What is it like to have a near death experience? When I was thirty-six, my youngest son and I would find out it was both wonderful and terrible. I will always call William my 'miracle baby,' as so many strange events combined to bring us back from the brink.But four years before this, at the start of this journey, I had dreamt a strange dream. I found myself coming down on the top of a tiny planet—the sky was edged with pink and blue-green, and behind that lay the darkness of space. A luminous spirit-being that I recognized as Sai Baba was waiting there for me. As I floated down and landed, I wanted to run towards him, but instead he pointed me silently towards two figures some four meters away. There, I saw two little boys, one a half head taller than the other did, and standing very close together. I knew immediately that I was being shown two future children. I instinctively cried out, 'No, please, no more children!' My circumstances could not have been worse—on my own, with seven children, five under four years of age! My heart, damaged from the carrying of twins, had become progressively worse with the two subsequent pregnancies. Physically, I was a shadow of my former self—troubled also by back and joint damage. But, apparently unmoved by my pleas, the spirit-being pointed to the boys again, and so I walked right up to them to try to discover if I could see what they looked like. I looked into their eyes, and saw only the stars behind us, streaming through their eyes. Sai Baba walked slowly away and I watched him until he became almost too small to see and then disappeared over the horizon. I woke up, disturbed and intrigued by this experience. Now, four years on, here I was, married, thirty-five weeks pregnant with my ninth child, and, yes, I had already had the first boy from the dream, Max. My husband had announced that he wanted a girl both times I had become pregnant. I had warned him not to get too hopeful, as I believed that we would be seeing the two little boys from that vivid dream. A number of remarkable events occurred just prior to the birth of this ninth child, William. Heart trouble had become a pressing problem, and compression in my spine had led to the loss of some muscle in one leg, making walking difficult. I had woken up that day, feeling stressed and full of a deep sense of foreboding. In the morning, I clearly heard a voice telling me, 'You must get to hospital!' Where did this voice come from? Was it my own intuition or was someone helping me? I did not know, but it sounded so insistent, I felt I must act on it. The baby was not due for some five weeks, so how to be admitted to the hospital, some one hour's drive away? I had no pressing reason to go. Filled with a sense of urgency and after some thought, I decided that when I got to the hospital, I would ask for help for the pain and difficulty I was experiencing with walking. So that's what I did, and insisted on being admitted for tests by a reluctant doctor. Later, when the doctors asked me what symptoms I was experiencing, I answered, 'Just write down 'Clapped Out Ewe,' [Brit/Australian 'worn out sheep']—that sums it up, I think!' They laughed at this and ordered tests for later that day. Within an hour of admission, I experienced a hemorrhage.'So that is why I had to come in,' I thought, as I sat eating lunch later that day, feeling more relaxed. There were no signs of other problems or early labor. 'Problem over.' After all, I was not due to deliver the baby for five weeks, so there was plenty of time now. But as I looked through the large plate glass windows at the sky outside, thousands of tiny stars started to rush towards me at breakneck speed. It felt exactly as if I were suddenly sitting in the cockpit of Star Trek's Starship Enterprise, hurtling through space! 'Just a really bad dizzy spell' I reasoned and limped over to my bed to lie down. By now, I was struggling for breath, not unusual, as this happened with most exertion now—but my peripheral vision seemed to be shutting down, too. What was this? Dark clouds were gathering across my eyes. As I lay on the bed trying to breathe, another patient approached the bed and asked for a pen, 'Are you sure you haven't got one?' she continued to ask, as I shook my head and gasped, 'No, no—not right now!' She wandered off unconcerned. But I feared that soon I would lose consciousness. Desperately, I pressed the buzzer for a nurse to come—no answer—the bell was dead. Eventually, with a supreme effort, and now very little sight left, I whispered to the patient in the next bed to 'Please call a nurse.' One arrived in a leisurely fashion and asked, 'What seems to be the trouble?' I managed to gasp, 'Can't breathe, can't see!' She looked like a grey blob surrounded by moving clouds. She remarked disinterestedly, 'I had that last weekend, you've probably got a middle ear infection!' I was stunned by this casual diagnosis. The situation was starting to look more and more comical—so many inexplicable delays—I would have laughed aloud, if I had been capable. Here I was, I thought, fighting to stay conscious and keep breathing, and apparently, it was all just so uninteresting. I tried to gasp to the nurse that my ears were fine. She then, almost absentmindedly, reached