On August 14th, 2007, I was a sergeant with a Sheriff's Office and I was on duty during the day shift. I was dispatched to a hostile crowd call with weapons involved.The call was on a dirt road and was at a location where Deputies had been injured or ambushed before, so I was traveling with my lights and siren on trying to get to the scene before my guys did. I was outbound on a two lane flat road and attempted to pass two vehicles that had refused to yield to my lights and siren. As I was passing the first vehicle, it came into my lane of travel causing me to have to move close to the shoulder of the road. My back rear tire hit dirt and grass causing me to 'shoot' across the road and flip five times in a cotton field. My speed of travel was 90 mph and I was thrown from my vehicle over thirty feet.Although my relationship with God was not strong at the time, when I knew I was going to wreck; I knew I would die on impact and I remember letting go of the steering wheel and saying or thinking, 'I give it to you God.' I had no fear after that and I recall being 'sucked' out of the driver side window of my Crown Victoria auto. My next recollection was opening my eyes. I saw a light so bright and believed it was the hot August sun overhead. (It was approximately 2:30 pm). I saw a figure against the sun and heard someone praying over me. I have never been able to confirm that from anyone on scene. I then recall looking over the shoulder of a paramedic and seeing them move me onto a spine board and thinking 'man that's got to hurt.' At the time, it did not occur to me that I was watching them move 'me' onto the spine board.My next memory was in the back of the medic unit and seeing a paramedic working on me with a BVM mask and helping me breathe. I recall telling him that he needed to hurry because I didn't have long. My next memory was in the emergency room at the hospital and feeling the staff cutting off my duty pants and shutting a curtain. I only know from records and staff what happened next. I was taken from the hospital to Duke Medical center via life flight. I was in a coma until October 17th. I recall only what was going through my mind. As I was in a coma, I was told that 'they lost me' several times. I do know that, in my mind, I was going to work each day and it was as if I was a third party watching myself. It was as if I was being filmed and watching a projector of my life. The more I watched myself, things began to speed up and get out of control. The program I was seeing was flipping from one event to another but nothing stands out; only that I went from being calm and relaxed and living my life through this projector image to becoming frustrated and angry and losing control of what I was seeing and the images became quicker and quicker. Then all at once they would stop and go at normal speed and I would be in a drowning scenario only I was on duty and it was something to do with my job. I started, for some reason, having the sense that I had to find and locate my Dad. Then somewhere in all of this, I got a quick flash of a light. It was like I was under a bridge looking into a tree line and seeing rays of sunshine coming through. I was struggling to get to the sunshine because I had a feeling that I would find an answer there, to what I don't know. But it made sense to get to the rays of sunshine. I kept tripping over something and when I looked down I saw my cat, Scarlet, running around my feet and tripping me. I then flashed to a basement. It was cool and damp. I could hear the Special Response team outside calling my name. They were looking for me, I was still working and in my uniform. I was trying to call out but serpents were falling from the rafters of the basement. I couldn't move or speak. I was overcome with fear and doom. I saw a door open into the basement like a kitchen door that leads to an underground basement. I looked up and saw a warm golden light come down into the doorway. I knew I had to get up and run to the light and up the stairs but I couldn't move. I heard a voice say, 'If you believe, they cannot hurt you.' But I was still afraid and did not move. I then heard the voice say, 'If you have faith and believe, they cannot harm you.' I then had no more fear. I was not afraid of the snakes or being harmed. I was calm. I knew I would be safe as I walked to the light. As I got to the first step, I woke up from my coma. When I woke up, I saw the Chaplin of the Sheriff's office praying in silence at the end of my bed. I said, 'Hey man what's up?' He looked up and took a few steps back but then smiled and cried. I felt like a new person even though my back was still broke. I had a certain peace but not like the one I had at the beginning and end of my experience. I have never felt peace like that again and I know it will never be found again in life. I know my destiny was hell but I was given a choice to stay with the snakes or walk up the stairs. That is pretty much the only way I can explain it. I try not to fit it into a nice picture and make it 'fit'. I can only say what I remember and the way I felt. I do believe that there are things that I can't recall or maybe have blocked out. My doctors call this PTSD but I call it what it is and it's an experience I expect no one to understand.
Date NDE Occurred: 08-14-2007
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident. CPR given. Direct head injury. Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
I was in a motor vehicle accident responding to a 'hot call'. I crashed and broke 32 bones, had massive internal injuries, and head trauma.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Both pleasant AND unpleasant and/or frightening
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I heard chatter and panic in voices at the accident scene. I was aware of lying in a cropped field of cotton and when the paramedic moved me to the spine board. I looked over the paramedics' shoulders and watch them transfer me to a spine board. I remember thinking, 'man, that's got to hurt'.
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 I felt as I was taking a vivid look at my life; kind of like past and present together, if that makes sense.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? During the end of my coma; approximately 40 plus days later.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Faster than usual
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Time seemed to go faster or slower than usual
Really fast and out of my control.
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. Uncertain.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. At the end of my coma, I was more aware; kind of looking through my eyes and someone speaking to me instead of observing 'over the shoulder'.
