I was halfway to losing myself - and my baby
Carol Page, 67, a retired nurse and mother of three, lives with her husband John in Perthshire, Scotland.
She says: 'It should have been the moment I held my daughter in my arms. Instead, after a gruelling labour that lasted over 24 hours, my baby was whisked away as the midwives treated me.
'I could sense the panic around me as the medical team painfully pushed and pulled on my abdomen, blood seeping out.
Carol Page, 67, had a near death experience after giving birth to her daughter 40 years ago+8
Carol Page, 67, had a near death experience after giving birth to her daughter 40 years ago
'Then, suddenly, the pain lifted and I was fading, floating above my body.
'Though I could still hear the voices of the nurses, everything was quiet, gentle and a beautiful pinky white colour.
'I wanted to stay in this pain-free and happy place, but then I heard the wail of my daughter and knew I had a responsibility to her and my two year-old son, Benjamin, waiting at home.
'Just as I made the choice to return, I heard a voice say ‘Christ, she’s back!’ and I slammed back into my body, where it was red, black and enveloped in pain.
'I remained in hospital for five days and had numerous blood transfusions to replace the huge amounts I’d lost.
'When I held Rachel in my arms after those scary few hours, I was so relieved and happy.
' was halfway to losing her — and myself — but thankfully, I managed to hold on.
'Forty years later, we still talk about it.'
Saved by my late grandmothers Susanna Omuri said she had a vision of her late grandmothers telling her 'not to join them'
Susanna Omuri, 30, from Chigwell, Essex, is a stay-at-home mother to her 18-month-old daughter Isla.
She says: 'Almost 20 years ago, when I was 11, I visited a friend’s house. They lived on a dangerous bend and as I began to cross the road, a car came swerving around the corner.
'It hit me hard, throwing me 30ft into the air. At that moment, suspended in the air above the car, time slowed and I got a clear vision of my two grandmothers — who had died when I was young — standing in a group of other people nearby, though I couldn’t recognise anyone else.
'They were shouting at me and saying I couldn’t join them. Then they purposefully turned their backs on me.
'The next thing I remember was hitting the bonnet of the car and then the road. I was in agony, but fully conscious the whole time.
'Despite being covered in bruises and suffering from shock, thankfully I was relatively unharmed.
'An ambulance took me to the hospital and on the journey I couldn’t stop thinking about how angry my grandmothers had seemed.
'The nurse told me that at the speed the car was going I should have died, and would have done if I had landed in any other way.
'She said a fairy godmother must have been looking after me. I was sent home that day.
'I was three when my first grandmother died and six when the other passed away.
'Being so young when they died, I had only a hazy recollection of what they looked like, but when I saw them at the moment of the car accident they were as clear as day.'
Moment I knew my son was going to die
Angela Dent, 61, is a retired restaurant owner and mother of three who lives with her husband, Ken, in Enfield, Middlesex.
She says: 'On Boxing Day morning 2012, my youngest son Simon, 35 and the owner of a tapas restaurant, was smoking a cigarette on the porch of his house.
'My husband Ken and I were staying with him, and I went out to speak to him.
Angela Dent, 61, said she had a premonition predicting her son's death
'As I looked at him, a strange calmness came over me. We asked each other if we were OK and both said yes. In that moment, I got an inexplicable feeling that I would never see him again and that he was going to die.
'We held each other’s gaze.
'There was no sadness or smiling. It was strange and unnerving, but I have never felt so certain of something before.
'I went back inside and into my bedroom and woke up my husband Ken to tell him of my premonition because I felt so strongly that something bad was going to happen. He told me not to be so silly.
'Simon went off to work a little later. That night at 3.37am, the phone rang when Ken and I were asleep in bed.
'I started crying, knowing it would be the news I had been dreading.
'It was one of my son’s friends saying there had been a terrible car accident and Simon was very badly hurt.
'We arrived at the scene of the accident, but our son had already been pronounced dead.
'I was strangely numb, but knew that it was his time. I will never forget that moment when we looked at each other and I just knew.'
Childhood near miss that still haunts me
Anne Sanderson, 64, believes she had a near-death experience when she was a young child
Anne Sanderson, 64, a retired medical secretary, of Larbert, in Falkirk, lives with her husband Derek, a landscape artist. They have two grown-up children.
She says: 'I had a near-death experience 62 years ago when I was just two. My twin sister, Lesley, and I had been put into our shared cot by our mother, Susan.
'I recall the sparse but sunny room clearly, with its linoleum on the floor. Lesley was standing in one corner of the cot and I was standing opposite her when she suddenly sneezed.
'I got such a start that I fell over the raised cot side and onto the floor. At the same time I had one of the strangest and most lasting memories I’ve ever experienced.
'It was a dream-like scene where I found myself floating high above Earth, looking down from outer space.
'The blackness was all around highlighting the colours I could see below me — all blues, greens and yellows marking out the countries and seas.
'I could see the entire globe so I must have been a long, long way away. There was also a slender, silver cord attached to my left hand side, reaching all the way back to Earth.
'I felt very tranquil as though it was the most natural thing to be happening, even though I had no idea what I was looking at.
'This happened in 1951. No colour photos of the world like that had yet been taken, let alone produced for a toddler to look at, and we didn’t even have a black-and-white television. How could I have known what the Earth looked like?
'Fortunately, it was not my time to go.
'I discovered much later that I’d cracked my collar bone. I regained consciousness in the hospital and have gone on living for six decades.'
White-robed man with a tranquil smile
Teacher Jan McPherson lives with her husband David, 68, a retired civil servant, in Carmarthen. They have two children.
She says: 'Five years ago, I grew ill with a lung condition called bronchiectasis which meant I had difficulty breathing.
'As my condition deteriorated, I had the same dream over and over again.
