I was taken into surgery early in the morning of April 6, 1977. I was given an epidural for the Cesarean. They made me lie back on the table. The anesthesiologist pinpricked me from the chest down to make sure I couldn't feel pain for the surgery. (It is unusual for a Cesarean patient to go under general anesthesia so I was awake for the surgery.) My arms were tied away from my body. A class of student nurses from Old Dominion University were invited in to view their first surgery. There were eight to ten of them.
The surgeon began to make the first incision and the epidural had not taken effect. The pain was incredible. The surgeon was working quickly as he made the incision on the uterus. At that time, an explosion of blood blew out all over the surgical team and the student nurses. They began to scream and the surgeon was shouting to get them out of there. Then I left my body.
I was above everything with absolutely no pain! I felt total peace - I couldn't hear the shouting but could see the anesthesiologist covering my face with a mask. I knew that I was dying or dead and that didn't bother me. I saw my son being lifted out of me and then being worked on. The operating room had windows very high toward the ceiling and there was a woman sitting on the tile sill. She was wearing a white drape and very pretty with short dark hair. She was smiling at me and I went over near her, watching what was happening below. She nodded to me and I took off like the speed of light down corridors of the hospital and into a room where my husband and mother were waiting. The room had a brown leather and metal recliner and my mother was buying a Dr. Pepper from the vending machine. She and my husband were talking.
I then sped back to the operating room and back into my lifeless body. I woke up later in recovery and was given unit after unit of blood. I was in terrible pain and quite frightened and wished for the tranquility again.
Date NDE Occurred: 'April 6, 1977'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Surgery-related. Childbirth Other Surgery: Cesarean Section/Bleed out
During the incision of the uterus the surgeon cut through large veins causing me to bleed out.
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 As above.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Immediately after the incision was made on the uterus. I knew I was safe when I was close to the woman on the window sill. I felt welcomed.
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
Time seemed to have stopped. I don't know how long any of it took but my mother said that the surgery and recovery took a very long time.
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. I could see snow on the ground outside of the window. I sped down corridors, around corners directly into the waiting room and then all back past obstacles or really over them in the corridors. I could remember the horror on the student nurses faces yet I couldn't see them from the operating table because of the shield placed over my chest.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I could hear screaming and then nothing.
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? Yes A woman draped in white was sitting on the high window sill smiling at me. She nodded at me and then I soared down the corridors. I have never figured out who she was, although I tried for years.
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 There was a lot of light. I didn't know whether it was coming from me or what.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Total peace, joy.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
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 I knew that there were things to do. I didn't have an argument with myself but I did know that there were things to be done.
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 Atheist
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes Up until I was about seven I was raised as a Catholic. Through my teens and up until my experience I was an atheist. That experience threw me into turmoil and I did a lot of research in psychology. Sometimes during stressful times, I would become angry that I couldn't have that peace without dying. When my son joined the US Marine Corps I began to pray to God.
What is your religion now? Moderate Believe in God.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes Up until I was about seven I was raised as a Catholic. Through my teens and up until my experience I was an atheist. That experience threw me into turmoil and I did a lot of research in psychology. Sometimes during stressful times, I would become angry that I couldn't have that peace without dying. When my son joined the US Marine Corps I began to pray to God.
The experience included: Presence of unearthly beings
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? Yes Absolutely. The experience changed my life. I have a peace, and a knowledge that there is peace, which attracts a lot of very-best-friends. Most people are very comfortable around me and can talk to me. I feel good in my own skin.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I see my sons as gifts and I have wonderful relationships with them. I take more time to get to know people. I am also non-reactive.
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 can sometimes see ghosts.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The painless peace and sense of knowledge made the experience beautiful. I've thought of it so often, tried to figure it out, and I believe the overwhelming sense of knowledge must take away any anxiety or fear of what is happening to you.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes It was about twenty years later at an old mansion Bed and Breakfast in New Orleans. The ghost stood at the foot of our bed and then disappeared through a closed door. I couldn't sleep in that room for the rest of the night and when I told my husband, he didn't believe me. That morning we ran into the owner of the mansion and I told her that there was someone in that room. She apologized and asked me to describe the ghost, which I did. She said he shows himself to some people and not too many others. My husband was then a believer. I don't think my husband ever knew what to think of me.
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 have always yearned for that experience again, although I know what that would mean. Immediately afterward I was confused and in a lot of pain. I wanted to go back.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real The experience was real. I feel incredibly fortunate as I don't know how I could have dealt with such a painful and frightening experience without having such beauty take me over.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Good questionnaire.