I was lying face first on the living room floor after having one of my many grand mal seizures and my boyfriend picked me up and laid me on the couch while my grandpa called the ambulance. Grandpa knew that seizure was not like the others because I wasn't responding and coming around like I normally did. I remember before the ambulance came, going in and out of consciousness. I remember my boyfriend and grandpa yelling, 'She's not breathing. Shelby breath!' When they would yell my name, it brought me back to them and away from what I call the dark place. It was like a room colored, not black, more brownish with no sound or light. No walls or floor and it was cold. I remember the paramedics carrying me on a stretcher down the front porch steps and pushing me into the back of the ambulance. The next thing I remember is I was in the emergency room.
There was this sense of urgency all around and in the air. Everyone was running around and working on me and they all were really concerned. I was looking at them all from the corner of the room. Not from the bed, my body was lying on. Then I went from observing from the corner of the room to just above everyone's head looking down at it all. I watched them poke me with needles and run tests. There had to be about twelve people working on me at the same time. I remember hearing them all talk from my bed, but seeing everything from above. The doctor at the time (now my cardiologist) saying, 'She's only 16 years old and were not going to let her die now! Come on people let's move! Give me...' - and he was telling everyone else what he wanted or needed.
Then I went from just above everyone's heads looking at all this to my back against the ceiling. The sense of urgency grew as I was against the ceiling. I remember seeing and hearing very clearly, my doctor saying to me, 'Come on, you got to fight. Shelby you got to fight. I'm not going to let you die, fight!' At the same time, he was saying that someone was making a cut in my right arm and then treaded what looked like a tube or wire into my arm that was connected to a brown box at the foot of the bed. At that moment when he said my name, I went from my back against the ceiling to just above my body facing up. Not in my body on the bed, but hovering just over it. Then I was in that dark place for just a second and then in my body.
I woke up in the intensive care unit two days later and the first thing I noticed was tubes sticking out of me everywhere and both arms were tied down. I yelled, 'HEY!' through an air mask because I couldn't move. A nurse came in right away, calmed me down, told me I was in the hospital, and explained what was in both arms and why they had them tied down. (It was in case I had another seizure so I wouldn't pull them out. One of them was a temporary pacemaker and was keeping me alive at the time.) I fell back to sleep after being awake on and off for a few hours, my mother was there with me the whole time. The next morning the doctor felt I was stabilized enough to undergo the surgery I needed to implant the permanent pacemaker I had to have. (This was over twenty years ago and pacemakers were a still fairly new gadget.) I remember being prepared for the surgery and then wheeled into the operating room. They turned on the go-to-sleep medications, and I was out.
The next thing I remember is 'leaping' out of my body and standing at the doorway of the operating room. I looked back at them working on me for just a second and then I started walking down the hall of the hospital. I remember passing the nurse's station, then the admitting station and out the door of the hospital. (I didn't actually open the door it was like I was in the hospital one second and then outside of it the next.) The minute I was out of the hospital it was as if something lifted me into the air and I started flying. I looked down at the street and the cars on the street, and then I went higher and started moving toward a direction. The reason why I use the word direction is that it was as if I was being pulled and not doing this on my own. I continued to go higher and in this direction, I flew above a meadow full of flowers and then pine trees and mountains. The whole time I was flying and seeing these beautiful landscapes, I heard a soft music; it's so hard to explain. It's not like what you would hear on the radio or a concert - but it was music. There was this tiny light off in the distance, and the light grew bigger in size as I flew toward it. I went higher and higher until I was above what I believe to be the clouds, it was white in color and it looked like clouds on a sunny day to me, and then I stopped.
