I had a caesarean section with my second child. Something went wrong three months after the surgery and I had a massive uterine hemorrhage, which in the end required that I receive more than one hundred units of blood and fluid. I know now that essentially my uterus ruptured and fell apart. The incident was so serious that for days after my survival nurses and doctors were stopping by regularly and frequently just to see the 'miracle lady', as they called me. I was not aware of the seriousness of the nature of my illness until several days after surviving it when I learned that I had not been expected to survive the hemorrhage much less the surgery to treat it and I learned that I had gone into respiratory failure during the surgery. To this day, I do not know if I also went into cardiac arrest. Though, I now suspect that I did because when I awoke from surgery there was a direct line into my heart for feeding medication directly to the heart muscle. My having gained medical knowledge since then, realize that the most common reason for direct lines to the heart muscle is cardiac failure. I actually did not understand what had happened to me during what I now know as a near death experience (NDE) until years later when I saw a similar incident described on unsolved mysteries.
At some point during my surgery and before the actual cutting began, something happened to me physically on the operating table. I felt a strong pull upward and the next thing I knew I was in a tunnel and it was somewhat dark in the tunnel, but there was a brilliant light at the end of the tunnel, which provided light all the way down to where I was in the tunnel. The tunnel slanted upward toward where the light was coming from. The tunnel was made of brown bricks, about the size of regular house bricks. I got the impression of wetness or shininess on the bricks in the tunnel. But when I touched the bricks, which I did as I was advancing upwards in the tunnel, they were not wet. I remember as I was moving through the tunnel I looked up toward the light and I saw the outlines of several people, probably six or seven people, standing in the light. I recognized one of them as my grandfather, who had died the year before. There was one person who was a child of about seven and female. Looking back on the NDE, I began to believe that she was my deceased sister who died before I was born. But during the NDE, I did not know who she was beyond that I knew she was related to who I was here on earth just as I knew that the others there in the light were related to me somehow.
After that, I looked back toward the end of the tunnel I had come up from and I saw the operating suite. I saw myself on the table and two physicians working on me. I do not recall whether I saw that there were other medical personnel in the room. Until the time that I looked back and saw myself on the table, I felt complete peace and relief while I was in the tunnel. When I looked back, I remembered my two children who were four years and three months old and I remember thinking that if I died their father would raise them and that they would never hear about God and that being raised by their father would be a bad thing for them. I knew that their father would abuse them if he raised them alone. At that point, I remember hearing a voice telling me that I could choose to go back or to go into the light. I remember feeling anguish at having to make that choice. When all of this happened, I was about half way up the tunnel. I backed up against the tunnel wall and slid down the wall to a crouching position and I remember deciding the kids needed me. I felt the same sucking or pulling sensation as I had felt before but in reverse. The next thing I knew, I was in my body and I could hear the doctors talking, though I don't know what they said. I remember feeling them cut me across my lower abdomen from right to left and then I do not remember anything else until waking up on the respirator.
Date NDE Occurred: January 14, 1989
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Surgery-relatedChildbirth Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function) I had a massive hemorrhage.
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? Normal consciousness and alertness
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? After I was out of my body and in the tunnel.
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 Altered space, in that where the tunnel was above my body and to the right. It was also sort of parallel to the sky.
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? Yes A very well defined tunnel, I could see the bricks in the walls, a light at the end and people that I knew were related to me, including my grandfather. Some of the people I knew were related to me (ancestors) but I did not know who they were and I did not stay long enough to find out how they were related to me. I could feel the contours of the wall of the tunnel.
The experience included: Presence of deceased persons
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 I saw them in the light at the end of the tunnel, I got the sense that they were related me (ancestors) and I knew that one of them was my grandfather. They didn't talk, but I got the sense that they were there to welcome me into Heaven.
The experience included: 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? Yes A very bright light and there were people standing in it.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm The tunnel was clearly a distinctive location and so was the light.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Peace and calm, followed by anxiety when I thought about going back to earth.
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
The experience included: Special Knowledge
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 I did not get that far.
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future The abuse of my children by their father.
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Uncertain I did not reach the boundary but I knew that it was at the edge of the light at the end of the tunnel.
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 I did not attend church at the time, though I believed in God.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I have gotten closer to God.
What is your religion now? Conservative/fundamentalist Independent Bible Church
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I have gotten closer 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 I knew that I was supposed to come back because my children would have been raised by their father alone and that that would have been a bad thing. I also knew that I was supposed to tell them about God.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I tend to think more about what effect my actions and words and the way I say things will affect people in the long run. I also stop to think of whether whatever I am doing or saying will actually matter a hundred years from now. If it won't I try not to say or do the thing in question. I am a much calmer person now.
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? No
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The part where I thought about my children and them growing up without me. Knowing that they would be without me and subject to abuse by their father and that I would have to go back to earth to correct that, caused me great anguish.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I tried to tell the nurse right away, but I was intubated and couldn't get across to her that I needed a paper and pencil. I never did get to tell her. After that, it was months before I told anyone else. When I did share it, people really didn't know what to say to me. Some have said that it confirms their belief that there is something after this life.
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 know the experience was real because I know what I saw and experienced and it was like nothing I have seen or experienced since.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. I still believe the experience was real because I know what I saw and experienced and I have since learned that there are many others like me who have had these types of experiences.
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? No. Thank you for letting me share my experience.