Print this page

Observations placeholder

Broken neck playing rugby produces near death experience

Identifier

013029

Type of spiritual experience

Background

Pure speculation, but maybe the physical breaking of the neck forced his consciousness 'down' and not 'up'; they weren't expecting him that is for sure.

A description of the experience

The Wisdom of Near-Death Experiences – Dr Penny Sartori

In 2006 I was contacted by a 40-year-old man in response to one of my articles. His NDE is very interesting as it is not characteristic of the usual positive NDE and has left him with some very irksome after effects,… the NDE occurred during an accident while he was playing rugby at the age of 15, which resulted in a broken neck. He described his experience as not being pleasant or unpleasant:

The last thing I remember is hearing three loud cracks - snap, snap, snap. It was my neck breaking. The very next thing I was rapidly accelerating headfirst, back arched, arms outstretched down a huge endless void, pitch-black save for a pin prick of brilliant white light that sped away from my grey featureless feet. It almost felt as though I had been dropped head first down a well or tunnel.  What was happening, how had I got from the rugby pitch to here? How can I make it stop? Everything happened at tremendous speed.

I’d heard that your life flashes before your eyes when you die.

Well, that didn't happen to me. What I experienced was thoughts and images from the whole of my life whooshing rapidly past me as if they were being sucked out of my brain. It was if all of my memories were being downloaded and removed from my brain. The images were so fast  . . . whoosh. . . then another thought. . . whoosh. . . then another image. I tried to focus on a couple as they left my mind and could see what they were but only for a fraction of a microsecond . . . me fishing? . . . a familiar face? . . . but I had to get my focus back on what was happening to me . . . I was 'falling' after all . . . I could see all of the images disappearing from my memory banks. I realized this as I was falling, I was scrabbling for words, they were all being broken down until I got to the very last smallest word 'Nooooooooo'.

It was as if that was the last word left before my brain was completely empty. I know that if I hadn't said 'No' then I would have died. I just managed to get that word out and it all just stopped.

It was warm and comfortable there. It was pitch black, the darkest black you can imagine, but there was a bright white light in the top right hand corner of my vision and I was sure there was some distant warmth coming from it. It was bright white; it was comforting and gave me just enough light to see by. I looked down and could see my fingers and they were grey but when I looked at my feet I couldn't see my toes, it was as if I was wearing grey socks. I was scared to move because it felt as though I was balancing on a ledge and if I made any sudden movements I'd roll off and start to fall again. I was hovering in space, I was feeling underneath me and there was nothing there. I was worried but wasn't panicking. I moved my head to the left then to the right and there was just blackness; it was the darkest room.

It was a holding place or waiting room. I was left there while a decision was being made by someone else. It is as if there is more than one God – if there was only one person to make the decision then it would have been quick. There must have been more than one person because the decision would have been made sooner. Then it was like lying on the bottom of a swimming pool looking up and slowly coming to the surface.  I could make out movement, then silhouettes of light and dark moving like smoke, then outlines, then I recognized it was faces, then mouths, then sounds, then sentences I recognized - I was alive again.

The source of the experience

Athlete

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image

Activities