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Observations placeholder

Pulmonary embolism produces NDE and sense of mission



Type of Spiritual Experience


The use of the word hallucination only signifies that the image of her spirit helper was 'superimposed' on the hospital setting

A description of the experience

The Wisdom of Near-Death Experiences – Dr Penny Sartori

This was sent in response to one of my newspaper articles:

I too have had an NDE. It happened nearly 30 years ago and the whole thing stands out as clearly in my memory as if it happened yesterday. I believe that it has nothing to do with hallucinations or medication.

I had a pulmonary embolism in hospital after major surgery. I could neither move nor shout for the nurse, it was as if someone had stabbed me in the back and all the air had gone from my lungs. I distinctly remember a nurse looking at me then running to my bed with oxygen and mask, putting the mask on my face. Then I saw two doctors rush to my bed, one was sounding my chest with a stethoscope and the other was pressing hard on the veins in my legs (I found out later he was looking for a DVT). I still couldn't breathe and the pain in my upper back was awful.

Suddenly I felt completely calm and felt myself gliding to the corner of the room at ceiling height. I rushed through a tunnel in the corner of the room and it was full of bright lights and vivid colours and at the front was my grandmother, smiling as she always did when alive. Behind my grandmother were other members of our family and friends, all smiling and welcoming me.

Suddenly I had to go back to my family and two young sons. I hovered and looked down at my hospital bed. I could see myself lying there on a drip and oxygen, my eyes were closed but the two doctors, and now three nurses, were no longer rushing about. Two days later I woke up (my husband informed me of the time span) with tubes everywhere and acute pain in my lungs. I did not have the pain either while floating above my bed or in the tunnel. I began to recover and then about four days later I had another breathing attack.

This time I was in intensive care so a nurse came immediately with oxygen. She pulled the curtains around the bed and said she would return immediately with a doctor. During this time (seconds, apparently) a man all in white clothing came into the cubicle and sat on the end of my bed with his back to me. My breathing was bad and he actually sat on my feet (I am a tall lady) and I remember clearly having trouble moving my feet from under him. Then he said to me, 'Fight it, fight it' over and over again. Then he disappeared in front of my eyes.  When my breathing returned to normal I asked the nurse who it was who had come into the cubicle before she came back with the doctor.  She informed me that no one had been in with me. Today I believe it was my guardian angel.

I would like to add that my experience changed my life. I have spent a lot of my life as a carer for family and friends and also in my employment with the blind.  Before the NDE I was quite self-centred and an introvert.  So I can say the experience did me a lot of good.  One of the first people I looked after was my mother, who passed away 18 months after my NDE.  Twenty years later I nursed my father through terminal cancer so perhaps I was saved because I had work to do.

The source of the experience

Other ill or disabled person

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps