On 3/9/11 I entered the hospital for colon resection surgery [the surgical removal (resection) of a part or all of the large intestine (colon) and subsequent repair] and was discharged six days later. Within two hours of being home, I developed sepsis [A severe infection caused by the presence of pus-forming bacteria or their toxins in the blood or tissue.] with high fever and organ shutdown because the surgical stitches did not hold. So on 3/16/11, I was readmitted to the hospital to undergo emergency surgery to repair my burst colon. The following day I developed an abscess, and during surgery for that, I coded on the operating table. I found myself alert and standing barefoot in the sand. The only visible dwelling was a well-illuminated thatched hut in the distance. The stars were so bright it almost seemed as if I could touch them. I walked towards the hut and in no time at all, I was entering it. I immediately experienced warmth, joy and overwhelming love. My deceased mother and father were seated to my right, and I greeted them. I put a sweater around my mother's shoulders and hugged her. My father was smiling as he touched my forearm. To my right was a good friend, whom I recognized immediately. He was the deceased former chief of police. He greeted me by my nickname, 'Knute.' Both of my parents and my friend appeared much younger than I remembered them looking, perhaps in their late twenties or early thirties. Father had been seventy when he died, and Mother, ninety-two. Chief had been seventy-four. Looking to my center-right, I saw a brilliant light coming from a doorway. Feeling drawn to it, I started walking towards it. A figure I recognized as Jesus appeared, and without any verbal exchange, he informed me that it was not my time, and that I needed to go back. His eyes were piercing blue, and he was communicating with me simply by thought. I was still being drawn to the light and I wanted to go through the brightly lit door, but I found I couldn't because my legs had quit working. When I awoke in the ICU days later, my legs also were not working. And the doctor told me that during surgery I had coded for three minutes and fifty-six seconds before they had been able to bring me back.
Date NDE Occurred: 'March 17, 2011'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Surgery-related Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
Cardiac arrest during surgery associated with severe sepsis
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
Did you feel separated from your body? Uncertain
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 More consciousness and alertness than normal. My senses seemed sharper. Colors were more vivid. Feeling, in fact, everything, was more intense.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When I hugged my mother and my father touched me. They were definitely of flesh and blood, but very young looking.
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
Were your senses more vivid than usual? More vivid than usual
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Very clear images of everything. My memory of the experience continues to be as vivid as it was when it took place. It has never faded from my memory.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Seemed the same!
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Uncertain I woke up standing on some sand. The air was a little chilly, and the night sky was very dark. The stars were so bright it was as though I were really close to them.
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 My mother and father, along with a good friend with whom I had worked for years.
Mother passed in 2007, Father in 1992, Friend in October of 2010.
The experience included: Darkness
The experience included: Unearthly light
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? An unusually bright light
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes Coming from the doorway there was a brilliant light that seemed to be drawing me to it.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? Some unfamiliar and strange place
What emotions did you feel during the experience? An enormous feeling of love, warmth, security, even though I was in a strange place. The feeling of inner comfort is difficult to describe, other than to say that I had never felt anything like it previously, anywhere.
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 myself or others
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 barrier that I was not permitted to cross; or was sent back against my will I was told that it was not my time and I had to go back, but I really did not want to leave. It felt that good there.
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- Catholic
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I seem to have developed a desire to learn the Bible's teachings and to spread the word about salvation.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Christian- Catholic Strong Catholic education, however, at age 42 was born again while attending the Baptist Church with friends.
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 While having a Christan background, my attitude of believing without seeing was prevalent when it came to heaven. Since the experience, my faith is stronger and no doubt remains as to the existance of GOD>
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I became a more loving, compassionate person.
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 saw the face of Jesus.
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 Jesus
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? Yes The fact that my parents had a life after death in younger bodies!
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes Jesus is real, and after death life continues.
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? Yes Looking to the face of Jesus, his eyes were bright blue, but seemed to demand full attention. Communication was through thoughts not verbal.
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 seem to have developed a desire to learn the Bible's teachings and to spread the word about salvation.
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are possibly meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? Yes After working in law enforcement for 32 years, I had become skeptical of most everything and everyone. After this experience, my compassion for all has increased, I am more forgiving, and not afraid to express my love. I came away with an inner peace.
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 Yes Seeing my parents, and friend, plus seeing Jesus.
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? Not 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? Yes I seem to have developed a desire to learn the bibles teaching and spread the word about salvation.
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? No
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Slightly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes A feeling of overwhelming love in the presence of Jesus.
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Large changes in my life To sum it up, I have been there, I have seen it, and I believe it!
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Yes I became a better person, husband and father.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes One of the first things I told my wife was that I did not have the ability to properly and fully describe the experience. It was that fantastic!
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
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I have developed a need to tell people about GOD and his love.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Seeing my parents, and looking upon the face of Jesus.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes After coming off the ventilator in the hospital, I told my doctor about my experience. He confirmed that I had had a problem in the operating room. And he later told my wife that he had believed me when I told him I had been to the other side.
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
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real
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? While having a Christian background, my attitude of believing without seeing was prevalent when it came to heaven. Since the experience, my faith is stronger and no doubt remains in my mind as to the existence of GOD. People like to find reasons for the occurrence of NDEs, such as medication, or to explain them as having other outside medical or physical causes, but I know what I saw, touched and felt. It was real!
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