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Doug S's Experience

Experience description:   

“You now have a choice. You can go or stay.”

I had a heart attack Aug. 25th 2007 at 60 years old. I was up on the hill clearing brush at the spring in 80 degree temperatures. I thought the pain in my chest and arm was hypertension. I tried driving down the hill five miles to town but couldn't make it. I had to stop several times to catch my breath and try to relieve the pain. It had been half an hour and the pain was so intense I couldn't even sit up. I stopped the jeep, rolled out onto the gravel trying to deal with the intense pain. It finally hit me this was very serious. I lunged up into the jeep, grabbed my cell phone and fell back onto the gravel. I called 911. I didn’t have my glasses so it took a couple tries. It's now voice activated!

I knew I needed air so I did very forced and rapid deep breathing like one would do when giving birth. Good thing for my yoga classes! That focus also kept my mind off the pain a little. While squirming around in the gravel trying to get in a position to lessen the pain I suddenly heard a loud, deep voice, "You now have a choice. You can go or stay". GO, I thought…he means die! I've never had a fear of death and intuitively felt if I choose to go it would be very blissful and painless and I would just drift off toward that light on the horizon. My eyes were closed and there was a bright light in the distance. I wasn’t in a tunnel, but more like tunnel vision. STAY…I have a choice? I then had a vision. These were like three shadow figures floating between me and the light in the distance. The largest and closest was of my wife Jeanne. I intuitively knew these were inspirations, or reasons to stay! The other two images I knew were a couple things I wanted to do yet in this life. I consciously didn’t know what they specifically were but I felt the other two had to do with a vocation and something spiritual. I yelled out loud to the voice, “I’m not ready to go. I have unfinished work to do.” Instantly a huge rush of energy, what I call electrical energy, went through my body from the top of my head through my arms, legs and feet. My whole body was jerking and I felt energized, strong. During this entire event I was not aware of any pain. Just then I heard a car slide into the gravel and as I looked under my jeep I saw it was the ambulance. The pain was back. I continued my very rapid breathing exercise to focus off the pain and try to get air until the ambulance got me to the hospital. It took another 45 minutes before they felt safe to give me medication and end the pain. My nephew Buck was one of the EMP's who picked me up off the side of the road and took me to the hospital. He said he was nudged and quietly fore-warned by the head medic who pointed to the instrument, that he had never seen anyone live to get to the hospital with readings like these.

It was a bad one and they flew me to Spokane. The Surgeon who put in a couple stints said I (probably) only survived because of my yoga breathing training, which put a lot less stress on the heart to provide the oxygen to the cells and gave the heart a break. I had forgotten to tell him about the voice. We had seen the scans and he told us that a third of the surface of my heart was dead and usually some would recover. I'm not over weight, very low blood pressure, medium cholesterol, active, don’t smoke, who would have guessed? It was not plaque blockage but coagulation because my blood was too thick! I never heard that one before. He said that from all he has experienced within the last few years of heart surgery at Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane (which is one of the best heart centers in this country) is that cholesterol has little if anything to do with heart attacks and believes within a few years further testing will prove this to be so. I will be on blood thinners for a few months.

I’m sure the breathing exercise helped, but I think the extra mysterious energy shooting throughout my body helped also. I assume it gave my cells a boost to survive until my heart was working again and could provide the necessary oxygen.

A week after the surgery I was sitting in the back yard drinking coffee. I looked up at the trees and thought how fortunate I am and how beautiful nature is. Suddenly I felt this tremendous euphoria. My vision became different and the leaves on the trees sparkled like green reflective foil. This great feeling of joy lasted about five minutes. A few days later at my next checkup I asked the Doc if any of the medications he was giving me would have caused this. He looked at me weird and said no.

Looks like I'll be around for a while as my 2-month checkup said the dead spot in my heart had totally healed. Neither the scan nor the EKG showed that I ever had an attack. I’ve talked to a couple doctors and several others who had heart attacks and they said they never heard of anyone’s heart being totally healed.

Six years later in 2013 I got another battery of tests and the new doctor said if I hadn’t told him, he would have never known I had a heart attack except for the two stints he found. I’m only taking an aspirin a week per Doc’s orders.

Another way to describe it: The Holy Spirit met me at deaths door and gave me a conscious choice to go with him now or wait a few years. When I decided to stay he loaned me the energy to stay alive until the doctors at the hospital could fix the physical problem.

If you don’t learn anything from this except to voice activate your 911 number, I’ll be happy.


At the time of your experience was there an associated life-threatening event?   Yes  Heart attack

Was the experience difficult to express in words?  No    

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness?    At the time I heard the voice and saw the vision.

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 was hearing a voice and seeing a vision. The pain was not there and I had sort of a tunnel vision.

Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience.
   Tunnel vision. Colored background. Three silhouette figures.

Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience.
   Was focused on the voice, not the environment.

