not see any beings inside the tunnel, only myself. I did not want to go back but then I remembered my baby I had just delivered. With a deep breathe, I willed to return. As I was returning, I went downwards through a deep black well and I felt heaviness on my entire body and legs.
Date NDE Occurred: 'October 13 and 14, 1974'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? No Childbirth. While under general anesthesia. Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function) 'my doctor stated that my vital signs were so weak and both my eyes rolled up, my distal fingers, lips and toes were bluish in color and did not respond to name call nor pin prick stimulation.'
It was an emergency cesarean delivery due to prolonged labor of 17 hours.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Both pleasant AND distressing
Did you feel separated from your body? No I could not see, hear, nor feel anyone touching me while I was unconscious.
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 I just felt that it was real and my thoughts were so vivid during the NDE. With my everyday consciousness and alertness, I did not exert too much effort as when I did during the NDE experience. It was as if I collected all my strength (physical and mental) in order to return. As much as I did not really want to go back, the feeling of wanting to be alive is so strong during the NDE. Up until now, I can still recall that event after almost 38 years after my first delivery.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Towards the end of my journey in the tunnel of light, I thought about my baby and wanting to be back to see and hug him/her. I was fully aware that I was still conscious because I could still think.
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
I had no concept of time during the NDE.
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. During the NDE, all my senses (visual, auditory, emotions, feeling/touch, and weight) were so enhanced than my everyday experiences because I can still recount the NDE after more than 3 decades without hesitation. With my day to day vision, I forget some but remember those that are vivid dreams and recollections or visions.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I could hear angelic songs, voices that I'd never heard before: although I don't recognize those songs I heard. My thought was it came from angels because the music and the colors inside the tunnel blended together. I had no sense of smell during the NDE, though. I only felt so heavy when I wanted to return. During the NDE, I felt so light: like a feather floating into space and time. I had no concept of time.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
The experience included: Tunnel
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes It was vividly a tunnel, funnel- shaped (small at the end and wide where I was floating along its side). I wanted to touch the tunnel but couldn't do so. I know I was myself because I know I was the person floating inside the tunnel. All the time during the NDE, I knew myself.
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: Darkness
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? An unusually bright light
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes The tunnel was a blinding light like the sun but I did not see anyone in it except myself.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? During the NDE I had very, very strong emotions of bliss, happiness, peace, contentment, joy and no guilt feelings when I was going through the tunnel of light. When I was returning through the deep well, I felt anguish, pain, uncertainty, fear of not returning and extreme heaviness (I could not lift my arms or legs). It was heavy like lead.
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
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 When I decided in my mind to return, I exerted so much effort to do that; I tried to take a deep breath, wink my eyes, and shake my arms, body and legs. I felt a very heavy weight opposing this effort but I apparently succeeded because I became conscious the next day.
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- Other Christian Church of Christ (Iglesia ni Cristo) member
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I feel I am a much better Christian. I am walking the words of God more than ever before, because I am sure that there is a life after death.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Moderately important to me
What is your religion now? Christian- Other Christian I had a strong belief in one true God and in His begotten son Jesus Christ until now. I have been a member of this church for 39 years now. I used to be a Catholic member but changed my religion when I got married in 1973.
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 All that had happened during the NDE are consistent with the beliefs that I had at the time of my experience.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I have become God-loving and trusting more in Him. I learned to admire the simple things in life: flowers, animals, earth, and environment. My beliefs in God have become strengthened. My values have greatly changed.
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? Uncertain I was not sure if I was one with the universe during the NDE.
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? Uncertain That thought did not come to my mind during the NDE but only after. I have read the bible in theory but after the NDE, I felt that God is indeed real although I did not meet Him during the NDE.
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? Uncertain During the NDE, I did not know that I could be dead nor there a life beyond the grave at that time. After the NDE, that was when I determined that there is a life after death. I am more accepting of death now more than ever. I have read the bible in theory but after the NDE, I felt that God is indeed real although I did not meet Him during the NDE.
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? Uncertain experience only. It did not reach my mind during that time. After the NDE, I determined that my purpose in life is to serve GOD first....nothing else mattered, not even material things. I also concluded that life is like a mist...it is there and the next
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 probably exists┬á Uncertain During the NDE, I did not know that I could be dead nor there is a life beyond the grave at that time. After the NDE, that was when I determined that there is a life after death. I am more accepting of death now more than ever.
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? Moderately fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Slightly 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? Uncertain During the NDE, it did not cross my mind but towrdas the end, going through the well in darkness, I felt I went into \\
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Uncertain I did not know if I felt love during the NDE, it was more of happiness and peace. After the NDE though I became more compassionate and less self centered. I became more generous, and more discerning of the feelings of others including my enemies.
Were you compassionate after your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Large changes in my life I became progressively (slowly but surely) less self-centered, more compassionate, more honest, more humble, less judgmental, more discerning, more intuitive and perceptive. If I think of a certain person, that person will appear before me: at work, at home. I am more cautious about life and less materialistic. I had become a more relaxed person by forgetting the past, living one day at a time and not worrying too much about tomorrow. Large changes in my life.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Yes I feel that I have become a much better wife, mother and now grandmother to my 2 children and 4 grandchildren. I also feel more loving, compassionate and understanding towards my other relatives and people I meet along the way whether at work, home, country or outside the country. I feel that all human beings are the same and equal. I am less judgmental and more truthful to myself.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No I can explain it in English as well as in Tagalog or Pilipino language.
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 The events that occurred prior to NDE were confirmed as true by my doctor and my father who were present during the NDE. I recounted my NDE to my relatives as accurately as the other events.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Everything is significant. I was not sure if I was one with the universe during the NDE. During the NDE, it did not cross my mind but towards the end, going through the 'well of darkness'. I did not know if I felt love during the NDE, it was more of happiness and peace. After the NDE though, I became more compassionate and less self-centered. I became more generous, and more discerning of the feelings of others including my enemies.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I have always shared it with people I know and they were all amazed. I do not know if they were influenced by my NDE in any way.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes Being an occupational therapist in the medical world, I have come across many patients who have recounted their NDEs.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real During the NDE, all the events that occurred was real to me (as in dreams or day- to-day events). The experience never left my mind, I can still recall the events, colors, songs, although not in as great detail as it happened a few days or weeks afterwards. When I asked my parents now, they can only slightly recall what happened before the NDE. Only I can recall it vividly and no one else can. I can probably paint it now if I want to. (I might).
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real The NDE is still the same as when it happened in October, 1974. It is still the same NDE in 2012 because I can recall these events now and share these with you.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Uncertain It never happened again but I don't mind it if does happen again. I remember one astral projection experience I had when I was unmarried. I actually saw my sleeping body on my bed in my room while I was floating near the corner of the ceiling. Then I came back to my body. During this time, I lost all my senses. I thought I was just having a nightmare. There was no tunnel of light during the astral projection experience.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? I wished I could remember the songs that I heard during the NDE. The events that occurred prior to NDE were confirmed as true by my doctor and my father, who were both present during the NDE. I recounted my NDE to my relatives as accurately as the other events.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Perhaps, drawing or painting the NDE can be helpful to the participants. I like to draw and maybe I will do that, now that I am retired.