I was at work at about 1:30 am. I was working as a controller and shared an office in a store situated at the back of a packing department. I was on the computer catching up with in-house transactions while the department was on dinner break so I was initially on my own. At some point, I started to cough and couldn't clear it. I stood up slapping my chest but it wouldn't stop. I coughed deeper, faster, and then I felt my windpipe slam shut. I knew I was in trouble. I was by this point lurching around the office thumping my chest. The urge to panic was immense but somehow I reasoned panicking would not help me and no matter what, stay in control. Just then Paul, the department store man entered the office, [ironically Paul's nickname is Gripper] he's a big lad, 20 plus stones and built like an outhouse. He immediately started slapping my back, and chest to no avail, but I was still in control. I grabbed his arms turned into him, clasped his thumbs under my rib cage, and motioned Gripper to pull up. A second later, I drifted out, to the side, how far to the side I don't know but I was disconnected from the body. I remember thinking my mother and father [now both deceased] would think it a terrible death, but it was never painful, just extraordinarily uncomfortable, I remember thanking god for that, and as I felt myself drifting out I thought this is it, I'm dead. I stopped drifting, I could see out the office window, though I wasn't focused on anything. I must have been in shock because I wouldn't move or even look around, I was scared to try to move anything because I didn't know what was left of me and at that point in no hurry to find out. I said to myself, 'Well, I feel good, I can see, I'm not choking anymore but I still can't breathe. Just then, a voice said matter-of-factly, 'You don't need to breathe, your body needs to breathe, you don't.' I don't know whose voice it was, it seemed to come from behind me, within me. I thought, 'Well, that makes sense', and asked another question [I cannot remember what it was] and received a similar pragmatic response. I then started thinking, 'Ok, what shall I try to move first?' I had accepted my situation and at no time did I give any thought to my earthly body, but then I drifted back. Slam! I was choking to death again but only for a few seconds and, whoosh, Gripper hit the mark and my trachea opened and back to the land of the living. I didn't feel Gripper 'hitting the mark' but reason tells me he did. I really don't know how long my OBE lasted and any skeptic would reason that my experience was due to a lack of oxygen to the brain. I might be able to accept that argument but for one thing. There is no way that anyone could imagine NOT choking to death; if you're choking you know about it! Gripper went about his work. I sat there recovering for about 20 minutes. I couldn't talk for some time and then I too just got on with my work. It takes time to sink in; I asked myself so many questions. It was weeks before I related this experience to my workmates. I asked Gripper, if at any point, did I black out when he was applying the Heimlich maneuver. He replied 'No', which brings me to conclude as I have long suspected, consciousness can leave the body without death having occurred. One last thing, Gripper had not even heard of the Heimlich maneuver when I guided him into the position. Good job I stayed calm.
Date NDE Occurred: 2001
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
I suffered a coughing fit which resulted in my windpipe closing
How do you consider the content of your experience? Both pleasant AND distressing
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? No
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
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Highly conscious and alert throughout, at no time did I black out, I was the same person out the body as I was in. Because I was choking to death, I had to keep control; I had to be totally aware.
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
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? No
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I had just come away from my body. I knew I could see. I left it at that
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I didn't hear anything other than the voice, and that was probably telepathic, though I really wasn't concentrating on hearing.
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? No
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? Fear. I knew I was me and that I was ok but I didn't know 'what' me was
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? No
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? No
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Moderately important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Other or several faiths i have undergone several spiritual experiences , I classify myself as a spiritualist , otherwise i would probably have regarded myself an atheist.
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? Other or several faiths as above.
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was both consistent and not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience belief and knowledge are two separate things . knowledge gained through other spiritual experiences had left me with an expectance of survival after the death of the body . I wasnt dissapointed with my o.b.e but surprised , guess my number hadnt been called .
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? I heard a voice I could not identify see question 2
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? I was uncertain if God exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? No but i thanked god as i passed out my body for the lack of suffering in my death ....
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? I am uncertain if God 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 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 definitely exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes the 'voice' said 'you dont need to breathe , your body needs to breathe .. you dont' ... thereby signifying that i existed without my earthly cloak .
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? Moderately fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Moderately 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? Moderately compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? No changes in my life No changes in my life other than the knowledge of having the experience, I have not or it has not changed my perception of the world or the human species
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No 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 the experience i really cannot remember any other significant experience around that time .
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 whole experience was significant to me, but it was merely a taste of the great adventure to come.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Those who have had a spiritual experience themselves, such as seen a ghost, etc., are more believing than those with no spiritual experiences. This is predictable. I probably told my partner the next day, but it was weeks before I could open up about it.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes Having had prior though different spiritual experiences. I firmly believed in life after death and had read about many such NDE and OBE cases
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real Because my conscious self never altered when in, then out of the body. There was no conscious lapse.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real As above, it happened, I live with it, I am grateful for the experience.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
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