I had a cardiac procedure to stop atrial fibrillation; I was under general anesthesia for 9 hours. During the procedure, damage was done and it stopped my heart. I was cardio-converted multiple times and when they couldn't get my heart to function an external pacemaker was placed to do what my heart could no longer do. I began hearing the staff panicked, rushing around, instruments dropped on a metal tray and someone saying it was 'high degree heart block'. Then I noticed I couldn't see anything, it was as if the whole room was white, it was warm and comforting. I felt as if someone was there with me but I saw nobody. I felt absolute comfort and love there, like I have never felt before. When I heard someone say that I had high degree heart block I didn't care, I was where I wanted to be. I didn't care if I didn't come back. I didn't feel any pain during this time, just extreme comfort. The overwhelming love I felt will never be forgotten. After I was stable, I had to have a permanent pacemaker. The doctor asked me if I had any questions about what was going to happen and I just blurted out, 'just don't let me die.' I had no control of those words I couldn't believe I said that and quickly made an excuse for the statement and the procedure was done. When I got home from the hospital I began to have nightmares and panic attacks which I did not have prior to all of this. The thoughts of what I heard started to come back to me. I had not thought of the experience the whole time I was in the hospital. As soon as I got home, I felt very guilty over not wanting to come back to my life, to see my son live his life, to be here for my husband, my Mother and Father who already lost my brother, and I was almost the same age as my brother when he died. Within the months following the experience, the panic attacks and bad dreams seemed to subside but the guilt is still present. Thinking back about the feelings I had, has helped me with the fear of death, I no longer feel afraid of it.
Date NDE Occurred: 7/28/2010
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes While under general anesthesia. Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
My heart was damaged during the ablation for atrial fibrillation and it stopped beating and did not restart. They tried cardio-conversion at least three times and had to place an external pacemaker to make my heart function. During that time, I could hear instruments being dropped on a metal tray. I could hear people panicked and moving around the room. I felt I was in a white room during this time, it was warm, I felt as if there was someone with me but could not see anyone, and most of all I felt complete love and contentment and safety. I heard someone say what had happened and I did not care; I did not want to leave this place.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Both pleasant AND distressing
Did you feel separated from your body? No
I lost awareness of my body
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 could hear everything in the room from people moving around quickly, things being dropped and feeling like it all was going on around me and I was somewhere else, I couldn't feel any pain or anything that was being done to me. My mind seemed sharper in that I was in the middle of two worlds going on at the same time, hearing an emergency situation going on and feeling unbelievable love and comfort on the other side.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I think it began when my heart stopped and I heard them say what they were dealing with, I remember feeling so loved and comforted that it would be alright if they couldn't bring me back. It was all feeling, I couldn't see anyone but I could feel a presence there with me. I knew I wouldn't be alone.
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
It all was going on at once as if it were two worlds going on side by side.
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. I felt that I could see more clearly but in reality I saw nothing but white where I was and saw nothing in the room where my body actually was but I could hear things.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I could hear everyone in the room where my procedure was going on and I could still hear them when I felt I was in the 'white room.'
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Uncertain I felt like I was in a pure white waiting area or room.
Did you see any beings in your experience? I sensed their presence
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
The experience included: Unearthly light
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? No
Did you see an unearthly light? Uncertain Just a white room, no markings, doors, just white but I had the feeling of walls there.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm There was a white room. Silent but could feel a presence, love and comfort.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I felt complete, utter love, calmness and comfort.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? Happiness
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? I felt no longer in conflict with nature
The experience included: Special knowledge or purpose
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about myself or others I was aware of the emergency situation going on and what it meant and because of the intense feeling of love and comfort I didn't care if I came back.
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 heard someone as if they were telling me that I was in high degree heart block and thought 'I don't care', I was good where I was.
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 Catholic but nonpracticing
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Moderately important to me
What is your religion now? Christian- Catholic
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 I feared death and because of the experience I feel that it is nothing to fear and that death is definately worse for those left behind because they dont know if you suffered. In my experience I did not feel anything that was done to my body until after when I couldnt cough due to the rib pain, possibly from chest compressions or the multiple shocks that wer delivered.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes My family is so important to me; I want to be there for them and let them know how much they mean.
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 I encountered a definite being, or a voice clearly of mystical or unearthly origin I could feel that someone was there with me, but I don't know why they didn't show themselves.
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I sensed their presence
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? I was uncertain if God exists
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 probably 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? I was uncertain if an afterlife exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife probably exists Uncertain As I think back on it I wonder if it is a chemical change that occurs in the brain as a form of protection that occurs at death or is it really that your soul leaves your body and moves on. It certainly feels like we do leave our bodies and go on after de
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I greatly feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Moderately 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? No
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? No
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes I felt so loved, greater than is possible in our earthly life.
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Moderate changes in my life ? That life can be gone at any instant, love those important to you and let them know it, and do with your life the things that make you happy and fulfilled.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Yes My husband and son are very supportive, attentive and nurturing and a little possessive of my care and ongoing medical issues. There is also a lot of anger towards the whole decision to do the procedure in the first place.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes It was the complete sense of love unlike anything I have ever felt in my life. It seems difficult to find words to describe it.
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 always had intuition, I just have to learn to trust it and abide by it more often. I have had a lot of times where I know I should do a certain thing and when I didn't go with it I'm left saying to myself why didn't I trust my gut?
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? I felt so loved, greater than is possible in our earthly life.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes One year.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes Only what has been in the media.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real I had a hard time dealing with the fact I did not want to come back to my life and I can't understand why that would be, I have so much to live for.
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
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