I was having a baby who was two months premature. I had known and was told small details about my pregnancy. It was something bad but I was not told everything. In fact, no one thought I would survive the delivery, so why tell me anything was the philosophy. I went into pre-term labor, as I often did, on July 6, 2008. This time, the labor could not be stopped and I had a bonus of ITP. ITP means your blood does not clot. And the fear is that they need to hurry to get the baby out before the ITP gets to the baby. I was wheeled into an operating room. That was the last thing I remember, alive. The next thing I knew, I was sitting straight up on the bed and looking at my stomach. I saw my baby being born. I remember he was very, very small and he looked like a little frog. He was not crying. I looked at the doctor, and she said, ’He is sleeping’. Then all of a sudden, there was a little nurse running around my bed, really fast. She kept running and handing things to the doctor(s), everyone. I remember that on the back of her head, I could see she had black hair, and she wore glasses. Everything started to speed up, and then it went dark. Then I heard someone calling my name, over and over and over. ‘Sheri, Sheri, Sheri, can you hear me?’ Then I opened my eyes and I was no longer in the operating room. I seemed to be floating. I was going through doors, and after each door I went through, there was a slamming sound, like the door was slamming behind me. This happened over and over. Someone was with me, but, I could not see who it was, though I always knew he was there. As I was floating, I could see children, they were playing. Occasionally one of them would look up at me. Then I finally came out of this ‘area’ of slamming doors, and I was on a shore. The ‘person’ was still with me. He told me that I had to get into the boat. In the boat, a sort of rowing boat was another person who was dressed in a monk’s type of cape. He sat motionless until I got into the boat. Then he started rowing. We rowed into the water, and I could see the other side was clouds and a light. It was an island. While in the boat, the person took off his hood and revealed a man I call ‘Santa Clause’. He had a white beard, and a happy face. He was so loving, warm, and happy. There was something so wonderful about him, and he resembled ‘Santa Clause’. We talked and talked and talked. He was telling me what was going to happen. I was going to an island that he pointed at where people were happy and he told me about all the wonderful things there. It was the most wonderful experience. I was filled with so much happiness. Then I started crying. I told him that I did not want to go. I told him that I loved my husband very much, and I did not want to leave him. I also told him that I had a baby and I had other kids I had to take care of that were just babies. I cried and cried, and begged and begged. He asked me over and over again, ‘Are you sure?’ I told him, ‘Yes, yes. Please, please, please let me go back.’ It seemed to take a very long time but he finally agreed. He told me that going back was going to hurt. He asked if I understood the pain that I would have going back. I told him that I didn't care and wanted to go back. He smiled and said, ‘Okay, you can go back, I will let you go.’ We rowed back to the shore I had started on and there was a man standing there. I could not see his face but he had black hair. He held out his hand and I took it. We walked into a cave, or that is what it looked like. It was very dark. All of a sudden, I heard those doors again slamming very, very loudly. It seemed louder than the first time. I felt enormous pain. I started hurting all over my body. If I could have screamed, I would have. Then I saw a wall in front of me and it was as if I was thrown through it. That part was very awful. On the other side was a huge light, a blinding light. I looked down and I saw my body lying on a hospital bed. With a huge force behind me, I fell into the body that was mine. I can tell you that, while I was looking at my body, the room and the people in it where a blur. I seemed as if heat was coming off the ground like a haze. I could see the people and myself but it was hazy. I all of a sudden could hear people talking in the room and I knew I saw a number 19. Later I was to find out that this was the number of the room I was staying in, in Cardio ICU. I was lying in my body now and I could see my husband on my left side but his clothes were different from when I first saw him. He was in my face. I think he was kissing me.
Date NDE Occurred: 'July 6, 1999'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Surgery-relatedChildbirth Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
Delivering a baby.
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 clearly left my body and existed outside it
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 At the end.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? At the end.
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
The haze or heat rising up from the ground made everything seem ‘out of focus’. I was always trying really hard to see things clearly. The only place things were clear was on the other side of the wall, when I was floating.
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. When I came back into my body was when things looked ‘hazy’. I always described it as heat coming up from concrete.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. The loudness of the doors slamming behind me.
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
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 I think the man with no face and dark hair was my husband’s spirit. Yes, he is alive. I think it was his spirit that helped me return to my body.
