After being admitted I was given morphine for the extreme pain and my blood pressure was noted as 190/80. Up to this point, I had no idea I had gallstones but had been sick for about five years and was told I had 'indigestion'. Once the morphine worked I felt perfectly fine, was admitted to a private ward (I was in the best hospital in Melbourne and had top private cover, so very good care). Once settled my husband and two small sons went home and the next day I was to have some tests to evaluate the condition of my gall bladder (not a huge deal).
The ultrasound showed two hundred stones, liver function was not great and the surgeon was undecided as to wait to improve and then remove the gall bladder using laparoscope or do an emergency operation. I was hooked up to IV and checked frequently. The surgeon came to see me and although still undecided, he chose to give me vitamin K in case he decided to operate that night. The nurse administered the vitamin K, which I made a bit of a fuss about as I hated the 'rush' through the IV and he gave me the injection in the hip (saved my life I think). My husband and sons left, a friend dropped in and I complained to her I felt 'itchy'- we joked it could be the 'posh' sheets.
I mentioned it to the nurse as he also popped in. My friend left and within a minute, I was going mad with itching and pain and swelling. I pressed the nurse buzzer, he came immediately, and he took one look and 'freaked out'. He ran for help and another nurse came and pressed the emergency button. I was still conscious and they dragged me into the bathroom pouring cold water over me, I remember catching sight of myself in the mirror and thinking 'I'm horrendous and deformed for life' - so bad was my swelling and redness, I looked like I had been badly burned. With the panic button going on around the hospital, I was aware I was in serious danger. I told the nurses that I was going to faint and they dragged me to the bed just in time before I 'passed out'.
At this point, I was lying on my bed unable to move or talk or communicate but I could see and hear everything. People talk of being above looking down but I didn't feel that, I just knew everything that was going on and could see everything but am not sure from what angle or how or why. There were about fifteen people in the room with a crash trolley. I could sense the panic but felt so calm and peaceful I wanted to shout out and say 'I'm not in pain, it's okay.' One doctor was pressing with his fingers on my heart. At this point, I realized, 'Hey I am going into cardiac arrest.' Then the nurse on my left taking blood pressure said 'Blood pressure 70/40. We're losing her.' I knew they were about to use the paddles on my heart when I completely left the room.
The first thing I see is an endless field/meadow of the most beautiful flowers. I told myself 'Oh this is the Garden of Eden.' (In my mind, there was no doubt about this.) Then right next to the flowers was a huge pipe/tunnel, kind of reminded me of an underground drain only massive. I immediately went into the tunnel - not walking - just floating upright and I could hear a 'whooshy sound'. I again told myself 'Oh, this is the tunnel, I must be dying.' I went further in and then in the far distance I saw the light. Again, I told myself 'I'm really dying, this is the light. If I go through there then I will be in heaven.' (Of this, I had no doubt about and I was very tempted to go.)
Further along still I saw a 'man' dressed as a monk, what I now realize was a Franciscan monk. I could not see his face but I think that was due to the very strong light behind him. He spoke to me telepathically, at least I did not remember moving my lips nor did he but he was waving me through with one arm, just as you might direct traffic. I then felt he was important enough to be working for God in this important position of helping people pass over, so he was literally directing me to the light and heaven. I really wanted to go but suddenly said to him 'Sorry, I can't go through the light I have to go back to the garden to pick up my children.' Almost immediately I was whisked backed out of the tunnel, I saw the Garden of Eden and came round in the hospital.
When I said I had some uncertainty of explaining things, first it was the noise, it sounded 'whooshy' or 'windy' but someone said to me 'Do you think it sounded like the ocean?' I was like 'YES, YES, YES!' that was the perfect description. It was a nun who listened to my story and I tried to described the monk and I said that I could draw him and she said 'He is a Franciscan monk.' She was in fact a Franciscan nun. But it made perfect sense and I had no doubt that this was indeed a Franciscan monk. I was very reluctant to talk about this after it happened and of course, the hospital was very low-key saying 'Oh you gave us a scare last night.' They had rang my husband who had left me in good health and spirits to tell him that I had had a massive allergic reaction and had been brought back from cardiac arrest. I stayed in hospital for a week, the kids were not allowed to visit as my body was still very badly swollen and looked burnt. Ten days later I had gall bladder removal with laparoscope and of course had red alert stickers everywhere regarding vitamin K.