'In it, I went to a wooden door with a brass handle. Every time I tried to open the door it stayed closed.
Jan McPherson, from Ferryside, said she had a dream in which she saw 'a man in white robes' while she was suffering with a lung condition called bronchiectasis
One night the door opened and inside was a garden filled with blond children playing by a waterfall.
'They had smiling, angelic faces and the air was filled with laughter. I had an overwhelming feeling of calm. In the corner was a man in white robes.
'He had a long, grey beard and hair and carried a stave, rather like a shepherd’s.
'He had the most a tranquil smile I have ever seen and radiated warmth and light.
'Soon, I knew it was time to return, but I felt sure I’d had been privileged to witness such a scene.
'Over the next few days my condition began to improve. I believe I was touched by healing hands and miraculously given strength from somewhere that night.'
I was hovering 10ft above hospital bed
Bob Pendlebury, 63, a retired financial services manager, lives in Hove, East Sussex.
Bob Pendlebury, 63, a retired financial services manager, said he recalls floating ten feet above his hospital bed after an asthma attack
He says: 'Five years ago, I had an asthma attack that very nearly killed me. I was at home with my wife when suddenly I felt very tired and my breathing became difficult. Within minutes, I was struggling for each breath and panicking.
'My wife, Nicole, rang for an ambulance and I was rushed to A&E, where they gave me emergency drugs and adrenaline as I had stopped breathing. I was convinced I was about to die.
'I blacked out in one of the emergency rooms while doctors surrounded me, pulling tubes in and out of me.
'The next thing I can remember is hovering 10ft in the air in the corner of the ceiling, looking down at myself on the hospital bed. I could see lots of people rushing in and out of the room.
'Then suddenly my wife was leaving.
'I was not in pain and couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about. I remember thinking: ‘That’s nice, Nicole’s abandoning me.’
Then I felt a sting in my neck, as though vinegar was being poured into my artery, and suddenly I came to again. Things slowly came back into focus.
'I made a full recovery.
I later found out that magnesium had been injected into my neck as a last resort.
My wife told me they’d been moments from performing a tracheotomy when I suddenly started breathing again.
Strange dream as my heart stopped
Carol Paradise had a near death experience in hospital in January 2013
Carol Paradise, 71, a former mayor of Bath, lives with her husband David, 75, a retired builder.
They have three children.
She says: 'A year ago, I went into hospital for a straightforward gallstone operation.
But the gallbladder burst and my organs began to shut down.
'I was unconscious for two days and my heart stopped three times.
'From those two days, all I can remember, vividly, is the strangest dream.
My friend Anna was sitting by my bed and I suggested that we go for a walk in the grounds.
'We came to a circle of grass edged by a low stone wall that looked down to the sea.
'A group of people joined us and we turned to enter a cave that led into a black tunnel.
'The group, none of whom I recognised, seemed happy and went into the tunnel.
'I looked around and Anna had disappeared. At the last moment, I turned around and went back.
'Then I remember waking up, being rushed along a hospital corridor and seeing my family around me.
'I made a full recovery eventually and was told I had been very lucky to survive.'
A vision of nuns at my feet
Gerald Grainger, 69, lives with his wife Laurel, a retired sales assistant, in Merthyr Tydfil. They have three grown-up children.
He says: 'I was at home last June when I started feeling chesty and sweaty. My wife Laurel insisted I called 999.
'In the ambulance, the lovely paramedic, Vanessa, was talking to me when suddenly I felt myself floating down a square tunnel lit by a bright shining light.
'I could see four faceless figures, dressed in nun-like habits with pointy hats, float beside me and there was a feeling of calm, as if I was suspended in a lovely dream.
'I was looking ahead at what I thought was a large garden when suddenly everything went into reverse and I was speeding backwards through the tunnel and I was awake, my face pressed up against the side of the ambulance with Vanessa saying: ‘Come on Gerald, fight for me, come on.’
'We arrived at the hospital minutes later where I stayed for six days, after apparently suffering a heart attack and ‘dying’ for five minutes in the ambulance.
'Vanessa had shocked me with a defibrillator and carried out CPR until I’d eventually regained consciousness.
'When I returned home, I continued to see visions of those nuns at the foot of my bed every night for about six weeks, and, strangely, their presence felt very comforting.
'I used to be afraid of dying alone, but I’m not any more.'
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Rajiv Parti heard people say they'd seen dead friends during cardiac arrest
Doctor said patients also claimed to have seen lights at the end of a tunnel
He was diagnosed with prostate cancer and had a series of operations
During one operation he saw visions of his family and former patients
By all indications, the patient on the operating table was dead. His heart had been stopped, his body drained of blood and he was no longer capable of breathing on his own.
He was, in fact, in suspended animation — through a surgical procedure that replaces the blood with a cool fluid and stops all bodily functions. Meanwhile, surgeons had just one hour to repair a tear in the main artery leading to his heart.
This is a difficult operation, not to mention dangerous. And, as the hospital’s chief anaesthetist, it was my job to make sure that the patient remained deeply unconscious throughout.
the knife himself
He did, and thankfully he survived.
In the recovery room later, I was there by his side as he woke up — with a smile on his face.
‘I was watching you guys in the operating room,’ he told me. ‘I was out of my body, floating around by the ceiling. I saw you just standing at the head of the table, I saw the surgeon sewing the patch on my artery, I saw that nurse . . .’
Everything he said was uncannily accurate. But could he really have witnessed it all?
No, of course not — how could he see anything when his heart wasn’t beating, his head was packed in ice and his brain had stopped functioning?
He wasn’t the first patient of mine to have reported strange events. Over the course of my 25-year career, I’d heard people claim to have seen deceased friends during a cardiac arrest, or lights at the end of tunnels or people made of light.
I’d always thought such stories were nonsense, so I said I’d return to talk to him later. But I never did.
