I don't have my medical records in front of me so I will have to wing the dates and spellings. I went to the hospital to have a scheduled cesarean section on Jan 21, 2002. I had complications with bleeding after they pulled my daughter out. I passed many clots and was told it was normal. (I had a son who was almost seventeen and I knew it wasn't.) The day I was to go home, they had to open my cesarean section half way due to hematomas forming under the staples. This was horrible. I was also having trouble breathing due to having so much fluid and they seemed unconcerned with it. The second day home I became very nauseated and dizzy. I tried to lie down and couldn't breathe well when I did. I called the doctor and they said I had the stomach flu and called me in a nausea medication.After taking the medicine, I started to fall asleep and my son came in and woke me. He said my lips were turning blue so I sat up. I couldn't get my breath so off to the hospital we went. I could hardly walk and the nurse came out to get me in a wheel chair. The breathing was even shallower and my blood pressure was going off the scale. My sugar then dropped and I became in a dream state of mind. They rushed me over to the other hospital where they had a birth center and for the next eight hours, they came up with all kinds of crap. They said I had a blood clot in my lung; I had a heart problem so on and so on. At this point, I could barely get my breath and they had me on oxygen. I felt like I was going to die. A nurse walked up and poked my leg and then said MY GOD you are full of fluid. I was in intensive care unit at this time and they finally did an ultrasound and could plainly see that I was drowning. My lungs were filling and my heart, kidneys, stomach, and liver were being crushed. I did suffer some damage to my lungs.They put me on medication and I went from weighing 160 to 120 pounds in a matter of two days. Finally, I got better and they let me go home after about a week. I was still having problems with the open incision and clotting. I am pretty sure it was about three weeks later when the next episode happened. I still was very sick but though it was normal. I got up one morning and fed my daughter; for some reason I held her extra-long that morning while sitting in the rocker in her room. I got up and it was exactly 8:00 o'clock when I laid her back in her crib. As soon as I took my hand off her, I felt a rush of heat run down my leg. I looked and saw blood running as if someone had turned on a faucet. I ran downstairs to our bathroom in disbelief to clean up and looked behind me to see a line of red following me. I ran back upstairs to tell my husband I was in trouble and he didn't believe me until he looked and saw the floor getting red. To make a long story short I lay in the bed on my side while he franticly tried to get an ambulance. We lived forty-five minutes from a hospital and it took the ambulance forty minutes to get there. I was in and out of shock and begging God not to take me because my daughter needed a mother. I could feel the bed getting cold and wet from the blood. My ex-husband ran in and out of the room checking on me and telling me you're not going to die, knowing all along how bad it was because he was an emergency medical technician.I remember feeling as if there were a struggle in my soul not to shut my eyes. I had made my peace by now. The ride in ambulance still rings in my head. They couldn't get an IV in me because there were no veins. I was in and out of shock and when they got me to the hospital, they put me in labor to try to stop the bleeding. This was insane!!! They gave me nothing for pain and left me alone, bleeding, crying, and dying. Finally the doctor came in checked me and said they would have to do a D&C (dilation and curettage, procedure) and I would be fine. Somehow, I wanted to believe it but I didn't. They sent me up to prep and my pastor came in. I remember trying to recite the 23 Psalm but couldn't think straight enough. He stood there and cried.Then I just felt cold and was alone behind a curtain that was drawn around me. It was if I was seeing in a tunnel vision and everything began to have a glowing affect. This is when I saw what I like to call an angel. I don't know if it was the shock or the fear but she was there. It was a little old lady with white hair and the bluest eyes I had ever seen. She asked me if I was scared and I said yes, I think I mouthed it in my head instead of saying it. She reached her hand over mine and it was so warm. At that moment, I felt a peace come over me and she said it's going to be all right honey. Then she was gone and they came in to take me to surgery.I talked to them a little while they were cleaning me up and asked that they please not catheterize me again until I was out as it had been done twice before and they said they would wait. Then a woman came over and said that it was time for me to sleep and put a needle in my IV tube. She asks me to tell her when I started to feel like I was going out. I tried to keep my eyes open and was praying.I saw the blackness coming in like a circle closing around my eyes and then it was black. Then it happened, I thought I was waking but I wasn't. I felt alone, deaf and blind. It felt as if I were in a black void. It felt like wind blowing my hair and my thoughts were running so fast I couldn't make sense of them. My emotion was of fear and it was like I didn't know what was real and what wasn't. There was no time and I felt like I was drifting in this black, silent, void in slow motion. I remember feeling like something pulled me backwards almost like I was pushed from the front by a puff of air. That's all. I woke up in the intensive care unit again and I knew it wasn't good. They said I stopped breathing twice and my heart stopped once for only a brief minute.They had to bag me and put an IV in my neck that lead to my heart. It had three needles, one for blood, one for fluid, one for medication. I don't remember how much blood they had to give me but I was told I was running on empty. They had to do a partial hysterectomy because I would have died otherwise. When I woke up, I had so many tubes in me and machines on me. I could barely move. I became very ill after the surgery running a temperature of 103 for three days. I could go on and on about the rest of my health and mental health issues after the surgery but I don't think you need that. My life has changed so much since then. My faith, what I believe, and what matters. I do struggle with a lot of confusion because sometimes I don't know what I believe. Am I afraid to die - no. There are a lot worst things in this life than dying and I have been there. Do I want to die - not today. I wish I could understand what happen to me and why. I've heard of others seeing lights, family, love, happiness - it scares me to think I was at the strongest in my faith, doing everything right and wonder - was I on my way to hell anyway? That's my story, I hope it's not too graphic and is what you needed.
