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Observations placeholder

Appendicitis produces an NDE



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

The Wisdom of Near-Death Experiences – Dr Penny Sartori

I am writing with reference to an experience I had whilst in hospital in summer 1995. I had been taken into hospital with suspected appendicitis. An operation was scheduled for the morning, and they gave me a morphine injection as I was by this time doubled up in a lot of pain. To cut a long story short, it was over 18 hours before I was taken down to theatre and just felt like letting go. They thought they had me under the anaesthetic, but I became aware my stomach was being painted in something cold like a fluid, which alarmed me but I couldn't do anything.

The next thing was the strange bit. I felt no pain at all during this experience. I felt as though I was in mid-air a couple of feet above a hospital trolley bed looking down at a baby, and I couldn't figure out who it was until it just came to me that it was me, when the figure instantly changed to an adult body which I didn't recognize until I then realized it was me. I then felt as though I was in a dark place and went towards a figure which had long hair and a beard but with a broad forehead. The figure was like looking at a NEGATIVE photo - black on white, similar to the Turin Shroud but a wider forehead, which had a very soft light behind it. The figure seemed to be much larger than me, and I seemed to rise towards it, but I couldn't see anything below his shoulders (similar to a child against an adult).

The light behind the figure seemed to be a very soft white light, and even though I couldn't see anybody else I was sure I was being led on the way back, and I just seemed to float along. It was a very calm experience, apart from looking into the other cavern on the way back, after seeing the figure, but I am still not sure what was in there.

I could only see the head and shoulders, and felt at peace, but the figure looked to its right and I drifted off to my left, with a feeling that it wasn't my time and I had things to do. The only thing that alarmed me, if that’s the right word, was when I was going back down a large tunnel or something like it, was when I looked off to my left into an opening of another large cavern, where all I could see was a mist across the floor but it seemed to have lots of sharp points sticking up through the mist, which made me alarmed.  I felt that I was being led back all the time but didn't see by whom.

The next thing, I felt as though I was back in my body, in the worst pain I have ever known, and was physically struggling with someone who was moving me bodily, but everything was black and I couldn't see anything, only hear voices. I felt something strange attached to my right side and grabbed it, and then I heard my mother's voice telling me to not grab the pipe, and let them put me into bed. It was her voice that I recognized and I let them move me from the trolley into the ward bed, even though the pain was unbearable. The pipe was a drain from the wound in my stomach to a bag for the fluid, as it seems, when they finally opened me up, the appendix had burst a long time before and it had turned into peritonitis.

I kept asking what had happened as I knew I had experienced something, but all the surgeon would say was that it had been pretty serious and they had to wash my insides out with antibiotics as I was so ulcerated with the peritonitis infection. I just wanted to be left alone as I felt so ill. I was given over 20 morphine jabs to ease the pain during that week. During the first three days every time that I closed my eyes I could see a vivid green tunnel off to my left in the wall, and felt that all I had to do was to let go because of the constant pain. I stopped having the tunnel visions as my temperature dropped on the fourth day.

When I finally managed to get out of bed after the fourth day, I noticed my chest looked very red and couldn't understand why. It was when I mentioned this later to my mother she explained, that they had probably shocked me with the paddles, if there had been problems during the operation, which she thought that there had been.

I was a practising Catholic before this happened and am not frightened to die, as I know this is all just a stepping stone to something better which is what I tell people. I am now 46 and have had a son since, but I don't think he was the reason I came back. I know the docs just said the experiences might have been the morphine, but I know it was something different. I fly helicopters and have rescued people, but I still don't feel that I have reached the point which I feel that I was sent back for yet. I sometimes wonder if I am doing the right job for me now, which is strange considering how keen I was to fly before this experience.

I have mentioned to some rich individuals who I have come across through my flying that they should set up a charity that would respond faster, to help the sick and children in need around the world, and I feel this has something to do with what I know I was sent back for. I am more interested in the spiritual side of life than I was before, and always said at the time of the operation anybody younger or older wouldn't have got through the pain, as I felt like giving up at times myself. I now feel everything in life is fate, and know it’s just a stepping stone to something much better. The strange thing that I still think about is that the being I saw; it was like a negative film image with a soft light behind it. There was no speech but the thoughts were passed to me somehow. I know it was real. I don't think my NDE was anything to do with the morphine either, as I had 20 injections through that week and the out-of-body experience only happened at the start of my stay in hospital.

I don't know if this experience resembles anybody else's with the negative image I saw, but thought I would share it with you. Good luck with your work.

The source of the experience

Other ill or disabled person

Concepts, symbols and science items

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps