Experience Description


I dropped a defective 357 magnum handgun. The safety didn't work. I was shot through my abdomen, liver, passed my heart and through my lung. No exit wound.


I was airlifted to the nearest medical center, approximately 40 minutes after the event. I was taken immediately into trauma surgery and was given a paralyzing drug only. My blood pressure was 0/0. No brain-subduing meds were given, which was a new trauma technique. I was awake throughout the surgery. I could tell the doctors what happened in detail. A study was initiated by the psychology department due to my NDE. During surgery, my heart stopped and heart massage was performed 3 times−this is when I had my experience.


It was totally dark, and a soft light began to materialize. I suddenly felt the presence of intense comfort and love, then felt the presence of my grandmother and her mother (whom I had never met), both Native Americans. They told me that it was not my time (I didn't hear them, I just knew it). They were there to give me strength. Then I blacked out. I was in intensive care for a month, then on the regular floor for another month. From that moment on, I have NEVER feared death, it is only a passing to join with all our loved ones and the Creator.

Background Information:

Gender: Female

Date NDE Occurred: 4/16/86

NDE Elements:

At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident Clinical death Accidental gunshot wound to my abdomen through my liver, passed my heart and through my lung. I was not expected to live. My heart stopped in surgery 3 times.

How do you consider the content of your experience? Positive

Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I no longer could feel the pain of the surgery.

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Completely alert.

Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning It was as if I was in a different dimension.

Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? Quiet

Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No I could see the light, but no tunnel.

The experience included: Presence of deceased persons

Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes My grandmother and great grandmother, my narrative above.

The experience included: Darkness

The experience included: Light

Did you see an unearthly light? Yes Warm, loving, not bright. Distant.

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

The experience included: Strong emotional tone

The experience included: Special Knowledge

Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe Instant, we all go there and are united.

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? No

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 I was told that it was not my time.

God, Spiritual and Religion:

What was your religion prior to your experience? Liberal congregational christian/ native american

What is your religion now? Liberal episcopalian/native american

Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes To accept life and know that we go to a wonderful place after this one. Appreciate what I have now.

After the NDE:

Was the experience difficult to express in words? Uncertain To try and convey the intensity and KNOWING that it was the truth, the comfort and love.

Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes Enhanced.

Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Knowing what awaits me is wonderful. The post-traumatic stress afterwards was the worst.

Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Awe and wonder. Some people accept right away, some need more time.

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? Glad I could tell someone; not much written about it when I went through it.

Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Can't think of any at this time.