Experience Description

I was shot in the abdomen with a 22. I remember lying down on my bed and asking someone to put my feet on top of the laundry basket in the room so I wouldn't go into shock. I remember talking to the emergency medical technicians en-route and then there is a blank area in my memory. I heard them saying I had no blood pressure or pulse. I couldn't open my eyes to see but heard all the conversation relating to my injury and condition. I could feel them poking me and starting IVs but there was no pain. Not even the kidney pain. Prior to this time, I had a severe pain in my left kidney area that felt like I was lying on a broken coke bottle and it was sticking into me. I heard them asking for my mother to come sign the operative permit. I tried to talk to them - to tell them I could sign it myself - but no one could hear me.

The next thing I remember I was looking down at myself. It was as if I was up on the ceiling. I could see them still sticking needles in me to start even more IVs. I saw there were at least four bottles of fluids hanging and going wide open. I remember them asking for blood and hanging that. I could not feel any of this and did not have the severe pain in my kidney area. My mother came in the room and I remember thinking how beautiful she was, and how well dressed, but how awful the camel wool dress she was wearing looked on her. I have such a clear memory of the shoes, purse, dress she was wearing. I was devastated at how upset she looked and it was as if I could feel how she felt. How this was going to ruin her life (I am her only child) and how was this brokenhearted woman going to raise my son. (I had a six-month-old baby, and it was my husband who had shot me.) I knew I had to get better to raise my son and be there for my mother.

The next thing I remember I was looking at mother from the stretcher - or rather I woke up and saw her as I was lying on the stretcher and the pain was back. Shortly after that, they took me to x-ray for an intravenous pyelogram (IVP). They injected the dye into my arm and I blacked out. The next thing I was aware of I was still in x-ray but had an endotracheal tube (used) on my chest. They told me I had a respiratory arrest when the dye was injected. I went to surgery from there and was told later that I was given sixteen units of blood.

Background Information:

Gender: Female

Date NDE Occurred: 'Jan 21, 1971'

NDE Elements:

At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes gunshot wound with no blood pressure or pulse on arrival to emergency room. I was breathing. I stopped breathing later but did not have any experience except unresponsiveness at that time 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death' They said I had no blood pressure or pulse as the emergency medical technicians rolled me into the emergency room. I had a gunshot wound which had ruptured my left kidney and severed my left renal artery and vein so I had massive blood loss.

How do you consider the content of your experience? Mixed

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? Normal consciousness and alertness As above.

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When I was looking down at myself and my mother came in the room.

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 no sense of time.

Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid

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? No

Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them

Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No

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? No The room was extremely bright and there was a very bright light shining on me - but I was in the trauma room of the emergency room and the bright exam light was shining on me so that made sense to me.

Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No

What emotions did you feel during the experience? Calm until my mother came in the room, then severe distress that I needed to get better. Grateful the pain was gone.

Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Relief or calmness

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? Everything about the universe

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

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 Episcopal

Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No

What is your religion now? Moderate Episcopal/ Methodist not regular church attendance

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? Uncertain That I couldn't leave my son or my mother - especially my mother. Seeing my mother is what made me want to go back to my body and not die.

Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I believe my mother coming into the room saved my life. I think I would have died otherwise. I was an only child and was always close to my mother but we were even closer after that. As a neuro-critical care nurse I could tell families that I knew the patient could hear them even though they were unresponsive and I encouraged them to talk to them and reassure the patient.

After the NDE:

Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes I was calmly looking down on myself part of the time. Part of the time, I seemed to be invisible to everyone. I heard people talking.

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? Seeing my mother come in the room and knowing I had to not die.

Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I shared it with my mother a few years afterwards. I also shared it with my husband (a new husband) both believed me. My mother was very moved. My husband encouraged me to enter my experience here.

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 probably not real I figured I was in shock because of the massive blood loss. I had never heard of near death or anything like that. Certainly nothing they taught us in nursing school in the 1960's.

What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I have read that I am not the only person this has happened to. I am more open to the unexplainable at my current age. My memory of the events have never faded, intensified or changed in any way over the years.

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.

Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? I feel like it guided me through the experience.