Researchers claim to have discovered “new dimensions of reality” after studying people who came back from the dead.
A study, the first of its kind, published last week found that a significant number of people remain lucid for up to an hour after their heart stops.
Patients told investigators they saw their deceased loved ones, floated over their bodies and even participated in high-speed police chases as they were revived.
Some of them saw bright lights and ethereal figures, while others had more harrowing experiences as demons surrounded them.
Dr. Sam Parnia, lead author of the study and a critical care physician at NYU Langone in New York City, said: “Although doctors have long thought that the brain suffers permanent damage about 10 minutes after the heart stops supplying oxygen, our work found that the brain can show signs of electrical recovery for a long time after ongoing CPR.
These are the first-hand accounts of the survivors:
Some patients in the study, published last week in the journal Resuscitation, felt like they were leaving their bodies.
Delusions and dreams
Patient 1: ‘I heard my name over and over again. There were things like demons and monsters around me.
“It felt like they were trying to tear parts of my body off,” one patient recalled. In the upper right corner of wherever I was, I could see someone.
‘There was no face, but it was a male figure. She screamed my name and grabbed my hand before it was too late. I reached out and felt someone pulling me in their direction. I heard, “Is he breathing? Is he breathing?”
Patient 2: ‘I remember being in a vast field with gray tents scattered everywhere. There were faceless figures. I remember walking through a canyon. On both sides of the canyon were men in white robes and hoods that hid their faces. The last thing I remember is that everyone was pointing at me. Then the world was swallowed by grey.’
Patient 3: ‘A man came into view and walked 2 to 3 feet in front of me at a 30-degree angle, from a starting point that was about 10 feet away. He looked like a gangster character from the 1940s. His nose was long and pointed. He had a white haircut and a face, as they say; only his mother could love…he was scared, angry and hostile.’
Patient 4: ‘I (went to a house where I shouldn’t have been). (The police) caught me… (I was thinking how to explain to him what she was doing in the house). “Then, I got into a puddle… When I got out of the puddle, I wasn’t wet and I kind of melted into the pavement… There was a fisherman singing a sailor song over me, and it was raining,” the patient said.
Patient 5: ‘(I felt) like someone was holding my hand. It was very black, I couldn’t see anything.’
seeing the light
Patient 6: ‘I remember a being of light… standing near me. It loomed over me like a great tower of strength, but it radiated only warmth and love… I caught glimpses of my life and felt pride, love, joy and sadness all pouring out within me. Each image was mine, but from the point of view of a being standing with me or looking… I was shown the consequences of my life, thousands of people I had interacted with who felt what they felt for me, saw their lives and how it had impacted them. Then I saw the consequences of my life and the influence of my actions.’
Patient 7: ‘I went straight to a place of light. It was calm and immediate… I perceived the place where I was as analogous in some way to the outside of an entrance… There was a greater being of love and many other beings of love… There was nothing. but love, kindness, truth and everything that has to do with love. There was no place for fear or evil or anything but this love. It was more wonderful than any of my best hopes or experiences (in this place). It was more than perfect and loving, as we know it in our human state. There are no words to describe it. “I was so happy to be there.”
Patient 8: ‘I remember entering a… tunnel. The feelings I experienced… were much more intense than (usual). The first feeling was a feeling of intense peace. It was so calm and serene with an incredible amount of tranquility. All my… worries, thoughts, fears and opinions were gone. The intensity of the tranquility was so incredible and overwhelming that there was no fear in what I was experiencing. I wasn’t afraid of where I was going or what to expect when I got there. Then I felt warmth… Then the desire to be home arose.’
Separate from oneself
Patient 9: ‘I could see what was happening (…) I stood next to the bed, it was very strange.’
Patient 10: ‘I was no longer in my body. I floated without weight or physicality. It was on top of my body and directly under the ceiling of the intensive care room. I watched the scene unfold below me… I, no longer the body that had belonged to me moments before, found myself in a position that was… higher. It was a place that had nothing to do with any kind of… material experience.
Patient 11: ‘They asked me if I wanted to go home (i.e. there) or if I wanted to come back here. I told them that my two children needed me and that I had to return. I suddenly found myself back in my body feeling my sore joints burning with pain. I don’t really remember what was happening around me at the time, just that it hurt.’
Other patients remembered doctors working to restart their hearts.
Patient 12: ‘As they were trying to revive me and get my heart going again, I could feel them using the paddles to get my heart started. I could feel my body moving up and down.
Patient 13: ‘I felt like someone was pushing hard on my chest. She was trying to get them off of me, but her hands felt tied.
Patient 14: ‘I heard my partner say (patient’s name) and my son say “mom.”‘
Patient 15: ‘I remember seeing the nurse asking for help breathing and then waking up in the ICU.’
Patient 16: ‘I remember when I came back and they were putting those two electrodes on my chest, and I remember the shock.’
Patient 17: ‘I could feel someone doing something to my chest. I couldn’t feel the actual compressions, but I could feel someone rubbing quite a bit.’
Reconnect with your loved ones
Patient 18: “I remember seeing my dad.”
Patient 19: “I thought I heard my grandmother (who passed away) say, ‘You have to go back.'”