Did you see or hear any earthly events that were occurring during a time that your consciousness / awareness was apart from your physical / earthly body?   Yes   While squirming around in the gravel trying to get in a position to lessen the pain I suddenly heard a loud, deep voice, "You now have a choice. You can go or stay". GO, I thought…he means die! I've never had a fear of death and intuitively felt if I choose to go it would be very blissful and painless and I would just drift off toward that light on the horizon. My eyes were closed and there was a bright light in the distance. I wasn’t in a tunnel, but more like tunnel vision. STAY…I have a choice? I then had a vision. These were like three shadow figures floating between me and the light in the distance. The largest and closest was of my wife Jeanne. I intuitively knew these were inspirations, or reasons to stay! The other two images I knew were a couple things I wanted to do yet in this life. I consciously didn’t know what they specifically were but I felt the other two had to do with a vocation and something spiritual. I yelled out loud to the voice, “I’m not ready to go. I have unfinished work to do.” Instantly a huge rush of energy, what I call electrical energy, went through my body from the top of my head through my arms, legs and feet. My whole body was jerking and I felt energized, strong. During this entire event I was not aware of any pain.

A week after the surgery I was sitting in the back yard drinking coffee. I looked up at the trees and thought how fortunate I am and how beautiful nature is. Suddenly I felt this tremendous euphoria. My vision became different and the leaves on the trees sparkled like green reflective foil. This great feeling of joy lasted about five minutes. A few days later at my next checkup I asked the Doc if any of the medications he was giving me would have caused this. He looked at me weird and said no.

What emotions did you feel during the experience?   More peaceful. An urgency.  

Did you pass into or through a tunnel?   No   I saw a light beyond the horizon in my minds eye.

Did you see an unearthly light?   Yes  

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
While squirming around in the gravel trying to get in a position to lessen the pain I suddenly heard a loud, deep voice, "You now have a choice. You can go or stay". GO, I thought…he means die! I've never had a fear of death and intuitively felt if I choose to go it would be very blissful and painless and I would just drift off toward that light on the horizon. My eyes were closed and there was a bright light in the distance. I wasn’t in a tunnel, but more like tunnel vision. STAY…I have a choice?

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  

Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings?   No  

Did you become aware of past events in your life during your experience?   No  

Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world?   No


Did time seem to speed up or slow down?   Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
I had no awareness of time.

Did you suddenly seem to understand everything?   Everything about myself or others
I intuitively knew the meanings of the words and the visions like they were given to me.

Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure?   No

Did you come to a border or point of no return?   No

Did scenes from the future come to you?  Scenes from my personal future 
Visions of my incentives for staying in the physical. Although it I chose to go it wouldn't be painful or a big deal.

During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness suggesting that there either is (or is not) continued existence after earthly life (“life after death”)?   Yes   When given the choice to stay, or go, I understood to go would be pleasant, no pain and onto another life.

During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness that God or a supreme being either does (or does not) exist?   No  

During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness that you either did (or did not) exist prior to this lifetime?   No  

During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness that a mystical universal connection or unity/oneness either does (or does not) exist?   No  

During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness regarding earthly life’s meaning or purpose?   No   Only positive.

During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness regarding earthly life’s difficulties, challenges, or hardships?   No   Only positive.

During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness regarding love?   No  

During your experience, did you encounter any other specific information / awareness that you have not shared in other questions that is relevant to living our earthly lives?   No  

Did you have a sense of knowing special knowledge or purpose?   Yes   If I chose to stay I was given what I call incentives. My wife, something about a vocation, and something about spirituality. I intuitively knew the meanings of the images but no specifics. I knew they were unfinished business I came to do.

What occurred during your experience included:   Content that was both consistent and not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience   I believe in spiritual ones who help us and the voice. The option to live or die and future incentives given were inconsistent with my beliefs.

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   A week after the surgery I was sitting in the back yard drinking coffee. I looked up at the trees and thought how fortunate I am and how beautiful nature is. Suddenly I felt this tremendous euphoria. My vision became different and the leaves on the trees sparkled like green reflective foil. This great feeling of joy lasted about five minutes. A few days later at my next checkup I asked the Doc if any of the medications he was giving me would have caused this. He looked at me weird and said no.

Discuss any changes that might have occurred in your life after your experience:   I put more time and focus into my health and spiritual awareness.

My experience directly resulted in:   Moderate changes in my life

Did you have any changes in your values or beliefs after the experience that occurred as a result of the experience?  
No  

Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience?   Yes   I continue to get guidance from my inner voice.

Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you?    
The fact that I was given a choice. And the electrical energy that went through my body.

Have you ever shared this experience with others?  
Yes  They were inspired and positive, reflective.

Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience?   Yes   I had read about them. But nothing like what I experienced.

What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened:   Experience was definitely real  

What do you believe about the reality of your experience at the current time:   Experience was definitely real  

Have your relationships changed specifically as a result of your experience?   No  

Have your religious beliefs/spiritual practices changed specifically as a result of your experience?   No  

At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience?   No     

Did the questions asked and information that you provided accurately and comprehensively describe your experience?   Yes  

What could a national organization with an interest in near death experience (NDE) do that would be of interest to you?       I'm just trying to help with the research.