I was looking down from the ceiling of a room at myself. Everything was very white and bright. My body was lying on a surgery-type bed with medical staff around it. One person was trying to wrap a silver blanket over my body and I could clearly hear them saying, 'Breathe, Alex, breathe. Come on, breathe.' Then I took a breathe and was instantly back in my body. I don't remember anything after that. I was completely unconscious for a good few hours after that. I had a very slow recovery from the anesthetic and was told that I had an extreme allergic reaction to anesthetic. It also did not helped that I had a bronchial infection, which would have prevented them operating had the appendicitis not been life-threatening. No one volunteered information to me. But I asked a nurse a few days later if I had stopped breathing. She confirmed that, indeed, I had stopped breathing in the recovery room. No other medical professional mentioned it to me again, and I kept quiet about my experience. Some 18 years later, I can still remember it vividly, especially the whiteness and brightness of the room.
Date NDE Occurred: 1997
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Uncertain Illness. Surgery-related. While under general anesthesia. Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function)
After emergency surgery for appendicitis, I reacted badly to the anesthetic. I asked a nurse a few days later and she confirmed that I had briefly stopped breathing in recovery and had been very ill. It was never mentioned to me again. I always thought I had hallucinated because of all the drugs.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Neither pleasant NOR distressing
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I saw myself lying on a bed and heard medical staff telling me to breathe.
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 Very vivid and clear
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? It is all very clear
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? No
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 had perfect eyesight normally, but during the experience, everything looked very, very bright.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Had perfect hearing normally, but seemed heightened.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? An unusually bright light
Did you see an unearthly light? No
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
What emotions did you feel during the experience? None
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Relief or calmness
Did you have a feeling of joy? No
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? No
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? No
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
Did you come to a border or point of no return? I came to a definite conscious decision to return to life I felt passive nothingness, and then all of a sudden I had a strong urge to take that breath.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Not important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Unaffiliated- Agnostic
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Christian- Protestant
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was entirely not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? No
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? No
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? No
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.)? No
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? No
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? No
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God probably does not exist
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? No
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? No
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? No
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife probably does not exist
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists No
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I slightly feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I slightly fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Greatly fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Slightly fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Are meaningful and significant
Did you gain information about how to live our lives? No
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? No
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? No
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Changes in my spiritual beliefs were not affected by these events; they came about many years later after a specific traumatic event opened my eyes. Changes in my spiritual beliefs were not affected by these events; they came about many years later after a specific traumatic event opened my eyes.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No
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 th I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of th
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? No
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I have not told many people and merely told them that I cannot explain what happened, nor still can conclude that I wasn't hallucinating under the medication. I accept there are some things I will never know.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes General media and literature stories. Stories of tunnels, bright lights.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was probably real I felt it was real but couldn't rationalize it. I told myself it was the drugs, but couldn't explain how I knew I'd stopped breathing when I was unconscious, and no one had told me before I asked.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was probably real I think it was real. It felt and still feels real.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
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