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Observations placeholder

Acute porphyria attack produces a walk into Paradise



Type of Spiritual Experience


The porphyrias are a group of rare diseases in which chemical substances called porphyrins accumulate with high metabolism. The body requires porphyrins to produce heme, which carries oxygen in the blood. But in the porphyrias, there is a deficiency (inherited or acquired) of the enzymes that transform the various porphyrins into others, leading to abnormally high levels of one or more of these substances. This manifests with neurological symptoms or skin problems, or occasionally both.

Porphyrias are classified in two ways, by symptoms and by pathophysiology. Symptomatically, acute porphyrias primarily cause brain and nerve involvement, often with severe abdominal pain, vomiting, neuropathy, and mental disturbances. Cutaneous porphyrias cause skin problems, often after exposure to sunlight, because porphyrins react with light. Physiologically, porphyrias are classified as hepatic or erythropoietic based on the sites of accumulation of heme precursors, either in the liver or in the bone marrow and red blood cells.

A description of the experience

From Near death experiences - Ornella Corazza

I had been taken into hospital with a porphyria attack and was told that I had been out of it for a week or more. However, I do recall very vividly this lovely emerald green grass in this avenue of soft beautiful trees, I was walking down, and thinking how warm and cosy I felt, all the pain had gone. There was this bright, in fact, very bright light at the end of the avenue and I thought to myself, if I keep walking towards that light I will never have those dreadful pains again and I will be comfortable and happy. Then I thought, ah, but if I do walk on I will never see David grow up, I will never know what it's like to hold and cuddle him again. David was my 2-year-old child and he was so precious to me as I had lost my first child.

So even though I felt quite sad to leave, I decided to turn around and walk back. The next thing I remember was a nurse standing over me saying, 'Hello Mrs. Farrow (my name at that time), how are you feeling? We thought we had lost you.'

The source of the experience

Ordinary person

Concepts, symbols and science items





Science Items

Activities and commonsteps