By the next day, he’d been moved to another department, so he was no longer technically in my charge. And time, after all, is money. That’s how materialistic I was.
Within a few days, that patient had become just another anecdote.
In many ways, my wife, Arpana, and I had a charmed life. She ran her own dental practice and I was making a very good living not only as an anaesthetist, but also as the co-founder of a private pain clinic.
Soon we’d traded our small house for a larger one and then a mansion. Our cars went from average Fords and Toyotas to ‘supercars’, including a Porsche and a Hummer. I was even planning on buying a Ferrari: my goal was bigger everything — house, cars, art collection, bank accounts.
Naturally, I’d made sure my three children had the finest possible education. And I had my eldest son Raghav’s life all mapped out: he was going to follow in my footsteps and become a doctor.
The only problem was that he wasn’t that interested in medicine, and his grades reflected that. I had no sympathy: I shouted at him a lot, punishing him with my anger. Like my father and grandfather before me, my theory of child-raising was: ‘A bent nail must be straightened with a hammer.’
Otherwise, I felt my life was near-perfect.
Then, in 2008, at the age of 51, I found out I had prostate cancer. I was furious with God: what had I done to deserve this? Still, I booked an operation with one of the best prostate surgeons in the country and assumed that all would be well. ‘I can almost guarantee no complications,’ the surgeon told me — but something went drastically wrong, and I was left with incredibly painful scar tissue and other debilitating side-effects.
There were five more operations over the next two years to try to repair the damage, but none of them really worked.
Then one evening, just two weeks after my fifth operation, I suddenly felt faint. My temperature was 105f.
I knew instantly what was happening: despite two courses of strong antibiotics, an infection was spreading rapidly in my abdomen. And if I didn’t get help fast, I’d soon be dead from septic shock.
My wife, tears streaming down her face, managed to bundle me into her BMW and drive me to hospital, where I was quickly loaded on to a trolley.
I remember emerging from a fog to see a surgeon looming above me. He held his hands like a praying mantis, a sign that they were scrubbed for surgery and ready to be gloved.
Next time I surfaced, I was in the operating theatre. I managed to tell the anaesthetist what I did for a living and ask him what he was about to give me. Propofol and fentanyl, he said. In other words, the usual — exactly what I would have selected.
‘Are you ready?’ asked the surgeon. He waved his gloved hand at the anaesthetist, and I was asleep before I could answer.
Was it over? Was the surgery already over? I felt myself zooming straight up, as if in a lift. It was the same feeling you get in the pit of the stomach when you’re rocketing to the 20th floor of a skyscraper.
Slowly, my consciousness began to return: I could see the ceiling approaching, its glossy surface slowly getting closer.
Then I looked down and saw my own abdomen, now with several incisions. I heard the anaesthetist make an off-colour joke. I won’t repeat it, but everyone in the operating theatre laughed, including me.
But where was I? For a few moments, I froze with fright, worried that whatever was holding me up on the ceiling would suddenly let me drop. Eventually, though, I relaxed, watching in rapt amazement as the surgeons and nurses worked on my body.
‘Is that really me, or is this really me?’ I wondered. ‘How can I be in both places at once?’
Suddenly, I became aware of a shift in my perspective as my field of vision expanded. I was still in the operating theatre, but at the same time I could see my mother and sister sitting on a sofa in our family home, thousands of miles away in New Delhi — where I’d grown up.
The scene was vivid and detailed. My sister was wearing blue jeans and a red sweater and my mother a green sari and a green sweater.
‘What should we make for dinner?’ my sister asked.
‘It’s cold outside,’ said my mother. ‘We should make hot soup. Lentil sounds good.’
I was so focused on them that the sudden sound of instruments clanking in the operating theatre gave me a start. Turning my head to the left, I found I could still see and hear the scene below me.
‘This guy’s a mess. He’s lucky to be here. Give me more swabs,’ said the surgeon to a nurse.
I was now seriously frightened. What was going on? Would my untethered consciousness ever get back into my body — or was I destined to roam through eternity as a spirit?
I flew up to the ceiling as the medics operated
Was I dead? I felt like an astronaut who’d left his spacesuit, only to find that a suit was unnecessary to begin with. With rising panic, I looked back and forth at the two scenes — until both started to fade like a fast-setting sun. Everything went dark. I was relieved: I’m returning to my body, I thought.
Then came a jolt of pure fear. To my right, I heard screams of pain and anguish. I was drawn in, as if on a moving pavement, to the edge of a flaming canyon. Smoke filled my nostrils, and with it the sickening odour of burning flesh. I knew then that I was on the lip of hell.
I tried to turn away, but each time I took a step back, an unseen force moved me forward. A voice spoke to me telepathically. ‘You have led a materialistic and selfish life,’ it said. I knew that was true, and felt ashamed. Over the years, I’d lost empathy for my patients.
Standing on the rim of hell, I remembered a woman who’d come to my clinic for treatment of chronic arthritis. She was in considerable pain, but that wasn’t the reason why she was weeping.
‘I need to talk to you, doctor,’ she said to me. ‘My husband’s dying of lung cancer, and I don’t know what to do.’
‘I’d love to talk to you,’ I said, writing out a prescription for pain-killers and sleeping pills. ‘But I have several patients waiting.’
I was like a robot. I’d trained myself to blunt my emotions. Worse, I had trained myself to think only of myself.
As the smoke billowed and the burning souls screamed around me, I thought of my possessions and how meaningless they were. Why did I have all these things? Why did I need a home so big that, when we were in different parts of the house, we had to communicate through our iPhones?
I felt steeped in shame. But I knew my chance to change was gone: at any moment now, I’d be pulled into the pit of fire to burn for eternity. There seemed no way out, but I prayed for one anyway.
‘My God, give me another chance. Please give me another chance.’