out and took my pulse. Then, full of drama, she pressed my hand and cried, 'Don't go anywhere! Wait here!' and rushed into the corridor looking for help, as, apparently, my pulse was over 200 and too fast to record. Ironic, really, that she should ask me to 'wait.' I was like a beached whale, drowning in the air, and yes, definitely 'not going anywhere!' At the precise moment that the nurse ran into the corridor, a heart specialist, apparently not normally ever walking those corridors, appeared in front of her and she literally crashed into him! He came into the ward and immediately recognized the symptoms of heart failure and assembled all the necessary equipment to do a rescue mission. (I was told later how lucky I was. It seemed that the only other available staff on the ward that day was an inexperienced intern. He could not quickly out what was happening. I was told that a fatal delay may have occurred, had this heart specialist not been walking down the corridor at that precise moment.) Quickly, I felt a cold gel sensor-pack slapped on my back and people stabbing my toes asking me if I could feel them, but I was so cold and numb that I couldn't feel much anymore. I started drifting off and could only vaguely hear them now. I found myself floating down a long tunnel. I looked all around and was aware of a soft and mesmerizing light at the end. I wanted to rush towards it but found it hard to move forward and could do so only by forcing myself forward, half swimming and half walking. Then, I heard a distant faint voice cry out, 'Sinus rhythm collapsing, we are losing her!' but I felt completely disinterested in this. I did not know whom they were talking about and was annoyed at the interruption. Now I only had eyes for the wonderful glowing light at the end of the tunnel, which seemed to hold promise of great warmth and love unending. I felt so joyful and excited! All awareness of my body on the bed left me as I tried for some time to reach the light. I knew absolutely that wonderful things were awaiting, if I could only get to the end of the tunnel. The light now loomed larger, and I could see faint outlines of figures waiting there, beckoning me forwards. I wondered, 'Who is waiting there, is it angels or loved ones?' I tried harder and harder to reach the end of the tunnel. Then, a very faint voice interrupted my travels with a tiny urgent 'Baby on Board' and a pleading 'Breathe! You must breathe!' (A nurse was apparently shouting loudly into my ear.) This caught my attention. I stopped in the middle of the tunnel and wondered, 'Who has a baby on board who should be breathing?' Then I thought, 'Perhaps it is me, perhaps I am pregnant, and if I am, then I must go back!' and reluctantly I turned around. It was so hard to leave that wonderful promise of all-encompassing love and warmth waiting in the Light, and those light-filled beings waiting there. The return back down the tunnel was brutally sudden. I came back to consciousness to experience total chaos—doctors were shouting, and my whole body was in pain. I felt icy-cold, but I could see that I was indeed pregnant. My memories flooded back and I knew I had many children and others who needed me to hold on. I fought to come back and, although the heart rhythm was still unstable, I immediately went into labor. Serious-faced heart specialists told me, 'You can't have the baby yet, we will deliver in two weeks when your heart has settled down.' I did not argue—I could see their point, but I knew from my previous eight deliveries that this labor was not a trial run. So, exhausted, I steeled myself for a long night. Whether it was the right time or not, this baby was on its way. I was informed later that day, that I had flat-lined for some time and that, had this episode happened at our house—some one hour's drive from the nearest hospital—both William and I would have died. I reflected on that urgent message in the morning—no wonder I had to get to hospital that day. How strange, the many delays that had led to the nurse colliding with the heart specialist! I realized that I had been somehow protected all the way through this crisis. I also felt enormous gratitude for the nurse who had shouted in my ear, because I realized that I had only turned back because of her prompting. At dawn the following morning, with labor well advanced, a grim-faced team of heart specialists and surgeons gathered to deliver the baby. I was hooked to a bank of heart monitors, and had needles in my feet, arms and hands. The recalcitrant heart was still racing and wobbling around. Their ominous expressions told me that they didn't have much hope for our chances under anesthesia. 'Would you like to leave any messages?' I was asked. 'None,' I replied. My husband and children knew I loved them, I told them that every day. Since seeing the two little boys standing together on that planet four years earlier in the dream, I felt sure that William, at least, would survive to be with his brother. As the anesthetic took hold, I felt totally at peace—after all, I had come close to the Light and it was so wonderful, I had no fear of death left. William was delivered with only minor difficulties, apparently unharmed by his pre-natal adventure in the Star Trek ship!
