Prior to this surgery my anxiety level was very high. I have had surgery in the past and had no fear of surgery. I continued with this surgery even though I was fearful. After surgery, I awoke in the recovery room. My blood pressure was 40/14. I am an ICU Registered Nurse (RN), so I knew I was in trouble. I heard my surgeon ordering a CT scan. I remember thinking that if I go for a CT scan that I will die. My thoughts were echoed aloud by the nurse on duty. He said that a CT scan would kill me. There were multiple anesthesia doctors around my stretcher. One doctor was palpating my abdomen and when he pushed on my lower right abdomen, I almost blacked out from the pain. This was where the blood was collecting. They placed a central line in my left chest, whereupon I felt the pressure but not the pain. Shortly after this, I heard a female say, 'I don't have a pulse.' I moved my arm to let them know I was awake. I did not want CPR to be done while I was sort of awake. I went unconscious, floated temporarily above my body, and saw the anesthesiologist rushing and calling for a surgeon. Then my vision was gone. Next, I was floating or swimming in soft, beautiful clouds and felt no pain. I was light with no gravity weighing me down. I'm not sure how to describe this but when I came to my destination, the music or sound was calming and wonderful and was not harsh noise. Upon arrival, I was escorted by my sister and we talked. Most of the conversation was that my sister was reminding me that my children needed me and that it was not my time to come here. My grandma and grandpa were there, along with all people I would expect. Then I saw a patient I had cared for on earth and held his hand as he passed over. My patient told me that I have much more to do and that I was to return and continue to touch people like I did for him. This for some reason made me believe in the reality of the experience. Then I was dropped back into my body.When I reentered my body, I felt like I had fallen from the top of a high-rise building and landed on a concrete floor. I lost my breath. I was cognizant of the difference in the noise. I came from a place where the noise was not harsh to a place where everything, including the electrical sounds, was deafening. The lights were too bright, even with my eyes closed it was bright. Later, the anesthesia doctor came by and ask if I wanted to talk. At the time, I was still processing the experience. I found out that while I had no pulse and was out of my body, it was screaming loudly enough that the surgery doctor in the operating room heard me as he was finishing the procedure. He was not only a doctor but also a friend. He did my surgery and I received 60 units of blood and multiple units of blood products. The doctor told me that if he had not known me, he would have quit after 20 minutes. But he kept going. He found the area of bleeding and grafted it. I have some minor lingering issues, but none that I can complain about.
Date NDE Occurred: 7/20/2000
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Surgery-related. Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function)
During surgery, the doctor lacerated my aorta. I was in shock.
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? Yes I was above my body only a short time. I saw everyone working on me and trying to stabilize me.
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 I did not have many thoughts interfering with what was going at that time.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? After I went from floating above to my travels to my deceased family
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 not to have any meaning.
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. It seemed my vision was in my brain not through my eyes.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I felt very much, like when we talked, I heard it with my brain not my ears. It is hard to explain.
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 Similar to a tunnel, it was a cloud pool that I was swimming in to get to my destination.
The experience included: Presence of deceased persons
Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes My sister, grandma and grandpa, and the last one was my patient.
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 The lights, although all senses were through my brain, not with body parts
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm The area was like a cloud-room. It was very comfortable but seems like it was outside of the real heaven. I was visiting my family together in a comfortable conference area. I’m not sure how to describe it.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Weirdly: none
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? Everything about the universe I knew I had to go back and what I needed to do when I returned.
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
The experience included: Awareness of the future
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from my personal future Showing my children and me, in the future, and what their lives would be like if I did not return.
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 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- Other Christian
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes Was only God. But this experience made me question my belief and I still am researching.
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 I believe in something but not specific now
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 When I arrived, my relatives who passed before were there. But the rest was inconsistent what it looked like, sounded like, and felt like.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I have slowed down and always look at the other side before I say anything. I am very nature loving and very compassionate. My religion is not one belief, but many.
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? I heard a voice I could not identify Only the music in the background and one time my guide told me it was not my time.
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? No
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? No
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? Unknown
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes During the conversation with my guides, I was told to believe in what I hear and see and that I will return with more abilities.
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are possibly 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 definitely exists Yes Only the fact that I know from this experience there is something after.
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? Slightly 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 probably 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? Slightly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Uncertain Only that love is most important.
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 Religious beliefs have changed.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes A lot of stuff that went on words don’t explain correctly my experience
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.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes My instincts are very apparent and I hear and see ghosts, as well as empathic abilities.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The return I understood how much we have changed our world and my need for inner peace.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes After a couple of years and they were very interested to hear. As a registered nurse, sometimes I share to help others move on when it is their time or I share to help their families reassure that the patient's pain is gone.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes But I had no knowledge of an actual experience, only that people have had them.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real This experience was replayed in my dreams each night for about three years.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I know my experience happened and it changed me: I feel for the better.
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 feel, as a registered nurse in the intensive care unit, that I was afforded this opportunity to assist my patients to move on when that time comes. I have also become more caring. One other thing that changed is, I now drain batteries. Compasses are interfered by me. These are changes as well.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? I think also ask about changes in physical abilities. I now drain batteries and have a same level of electric current now. I have heard this is not unusual, but it is weird for me.
© 2014 NDERF, Jody Long & Jeffrey Long, MD. All Rights Reserved.