Almost at that instant, I did get my second chance — in the form of the last person I ever expected to see. It was my father. I recognised him immediately, though he looked at least 30 years younger than when he’d died.
He took my hand in his and led me away from the edge of hell, as if I were still a little boy.
Then, putting his arm around me, my father tried to comfort me — and it was the first time I could remember him touching me affectionately.
To be honest, I almost shrank back — even at the age of 53, I was still afraid that my father was going to beat me, just as he had so many times in my childhood.
But, just then, I had a vivid flashback of the day he found out I’d bunked off school and gave me a savage beating with a cricket bat.
Suddenly, I was seeing it all from his perspective. His own dreams of bettering himself had come to nothing, so he’d beat me because he couldn’t bear to see me wasting my life.
What I’d discovered in my father’s mind wasn’t hatred, but fear. He’d been frightened that I wouldn’t take advantage of my chances and go on to university. His tyranny, I finally understood, had been born of love.
And now this. My father, my cruel and despotic father, was spiritually rescuing me from hell! I looked into his eyes, and my hard heart melted with love.
No words came from his mouth, but for the first time I learned from him that his own father had abused him, just as he’d abused me.
‘Anger,’ my father told me, ‘isn’t usually about an event. It’s passed on from father to son. If you know that, you can stop it; you can choose not to be angry. Simple love is the most important thing in the universe.’
I asked myself, would I ever return to the land of the living? If I did, I would have to focus on love; I would have to break the cycle of anger in my family.
The scenery was changing: I noticed now that we’d walked straight into a tunnel. Incredibly, it was soon teeming with people I knew were my ancestors, reaching out hands of welcome.
I recognised my grandfather, who gave me a look of sheer joy. ‘Love is the most important thing there is,’ he told me. Then both he and my father simply faded away.
I was now halfway through the tunnel. And that’s when I had a life review — in which I re-experienced in detail all the good things that had ever happened in my childhood — from being given sweets by my sisters to the warm feeling of being swathed in my mother’s love.
Again, a telepathic message came from nowhere: ‘The simple moments are the most important. All moments are memory and lessons. They all build the person you are.’
I was nearing the end of the tunnel now, where a light shone more brightly than a thousand suns. I could feel it pulling me weightlessly towards it, but I felt no fear.
Before I could reach the light, however, two angelic forms emerged into the tunnel. Exuding powerful energy as they hovered above me, they introduced themselves as my guardians — the archangels Michael and Raphael.
Now, I’m a Hindu. So it was only later that I learned that St Raphael is the angel of healers, and St Michael is the protector of people and the angel who opens doors.
Both archangels had a human shape, yet they shimmered with light and had a thick translucence. Michael had a blue hue and long hair; Raphael was greenish and wore a cap.
In a moment, I was lifted by them and guided towards the blazing light before us. As we approached, I found myself high above a green meadow, peppered with rose bushes. Just the sweet smell of the grass and roses made me almost delirious with pleasure.
Burning souls were screaming all around me
We travelled on to a higher plane and then a higher one still, until I was surrounded by a landscape of clear light. Raphael explained that at the highest level, you are surrounded by a powerful energy that consists of pure love and intelligence — the underlying fabric of everything in the universe.
Enlightenment comes, added Michael, when a person realises that love is everywhere and is the only thing that matters. Yet most people don’t realise this until they leave the earth.
With that, they took me by the arms and we moved rapidly upwards towards a being of light, a silver-blue form that showed no sign of being male or female.
When it engulfed me with its blue light, I felt as if I were being wrapped in a blanket of pure love. ‘I am one with the universe,’ I thought.
The being started communicating telepathically. ‘You need to look at your life one more time,’ it said. ‘It’s important to reflect on changes that you need to make.’
It went on to tell me that I was destined to become a healer of souls — helping people with problems such as addiction, depression and chronic pain.
I would no longer be an anaesthetist; instead I’d become a practitioner of spiritual medicine, of ‘consciousness-based healing’.
I don’t know how long I stayed with the being. But my exit, when it happened, was sudden and rapid as I fell into a white fog. For the first time, my eyes began to hurt, so I closed them.
And when I opened them . . . I was in the recovery room. My heart was beating hard and my lungs pumping double time.
‘How do you feel?’ It was the anaesthetist, still in his scrubs. ‘That was a rough one,’ he said, referring to my surgery.
I must have looked stunned, because when I didn’t respond, the anaesthetist leaned closer. ‘Are you all right?’ he asked.
‘I saw you during my surgery,’ I said. ‘I left my body and watched you from the ceiling.’
Two angels lifted me up and guided me to the light
‘Interesting,’ he said, his voice a study in disinterest.
‘No, really. I watched as you administered the anaesthetic and even heard you tell a joke.’ I repeated his risque joke, word for word, and he blushed.
‘I must not have given you enough anaesthesia,’ he said, looking hard at my file in order to avoid meeting my gaze.
I wasn’t about to be fobbed off. As one professional to another, I was determined to tell him exactly what I’d seen. So I described going to India, where I’d seen my mother and sister, and travelling to the edge of hell. I’d just started on the next part when he glanced at his watch and flipped the file shut.
‘Very interesting,’ he said. ‘I’ll come back later to hear about it.’
I never saw him again.
When the surgeon came in to check on me, I started recounting my out-of-body experience all over again, and this time got all the way to the tunnel entrance.
At that point, he reached for his phone — which wasn’t ringing. Then he excused himself by saying he had an ‘important call’.
After recovering, Dr Parti resigned from his job as chief anaesthetist at Bakersfield Heart Hospital in California — much to the bewilderment of his colleagues — got rid of all his expensive cars and sold his mansion, moving into a house half the size.
His wife supported all his decisions, keeping the family afloat while he established a new practice to heal people though meditation and other alternative methods.
