15 Men And Women Who Died And Then Came Back Share What They Saw And What It Was Like

via Flickr – bronx.

1. The Worst Part Was Defibrillation

I went through the windshield of a car after my seat belt buckle broke. After which I died of blood loss being transported to the hospital. For me, it was like falling asleep when you’re really tired. I had no sense of time in-between when I was gone and when I came back. It was like a blink.

I don’t remember the chest compressions at all, but let me tell you that being defibrillated is an awful experience.


2. Saw, Felt, And Heard Nothing

Overdosed on fentanyl and was found on the ground with no pulse and not breathing. They looked at the person who found me and told them I didn’t make after multiple resuscitation attempts but somehow after they gave up the drugs finally brought me back. I didn’t feel/see/hear/think anything it was really peaceful in hindsight, complete nirvana. Getting hit with narcan (reverses effects of opiate overdose) was by far the most painful thing mentally and physically I have ever experienced. Went from 0 to 100 real quick.


3. Healed By Dying

Confusing, if you weren’t aware that you were dying and only find out afterwards. I was in hospital being monitored for an unknown illness that had laid me low for about a week. I felt very very cold, and the last thing I remember is curling up into a very small ball to try to get warm. The next thing I know is that I’m being called by a nurse who wants me to open my eyes, and I’m surrounded by curious doctors reading my chart and peering at me.

About 4 hours passed between the two, during which time my temperature hit 43C and I had seizures. I died for about a minute and was resuscitated and dunked in an ice bath (I’m really glad I don’t remember that bit). When I woke up I no longer felt ill or even slightly feverish. I was well enough to be released from hospital two days later.


4. Sudden Death Syndrome

A friend of mine has “sudden death syndrome”. He has a heart arrhythmia where his heart will just…stop. There was no way to know he had it until one day his heart just totally stopped beating. He was walking across a street with his wife and just dropped. Luckily someone walking behind them had medical training and jumped into action and he was later revived at the hospital. The doctors said they were on their last attempts and were calling the time when his heart finally decided it was done playing possum. They said he was dead for several minutes and thought he would have some brain damage but he made a total recovery. He now has a pacemaker/ICD (the shocky zappy thing) implanted.

He said it is very peaceful. Before dying he was afraid of death but since he has now experienced it he has accepted it. He remembers nothing of it but the feeling of total peace. He has made the decision that after the battery dies in this pacemaker (they usually last ~7years) he is not getting it replaced. He is getting on in years and has seen his kids graduate and says when it’s his time, it’s his time.

I have heart issues myself and hearing his story brings me comfort. I have had my heart stop but have never actually “died”. I’m only 28 and my kids only just started school so I ain’t ready yet lol. The closest I have come to feeling death approach was being given Adenosine. Its a drug given to restart the heart during cardiac episodes. It literally stops and restarts your heart. Shit is terrifying. I hope when I actually go my heart just stops and I feel peace like he did.


5. Just Blackness

I have a somewhat similar story. I had a virus attack my heart causing what they termed a “fatal” heart rhythm where my heart was regularly stopping for up to 4 beats at a time and had an implanted pacemaker/defibrillator. A wire malfunctioned and the device thought I needed to be shocked. It shocked me 20+ times between the first time, the 911 call, and during the EMT visit and ride to the hospital.

Once I got to the hospital, they were able to stop the defibrillation immediately and I was with the pacemaker tech and the cardiologist with my wife standing outside (she is a respiratory tech who was at the hospital working already). Suddenly, I heard the the cardiologist shouting “No, no, don’t do that!” and immediately everything went black.

Turns out I started seizing and flatlined. Although I was not “declared deceased”, I was flatlined for an undermined amount of time (around a minute) while the cardiologist pounded my chest. I awoke to see everyone gathered around me and held my head up to see my wife crying hysterically in the hall.

I wish I could tell a story about seeing a light, etc. but to be honest it was just blackness. When I awoke, my first words were “I don’t know what just happened, but it was not good.”

Honestly, the worst part of the whole experience was being shocked by my device before I got to the hospital. It was like being hit by lightning repeatedly. Blinding flash of white light, I would shout uncontrollably and flail. I had PTSD for months afterward. Thank God, they determined that my heart was strong enough that I could get by with just a pacemaker instead of the combo or I am not sure I would have ever been the same.

