It was early in the morning at the hospital (7:30 AM.) The nurse in the room asked me if I wanted to sit in the chair prior to breakfast (the day before I had had a ‘fem-pop’ done in my right leg.) [Editor’s note: Femoropopliteal Bypass surgery is used to bypass diseased blood vessels above or below the knee. Heart attack is cited as one of the risks of this surgery.] The nurse aided me in getting into the chair. About three minutes after sitting down in the chair, I felt my eyeballs roll back into my head, and I heard the nurse say to me repeatedly, ‘Mr. Thomas, please do not do this to me.’ The next thing I knew, I was in this beautiful room filled with the most gorgeous white light shining all about. I could feel a loving, comfortable, fearless feeling; and I felt no pain whatsoever. It was easy for me to breathe, and I felt so comfortable. In front of me there was a bed made of stone with beautiful white sheets and a pillow clad in a white pillowcase. I could see the stone corners of the bed. There were three stone steps to climb up to the bed. I started (or at least I thought I did) to push myself up to get into the bed by going up the stone steps. Some type of force kept me back: the force was so strong that I could not even move my shoulders. From the direction of the light source came a voice that said to me, ‘Thomas, you have lived a good life, but I have something even more important for you to do. I do not want you now.’ After that I heard my daughter on the telephone yelling, ‘This is baloney!’ at someone. After that, I looked down and saw a nurse hitting me in the chest and yelling for the paddles. The next thing that I knew, the doctor was there to my right. I asked him, ‘Why is everybody getting so nervous and excited?’ The doctor shouted, ‘He is alive!’ and told me that he was taking me to the operating room. He told me that he was going to do open heart surgery on me immediately. I did not have any sense of time or vision, during the experience. Later I found out that my lungs had collapsed and I had flat-lined.
Date NDE Occurred: 'Oct. 22, 2010'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Uncertain Surgery-related. Heart attack Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
I do not understand the question. When I was out of my body, I saw/heard the doctor communicating something to the nurse.
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? 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? I would have to say it would have been during the last part of the experience including when I came back to myself. I asked the doctor what everyone was so excited about, before he took me to the operating room for heart surgery. Later when I met that doctor, he said that I had scared the hell out of him because one minute they are yelling for the paddles, and the next, I am asking him questions.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Faster than usual
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? No
Were your senses more vivid than usual? More vivid than usual
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. My vision seemed to go blank initially; and then came into full focus. The last thing I saw was the inside of my eyelids; then all of a sudden everything went blank/ black; then I saw that beautiful light in the room with the stone bed.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. My vision went blank, but I could still hear the nurse. It seemed that the voices in the background faded away when the voice from the light talked to me.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? Yes, but the facts have not been checked out
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: Unearthly light
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? An unusually bright light
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes The most beautiful white light that just filled the room and gave off a loving feeling.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? My emotions were mostly flat; I felt no fear, no excitement, and yet I felt a longing to stay.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? Happiness
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? I felt united or one with the world
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? Christian- Catholic
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- Catholic
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
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes Content that was entirely consistent with the beliefs I had at the time of my experience. Large changes in my life. I’m more patient and understanding.
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? I heard a voice I could not identify The voice was comforting, non-aggressive and exciting. The voice made me feel comfortable with the situation, and he stressed that more was wanted from me.
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 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? God definitely exists
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes The voice told me that he did not want me now because he had something more important for me to do.
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? Uncertain I was told that I lived a good life by the voice
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 The voice told me that he did not want me now, and that he had something more important for me.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I slightly 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? 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? 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? No
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 People that I knew in the past have said that I have changed and I appear to be at peace with myself. But I asked them for detail and received none. I do feel at peace with myself. I am waiting for an event or sign.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes The parts that were difficult to express in words were the feelings about both the environment, and about my internal feelings. They were confident, non-defiant, and extremely comforting and so I did not feel fear.
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 have developed a keen sense for detail because of my job through the years. The recall (which I did not have to recall, it is just there) is automatic.
In addition, people that I knew in the past have said that I have changed and I appear to be at peace with myself, I asked for detail and received none.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I have a feeling for what is coming up in the future, sometimes including specific events
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I first shared it about six months after it happened. Reactions included people being interested and then seeming to become more aware of their surroundings. I do not share with all, only when I have a sense of inner comfort.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real I believe the message was real, but I do not know, as of yet, what is being asked of me.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I view my experience as real and currently feel myself as more passive, as I am searching for the voice's will, not my will. I will not try to make my thoughts be his thoughts.
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 have developed a keen sense for detail because of my job through the years. I don't have to try to recall the experience because it is just there. It is automatic.
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