Date NDE Occurred: 'Feb, 2002'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes IllnessSurgery-relatedChildbirth Other I have struggled with what was written in my medical chart and what was told to me. My doctor said I stopped breathing twice and my heart stopped once. In my medical record, it does not state either but I know it happened. What happened to me was part the
I was bleeding to death. I had already been in the hospital intensive care unit two weeks earlier because my body was shutting down from fluid. I almost died from this before they finally figured out what was wrong with me. I had toxemia from the sixth month of pregnancy and they kept telling me it was normal.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Mixed
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? Less consciousness and alertness than normal As above.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? This is so hard to explain. It felt like floating inside a big black void. I remember feeling like wind was blowing through my hair but I couldn't see or hear anything. I felt a feeling of being lost and not knowing if anything was real or not.
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
There was not time or space.
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 couldn't see anything.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. It seemed as if there were no sound.
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? Uncertain It just felt like I was in a void with blackness all around me.
Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
The experience included: Void
The experience included: Darkness
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? No
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I dont know if the void I felt I was in was a level or dimension or not.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Empty, lost, timeless, confusion.
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 found that I wanted to live every minute as full of joy as I can.
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future
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? Conservative/fundamentalist At the time I was a strong sealed Southern Baptist.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I am no longer brainwashed by the one way Baptist. I am educating myself on everything. I don't think it's about one religion anymore. Sometimes I don't know what it's all about and what any of it means. It's like being at a crossroad and seeing nothing but dust in both directions.
What is your religion now? Moderate Im not sure where I am in my faith at this time. I struggle.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I am no longer brainwashed by the one way Baptist. I am educating myself on everything. I don't think it's about one religion anymore. Sometimes I don't know what it's all about and what any of it means. It's like being at a crossroad and seeing nothing but dust in both directions.
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? Uncertain I don't know for sure but it felt as if I were about to learn something. It was in slow motion and then I remember waking up in the intensive care unit again.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes It ended my marriage to a man whom I stayed with for seven years trying to make a family. I lost my six-year-old daughter because of it. She is now in his physical custody and I am currently going to court in March to try to get her back. My life changed in many ways and I am still affected by it six years later.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Sometimes it was very difficult because of the way people would look at me. It was a look of disbelief or they just didn't care. The people in my church always told me to 'Pray' about it.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes It's like I can read peoples thoughts. When I go by a graveyard now it's almost as if I am drawn to it, to walk around in it and I can feel the emotions of the ones who have passed on. I am more aware of what feels like spiritual things. I read Tarot. I also feel I understand religion, God, on a different level.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Yes, I feel that it may have been a warning to understand God, my life, and what really matters. It also gave me an unsure feeling about everything. It left me with so many questions.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Only a few, no one ever wants to hear it. It's very upsetting because I want to understand it. People just think you are crazy. It's so ironic that my husband who I am with now always listened. After this past summer, he also had a NDE and he understands even more. His experience was much more explainable than mine. He just doesn't like to talk about it.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Uncertain I had heard of it but didn't give it any thought. I guess I didn't believe in it at the time.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real It scared me to think that nothing was as it seemed.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real It still scares me and has caused me much confusion. Sometimes I cry wondering what the hell it's all about.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Uncertain I have had dreams where I left my body and could see what was happening. I have also had many dreams I can breathe under water since the experience happened.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? Yes, I didn't see my experience as positive but can't say it was negative. I so want to understand where I was and what happened. It did change my life. Not just a piece of it but in a whole. I am not afraid of death anymore but want to believe there is more than just darkness - I so want to know where I was at that time I was not in my body.
© 2014 NDERF, Jody Long & Jeffrey Long, MD. All Rights Reserved.