I started feeling the presence of 'others' around me welcoming me and calling me by name. I asked them who they were and they told me their names. I felt a connection to them somehow but couldn't figure out how they knew me because they didn't look familiar but 'felt' familiar. The communication was not like talking to people like talking normally, it was more as if we talked to each other in our heads. The feeling of so much pure love that came from them and this place was so intense that it still brings me to tears as I write this. Just as I was re-acquainted (so to speak) with the others, I noticed that they started to move away from me and I wanted to be near them because of the intense feeling of love but I couldn't move forward to them. It was as if I was planted in that spot and that pulling, or flying, to the direction I had before stopped. Then this 'voice' said loud and firm, 'No, not yet, you have to go back.' And at that instant, I was whipped back into my body.
I woke up one day later after my pacemaker was put in. I told the first nurse I saw what happened to me. I told my doctor a little later when he came in to check on me. After the doctor left, my mom and another nurse told me that during the surgery, my heart had stopped again and they called a code blue. I was told they worked on me for over fifteen minutes until they got me stable enough to finish the surgery. I told my mom of the people that were there and welcoming me. She said that some of the names I told her were of deceased relatives or friends of the family that had passed on before I was born and two of them were before she was born, my grandma told her of them.
Date NDE Occurred: January 1977
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Heart attack Clinical death
My heart stopped beating. I have a medical condition called a third. degree heart block. I was born with it, but it was not discovered until this event when I was sixteen. At the age of four, I was found to have what the doctor called a slow heart beat and a loud heart murmur. At the age of five I started suffering from grand mal seizures, was given a battery of tests and placed on Phenobarbital for epilepsy (this is what they thought was wrong with me). The seizures continued to get worse and more frequent and by the age of ten, I was taking Phenobarbital three times a day and Dilantin two times a day. At the age of fifteen and a half, the seizures were hard to control and my parents were looking into home schooling for me as I was having seizures at school no less than four times a week. At the age of sixteen, I had a seizure and woke up in the intensive care unit of the hospital with a temporary pacemaker insert into my right arm, tubes sticking out of me everywhere and in soft restraints. They were still trying to stabilize me before they put the permanent pacemaker in. During the seizure that set me to the hospital, I had gone into arterial fibrillation, and then my heart stopped. I was shocked with the paddles several times and the only thing my heart would do is return to arterial fibrillation and then stop. They ended up shooting adrenalin straight into my heart and then placing the temporary pacemaker in my arm. So to sum it up my cardiologist said what was happening was that during the grand mal seizures my heart rate dropped so low that my brain was suffering a severe lack of air. And during the last one, my heart stopped beating correctly and then stopped all together. I can provide medical documentation of all this including the electrocardiograph strip of when I was flat-line.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Positive
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I remember it all very clearly, it's something I will never forget.
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
The time seems so short that this happened, when in fact it was over a period of days.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Some kind of music.
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Uncertain It wasn't really like a tunnel, but more like a thick white cloudy mist.
The experience included: Presence of deceased persons
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes They welcomed me and they felt familiar to me, but I did not recognize their faces.
The experience included: Void
The experience included: Darkness
The experience included: Light
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes The light was tiny at first and then grew in size as I moved closer to it.
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I flew above a meadow full of beautiful flowers, pine trees and mountains. The place just beyond the 'clouds' was so beautiful feeling full of so much pure love. The feeling was so intense it still brings me to tears to this day.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I was curious and calm at the same time, and the place I was at just before I went back to my body felt like 'home' to me.
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe The voice that said loud and firm 'No, not yet, you have to go back'. Left me with the feeling that I am meant to be here. This was years before I gave birth to my four beautiful children. Now I know at least part of the reason why I had to come back :)
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes I got to a point in my flying/being pulled in a direction and then it stopped. This was the place that I met/got re-acquainted with the 'others' and I could not move past that point.
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 That voice was firm and left no doubt of decision.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I no longer fear death.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Definitions.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I was always intuitive, but after my return to my body I became very clairvoyant-clairaudient to the point that I can see and hear future events sometimes years in advance.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The best part was the feeling of pure love. The worst was entering my body again - it hurt.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Mixed, some acted interested, others said I was dreaming or it never happened, others found it fascinating.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No