I was sitting in class at university with my leg wrapped around the leg of my chair, and when I got up for a break, I had a strange sensation in my left calf. In the following days, my calf became swollen and hard, and a vein in my leg was bulging. I foolishly thought it was nothing serious and did not see a doctor. Within the following few days, the swelling seemed to be going down, but I felt short of breath. After attending a Christmas party for my wife's company, my shortness of breath became worse and I began feeling extreme pain in the solar plexus area. I discovered later that it was actually the pulmonary artery. The pain became so severe I went to the emergency ward at Langley Memorial Hospital, and a day later after being sent home, I went back and was admitted. Within a couple of days, my breath became shorter, the pain became more intense, and I had no appetite. I went to the washroom a couple of days after I was admitted, and the next thing I knew I thought I was at home walking up the stairs. I felt water on my face wondering how I got wet, and the next thing I knew I woke up on the floor of the washroom and the wet feeling I had was from my face lying in a pool of blood from a facial cut I sustained from the impact of hitting the floor. A voice in my head said, 'If you don't get up and get out of this locked washroom you will die here on the floor.' Although I was groggy and disoriented, it was sufficient motivation for me to get up and get out of the washroom. I took two steps and dropped again. The next thing I knew I was in a dark void with three shrouded figures standing in front of me. They were giants in stature and I could not see their faces. The one in the middle told me that I could ask any questions I wanted and they would answer them. Oddly, I was not afraid at all, but I was quite nervous wondering how I should be reacting and where I was. However, after some deliberation I decided to formulate what I thought would be a question of cosmic importance. I asked what the purpose of human life in the universe was. Unfortunately I cannot remember the answer, but it seemed like an oversimplification, so I asked a follow-up question, 'if that is all there is to it why are scientists putting in so much time, effort and money into trying to figure it out?' The answer was also simple which I do remember. He said, 'Scientists like to make things complicated.'At that point, the being looked to his right and when he turned I could see his profile. He was humanoid, but not human. He had a very large nose and forehead/brow. I could see veins on his forehead and a grey tinge to his skin tone. I felt this being was old, very old, not in the human sense of old, but in the universal sense. When he turned to his right, I got the sense that he was communicating to his partner. I somehow sensed that I had been evaluated on the merit of the question I had asked and he was confirming that I was not ready. Ready for what I did not know. I thought I had asked a pertinent, poignant question, but after the reaction/rejection I felt humiliated. The next thing I knew I was on my back on a gurney with doctors and nurses working on me and I heard one of them say, 'I have a weak pulse.' Apparently, a portion of the blood clot had moved into my heart and lungs and stopped my heart for a few minutes. I was sent to a major hospital, and after days of testing, they gave me an MRI and discovered, my problem. I was fortunate to be assigned to the premier hematologist. He determined I was too weak for surgery, and they gave me something they called the 'clot buster'. The surgical team was on standby, but the clot-buster worked. The doctor told me it was nothing short of a miracle I survived. He told me that he had only seen one case in all of his years where someone had survived the massive cardio-pulmonary embolus I suffered. It was a nine-year-old girl. He said he could never understand how she lived, but chalked it up to her youth and vitality. He told me 'the big guy' must have been watching over me. Within a few days, I was released and made it home for Christmas.
Date NDE Occurred: 'December 16th, 1998'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
Massive Cardio-Pulmonary Embolus due to genetic mutation called 'Factor V Leiden.'
How do you consider the content of your experience? Neither pleasant NOR distressing
Did you feel separated from your body? No
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness? Normal consciousness and alertness
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Throughout.
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? No
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 was unconscious/dead immediately prior.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I was unconscious/dead immediately prior.
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
The experience included: Void
The experience included: Darkness
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? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm A dark void without substance other than the beings I encountered and myself.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Nervousness, embarrassment.
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
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Uncertain I felt I was at a gateway to something else, and the beings were gatekeepers.
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 do not believe I was sent back against my will, but rather did not qualify to stay where I was or move forward to whatever may have been beyond 'the gate'.
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- Protestant
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 I was under the impression that a near death experience resulted in being drawn down a tunnel 'into the light'. That was not the case with me.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes Every day is a gift, and to be anything less than grateful is a mistake.
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 Three large shrouded beings who seemed to be ancient.
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 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 probably 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? Yes Yes, but unfortunately I cannot remember it.
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife probably exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes Yes. I was clearly in another realm of reality.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I moderately 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? 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? Uncertain I believe that love may have been part of the answer to the question I asked, but I am not sure.
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 I realized that there is no significance in life beyond your relationships with others, and how we treat other people is the only metric of the success of our lives.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Yes My family, friends and cats are everything to me; especially my wife. Nothing else is worthy of my time or consideration.
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 as accurately as other life events that occurred around the time of the experience I feel that I was not allowed to remember the answer to my question, because it was not permissable to bring the information back with me.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I often share knowledge with my wife that could not be gleaned from our primary senses.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? My failure to measure up in my Q&A session has made me question my priorities. If I were given the opportunity to ask questions again, I would ask if my life has been a net positive contribution to humanity.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I told my wife the next day, and she was completely amazed but believed me. I told other members of my family afterward, but although some have never said it, I know they are skeptical or do not believe it was real. My mother told me it was likely from the release of endorphins. Her dismissive evaluation is annoying.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I had seen them mentioned on TV at various times with accounts from the people who had the experience. It did not affect my experience because I was not aware where I was or what was happening.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real It was a real as my daily life experiences. There is no way it was anything less than real.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real There was nothing to make me believe I was in any other condition than completely aware and cognizant of what was happening to me.
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? I would like to clarify I am afraid of living my earthly life because I may not measure up.
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