A WOMAN who claims to have suffered a clinical death during surgery and passed into a “mystical realm”, believes life after death is probably real.
The woman, who introduced herself as Rebecca, shared her bizarre experience with the Near-Death Experience Research Foundation (NDERF). According to Rebecca’s detailed account, her heart stopped on the operating table 2003. Under the influence of general anaesthesia, Rebecca said she remembers going through a dark tunnel.
She said: “Whatever I experienced after this didn’t happen straight away. I remember being in total darkness.
“The best way I can describe is it’s like closing your eyes but there is no light or sound.”
When she flew through the tunnel, she felt content and weightless.
Once she exited, Rebecca said she was floating over a “pearly-grey, cloudy place” she described as a “clearly mystical or unearthly realm”.
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She said: “Gradually, I floated down to solid ground but it didn’t look solid.
“Then out of nowhere, this person stepped out from behind a veil of sorts.
“I couldn’t really see the face but they were tall and I would say it was a man wearing a robe.
“Looking back, I didn’t know this person. But at the time, I looked at the person and it was like I had known them my whole life.”
Rebecca also claims to have seen a woman in Victorian or Edwardian clothing.
However, she was soon told she had to go back and she flew backwards towards her body.
Rebecca said: “My mum told me later that my appendix had ruptured and that I had peritonitis.”
However, most scientists believe there are natural explanations for Rebecca’s experiences.
According to a 2007 study published in the journal Anesthesiology dreaming is a “common, enduring and fascinating” part of the anaesthetic experience.
The study reads: “Patients typically report that they were dreaming during anaesthesia, but the actual timing of anaesthetic dreaming is unknown.”
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The study also suggests dreaming may occur when patients are coming out of anaesthesia when the brain is still affected by the sedatives.
The researchers examined 300 health patients aged 18 to 50, during elective surgery.
About 22 percent of the patients reported dreaming upon emergence.
The study reads: “This is consistent with previous studies in which patients were interviewed immediately after emergence.
“We attribute the high incidence of dreaming at our two to four hour interview to reinforcement of memories of dreaming produced by the first interview, because dreams are usually hard to remember unless actively recalled.”
Many people who have undergone so-called near-death experiences, report seemingly otherwordly sights and sounds.
Dr Sam Parnia, director of critical care and resuscitation research at NYU Langone School of Medicine in New York City, said during an OZ Talk: “A lot of people describe a sensation of separating from themselves and watching doctors and nurses working on them.
“They can hear things and record all conversations that are going on around them.
“Some of them describe a sensation where they review everything that they have done.”