Beyond the Telling of Stories: Studies of Survivors of Near Death
Eight-year-old Jesse Lotte nearly died of liver failure from fulminant mononucleosis. She was in the Intensive Care Unit at Seattle Children’s Hospital for three days in a profound coma, and suffered clinical death from a total body shutdown.
Yet she survived and made a full recovery.
We interviewed Jesse as part of our research study of all survivors of near death at Seattle Children’s Hospital from 1985-2000. We did not accept volunteers to our study. We had no idea whether or not the children we interviewed had any sort of experiences associated with surviving near death.
In fact, our bias was that they did not have any experiences. Our research team, comprised of the departmental heads of the Intensive Care Unit and Neurology as well as a host of medical students, had the traditional scientific viewpoint that when you are dead, you are dead. We thought that when patients go into coma and die, consciousness ceases and they experience only darkness and then nothing at all.
We were then shocked to interview Jesse Lotte about nearly dying and hear her say that she remembered her own death. She said that she heard and saw the nurses coming into her room and bringing “that crash cart thing." She then said “...and then I saw my grandmother (who had previously died). She was just sitting there. I was here (in her bed) and she was there (beside the bed). I was just so shocked to see her.”
As can be seen in the above picture, Jesse’s grandmother was surrounded by a...
Part Two, But Is It Real? Series with Dr. Melvin Morse Better Understanding Consciousness Through Children's NDEs
Sometimes the accounts of near-death experiences themselves contain elements which prove that they are “real," meaning that we can trust the information gained from them.
Eight-year old Jamie Untinen nearly died from a severe brain infection. During the time she was clinically dead, she thought that she floated out of her physical body and met Jesus.
“He was very nice,” she said. She also saw a light which told her “who she was and where she was to go."
I personally resuscitated Jamie Unitinen. She was part of my study of children who survived cardiac arrest, done at Seattle Children’s Hospital under the supervision of the Department of Intensive Care Medicine and the Hospital’s Human Subject Research Review Board. I know that she was clinically dead during the time that she says she was out of her body, visiting Jesus and angels, and meeting “grandpas, grammas and babies waiting to be born."
Jamie was rushed to Valley Medical Center in Renton, Washington by her private physician after she went into a coma in his office. She had a form of bacterial brain infection which should have resulted in death within a few hours of presentation. Instead she lived to...
Of course, when you’re in that in-between zone – what the Tibetans call a “bardo” – after your life is over but before you’ve died, you have plenty of time to think – to ruminate and to wonder what will happen to you when you finally cross that threshold and enter the house of death.
Oh, perhaps before I follow that train of thought, I guess I should clarify what I meant when I wrote that line about my life being over. Obviously, either I’m still here or a ghost is writing this. What I meant was that the really active part of my life has finished – no more rapturous love affairs, exciting adventures, extensive travels, doing research, writing books, and so forth – all the activities that I enjoyed so much during my life until recent years. Yes, I still have my quieter pleasures, as I have written, but mostly I am just waiting – waiting to die. And can’t help speculating what will happen once I do.
Lately, I have been reading a little philosophy, not about life and death matters, but in doing so, it has occurred to me that so many of the world’s great thinkers are professed atheists and are convinced that when we die, that’s it. Poof! Death brings annihilation to our individual personalities and to all consciousness. We enter into a sleep from which we never awaken.
Let’s consider this roster of the world’s greatest minds who hold this view. There’s Friedrich Nietzsche, of course, who became the most influential philosopher of...
Hello, I am Dr. Raymond Moody. I am best known for having coined the term “near-death experience” in my bestselling book Life After Life.
Welcome to Illuminating.
Illuminating is the blog of The University of Heaven, a new online platform for the rational exploration of the afterlife, launching September 20, 2018.
Illuminating will be published twice a month with articles from leading-edge researchers and thinkers in the field of consciousness studies.
Featured Columnist Dr. Kenneth Ring
We are honored to be joined by Dr. Kenneth Ring, highly esteemed near-death-experience researcher and author of the bestselling Lessons from the Light and The Omega Project. His book Mindsight is a groundbreaking inquiry into the near-death experiences of the blind.
Ken's monthly column Notes from the Ringdom features his new series of essays “Waiting to Die” that offer an enlightening and humorous perspective on life and death from a man who has fully investigated both. The column will debut this Wednesday September 5 with a short introduction from Ken on Tuesday September 4th. Keep your eyes open for what promises to be a compelling series of posts from a masterful writer and thoughtful researcher.
You can prepare for Ken’s column by reading more about him:
Remedies for Grief
On Thursday and Friday September 6-7 we will publish a two-part series by April Brader. April offers all of us a...