Realising he’d placed his ego above his eldest boy’s happiness, Dr Parti encouraged his son — then in his third year at medical school — to find a career he preferred.
His son is now happily training to be a computer programmer and enjoys a close relationship with the father he once feared.
Doctors inexplicably missed a burst appendix, which led to her untimely death in a hospital bed at age 27. But she shocked her doctors and nurses when she abruptly sat up and began to tell stories about a visit to heaven.
“I had never been sick in my life,” Betty Malz recalled, at a conference hosted by Hospital Christian Fellowship in the Midwest. She was only 24 hours into a Florida vacation with her family when she noticed a pain in her side.
At first, she thought she pulled a muscle water skiing or the pain came from her terrible sunburn. But about 11 p.m., after everyone else fell asleep, she began to vomit.
She nudged her husband John in bed. “I’ve got to get some help,” she told him. “I’m very seriously sick.”
About three miles away, they found a small hospital. After a few tests, an intern came back shaking his head. “We’re in a lot of trouble here,” he informed them. “You have an appendix swollen and ready to burst. I have 26 patients and 24 beds, with two patients in labor ready to have babies at the same time. We’re not equipped for this emergency.”
An ambulance transported Betty to a larger hospital in Clearwater, but no one realized her appendix burst during the trip.
After she arrived, a doctor disagreed with the first doctor’s report. “You aren’t even swollen on your right side,” he noted. “You just got too much sun. We will treat you with some antibiotics, put you on a liquid diet, and you’ll be on the beach in a few days.”
After five days, Betty’s health continued to decline. After 11 days, she was blind, had a fever of 105 degrees, and toxic poisoning had spread throughout her body.
A new specialist came in who mistakenly informed the family she had a tubular pregnancy, and recommended surgery to remove what he thought was a four-month-old dead fetus.
Deeply discouraged, Betty’s family decided instead to fly her to Union Hospital, close to their home in Terre Haute, Indiana. After Betty arrived there, doctors performed surgery for her supposed tubular pregnancy, but were shocked when they got inside.
“I’ve found a mass of gangrene the size of a man’s head,” her surgeon told her husband and parents in ICU. “This is the nastiest mess in my 28 years of practice. The first intern was right. It was a ruptured appendix 11 days ago. She has a serious bowel blockage and all her organs have started to disintegrate.”
“I don’t know how a 120 pound woman has lasted for 11 days,” he added. He told them she had a slim chance of survival.
Shortly after his dismal news, Betty lapsed into a coma that lasted 44 days. “I didn’t know a person in a coma could pray, but I prayed,” Betty recalled. She was also very aware of the people who visited her in the room and what they said.
The daughter of an Assemblies of God pastor, Betty received Jesus as her Lord and Savior when she was 13. She had little interaction, however, with other churches and admitted to harboring some prejudice toward them.
“I had a Catholic priest and a Catholic sister that were born again Christians who sat and prayed with me,” Betty said. “I didn’t know that Catholics walked that close to the Lord. I was wonderfully surprised, because I felt God’s presence when they prayed for me.”
Betty’s condition continued to worsen. She stopped breathing twice and doctors revived her. Then she contracted pneumonia and her lungs began to fill with fluid. Doctors informed her family that she was not expected to live, and a steady stream of family and friends came in to say their goodbyes.
“I began to struggle for breath,” Betty recalled. “I prayed, ‘Oh Lord, send somebody to help me.”
Immediately after her prayer, she heard a man’s footsteps. “I heard the pages of a Bible being turned and the voice of a man I never liked. I couldn’t stand Art.”
Her unwelcome visitor read from Psalm 107. “He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.”
The power of God’s Word brought a “little fountain of faith” that sprang up in her soul. It was the first glimmer of hope that she might be healed.
Not long after Art left the room, Betty breathed her last lungful of air. Doctors declared her dead and her body was covered by a sheet as her family grieved.
But during the next 28 minutes Betty experienced something far removed from grief. The sensation in her body at the point of death she compared to a thrill ride atDisneyland, when a rollercoaster crests over a peak. “Suddenly I realized I was launched into another country, another planet. It was as real asEnglandorAmerica,” she recalled.
“I began to walk through a meadow of waving green grass with flowers and colors I had never seen here.”
Betty saw family members and acquaintances that preceded her in death, including her little brother. “I saw a man who had fallen from a train and had both legs amputated. He was playing in a meadow with animals and children and he had both his legs.”
As she walked up a hill, she realized all her pain was gone and a seven-foot-tall angel walked beside her. “I realized he had been with me all my life, since age 13 when I received Jesus. He had been guarding and protecting me.” They communicated with each other without speaking.
She heard marvelous music and began to sing along. While she never had a very good singing voice on earth, her voice in heaven was surprisingly “high and sweet.” She stopped singing abruptly when she recognized the voice of a deceased Gospel singer enjoyed by her family. ‘I’ve been born again and the old account was settled long ago,” he sang, to her amazement.
As Betty approached a large gate, an angel stepped forward and touched it. The gate swung open and she beheld a dazzling golden light. The light seemed to shine through her body and provided warmth. As she looked down, she saw new pink skin had formed over her surgical incisions.
The bright light emanated from the throne room of God. “Jesus was at the right hand of the Father in a majestic golden throne room,” she said. “The light reflected on a golden boulevard down the center of the city. I realized the light in that throne room was the source of all energy and power and life.”
She was amazed by something that resembled the Northern Lights or airport beacons. “These were prayers ascending from the earth,” she noted. “They were ascending like laser beams, going directly to the light in the throne room.”
On one shaft of light, she recognized her father’s voice. “I looked down and saw my father weeping in the hospital room.” She recognized her own body, covered by a sheet, and her bed pulled closer to the door.
