“I remember a being of light… standing close to me. She towered over me like a great tower of strength, but radiated nothing but warmth and love… I caught glimpses of my life and felt pride, love, joy and sadness pouring into me.
“Each picture was of me, but from the point of view of a being who stood with me or looked at… I was shown the consequences of my life, the thousands of people with whom I interacted and felt what they felt for me, saw their life and how I influenced them. Furthermore, I saw the consequences of my life and the impact of my actions.”
These are the words of a patient brought back to life after a cardiac arrest as part of a new near-death experience (NDE) study by researchers investigating cognitive activity and awareness during cardiac arrest.
Many near-death survivors have reported having awareness and powerful, lucid experiences while doctors tried to resuscitate their bodies. Such experiences include perceiving separateness from the body, evaluating actions and relationships in one’s life, and observing events without pain or anxiety. Such experiences were often dismissed as illusions, hallucinations, or even dreams. However, a recent study suggested that there may be extraordinary experiences that could be measured and researched.
“Consciousness, awareness and cognitive processes can occur during cardiac arrest. Appearance of normal EEG [elektroencefalografie] may reflect recovery of network cognitive activity and a biomarker of consciousness, lucidity, and RED (authentic near-death experiences),” the study concludes.
Researchers at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine looked at the link between cognitive activity and awareness during cardiac arrest as doctors performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), according to a Sept. 14 news release from NYU Langone Health.
A study found that some of the patients resuscitated by CPR had clear memories of death after their hearts had stopped for up to an hour. And while they were unconscious, the patients experienced brain patterns associated with thinking and memory.
Researchers believe that during cardiac arrest, the dying brain removes its natural inhibitory (braking) systems. The process, called disinhibition, is not “hallucinatory, illusory, or delusional,” according to a study published in July 2023 in the journal Resuscitation.
Instead, it “seems to facilitate a clear understanding of new dimensions of reality”, including evaluating all memories, thoughts, intentions and actions towards others “from a moral and ethical point of view”.
Among the 567 patients studied in the research, only 53 survived – 28 of whom gave interviews to researchers and 11 of whom reported experiencing memories or sensations “suggestive of consciousness” while undergoing CPR during cardiac arrest.
“Although doctors have long thought that the brain suffers permanent damage about 10 minutes after the heart stops supplying oxygen, our work has found that the brain can show signs of electrical recovery long into ongoing CPR,” said lead study author Sam Parnia. Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at NYU Langone Health.
“This is the first large study to show that these memories and brain wave changes may be signs of universal, shared elements of so-called near-death experiences,” the scientist wrote.
Reality versus unreality
For many people, a near-death experience (NDE) can be life-changing. Dr. Bruce Greyson, who researched this phenomenon, found that near-death experiences tend to change a person into a better version of themselves. In an interview with The Epoch Times in 2015, he described one such case.
“In one case, a man was an alcoholic and abused his wife. After his NDE, he became an all-around Good Samaritan. He didn’t drink, he was good to his wife, he helped others. For example, he rushed to New Orleans to lend a hand in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina,” said Dr. Grayson.
A 2014 study published in National Library of Medicinewhich examined 1,122 people who had experienced NDEs, suggested that classifying their experience as unreal might be a misstep.
The “vast majority” of survey respondents claimed that their NDE experience was real, with several scientists, lawyers, nurses and doctors among the respondents.
These findings suggest that for most of us who have not personally experienced NDEs, we should be very careful about labeling NDEs as ‘unreal,'” the study states, adding, “Since such a high percentage of NDErs consider their experiences to be ‘definitely real’, it would be reasonable to accept their assessment of the reality of personal experience unless there is good evidence that their experience was not real.”
A woman claims to have come face to face with God
An Arizona woman whose heart stopped beating for 27 minutes claims she saw God face to face in heaven and it was He who orchestrated her “medically documented miracle” and graciously brought her back to life. Scribbled on a piece of paper by her bed, her first words were: “It’s real.”
“I was before the face of God. It’s a one in a million thing, and God decided for me to do it for a reason,” Tina Hines, who is determined to spread her testimony, told The Epoch Times.
“For the 27 minutes that I was dead, they had no signs of life – no breathing, no pulse that would show on the monitor. I didn’t need this [zážitek blízké smrti] it made me believe that God is real and that heaven is real. I have always believed it, deeply and enthusiastically. But God gave it to me as a gift so that I could continue to share it.”
After Hines suffered sudden cardiac arrest, she was resuscitated.
“A lot of people want to know, ‘Did you see your family? Have you seen your pets that died?’ I saw nothing but Jesus. There were no words, just the presence of Jesus who was with me – I saw the face of my beautiful Savior. His beautiful, amazing face stood before me. Just Him and me there together, with His arms stretched out to me and wide open, drawing me into Him. We just looked at each other. There were no words, just the presence. I was really blinded by the yellow, the bright yellow that was there, and the lights that came behind Him.”
Hines accepts the skepticism of non-believers, saying that while doctors may say it was “just loss of oxygen and hallucinations,” her story is no exaggeration. “It was seeing Jesus face to face with arms outstretched, just comforting me, no pain, no trauma, no drama. It was right in front of the Lord,” she said. “Then he sent me back.”
Three days after the heart attack, Ms. Hines had a 5-by-5-centimeter defibrillator implanted near her left collarbone to monitor her heart rate. She was released from the hospital the next day.
Another of our editors, Louise Chambers, contributed to this article. The article was originally published by the American editorial office of the Epoch Times.