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 I was looking up into a light from the bottom of a stair case in a basement type setting.
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 At one point I turned around and was trying to walk toward the outside light, like sunshine coming through trees, but my cat 'scarlet' kept running under my feet and tripping me. It was only a quick flash that doesn't make much sense, but I had scarlet for 21 years and she had been passed away for 5 years at the time of my accident.
The experience included: Unearthly 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 saw a light that was warm and safe when I was standing in the basement as described above. That is when I heard a voice and I moved to walk up the stairs to get to the light and I then awoke from my coma before reaching the stairs.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? Some unfamiliar and strange place But it was like I was still working in my mind but things were getting intense and speedy.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? At first it was fear and frustration; like I could be heard, this seemed to go on forever. I call this purgatory. I never knew much about what purgatory was because it was not preached in the churches I attended but after my recovery the word is the only thing that can explain where I was caught between. The last emotion was the greatest peace I have ever known and feel that it can only come with death.
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? No
The experience included: Life review
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 think when I was standing in the darkness of the basement looking up toward the glow at the top of the stairs, that God gave me a choice to believe and have faith or stay inside the dampness with the serpents. I think had I not had faith and listened to the voice I would have stayed in Purgatory instead of waking from my coma. Nothing will change that belief.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Slightly important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Other Christian
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes My belief is stronger because I know God is real.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Christian- Other Christian
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was both consistent and not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience I once thought that when you die you go to heaven or hell but know I believe in purgatory, like being stuck between heaven and hell. Like having one foot in a good place and one foot in a bad place, like being stuck in a mirror.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I try to be a better daughter to my parents and a better sister. I see life differently and I get confused about it. I get sad because I try to find that peace I felt briefly before I woke from my coma, but I know you only find that kind of peace with death.
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 I believe the voice was God. When I was standing at the foot of the staircase in the basement, there were serpents falling from the rafters onto my shoulders and they were all around me. I fear them most in life and was standing very still. I saw what seemed to be a door open and a warm glow of light come through the door and down the stairs. I wanted to run up the stairs but was afraid of the snakes and I heard a voice say something to the effect of, 'if you believe they cannot hurt you'. I was still afraid of the snakes but knew somehow that God was telling me not be afraid and walk up the stairs into the warm glowing light. I then heard it again. God said, 'Have faith and believe and they cannot harm you.' I then was no longer scared and took a step toward the stair case and that was when I woke up.
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any beings who previously lived on earth who are described by name in religions (for example: Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, etc.)? Yes yes, I believe God was the voice I heard.
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? Uncertain not sure of question.
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes I dont think I was meant to understand the connection. I only know that a greater power than me pulled me out of myself and I have a hard time understanding it.
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God probably exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Yes He knew my name and gave me a choice. I believe now that there is a place between life and death that you can dewell in or be come stuck in.
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? God definitely exists
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes I know God knows my name and at times can become very aware of peoples' feelings, like in good or bad. Seems strange to say it but that's the only way I can say it.
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are not meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? Yes Yes, that I was not special enough to stay with God. I think he keeps the special ones with him in the peace that you only find in death. People say that I must be special or there is more I need to do on earth but I think its just the oppisite because Go
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife probably exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes yes, that my life was out of control and I was not special enough to make it into the warmth of the light.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I slightly feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Not fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Moderately fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Are possibly meaningful and significant
Did you gain information about how to live our lives? Yes That I was bound for hell but was giving a chance to change.
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? Yes confusion of trying to figure the events I was seeing out, going to fast for me to keep up and at times retain in my memory ( which is very frustrating because I know that there is more that I cant remember)
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Slightly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes I felt love when I heard the voice speaking to me, that God loved me. I also realized that in my life I had never shown loved or felt love for anything other than my Dad or animals. I guess I am saying that I was cold toward people in my life.
Were you compassionate after your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I am trying to get to know my mother again. I have always been close with my father but had not spent time with my mother in 18 years. She only lived 20 minutes away.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes I choose not to speak of it often because many people cannot understand it. I also find it hard to 'paint a picture' of the experience in such a manner that I don't seem crazy to people.
How accurately do you remember the experience in comparison to other life events that occurred around the time of the experience? I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of the experience I think before my experience there are alot of things I do not recall. Like names of people whom I have known for years or events that my friends try to remind me of.
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 pick up on peoples feeling more so than before. I have always been good at watching and picking up on people but know at times it can be over whelming and I choose not to leave my house very much anymore.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? When I heard the voice from God.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I shared it with my family. I stopped sharing it because people expect you to give them textbook explanations and I cannot because I know what I experienced and I refuse to convert it into a more believable story just to get someone to believe me. It is what it is, no more no less.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I heard about it but never gave it any thought.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real I sat back and thought about it for a long time before I even mentioned it. One day I was trying to explain why I felt a certain way and I spoke to my sister and told her I knew God and he knows who I am.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I can only say that I know what I know. I don't let anyone influence me in the why I think or feel about things.
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 would like to understand it better but I don't think that is possible.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? None
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