He was so heartbroken, he could only offer a one-word prayer: “Jesus…” In his crisis of desperation, pain and grief, there was nothing else he could utter. He wanted his daughter back.
Betty said she never wanted to leave the glory of heaven, but after her father’s one-word prayer, she began to travel faster than a jet plane back down toward the roof of the hospital.
“I saw the morning sun coming up, shining on all the church steeples in our hometown.”
Carried with the rays of the morning sun, she saw pulsating ivory letters, about two inches tall, coming through the window of her hospital room like a stock market ticker tape. “They were going into my body through the sheet,” she noted.
As Betty got closer to her body, she felt like she was at the end of a descending elevator ride. She felt a little jerk, like an elevator when it reaches the ground floor, and she slid back into her body.
She read the ivory letters, which were the words of Jesus recorded in the Book of John. “I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.”
Incredulous, she wondered if she was hallucinating. “I reached up and touched the words of Jesus, and this was no hallucination,” she said. She pushed the sheet off her face and touched the Word of God.
As she touched the Word, life went into her fingers, arms – into her entire body. Abruptly she sat up in bed. The sheet that covered her body fluttered to the floor. “When I sat up I scared a whole room full of people.” Her nurse’s aide ran out the door, as if she saw a ghost.
“I’m five-foot twelve and I weighed 68 pounds,” she recalled. “I had a green complexion, yellow eyes, and my hair had not been shampooed for nine weeks.” As Betty looked across the room at her horrifying appearance in a mirror, for the first time in her life she didn’t care about the way she looked.
“It was so wonderful to have a second chance to love people and to live again,” she said. Her husband, parents and daughter, Brenda, rushed over and got on the bed with her, and began to squeeze and hug her.
Betty’s doctor was very embarrassed by her Lazarus-like experience, because he had already signed the death certificate. Overwhelmed, he sat down privately with her for a heart-to-heart consultation.
“You were without oxygen for a long period of time,” he said. “You had a bowel blockage and your organs started to disintegrate. We need to talk about mental and physical therapy.” He suspected she had brain damage and he still wanted to perform a colostomy to provide a way for Betty to eliminate her foods. He warned her against discussing her trip to heaven.
After he left the room, one of the hospital staff mistakenly brought a full meal to her, which included two broiled pork chops, applesauce, cottage cheese, lemon cake, and tea. Betty devoured the entire meal in a matter of minutes.
Nurses were horrified by the mistake, and insisted they pump her stomach before her surgery, scheduled that day. Betty argued with them, certain she was healed.
Betty’s book describing her experience, “My Glimpse of Eternity”
Reluctantly, they took her into the bathroom, where she had a bowel movement.
The doctor returned to her room, amazed. “This is not possible,” he exclaimed. “This can’t happen!”
He pulled back the sheet to examine her incisions. He saw the fresh pink skin that began to form in the New Country. “I don’t know where you went, but you came back well,” he said, with a dazed expression on his face.
Betty’s near-death experience and glimpse of eternity altered her thoughts on many subjects. “My religious and racial prejudice was gone,” she said. “I found that in that place they didn’t ask for a label or a passport or the name of your church.”
“The only passport or visa to get in was Jesus, the Son of the Living God. I realized God loved all the churches where they exalt the name of Jesus.”
“It was so wonderful to have a second chance to live again. I know what it will be like on the great resurrection morning to see loved ones. Every morning is like Easter at my house now.”
I was born in New Zealand and raised there. In 1980 to 1982 I decided to do an Endless Summer surfing safari around the world. So I traveled around the world from Australia to Indonesia, and Africa. I ended up on a beautiful island called Mauritius where I was night diving for lobster in 1982 and got stung by five box jellyfish. The toxin of them is enough – well they say it is 100 times more deadly than a cobra, so to be hit in the throat I could be dead in three or four minutes. Fortunately I was hit on the arm, on the extremity. And the fisherman told me to urinate on my arm and that I needed to get to the hospital immediately.
And by the time they got me into an ambulance when I was already paralyzed and had gone through death rattles. As they raced me to the hospital my life flashed before me and I was a complete atheist, so I thought, ‘Oh my God, this happens before you die.’ And I was wondering what would happen. Is there life after death? Or is there just nothing?
And as I was lying there I saw a clear vision of my mom appear in front of me and she was praying for me. It seemed as though God had spoken to her. She is the only Christian in the family. And she said, ‘Our son Ian is nearly dead.’ And my mom began praying. And I saw her in the ambulance and I was absolutely shaken. And she said, ‘Ian, no matter how far from God you are, son, and no matter what you have done wrong in your life, if you call out to God from your heart he will hear you and he will forgive you.’ And I was thinking, ‘Well, is there a God? And if there is one, which one?’ I had traveled through the East and seen so many different people’s beliefs and religions. And I wasn’t convinced on any of them. And I thought, ‘God, if you’re real, show me your face and I will pray.’ And no face appeared except my mom. And I thought, ‘Well, my mother is a Christian and she prayed to Jesus. Could my mother be right? And if she is right, what on earth would you pray as a Christian just before you die?’
And my mom kept saying, ‘Ian, pray from your heart.’ And the only prayer I remembered my mom teaching me was the Lord’s Prayer, the ‘Our Father’ prayer. So I lay there and I couldn’t remember it so my mom said, ‘From your heart.’ And I said, ‘God, if you’re out there – I feel like a hypocrite, but please help me to pray.’ And words appeared in front of my – forgive us our sins. And I said, ‘God, how on earth can you forgive me of all my sins?’ But as I lay there I said, ‘I can’t list them all but if you can hear me, please forgive me.’ And the words of the prayer, the finished words for the Lord’s Prayer, came up – forgive those who trespass and sin against you. And I thought, ‘Well, I can do that.’ I am not a revengeful man by nature, I am not vindictive.
