Unforgettable 65 Years Later

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Although this near-death experience occurred 65 years ago (1943), I will never get it out of my mind. I had been rushed to the emergency ward of a local hospital because of an unbearable pain I was experiencing. It was diagnosed as an inguinal hernia, and my parents were told that immediate surgery was necessary.

In the operating room, I can remember being told to count backward from 10. The anesthetic of choice then was ether and I recall a gauze cloth being placed over my nose and mouth, and then slowly sinking into a state of unconsciousness as I began counting. At some point, I felt my body rise into the air above the surgeons and operating table and I was looking down on this little boy lying there with two men hovering over him.

The feeling of floating above all this was exciting. I had never experienced anything like it before. After briefly observing the activity beneath, my floating self began to slowly turn toward a window high on the wall in the operating room.

Through this window I could see a bright light, which seemed to be beckoning to me. Fascinated, I began drifting toward the source of the light because I wanted to pass through the opening of the window and into the light.

Suddenly it all disappeared and my next memory was of lying in a hospital bed and vomiting from the lingering effects of the ether. The nurse was very upset with me for making a mess. I told her right away about what I had experienced in the operating room. She scoffed and said that I had been dreaming.

I repeated the story again to my mother when she came to visit, and her reaction was the same. I had been dreaming while I was asleep on the operating table.

Since no one seemed to believe me, I convinced myself that it must have been a dream and never spoke to anyone about it again, until the phenomena of near-death experiences became more accepted.

I believe now that I had been given too much ether and died on the operating table. My regret is the experience only went so far, but then I was only five years old and what did I know?

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