My NDE happened on a Sunday afternoon in October 1967, when I was 9 years old. I had gone fishing with some friends to the local canal, in Hanley, Stoke on Trent.
I leaned over the water, trying to catch a large water snail in my fishing net. I suddenly fell head over heels into the water, which was around 12 feet deep.
I could not swim at the time, but by instinct, began thrashing my arms wildly, but doing this caused me to get even further away from the towpath.
The first time I went under the water, I got back to the surface easily. The second time was not so easy and total panic was setting in; also, my strength was fading fast and I grew extremely weak.
I was also swallowing a lot of the dirty water and the third time I sank. That was that; at first, everything went totally black. I was drowning.
Then strangely, my complete state of panic, began to ebb away and a very strong sense of calmness came over me. I felt at peace. At this point, I was being drawn into a very bright, white tunnel. As I moved further up this tunnel, I could see two large brown, closed, arched gates, like the ones you would have in a church.
On the left hand side, stood by the entrance, I saw a figure, dressed in a dark colored cowl, similar to a monk’s habit, but I could not see a face. Then I heard the immortal words, “Go back, it is not your time”. It was a woman’s voice that I heard and was very comforting in tone.
The next thing i remember was coming around on the side of the canal, having being given the kiss of life, four times. The man who saved my life, had been working at a nearby factory, on his first Sunday shift for eight weeks. I was later told that I had been underwater for around six minutes. The man thought I was already dead as my body was totally lifeless and my skin had turned grey.
I was rushed to Hospital by ambulance, where I had lots of the dirty water and some tadpoles pumped from my stomach and lungs. I was in the Hospital for a week. I soon learned to swim after that. I have had no other effects from my NDE, but I have constantly wondered why the Lady sent me back. I honestly believe that I had died for a few minutes before I came back to life. The experience will stay with me until the day that I do actually die. Is this when we do get to see the face, at the point of no return.
I often wonder if I was sent back to serve a purpose by some higher being? (GOD?) At the age of nine, I knew nothing whatsoever about NDEs, but have since read a lot of very similar, much more real than real tales. For many years, I have been laughed at when recalling my NDE to others, but hey, I know that this actually happened to me. I certainly do not believe the cynical, scientific explanations and I truly believe that there is an after –life. I don’t know where I went to that day, but there really is another place out there. It has left me less fearful than most people of dying, but that is not at all to say that I want to leave my present life. Like many other NDEers, I too have a very caring and loving nature.