And as I said that, two men’s faces appeared directly in front of me and these men – I certainly couldn’t forgive and I heard God speak to me. He said, ‘Ian, we forgive them for what they have done to you.’ And I thought, ‘You must be joking.’ I don’t know if you have got anyone on your hit list, but I tell you what – it is pretty serious. And I lay there and I said, ‘Well, God, I will forgive them if you can forgive me. It will be an absolute miracle if you can forgive me. So if you will do that I will never touch them and I will never harm them. I forgive them.’
And incredibly, their faces disappeared. Then as their faces disappeared I saw more words come up from the Lord’s Prayer – thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven. I said, ‘That must truly mean the Lordship of Christ.’ And I thought, ‘I have never surrendered my life to Jesus. I have been completely denying the existence of a God. And I said, ‘God, I admit I am wrong. I surrender my life to you.’ And as I did, the entire Lord’s Prayer came before me, [inaudible – 00:04:56] into my heart. And I became a Christian right there in the ambulance just before I died.
These inspiring videos and documentaries give an incredibly rich taste of what it's like to go through a full clinical death and come back again with a greatly expanded understanding of life and death.
Mellen-Thomas Benedict is an artist who survived a near-death experience (NDE) in 1982. He was dead for over an hour and a half. During that time, he rose up out of his body and went into the light. Curious about the universe, he was taken far into the remote depths of existence, and even beyond, into the energetic void of nothingness behind the Big Bang.
Eminent near-death experience researcher Dr. Kenneth Ring has said, "His near-death experience story is one of the most remarkable I have encountered in my extensive research on near-death experiences."
Note: For a rich collection of profound near-death experience stories and near-death experience resources, click here.
Near-Death Experience Story of Mellen-Thomas Benedict
In 1982, I died from terminal cancer. My condition was non-operable. I chose not to have chemotherapy. I was given six to eight months to live. Before this time, I had become increasingly despondent over the nuclear crisis, the ecology crisis, and so forth. I came to believe that nature had made a mistake – that we were probably a cancerous organism on the planet. And that is what eventually killed me.
Before my near-death experience, I tried all sorts of alternative healing methods. None helped. So I determined that this was between me and God. I had never really considered God. Neither was I into any kind of spirituality. But my approaching death sent me on a quest for more information about spirituality and alternative healing. I read various religions and philosophies. They gave hope that there was something on the other side.
I had no medical insurance, so my life savings went overnight on tests. Unwilling to drag my family into this, I determined to handle this myself. I ended up in hospice care and was blessed with an angel for my hospice caretaker, whom I will call "Anne." She stayed with me through all that was to follow.
Into the Light
I woke up about 4:30 am and I knew that this was it. I was going to die. I called a few friends and said good-bye. I woke up Anne and made her promise that my dead body would remain undisturbed for six hours, since I had read that all kinds of interesting things happen when you die. I went back to sleep. The next thing I remember, I was fully aware and standing up. Yet my body was lying in the bed. I seemed to be surrounded by darkness, yet I could see every room in the house, and the roof, and even under the house.
A Light shone. I turned toward it, and was aware of its similarity to what others have described in near-death experiences. It was magnificent and tangible, alluring. I wanted to go towards that Light like I might want to go into my ideal mother's or father's arms. As I moved towards the Light, I knew that if I went into the Light, I would be dead. So I said/felt, "Please wait. I would like to talk to you before I go."
The entire experience halted. I discovered that I was in control of the experience. My request was honored. I had conversations with the Light. That's the best way I can describe it. The Light changed into different figures, like Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, archetypal images and signs. I asked in a kind of telepathy, "What is going on here?"
The information transmitted was that our beliefs shape the kind of feedback we receive. If you are a Buddhist or Catholic or Fundamentalist, you get a feedback loop of your own images. I became aware of a Higher Self matrix, a conduit to the Source. We all have a Higher Self, or an oversoul part of our being, a conduit. All Higher Selves are connected as one being. All humans are connected as one being.
It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. It was like all the love you've ever wanted, and it was the kind of love that cures, heals, regenerates. I was ready to go at that time. I said "I am ready, take me." Then the Light turned into the most beautiful thing that I have ever seen: a mandala of human souls on this planet. I saw that we are the most beautiful creations – elegant, exotic ... everything.
I just cannot say enough about how it changed my opinion of human beings in an instant. I said/thought/felt, "Oh, God, I didn't realize." I was astonished to find that there was no evil in any soul. People may do terrible things out of ignorance and lack, but no soul is evil. "What all people seek – what sustains them – is love," the Light told me. "What distorts people is a lack of love."
The revelations went on and on. I asked, "Does this mean that Humankind will be saved?" Like a trumpet blast with a shower of spiraling lights, the Light "spoke," saying, "You save, redeem and heal yourself. You always have and always will. You were created with the power to do so from before the beginning of the world." In that instant I realized that we have already been saved.
I thanked the Light of God with all my heart. The best thing I could come up with was: "Oh dear God, dear Universe, dear Great Self, I love my Life." The Light seemed to breathe me in even more deeply, absorbing me. I entered into another realm more profound than the last, and was aware of an enormous stream of Light, vast and full, deep. I asked what it was. The Light answered, "This is the River of Life. Drink of this manna water to your heart's content." I drank deeply, in ecstasy.
The Void of Nothingness
Suddenly I seemed to be rocketing away from the planet on this stream of Life. I saw the earth fly away. The solar system whizzed by and disappeared. I flew through the center of the galaxy, absorbing more knowledge as I went. I learned that this galaxy – and the entire Universe – is bursting with many different varieties of life. I saw many worlds. We are not alone in this Universe. It seemed as if all the creations in the Universe soared past me and vanished in a speck of Light.