Date NDE Occurred: 10.10.92
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Allergic reaction 'Illness, trauma or other condition not considered life threatening'
I had been admitted as emergency patient with gall stones and later given vitamin K as my surgeon felt an emergency operation may be needed due to condition of my liver etc. So it was the vitamin K injection that put me into anaphylactic shock.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Uncertain
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness? Normal consciousness and alertness As above.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Am not sure, I think when I realized that once I went through the light I could not return, I was so close to going there, so I was very quick to ask to return to the garden. Perhaps this was the highest point of alertness.
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. I think when you are put in a new place it's natural to take notes and be more aware, I might have done the same thing had I got lost in an unknown town, everything though was very clear and my story will never alter.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Again this is something I cannot be sure of. The monk spoke to me from his mind to my mind, very clear words, but I never saw his face or saw his mouth move, I also spoke to him but as far as I know I didn't move my lips to speak either, I spoke to him from my mind but with my own voice (if that makes sense).
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 I have already written about this in my first account. It looked grey in color just like a giant underground sewage pipe. I could even see very tiny grooves in the cement; it was big enough for me to float through with plenty of room all around me.
Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes See main narrative.
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 After entering the tunnel at quite a fast speed initially I saw the light in the distance and immediately knew that this was 'the light' and that heaven was on the other side, the closer I got the brighter and bigger the light and I had to shield my eyes from the brightness.
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm the garden of eden..i was completely certain of this..an endless field or meadow as far as the eye can see of the most beautiful flowers and colours
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I was perfectly fine, happy, and peaceful. All the pain had gone, my throat was now unblocked it was rather wonderful and I feel very blessed to have experienced this. The only time I got a little stressed was just before I got to go through the light because I realized I could not leave my sons without their mother as they were only two and five years old, otherwise I would have gone without a doubt.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
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
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future Not really. But one day a friend passed by who was young and healthy and I said to my husband 'He hasn't got long to live.' He died four months later, unexpectedly on Easter Sunday. I also said this of another friend of my husbands who also died too young. Both happened to be forty-three, very unexpected but I had a sense they wouldn't be around for much longer. Both had heart attacks.
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? Moderate catholic
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes This experience was like a confirmation of all I was ever taught - I know it's all real, no doubts and it's very comforting. However, I am not crazy, religious or a Bible basher by a long shot. Just a quiet believer with an occasional voice.
What is your religion now? Moderate catholic
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes This experience was like a confirmation of all I was ever taught - I know it's all real, no doubts and it's very comforting. However, I am not crazy, religious or a Bible basher by a long shot. Just a quiet believer with an occasional voice.
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 I always believed that there is Heaven and that there is Hell, of course this is often taught to us but unless you actually die it's sometimes difficult to imagine what would happen when you die, or where you might end up. Since this near death experience I have absolutely no fear of dying, in fact I am really okay with it, I have no doubt there is a God and a Heaven and life after death. It's extremely comforting to know this and although I don't talk much about what happened to me I have comforted a dying friend with what happened to me and that she would be really happy where she was going. Often before she passed she would ask me to tell her about it and it brought her peace knowing it wasn't the end.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Petty arguments and disharmony annoy me as I realize there is no place for it, what a waste of precious time, but unfortunately I still live with a lot of that as many of us do. Sometimes I need to reflect back to this experience to make me feel grateful for what I have and the chance to live I was given (we can often forget). I love that I can be confident and say 'Yes, there is a God,' and 'Yes I am going to Heaven one day.' I think it's good to share this with people who are either facing death or have a fear of it - definitely don't be afraid!
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Uncertain It was all actually very clear except it took some time for me to find the right words to describe certain sounds. It took some time to identify the person who greeted me in the tunnel, though he was very clear (a Franciscan monk). Otherwise it was so clear in my mind that I will never forget any detail of this experience.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? No
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Yes, I will never forget asking the monk to send me back to the garden to pick up my children - it was my children who saved my life, or at least gave me the choice to live. It was very powerful.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I first told my husband, we are from completely different religious backgrounds and I thought he would say I was a nutter, in fact he was the opposite and was really interested and believed me and thinks it's an honor what happened to me. I haven't had anyone tell me anything negative but I don't tell a lot of people, some people are fascinated, it even amazes me.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes Just the usual, tunnel, light, thing, I had an interest but now I know it's a hundred percent true and have no need to doubt others. I have only read one article after my experience that was so bizarre because it was as if it was my very own words- most people who experience this have slightly different interpretations, I guess this is just us as humans seeing things as we see them.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real It happened as I have told you and there is no doubt in my mind, no one will ever convince me otherwise.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real Exactly as above, if you lie or make something up you will eventually get caught out or change your story. I will never change my story, I will never forget it, it is as clear today as it was on 10th October, 1992.
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? No.