Date NDE Occurred: 7th August 1990
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Childbirth. Heart attackClinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function) 'collapse of sinus rhythm, no pulse, cessation of breathing'
NDE due to cardiac arrest while pregnant. Remarkable prior premonition of two children that she would have. The second of these two would be the one she would deliver just after her cardiac arrest.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I heard the doctor saying, 'Sinus rhythm collapsing, we are losing her!' This was confirmed later. I heard the tiny shouting of the nurse—this was confirmed later by staff.
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 More consciousness and alertness than normal. I was aware that I was dying or dead. This had no emotional charge to it and there was a great joy and aliveness in the anticipation of reaching the end of the tunnel. I knew with my whole being that the next step in my journey would be wonderful and full of joy and love.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? All through the experience.
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
Time seemed to go faster or slower than usual. Awareness of time was gone completely.
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. Immediately prior, I was moving towards heart failure and all perceptions were becoming hazier, e.g. I could not see medical personnel clearly, there were dark clouds across my vision—but in the experience there was total clarity of vision.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. During the experience—my hearing of the real-time room and voices gradually faded out and only when a nurse SHOUTED in my ear, could I hear a tiny little squeaky version of that shout as though from a great distance. Everyday hearing prior to the experience was particularly acute due to the situation I found myself in, in which no one around me seemed to be noticing that I was about to pass away.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? Yes, and the facts have been checked out
The experience included: Tunnel
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes
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: Unearthly light
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? Yes
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm The tunnel was a mystical realm.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Great joy at the prospect of reaching the light—somewhat regretful that I could not complete the journey to the light and had to come back.
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 or purpose
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? I came to a barrier that I was not permitted to cross; or was sent back against my will I decide to return, as I was not quite sure whether the little voice saying 'baby on board' referred to myself. 'If it did,' I reasoned, 'then it would be important to go back, since going to the end of the tunnel would mean that the baby (if I had one on board) would die.'
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Greatly important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Other or several faiths follower of teachings of Sai Baba of India (vedic in origin) universal love
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? Other or several faiths as above
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was entirely consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience I had always known that my consciousness could exist outside of my body as I had since childhood left my body at night and later during the day after only seconds in relaxation while awake - but I was intrigued that the "tunnel" did exist Afterwards I realised that from 4 years earlier I had bee prepared for this event and that before, during and after the event I received all sorts of miraculous help - quite unexpected and completely curious in nature
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I believe that I will be here on earth as long as I am needed to be for whatever purpose, and that will be true despite the condition of my body. So, since the experience, I have not been worrying much about my health. For instance, I was urged to take strong medication to control my heartbeat, was warned that I would need a pacemaker etc. This I chose to ignore and let my body heal naturally over the last six years until my heart rate has returned to almost normal. I figured I will be here for as long as necessary, regardless of how it may seem here. Therefore, why take drugs that make you feel like a zombie and interfere with the flow of your spiritual life? So I didn't and have taken a calculated risk for my quality of life. I am not in charge of the exit date anyway, so I say, 'Don't worry about it. Just live healthy and be happy.'
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.