I had a lot of complications/pain with my surgeries and I have wondered if it was all worth it, but it all kept me alive to see my grandson so I cope. I just wish they could come up with a way to recharge pacemaker batteries. Cutting someone open every 7-10 years to replace it seems barbaric.


6. Like Sleeping

A family friend had a heart attack and died before they “brought him back”, he said it felt like he fell asleep without dreams and when he woke up they’d told him he’d died. So death for him was just sleeping.


7. Wouldn’t Mind Experiencing It Again

I love how people think drowning is peaceful. It’s really not. There’s a long, endless feeling of panic and desperation.

I don’t remember my age. Around.. maybe 14-15? I was swimming in the ocean and at the time I was pretty suicidal. I realized there weren’t many people around, the waves were pretty rough, and so I swam low enough to the point that even if I rushed back up for air, I wouldn’t make it. And if I did, the time I’d gasp for air a wave would have knocked me down and drag me farther away.

At first, when I swam as low as I could I remember turning my face up and toward the distant surface I realized how dark and cold I was. That’s when the first instance of panic hit. It felt like I was sinking against my will and so I immediately started kicking my way up to where it was brighter before remembering the point of it all. I stopped again and forced myself to inhale.

Second phase of panic hit. It felt like my throat and nose was burning. I rushed to get as close to the surface. I wasn’t even thinking at that time. I could only be in that moment. I remember the intense amount of pain as my body begged to breathe while at the same time resisting. I grasped at the water and I don’t remember if my hand eventually reached the surface or not but I do know the reason I survived was because of my first initial reaction to the darkness of the ocean.

It felt like an eternity of pure panic. No thoughts. Everything felt so rushed and loud. I used to think the ocean was peaceful but on that day it sounded like the waves were attacking me. It felt like something was pulling at my legs and dragged me down. I remember feeling so scared about being brought back to the darkness of the ocean.

Finally, I reached a weird median where I did feel pain, but I was so tired from fighting. I knew I was in pain, but I also didn’t.. perceive it the way I was before. My vision was already blurry from the water and they felt dry. I remember at this point instead of being dragged down it felt like I was being cradled by the water and slowly being brought closer to something. I had mixed thoughts. While the darkness felt calming, similar to how you’re on the verge of falling asleep after a long day of work, it was like a silent panic. I didn’t want to be dragged down, but I was just too tired.

Then it felt like I was no longer in the ocean but floating in space. Bubbles formed into stars or little planets and I remember this specific bubble that I focused on. I don’t know why, but I watched it drift away and it made me feel lonely. I was okay with it nonetheless. When the bubble got out of my sight and I felt a bit of loneliness I remember thinking to myself, “That’s okay. I’ll be okay now.” I completely forgot what happened beforehand. I was stuck in the present. Finally, I closed my eyes and it felt like I took a deep breath which caused me to feel even more relieved and relaxed.

I didn’t get a flashing of images or my whole life displayed. It was weird and that was the best way I could describe it. I wouldn’t mind experiencing it again, but the panic is hell.


8. Dreamt Of Being Alive

I broke my wrist (greenstick) and was put under so they could fully break it. I had a surgery before this on my elbow so I know what anesthesia was like, but when I was put under this time, I had a completely different experience. For the most part, being put under for me was like a strange ‘cut-out’ of time. I didn’t comprehend or even notice the fact I was out for 4+ hours. This time, it always bothered the shit out me though. First off, when I was put under I found myself within an actual dream, but it was like a vague black dream (Idk if I can paint that picture to you, but imagine a dream only clearer). In this dream I was fine. My wrist was fine and I was going to school and living life like it was normal. I lived a full day of brushing my teeth, going to school, and interacting with people within this dream but it was too real. The strangest part? I would sleep or fall asleep in these dreams and wake up during surgery or in my recovery. I remember clearly thinking to myself when I woke up in my ‘dream’ life and saying to myself, “It’s just a nightmare, don’t worry.” The weirdest part of my life was waking up. The comprehension wasn’t there, I couldn’t remember a lot of people in my immediate family (including my mom and dad).

I learned later on that I had flatlined due to some allergic reaction(?) to some medicine and died for a couple minutes. I must say that walking is strange afterward. I ask my mom and dad, but they weren’t really there for the most part.


9. No Recollection At All

I’ve “died” once in my life. I was really little but I sort of remember it. We were at my grandma’s and my brother gave me a Lifesavers candy, and I choked on it and I guess passed out from oxygen loss (they really dropped the ball with the candy name. I should write to them..) anyways I remember it being dark and then blinded by white, and then I came to. My dad was holding me upside down by my ankles and I was okay. I was breathing fine and I don’t recall what happened after that.


