RERUNNING- Recovering from a near death encounter

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The Light I had seen with my mother at her death showered me with the most incredible amount of love in, through, and around me. It was more love than I had ever experienced, filling every cell of my body. I asked if my mom and brother were here and was told that they were. I could see them if I wanted, but I refused. Something inside me knew if I saw them I would not want to leave. I had no awareness of my physical body. I could see they had me on oxygen.

My respiration was low and my heart rate was high. I heard the nurses say they were not sure that I would make it through the night. I viewed my experience like a movie playing out before me. I could hear everything being said, but had no physical attachment to any of it.

I only felt an incredible sense of love, peace and warmth. The same feeling I had when I attended church, only amplified. I was surrounded by the most beautiful colors of Light; in every shade and hue with rich tapestry. In this space there was no sense of time.

Every now and then, I was pulled back into my body. As soon as I opened my eyes I felt all the physical pain once more. Each time I awakened, I saw one of my children or my boyfriend sitting by my side and I knew I was still a part of this world. As soon as I closed my eyes, I would be back with my Angels and feeling the warmth of their love.

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For four days, doctors and specialists ran test after test. Over the course of those four days, I spent my time between two worlds. I was aware of the physical, but also aware of my non-physical self. When I spent time with my Angels, I looked down at my non-physical arms and body. I saw an outline of form filled with golden white Light that radiated past the faint lines.

As if I was a star shining brightly in the Heavens. The Light was fluid, iridescent and connected with ease to the Angels near or beside me. I connected with the stars and the vastness of the Universe. I was a part of everything in existence all at the same time. I took the time to ask questions, and I heard the message loud and clear. Our purpose here is to discover unconditional love within ourselves and then offer it to others. We are all on the path. What differs between us is the road we take, the experience we choose, and how much we have learned about love.

No one road is better or more important than another. It is all a matter of what speaks to your heart and feels like home within. We are here to explore, experience and find joy in the process of living an earthly existence. Our evolution and ascension as a spiritual being happens organically at a time when we are ready to receive it.

NDE Accounts

We are all constantly growing, evolving and changing. But, this is not anything we have to force or for which we need a certain skill set. We are all spiritual beings having the human experience. All those experiences are a little different than the person standing next to us.

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Right now, whether you live or go is up to you. You are given several opportunities in your life to choose to stay on the earth or go Home. So I ask you, Kimberlee, what do you choose? Being here with all of them, I felt so much love and peace. I would have a hard time leaving. Then I thought of my children. They had already been through so much. To lose their mother would be more than they could handle. Enhanced mental activity, a clear memory of the experience, and a conviction that the experience is more real than ordinary waking consciousness are core features of NDEs.

Other common features include an out-of-body experience OBE , i. NDEs frequently lead to a profound and permanent transformation. Common after effects include renewed appreciation for life and a heightened sense of purpose; increased spirituality; enhanced compassion for other people; reduced fear of death; and lower levels in competitiveness and materialistic attitudes 1. NDEs have been documented across cultures and throughout history 2. However, it was not until the s that modern cardiopulmonary resuscitation CPR techniques were implemented, leading to a corresponding increase in survivors of cardiac arrest 3.

In turn, an increasing number of people reported vivid conscious experiences following their resuscitation. It is noteworthy that during cardiac arrest, blood flow and oxygen uptake in the brain are rapidly interrupted. When this happens, electroencephalography EEG becomes isoelectric flat-line within seconds and brainstem reflexes disappear If CPR is not administered within minutes, irreversible brain damage may occur, and the person will die Because NDEs are largely subjective, they pose a challenge for scientific investigation.

However, there are ways to validate the out-of-body aspect of the experience objectively. NDErs commonly report perceptions during their OBEs that could not possibly be perceived through normal sensory channels. These perceptions are called veridical when they are independently corroborated. Material veridical OBEs occur in consensus physical reality, and usually involve the NDEr seeing their own body from an outside perspective, often while floating above In cases of cardiac arrest, OBEs frequently involve watching one's own resuscitation procedure 12, Transmaterial veridical perceptions, on the other hand, are those that occur outside of normal consensus physical reality An example of a transmaterial veridical OBE is when the NDEr encounters a deceased relative or friend-outside of consensus reality-that was not known to be dead at the time of the experience.

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The current review article focuses on NDEs specifically induced by cardiac arrest for the following reasons: 1 Cardiac arrest is the closest physiological model of the dying process 10,14 ; 2 During cardiac arrest, the EEG is isoelectric and the cortical brain regions that supposedly produce higher mental functions are no longer active; 3 To focus on NDEs in cardiac arrest allows for control over potential psychological or physiological confounds that would be present if we collapsed across all NDEs i.