Prior to the experience, that morning, I heard a voice say very clearly, 'Go to the hospital.' I had also encountered a mystical being four years earlier when I had had the 'dream,' which I had come to realize was an out-of-body experience, and had been shown the two little boys (children to come.)
During the experience I 'knew' that God would be waiting for me and saw shadowy figures waiting at the end of the tunnel.
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.)? No
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? No
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes You were immersed in UNITY
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God definitely exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Yes The light was a light of supreme LOVE and all encompassing - if this is GOD then God indeed exists
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 In the earlier out-of-body experience, I was given information that I would have two more children, both boys. This information was given to me when I was raising seven children alone and had zero interest in having another relationship or more children. But despite my strong misgivings, this information proved accurate and enabled me to feel content that my last child would be born safely. The doctors were feeling that our chances under anesthesia were not brilliant.
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 Undoubtedly there is continued existence - one's consciousness is intact and awareness of one's beingness complete without a connection to the body
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I did not fear 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 in the earlier experience out of body - i was given information that I would have two more children both boys - this information was given when I was raising 7 children alone and had zero interest in having another relationship or more children - but despite my strong misgivings this info proved accurate and enabled me to feel content that my last child would be born safely altho Drs felt our chances under an'sthetic were not brilliant
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 LOVE IS ALL THERE IS
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Slight changes in my life I think that I realized that it did not matter how gravely ill or even mortally ill the body was. If your time is not up for you to pass on to the next stage of the journey, then 'miraculously' you will come back and receive lots of help to do so.
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 There is a vividness to a NDE that leaves an indelible and long lasting impression - I can remember every detail to this day
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain I was already leaving my body regularly. I had been developing certain psychic powers. I have been left with a certain sense that the drama is not important, that bringing peace is most important.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The most significant parts were the OBE to the planet four years before and the strong voice (from Sai Baba) on the day of the experience, and then the series of delays that led to the nurse bumping into the heart specialist in the corridor. Had all this not occurred, William and I would not have survived, so that all felt like lots of divine intervention.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I shared the whole of this experience immediately afterwards with my husband. He had become accustomed to many psychic and spiritual experiences with me, and around me, and felt only grateful that we had received so much help.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes From written accounts and also one account given to me from a life-long friend who had died for twenty minutes from an asthma attack and then returned to life. His experience was fascinating. As he left his body to death and watched them trying to revive him, he was mentally telling them, 'Don't worry, I am dead.' He was then taken to a small rocky planet where Sai Baba (whom he knew only from a picture) talked for a long time with him. He was given the opportunity to review his life, and then he asked for more time, as his leaving would have meant his wife and four children would be left severely financially afflicted. His 'case' was heard, considered, and then he was told he had three more years. He woke up with a sheet over his head and sat up with a huge shuddering breath. The male technician present in the room nearly had a fainting fit, he was so frightened. My friend worked on his farm like a man possessed for three years until it was paid off. Then one afternoon he said to his wife that he was feeling unwell and asked where the book on medicine was. She said it was in the bedroom. A few seconds later, she followed him, and he was on the bed, dead from a massive coronary. I had always felt there was a lot of compassion in that story and that there was a certain leeway in the Exit date, which could be negotiated, apparently.
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 any other daytime experience. I felt grateful for the many interventions that had occurred so that I did not have to leave my family and new baby.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real REAL REAL REAL!
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes There have been many incidents of 'intervention' in my life. I heard a very clear voice telling me to do something, or a forceful tapping on my back, pushing me forward when reluctant to act on something. I always believe these promptings without question. They are always one hundred percent timely and important for a new and positive change to happen, even when I do not recognize this at the time.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? There is a world of beauty and love and connectedness linking all beings in all places in the Universe—we are all one. It is all about your intentions and choices. Do you represent love and compassion, or selfishness and littleness?
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Less repetition, perhaps.
© 2014 NDERF, Jody Long & Jeffrey Long, MD. All Rights Reserved.