Then a second Light appeared. As I passed into the second Light, I could perceive forever, beyond Infinity. I was in the Void, pre-Creation, the beginning of time, the first Word or vibration. I rested in the Eye of Creation and it seemed that I touched the Face of God. It was not a religious feeling. I was simply at One with Absolute Life and Consciousness.
I rode the stream directly into the center of the Light. I felt embraced by the Light as it took me in with its breath again. And the truth was obvious that there is no death; that nothing is born and nothing dies; that we are immortal beings, part of a natural living system that recycles itself endlessly.
It would take me years to assimilate the Void experience. It was less than nothing, yet greater than anything. Creation is God exploring God's Self through every way imaginable. Through every piece of hair on your head, through every leaf on every tree, through every atom. God is exploring God's Self. I saw everything as the Self of all. God is here. That's what it is all about. Everything is made of light; everything is alive.
The Light of Love
I was never told that I had to come back. I just knew that I would. It was only natural, from what I had seen. As I began my return to the life cycle, it never crossed my mind, nor was I told, that I would return to the same body. It did not matter. I had complete trust in the Light and the Life process.
As the stream merged with the great Light, I asked never to forget the revelations and the feelings of what I had learned on the other side. I thought of myself as a human again and I was happy to be that. From what I have seen, I would be happy to be an atom in this universe. An atom. So to be the human part of God ... this is the most fantastic blessing. It is a blessing beyond our wildest imagination of what a blessing can be.
For each and every one of us to be the human part of this experience is awesome, and magnificent. Each and every one of us, no matter where we are, screwed up or not, is a blessing to the planet, right where we are. So I went through the reincarnation process expecting to be a baby somewhere.
But I reincarnated back into this body. I was so surprised when I opened my eyes, to be back in this body, back in my room with someone looking over me, crying her eyes out. It was Anne, my hospice caretaker. She had found me dead thirty minutes before. We do not know how long I was dead, only that she found me thirty minutes before. She had honored my wish to have my newly-dead body left alone. She can verify that I really was dead.
It was not a near-death experience. I believe I probably experienced death itself for at least an hour and a half. When I later awakened and saw the light outside, confused, I tried to get up to go to it, but I fell out of the bed. She heard a loud "clunk", ran in, and found me on the floor. When I recovered, I was surprised and awed about what had happened. I had no memory at first of the experience. I kept slipping out of this world and kept asking, "Am I alive?" This world seemed more like a dream than that one.
Within three days, I was feeling normal again, clearer, yet different than ever before. My memories of the journey came back later. But from my return I could find nothing wrong with any human being I had ever seen. Previous to my death I was judgmental, believing that people were really screwed up.
About three months later a friend said I should get tested for the cancer. So I got the scans and so forth. I felt healthy. I still remember the doctor at the clinic looking at the "before" and "after" scans. He said, "I can find no sign of cancer now." "A miracle?" I asked. "No," he answered. "These things happen ... spontaneous remission." He seemed unimpressed. But I was impressed. I knew it was a miracle.
I asked God: "What is the best religion on the planet? Which one is right?" God said with great love: "It doesn't matter." What an incredible grace. It does not matter what religion we are. Religions come and they go. They change. Buddhism has not been here forever, Catholicism has not been here forever, and they are all about to become more enlightened. More light is coming into all systems now. Many will resist and fight about it, one religion against the next, believing that only they are right.
When God said, "It doesn't matter," I understood that it is for us to care about, because we are the caring beings. The Source does not care if you are Protestant, Buddhist, or Jew. Each is a reflection, a facet of the whole. I wish that all religions would realize it and let each other be. It is not the end of separate religions, but live and let live. Each has a different view, and it all adds up to the big picture.
I went over to the other side with a lot of fears about toxic waste, nuclear missiles, the population explosion, the rain forest. I came back loving every single problem. I love nuclear waste. I love the mushroom cloud; this is the holiest mandala that we have manifested to date, as an archetype. More than any religion or philosophy on Earth, that terrible, wonderful cloud brought us together all of a sudden, to a new level of consciousness.
Knowing that maybe we can blow up the planet fifty times, or 500 times, we finally realize that maybe we are all here together now. For a period, they had to keep setting off more bombs to get it into us. Then we started saying, "we do not need this any more." Now we are actually in a safer world than we have ever been in, and it is going to get even safer.
So I came back loving toxic waste, because it brought us together. These things are so big. Clearing of the rain forest will slow down, and in fifty years there will be more trees on the planet than in a long time. If you are into ecology, go for it; you are that part of the system that is becoming aware. Go for it with all your might, but do not be depressed or disheartened. Earth is in the process of domesticating itself, and we are cells on that Body. Population increase is getting very close to the optimal range of energy to cause a shift in consciousness. That shift in consciousness will change politics, money, energy, and more.
The Great Mystery of life has little to do with intelligence. The Universe is not an intellectual process. The intellect is helpful; but our hearts are the wiser part of ourselves. Since my return I have experienced the Light spontaneously. I have learned how to get to that space almost any time in my meditation. You can also do this. You don't have to die first. You are wired for it already. The body is the most magnificent Light being there is. The body is a universe of incredible Light. We don't need to commune with God; God is already communing with us in every moment!
Note: The above text is a concise, slightly edited summary. For the full text of this inspiring near-death experience story, click here. For other amazing near-death experience stories, see Anita's highly inspiring near-death story at this link. For a rich and inspiring online lesson with other incredible near-death experience stories and more, click here.
Joined: 25 Jul 2005 Posts: 17317 Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England
Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:17 am Post subject:
Dead 2 Hours, visits Heaven! - Dean Braxton
Published on 10 Oct 2014
Dean died for two hours and then rose from the dead. In that time he visited Heaven, met long lost relatives, and met Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! He's back to tell us all about it. Story, interview, and what to do about it!
More at https://www.youtube.com/user/truthrabbit
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