In this article we review those prospective studies, including instances of veridical OBEs. We also discuss the main physiological and psychological models proposed to explain NDEs, and examine the implications of the studies of cardiac arrest-induced NDEs for the concept of non-local mind. PubMed was the main database used for this review. The descriptors investigated were "cardiac arrest", "near-death experiences", "out-of-body-experiences", "veridical out-of-body-experiences", "physiology of near-death experience", and "neuroscience of near-death experience".

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Prospective studies on NDEs during cardiac arrest were prioritized. Several prospective studies have investigated cardiac arrest-induced NDEs 10, Here we report the NDE scales used; the study design and incidence of NDEs; demographics; any medical, physiological, and pharmacological measurements; veridical OBEs; and the long-term positive life changes following NDEs.

Near-death experience scales. Both scales are based on elements developed by Ring The WCEI measures the depth of the NDE by assigning weighted scores to 10 different elements common to NDEs, including an awareness of being dead, positive emotions, OBEs, a tunnel, communication with a light, observation of colors, observation of celestial landscape, meeting deceased people, a life review, and presence of a border A score between 1 and 5 represents a superficial experience, a score of 6 or more represents a core experience, and a score of 10 or greater represent deep experiences.

The NDE Scale is a item questionnaire that assesses cognitive processes, affective processes, paranormal experiences, and transcendental experiences relevant to NDEs. Each of the 4 categories contains 4 items that are assigned a score between points. A strongly positive response is given 2 points, a moderately positive response is given 1 point, and a negative response is given 0 point. An overall score of greater than 7 represents an NDE. Study design and incidence of NDEs. The first prospective study of cardiac arrest-induced NDEs was conducted by Parnia et al.

They interviewed survivors of cardiac arrest from the medical, emergency, and coronary care units of Southampton General Hospital over a 1-year period. Unfortunately, due to their small sample size, statistical analysis was not possible between groups. That same year another study was published with a larger sample size From to , van Lommel et al. The following year, Schwaninger et al. These researchers investigated the incidence of NDEs in the surgical intensive care unit of Barnes-Jewish Hospital from through Reasons for exclusion from the study included difficulty with tracking the occurrence of cardiac arrest in that unit, drug overdose, emotional instability with a prior psychiatric diagnosis, or medical instability that rendered the patients unable to answer questions.

In another investigation, Greyson interviewed patients within 6 days of admission to the cardiac care unit and the cardiology step-down unit of the University of Virginia Hospital Patients who were too ill, psychotic, or cognitively impaired were excluded from the study. More recently, Klemenc-Ketis et al. The specific aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between serum partial pressure of oxygen pO 2 , carbon dioxide pCO 2 , and the occurrence of NDEs.

The study included 52 patients, and 11 None of the studies found any correlation between incidence of NDEs and socioeconomic status or religious belief. Interestingly, two of the studies reported a higher incidence of NDEs in younger populations 10, Women were more likely to have deeper NDEs than men 10 , but both sexes were equally likely to have an NDE in general 10, Medical, physiological, and pharmacological measurements.

Medical, physiological and pharmacological measurements were reported in some, but not all of the studies. Inclusion of these measurements is important to account for potential relationships between NDEs and physiological processes that may differ between experiencers and non-experiencers. Parnia et al. However, there was little difference between groups in mean sodium and potassium levels, partial pressure of carbon dioxide paCO 2 , or drugs administered during the cardiac arrest.

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  • No reported physiological or pharmacological measures correlated with having an NDE in van Lommel et al. Patients who had NDEs were more likely to have had multiple CPRs, and were more likely to die within 30 days of the cardiac arrest. Potassium, sodium, oxygen, or carbon dioxide levels were not reported. Greyson reported multiple medical measures, including objective proximity to death e. No correlation was found between any of these measures and the incidence of NDEs.

    Furthermore, patients with NDEs were more likely to report feeling closer to death, but were not medically closer to death. No physiological or pharmacological measures were reported.

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    Klemenc-Ketis et al. NDE scores were also positively correlated with both pCO 2 and serum levels of potassium. Although patients with lower pO 2 had more NDEs, the difference was not significant. An extensive review of the veridical OBE literature by Holden from to reported that the number of NDE cases involving veridical OBE perception greatly outweighed those involving inaccurate perceptions However, most of these cases were retrospective and not cardiac arrest-induced, and so we cannot know the extent of possible embellishment over time, nor whether the brain was functioning normally.

    Of note, one case of veridical OBE perception was reported by a nurse and occurred during the pilot phase of the study carried out by van Lommel et al. Here is a brief description of the report made by the nurse:. He had been found about an hour before in a meadow by passers-by. After admission, he received artificial respiration without intubation, while heart massage and defibrillation were applied. He had dentures in his mouth so the nurse removed them and put them onto the crash cart.

    CPR continued for another hour and a half until the patient had sufficient heart rhythm and blood pressure. The nurse met the patient more than a week later, which upon seeing him said 'Oh, that nurse knows where my dentures are'. The nurse was amazed because he was in deep coma and receiving CPR when he took his dentures. The man said he had perceived everything from above his body and saw the nurses and doctors administering CPR. He was able to describe everything correctly and in great detail In an early retrospective study, Sabom 12 interviewed individuals who had claimed to see parts of their own CPR.

    Patients' description of their resuscitation was compared with their medical records which the patients never saw. However, most of the descriptions 26 of 32 patients contained only general, non-detailed visual impressions that could not be verified. While these descriptions corresponded with the known facts of near-death crisis event, the accuracy of the accounts was not verifiable.

    Despite these compelling findings, most of the control group cardiac patients had never actually been resuscitated; therefore, a more precise control group would consist of all patients that had received CPR without experiencing an NDE. This was performed decades later by Sartori 13 , who found that patients who reported observing their bodies during CPR could accurately describe their resuscitation, whereas those who also had CPR but did not claim to observe their resuscitation could not.

    To the best of our knowledge, five prospective studies have been conducted specifically to investigate veridical OBEs through the use of planted targets in hospital rooms where cardiac arrests are either likely to occur or are medically induced. Researchers have used either static hidden targets, such as poster boards 14,21,22 , or running electronic targets also hidden 23, Although some form of NDE or OBE was reported in most 14, , but not all of the studies 24 , none of the participants reported the presence of a hidden target.

    Long-term positive life changes following NDEs. All patients participating in the prospective studies of cardiac arrest-induced NDEs were assessed using the Life-Change Inventory Questionnaire developed by Ring This scale consists of 42 elements related to social attitude e. Both Schwaninger et al. Patients with NDEs showed increases on many items of the questionnaire compared to patients who did not have NDEs 15, For example, NDErs were more tolerant of others, more empathic, concerned with social justice, understanding of the meaning of life, appreciative of nature, and had a stronger belief in life after death 15, Van Lommel et al.

    At both the 2 and 8 year follow-ups, all patients recalled their experience almost exactly as they did years prior. After 2 years, there were significant differences in 13 items of the questionnaire between those that had NDEs and those that did not have NDEs. For example, patients that had NDEs felt more loving, empathic, understanding, and accepting of others. In addition, they felt they understood their purpose of life, sensed an inner meaning of life, were interested in spirituality, were less afraid of death, believed in life after death, were more interested in the meaning of life, felt they understood themselves, and had increased appreciation of ordinary things Interestingly, all patients, including non-NDErs, showed increased positive changes 8 years after the cardiac arrest All were more empathic, understanding, more involved in family, interested in the meaning of life, and less afraid of death than 5 years prior.

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    Overall, the positive life changes in the NDE group were more apparent 8 years later, revealing the persistence and growth of the profound transformative aspect of NDEs. In this section, we discuss the strengths and limitations of psychological and physiological theories aimed at explaining the various features of NDEs. We also examine the implications of the studies of cardiac arrest-induced NDEs for the concept of non-local mind.

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    Perseus Publishing. Bogousslavsky, M. Hennerici, H Bazner, C. Bassetti Eds. Neurological Disorders in Famous Artists, Part 3. Karger Publishers. Washington, D. What is it like to be Dead? Near-death Experiences, Christianity, and the Occult. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. Psychiatric Services, December, Vol.

    The handbook of near-death experiences thirty years of investigation. Westport, Conn. A preliminary report". Retrieved Washington Post. Life After Life. Mockingbird Books. Life at death: A scientific investigation of the near-death experience. Scientists attempt to find out how similar near-death experiences really are". Heading toward Omega. In search of the Meaning of Near-Death Experience , , p. Res Nurs Health. Jun 22, Greenwood Publishing Group. Live Science. Retrieved October 16, Pleasurable Western adult near-death experiences: features, circumstances, and incidence. American Journal of Diseases of Children , Nov; 11 —4.

    Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. The Atlantic. Retrieved 10 October Psychology Today. Broadway Books. Paranormal Borderlands of Science. Buffalo, N. Near-Death Experiences and the Brain. In Craig Murray. Nova Science Publishers. Omega 9: — Critical Thinking: A Student's Untroduction 2nd ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill.

    Intensive Care Medicine. R; Wiltshaw, E. L; Venecia, D; Milstein, J. Journal of Near-Death Studies. British Medical Journal. Trends in Cognitive Sciences. Psychophysiologic correlates of unconsciousness and near-death experiences. Near Death Stud — Near-death Experiences: A review on the thesis of pathoclisis, neurotransmitter abnormalities, and psychological aspects.

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