Near death experiences: What happens after your heart stops beating?

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by DANA HERTNEKY / KSNW

KING5.com

Posted on May 4, 2010 at 4:17 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 5 at 12:02 PM

What happens after your heart stops beating? At least two people are sharing a glimpse into a part of life, few have lived to tell about-- death. It's supposed to be final or is it?

Some say they've died and experienced what awaits on the other side, that is until they were brought back to life and able to tell their story.
 
"The things that you see, there's nothing in the dictionary that can describe any of it," said Shirley Williams.

It was just about two years ago when Williams walked into Wesley Medical Center's emergency room.

"I could feel the life just going away. It just seemed like every step that I took was gonna be my last," said Williams.

Within moments she was dead.

"Our outlook was so poor that we called family to let them know because it didn't look like she was going to come back," said cardiologist Dr. Ravi Bajaj.

Still doctors continued trying to save her.

"I can hear voices and then all of a sudden I could see them working on someone but I didn't realize at that point it was me. 'Cause I was looking down at them, they were working feverishly to get me to come to," said Williams.

Then Shirley says she saw a glimmer of light and started moving toward it.

"Once I entered the light all I could feel was this peace that I never felt before. Peace and so much love there and I was just light as a feather. I wanted to stay there I did not want to come back."

Her experiences is very similar to Dan Borst who also had an out of body experience when he died on the emergency room table after a bad car accident.

"It was the most perfectly brilliant bright light but it had a golden aura to it. It was blinding me so I turned my head to the left. I saw they were working on my body," Borst said.

Borst also believes he saw heaven.

"The grass was perfect there, the trees were perfect there. I felt peace like I never felt before in my life," said Borst.
 
They're stories, Dr. Ravi Bajaj, Shirley’s cardiologist has heard before. "There's a consistency to that."

Like Shirley, some patients he's brought back from the dead have reported a bright light, a sense of peace, and visions of loved ones.

"The reason I don't think this is quote just a dream is the consistency of what they, patients tell you, that it's almost always a similar story which you hear," said Bajaj.

That's what Dr. Jeffery Long, a Louisiana oncologist also contends in his book “Evidence of The Afterlife.”

Touted as the largest study ever of near-death experiences he says the 1,600 accounts he studied are so similar, and cross age and cultural boundaries to such a degree they prove evidence of the afterlife.

Psychologists, however, argue there's a more scientific explanation.

Some say the bright light and euphoric feelings are the effects of the brain shutting down.

"This can all be explained as part of brain death. When brain death occurs and the heart's no longer beating and chemicals are no longer flowing to the brain there are still some kind of activities that a patient may be reporting," said psychologist Dr. John Valusek.

The dead loved ones? Possibly repressed memories. But what about the out of body experiences? Dr. Valusek says even the most skeptical psychologists can't find a medical explanation. In fact, he says science is proving the opposite - that these accounts of people leaving their bodies are true."

For Shirley, she has all the proof she needs.

"I know what I saw was real I know what I saw was real."

And it's changed her forever.

"Because I've seen the bigger picture here. I've seen what god has for us," Williams said.

 

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