In July of 1983 I was in University Hospital in Augusta, Georgia after being admitted with a diagnosis of 'onset of multiple sclerosis'. This was later ruled out, and it was decided that I had an illness called 'Sydenham's chorea' which older folks among us will know as 'Saint Vitus' Dance', a disease common in the earlier half of the 1900's. It had actually started many years earlier with a case of strep throat left untreated, proceeded to Rheumatic Fever, (which I didn't realize at the time it happened) then to the neurologic problems.
At any rate, I was in the hospital with the wonderful doctors trying to figure out exactly what was wrong with me. I was extremely upset and stressed on the verge of panic to even be there, I had an eighteen-month-old baby who was staying with friends while I was ill and I missed her terribly. My roommate was in a coma. I strongly felt that I wasn't sick enough to be taking up a bed that someone else probably needed. I wanted to go home. The problem with that was that I couldn't hold my own child or take care of any of my own needs because I could not control my arms or legs, which never stopped me from driving the nursing staff crazy by continually attempting to get out of bed without assistance.
On one of these occasions, I guess I lost consciousness when I got out of bed and stood up - all I know is that suddenly I was in a very long, dark tunnel moving very rapidly toward a very large, bright light that radiated love. I could hear beautiful, high-pitched wind chimes, and I could hear angels singing; legions of angels. They were singing the Doxology. The light was Christ, and I was fully aware of that at the time. I experienced a life review in the tunnel which showed me experiences in my life where I had expressed unconditional love and giving toward others - and they were things I had done that were seemingly so small and inconsequential at the time that they were forgotten.
Then all of a sudden, I was hurled backwards as if pulled by a giant rope. I closed my eyes and heard a woman calling my name over and over. When I opened my eyes, it was a nurse, and I was lying on the floor. Apparently, I had fainted.
They got me up and helped me to bed. But the person who they helped up was not the same person who fell there, in many, many ways.
I never told anyone what happened until two years later because I didn't understand myself what had happened. People closest to me accepted what had happened to me wholeheartedly because there was nothing else that could explain the extent of change that had occurred in me over the two years between when this happened and when I finally, emboldened by the information in Moody's book, shared it with them.
Date NDE Occurred: July 20, 1983
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Uncertain Illness Illness, trauma or other condition not considered life threatening I was in the hospital and was acutely ill, but there was no reason to think that death was imminent. Admitting diagnosis was 'onset of Multiple Sclerosis' (MS) because of the clinical presentation (loss of fine motor control with the recent visual loss in a twenty-two year old female; a pretty classic presentation). But I was ruled out for MS in favor of another disease that is also not usually considered life threatening.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Positive
Did you feel separated from your body? No
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Occurred during a fainting episode - I was unconscious.
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? No
Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? Beautiful, tinkling chimes. And huge choirs of angels singing the Doxology. I have a friend, also a nurse, who heard choirs of angels also, but they were singing another hymn.
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes I passed through a dark tunnel toward a huge, beautiful light.
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
The experience included: Darkness
The experience included: Light
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes The light was very large and beautiful, and I knew that the light was Christ. It radiated love and peace.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
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 When I experienced life review, all I was shown was anything I had ever done that was motivated by pure love and charity - most of these things I had long forgotten. What I learned was that loving others is all that matters.
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
Did you come to a border or point of no return? No I didn't get that far.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What is your religion now? Moderate
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes Complete. Before this experience, I didn't even believe that Christ existed. Afterward, I became one of those very lucky people for whom religious conviction is not based on faith, but on direct knowledge and experience. I began attending church - Unity, and was active there for many years. I am not actually sure if this is considered a moderate or liberal church. At the time of this writing, I am in the process of converting to Catholicism.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes It was too beautiful for words.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes Though I had been mildly clairvoyant up until age thirteen, after this experience I began to experience empathic gifts, which developed slowly and fully over the years following.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Best parts were everything about it! Seeing Christ and the complete elimination of the fear of death.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes A few people were influenced. Most people treat you like you're nuts. Most nurses (my colleagues) automatically believe you because they deal with death so much, and because frankly, they have had many experiences surrounding patient deaths that science does not easily explain to them. For example, I have seen several patients whose conditions were rapidly worsening suddenly begin to hold long conversations with persons not present. Nurses I know call this 'talking to angels' and it is associated with patients who are expected to die within twenty-four hours or so.
One more thing - I routinely share this story with patients who are approaching death and who know they are going to die. I tell them what happened to me, and that Christ is there waiting for them. I have never witnessed anything from a patient but gratitude and/or relief at this sharing.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No