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Observations placeholder

Reagan, Ronald – An experience during viral pneumonia



Type of Spiritual Experience


Number of hallucinations: 1


A description of the experience

The Faith of Ronald Reagan - By Mary Beth Brown

Reagan had experienced a similar event [to that when he was the subject of Hinckley’s assassination attempt] when he was critically ill with viral pneumonia many decades before.  He wrote about this encounter in the autobiography Where’s the rest of me?

At the time, he was working on a movie with Shirley Temple that he admits he was ‘less than happy doing’, when he became deathly ill.  He writes:

But while the studio was sleuthing around the hospital to see if I was really there, my next of kin were being notified that the hospital might be my last address".

"Days and night went by in a hazy montage in which I alternately shivered with chills or burned with fever" says Reagan.  He was lying in bed wrapped up in blankets waiting for the fever to end, but instead his temperature just kept getting higher.  He describes his touch and go situation in this way:

Finally I decided I’d be more comfortable not breathing.  I don’t know what time of night it was when I told the nurse I was too tired to breathe.  ‘Now let it out’ she’d say.  ‘Come on now, breathe in once more’.

This went on, over and over, with her arguing me into another breath when all I wanted was to rest and stop making the effort.  Wherever she is and whether she remembers our midnight contest or not, I don’t suppose I’ll ever know, but the memory is vivid to me.  She was so nice and persistent that I let her have her way and kept breathing out of courtesy.  The sweat came and washed me back down the divide I’d been climbing”.

Were these mysterious nurses whom Reagan never could find, actually angels sent by God to help him survive in his hours of desperate need?

The source of the experience

Reagan, Ronald

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps


Hearing voices