THE afterlife “definitely exists” according to a woman who claims to have felt the presence of God during a harrowing near-death experience (NDE).
The woman, who only introduced herself as Wanda, claims to have briefly left this world after a diving accident in 1976. Although Wanda did not die, she vividly remembers submitting herself to the sensation of leaving this world. As she went unconscious, Wanda said she knew God was with her.
Wanda told the Near-Death Experience Research Foundation (NDERF): “I was with a group on a scuba trip. I was working in a strenuous job and swam about a mile a week, so I was in very good shape.
“The air temperature was 50 degrees, and I had on a wetsuit but no booties, mitts or headcover.
“We swam a little over a mile and as long as we were swimming, I was fine and then went down to over 100 feet and stayed the recommended time for the depth.”
As they were surfacing, the group noted the water was much colder than they had expected.
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As a result, Wanda could not pick up her mouthpiece and put it back into her mouth.
She could also not pull on the emergency cord to inflate her vest.
Wanda said: “My diving buddy was close and the last thing I remember is my saying ‘Ken, don’t leave me.’
“The best I can explain is my spirit submitted completely.
“I knew God was there and it was as if I was resting within him, not as a separate entity.
“It was truly the greatest peace anyone could know.”
However, before she could drift off any further, one of Wanda’s friends inflated her vest and she was dragged off to safety.
According to the harrowing account, Wanda did not wake up for two hours after the incident.
“At the beginning, there was no fear and I felt this was my natural state of being.
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“At the time, I was searching and yearning for spiritual growth.”
However, most medical experts agree there are natural explanations for why NDEs occur.
Researchers have proposed NDEs are the result of the brain releasing chemicals during a moment of trauma.
Others have suggested people see and hear things because the brain scans itself as a survival technique.
In the UK, the NHS does not consider NDEs to be genuine instances of a person dying.
The NHS said: “A more accepted definition of death is when brain stem death occurs, which is when all neural activity in the deepest brain ceases.
“While it is possible to keep the heart functioning using life support systems, a person with brain stem death has permanently lost the potential for consciousness.
“The existence of an ‘afterlife’ remains a matter of belief, not scientific proof.”