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? Uncertain I think ‘the light’ for me was coming out of the cave at the end, when I got into the boat with ‘Santa’. There was light all around us. And clouds. It was beautiful. Like heaven.
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm When I came out of the "cave", I felt that I was in the clouds. The river, was mystical, as if a fairytale. But, crossing over the river to the otherside, meant never coming back....it seemed final.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? When I was out of the body I felt like I was floating at first, and then I just felt normal, during my conversations with others.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Relief or calmness
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
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control I didn't experience or see past events, unless the children playing games was part of that. I also remember something that was not in the lengthy above explanation. I remember seeing a car accident. There were fireman and ambulances, all around an accident, looking at it. And, all of a sudden, they all turned and looked at me, all at once.
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? Conservative/fundamentalist Church of Christ
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What is your religion now? Conservative/fundamentalist Church of Christ
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? No
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No My husband and I have always been close. We are like soul mates. We finish each other’s sentences, etc.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I would rather not talk about it.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Coming through the wall was especially strange. I think it was interesting that I felt pain. Understand that the pain was not physical. It is hard to explain. It was a pulling sort of feeling; a strange pain of leaving. It has always been hard for me to explain that part because it was not a pain that I can pin point.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I talked about it after it happened and I still talk about it today. It bothers some people so I don't go into it, but I still remember everything about what happened as if it was yesterday.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real I was fearful of my husband leaving me. When I got home and he would go to work, I would cry like a baby not wanting him to leave me. I was always worried about him going away. I am better about that now but sometimes I still get that ‘feeling’.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real It is something that never goes away. I never feel alone. I always feel like someone is with me, other than my husband when he goes to work. It is hard to make sense of sometimes but it makes sense to me.
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 think the one thing that has been hard for me is the idea that I am alive today for ‘something’. People think that those who go through what I did are meant for ‘greatness’, and that there is something ‘special’ you are to do with your life and make life changes, etc. It took me a long time to discover that is simply not true. The pressure of being something ‘great’, simply because you have an out of body experience, is not the case. I believe that I am here today because no one can raise my kids like I can. I am their mom. I am here with my husband because we are meant to be happy. Plain and simple. No reading between the lines, like, ‘oh you’ve got to live a better life’, etc. I am just meant to be me. Period.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? You did a great job on the questions, no suggestions.
The last thing I remember was the doctors saying they had to move fast to get the baby out. I was wheeled down a hallway into surgery where I arrived laying down. Then I went out, asleep. Then I sat straight up, the room was white, the floors were white, there was no equipment, just doctors and nurses, running around and my baby being delivered C-section. I watched my baby being born. The people in the room were running around like mad. There was a nurse, who had black hair coming out of the back of her cap, which I remember in detail. She was moving very fast, running in circles. The baby looked very small and I heard someone say, ‘Oh my God, he is sleeping’. He never cried. I saw he was okay, and then I lay back down. (I found out later, in documents, that one of the nurses said the statement above. Otherwise, I would have never known it really happened). I was ‘under’, so, not really sure why I saw this, other than to believe it was okay to ‘go’. I am not sure how much time passed, but the next thing I saw was my family, my husband in particular, below me. I was above all of them and I saw a light on my husband. He was in a room by himself. He was praying to God that I live. He was crying. More time passed. I was lying down now, next to my body, and my husband was talking to me, he looked strange. It was as if everything was blurry. His eyes and his face were very blurry. He was crying and saying, ‘Please, please don't die. I love you. Please don't die.’ Then more time passed. Now I was above everyone again. They were standing over my body and I was leaving. I went through the wall behind my bed and I was floating above everyone. I saw children playing. They would stop to look at me as if I was a strange anomaly or something. Then I stopped at what looked like a car accident. All of the fire fighters stopped and looked at me, so I turned and walked away. I went through a series of rooms, over and over again. Then I came out of what seemed like a cave. It opened up into a beautiful sky. I was in the clouds, like on top of a mountain. I looked ahead and I saw a man in a brown robe motioning me to come towards him. As I got closer, I noticed he looked like Santa Clause. He had a white beard and was very gentle looking. He told me to get into his boat and that he would take me home to the other side. I got in the boat with him and we talked. As we got further away from the shore, I began to feel uneasy. I asked him to stop, and then I asked him to please take me back. He stopped the boat and asked me, ‘Are you sure?' I said, ‘Yes, I am sure, please take me back. I need to be with my husband. I need to be with him, please, please take me back.’ He then said, ‘I will take you back, but you must understand that if you go back, you will experience such immense pain and it will not stop until you are back, are you sure you want to go back?’ I said, ‘Yes, yes, please take me back.’ So, he started to row back over the river (which later a dream interpreter told me was probably the river STYX, from the Bible, the river linking life and death). As we reached the shore, he said. ‘Okay, now you must go back with that man at the cave, and he will take you all the way back.’ I thanked him. He was so kind and sweet, I felt like all was going to be okay. I walked up to the man with black hair (I never saw his face), and he grabbed my hand and we started flying. We went through these rooms, the same rooms I had come through earlier. Behind me door after door was slamming hard. It was very, very loud. In a matter of minutes, I was coming through the wall of my hospital room, and I saw my body, I was in room 19. I slammed into my body. It sounded like a car crash, metal crashing, and I was back. I have no idea in regards to the timing, but the doctors did tell me that at midnight, on the 7th day of surgery, I started turning around, for no reason, nothing they had done, I just started getting better. They could not explain it, and neither could I. I had multiple surgeries, and had to learn to walk and talk again. I was not breathing on my own and was on a ventilator. I know what happened to me was not normal. I died. I died more than once, and more than once, my soul was trying to go home. My will to live, and my will to stay with my husband, and my baby, was stronger than anything was. I know some day, when I die, for good this time, I will meet that white haired, bearded man again, and he will take me home, but not today. Later when I went back to visit the hospital and thank the nurses and doctors for saving my life, I went back to the CV-ICU unit. The nurses said they could not remember what room I was in but I told them I was in room 19. They said, ‘How do you know that, there is no way you could know that.’ I told them what had happened, my experiences, and they all started crying. One of the nurses looked up in the computer to see what room I was, and sure enough, it was 19. What was even stranger was that it was not on any paperwork, doctor’s orders, files, etc. It was a temporary room with a paper number outside the room because the wing was under construction. The only way she found it was by sheer luck. It was nothing I would have seen or known about unless I had been outside the room, which I was.
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Surgery-relatedChildbirthHeart attack Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function) All the above.
I was giving birth to my baby, early. I was very sick during the pregnancy but the delivery became life threatening and I lost a lot of blood and had to have multiple surgeries that lasted a week, literally. During that time, I was pronounced dead twice; my heart stopped. I had also incurred 8 heart attacks and my body temperature was kept at 34 to try to stop the bleeding.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Mixed
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness? Normal consciousness and alertness In the middle.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? In the middle.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Faster than usual
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
There was time lapses. I would be doing something and then it would stop, and then I would start doing something else. I seemed to be jumping around.
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. It was like a haze, blurry. Like when you see heat coming off concrete. There was a haze between me and everyone else in the real world. But in the other place, everything was clear.
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes I call it a cave. That was what it seemed like to me.
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes The white haired, bearded man was guiding me. ONCE I WAS THROUGH. Before that, it was someone else whom I could not picture. I did not know the bearded man. I think he was an angel. He comforted me.
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes When I came out of the cave but not a ‘bright light’.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm Yes, the island. Dimensions....yes, that is the perfect word. It seemed like different dimensions.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? At first I was confused. But then it passed and I felt better.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
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 In my story above, there was something about a car accident that I still have not been able to piece together today. Maybe someday it will make sense.
What was your religion prior to your experience? Conservative/fundamentalist 'Church of Christ, Christian'
What is your religion now? Conservative/fundamentalist 'Church of Christ, Christian'
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No
After the NDE:
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain This is going to seem strange but sometimes I feel as if people are around me. I have had strange things happen in my house, like things moving, or a fork falling onto the floor, or a TV turning on, and no one is in the room. My kids have experienced these things as well; or rather have seen strange things.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? It was all significant.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? No
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real It all feels as fresh as the day it happened.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real It just seems real, always real.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? No
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? None at this time. Other than the fact that others need to know how real this event is. More importantly, if I was in a coma state, which I was, and I could hear what was going on around me, then others can as well. Family could be at ease knowing their loved ones can hear them while in a coma.
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