Researchers claim they have discovered a ‘new dimensions of reality’ after studying people who came back from the dead.
A first-of-its-kind study published last week found that a significant number of people remain lucid for up to an hour after their heart stops.
The patients told researchers they saw deceased loved ones, floated above their bodies, and were even involved in high-speed police chases as they were being revived.
Some of them saw bright lights and ethereal figures, while others had more harrowing experiences like demons surrounding them.
Dr Sam Parnia, senior study author and 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 it with oxygen, our work found that the brain can show signs of electrical recovery long into ongoing CPR.’
These are the firsthand accounts of the survivors:
Some patients in the study, published last week in the journal Resuscitation, felt themselves leave their bodies
Delusions and dreams
Patient 1: ‘I heard my name over and over again. All around me were things like demons and monsters.
‘It felt like they were trying to tear off my body parts,’ one patient recalled. At the upper right corner of wherever I was at, I could see someone.
‘There was no face, but it was a male figure. He 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 she breathing? Is she breathing?”‘
Patient 2: ‘I do remember being in a vast field with gray tents spread everywhere. There were faceless figures. I remember walking away through a canyon. On either side of the canyon were men in white robes with hoods hiding their faces. The last thing I remember was all of them pointing to me. Then the world was swallowed by gray.’
Patient 3: ‘A man came into my view and walked about 2 to 3 feet in front of me at a 30-degree angle, from a starting point of maybe 10 feet away. He looked like a 1940’s gangland character. His nose was long and pointed. He had a white-wall 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 what I was doing in the house]. Then, I walked into a puddle… When I got out of the puddle, I was not wet and sort of melded into the pavement… There was a fisherman singing a sea shanty over me, and it was raining,’ the patient said.
Patient 5: ‘[I] felt as though someone was holding my hand. It was very black, I couldn’t see anything.’
Seeing the light
Patient 6: ‘I do remember a being of light … standing near me. It was looming over me like a great tower of strength, yet radiating only warmth and love … I caught glimpses of my life and felt pride, love, joy, and sadness, all pouring into me. Each image was of me, but from the standpoint of a being standing with me or looking on… I was shown the consequences of my life, thousands of people that I’d interacted with and felt what they felt about me, saw their life and how I had impacted them. Next I saw the consequences of my life and the influence of my actions.’
Patient 7: ‘I went directly to a place of light. It was calm and immediate … The place where I was I perceived to be analogous in a way to the exterior of an entry way…There was one major being of love and many other beings of love … There was nothing but love, goodness, truth, and all things to do with love. There was no room 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 beyond perfect and loving, as we in our human state know it. 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 of 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 had no fear about where I was going and what to expect when I arrived there. Then I felt warmth … Then there was the desire to be home.’
Separating from oneself
Patient 9: ‘I could see what was going on […] I stood next to the bed, it was very odd.’
Patient 10: ‘I was no longer in my body. I floated without weight or physicality. I was above my body and directly below the ceiling of the intensive therapy room. I observed the scene that was taking place below me … I, who no longer was the body that had belonged to me just a moment prior, found myself in a position which was … more elevated. It was a place that had nothing to do with any kind of … material experience.’
Patient 11: ‘I was asked if I wanted to come home (meaning there) or wanted to come back here. I told them that my two sons needed me and I had to go back. I was suddenly in my body again feeling my achy joints flaring in pain. I really don’t remember what was going on around me at that point, just that I hurt.’
Other patients remembered doctors working to restart their hearts
Patient 12: ‘As they tried to revive me and get my heart started 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 as if someone was pushing hard on my chest. I was trying to push them off, but my hands felt tied.’
Patient 14: ‘I heard my partner saying [patient’s name] and my son saying “mom.”‘
Patient 15: ‘I remember looking at the nurse asking for help to breathe, then waking up in the ICU.’
Patient 16: ‘I remember when I came back and they were putting those two electrodes to my chest, and I remember the shock.’
Patient 17: ‘I could feel someone doing something on my chest. I couldn’t feel the actual compressions, but I could feel someone rubbing quite.’
Reuniting with loved ones
Patient 18: ‘I remember seeing my dad.’
Patient 19: ‘I thought I heard my grandma [who is passed] saying, ‘you need to go back.'”