10. Died Three Times

I’ve “died” three times so far. Blood loss from a dog attack, an OD, and when my heart stopped and a coma happened.

For me it was the same every time. The weird thing was each time I felt no urge to live. The comfort of an oxygen deprived brain I guess. The OD was really irritating to be “saved” from. It was so nice and pain free being ripped away from it made me very angry.

In a weird way, I look forward to dying again.


11. Angry When He Was Brought Back

Yes! When I almost drowned, it was the most peaceful thing I’ve ever felt. I was about 11, but. I will never forget that feeling. I think it is to do with the loss of oxygen. I was really angry and upset when I came to.

Though. I’ve never really had much will to live, so I may not be usual.


12. Phantom Soldier

Didn’t happen to me, but I had a squad leader in the Army who was pronounced dead while deployed. I met him about five years after this happened and he had several huge scars on his head, so I asked him what happened.

He was sitting in the jump seat of an LMTV in a convoy and the driver hit something on the road. Don’t remember what it was now, but my squad leader was ejected out the window without his helmet on. The medics couldn’t revive him. He got medivacced out of the AO and was pronounced dead at the Army hospital.

Then he just wakes the fuck up sitting on a table with a toe tag. They call it a miracle and shit, and send him to a hospital in Germany to recover and fix his skull fracture.

BUT. They never changed his status in the Army computers. So he’s still “dead”. The family is notified and told their son died in a tragic accident. The Army pay’s out his life insurance money. The family holds a funeral without his body(!?!).

Then he gets sent home on leave after recuperating in the hospital in Germany. He didn’t call his parents cause he didn’t want them to worry, or to fly to Germany. He just wanted to show up at home with a good story to tell so that they can see he is OK. He knocks on his parent’s front door and his mom passes the fuck out when she opens it thinking it’s a ghost or some shit.


13. The Afterlife Was A Party

My boyfriend at the time gave me a TBI while on vacation in Cozumel (he pushed me into a wall). Thankfully I was able to get a private ambulance plane out of their 2 days later. Cozumel only has a 4 bedroom hospital. The next day my brain started to bleed and swell and my heart rate dropped. I saw the “white light” but it was a white party in a big room on a beautiful day and as I was trying to walk to the doors something kept pulling my hand. When I looked it was a 6-8 year old beautiful little girl who told me I couldn’t go in and when I asked why she told me I had to stay here for her. I then woke up and immediately asked if I was dying. It was the most real dream I have ever experienced. I don’t have any children yet but I believe that little girl was my future daughter. I recovered amazing truly a miracle with the amount of injuries I had to my head. The woman who helped in saving me won the TN healthcare hero award. I am now a small business owner with no lasting effects other than short term memory problems.


14. A New Appreciation For Life

For me, it was blackness then just watching myself out of body type experience where you didn’t quite get it but it slowly came into focus and you begin to realize. It wasn’t scary at all it was so calm that I wish I could have that calmness every day. I remember the moment right before I came back where I looked into a bright light and almost had a calling but it’s like I internally confirmed I wasn’t ready and that I had more to do. The return is very different when I came back I remember the overwhelming feeling of knowing more and the fear of realizing you just died especially when I saw the faces of all the Medical staff around me it added to the fear I felt. Also not being able to move or speak and knowing I was in the middle of surgery yeah it was an experience and not one I’d want to repeat for a very long time.

This experience made me appreciate living as I was actually extremely depressed and had tried suicide before this incident. there is so much after death you cannot do that you can in life and death itself made me find a new appreciation for family, friends and just doing the things I enjoy. It also made me realize how much we take for granted daily and one of those things being our ability to just live.


15. You’ll Never Want To Be Alive Again

I spent several weeks in an ICU coma ward from organ shutdown and failure, due to serious pneumonia complications. I had 98% of my lung capacity filled with fluid among other issues. They told me I was down for about 2 minutes the first time. 5 minutes the second go around. They had the papers to show me, as I didn’t buy it. I was just dreaming…

The experiences I had are not easy to verbalize, nor explain. I met your gods. I saw the outcome. I was shown the answers to the questions many ask. What is it like to be dead? Well, it’s almost like being alive. Except that after you’re dead (according to how we view it today), you would never want to be “alive” again.

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Eric Redding

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