Let’s talk: Have you had a near death experience? 70

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Today every news channel, newspaper and even Starts at 60 reported on Queensland surfer Mick Fanning’s near miss with two Great White Sharks off the coast of South Africa overnight.

Speaking to the media about his close call, it was clear he was absolutely stunned. And it’s made us think, this young man nearly had his life taken from him – when did you have a near death experience?

We’ve had a look around the web for the best stories, and have found these 3:


During a kayaking trip in 1999, Dr. Mary Neal became pinned under the water when her kayak capsized, making it impossible for her to breathe for anywhere between 15 and 25 minutes. That’s when she says she experienced a near-death experience that brought her into the presence of God, Jesus, and angels.

During the experience, God told her that her family would be facing an upcoming tragedy and would need her to help them through. Specifically, her nine-year-old son Willie was going to die—but she wasn’t told when, where, or how. Ten years later, at age 19, Willie was killed in a car accident in Maine by a driver who was on his cell phone.

Mary is convinced Jesus helped her under the water, making it possible for rescue workers to revive her following the kayaking accident. She awoke with two broken legs and lung complications, and spent a month in the hospital, followed by six weeks in a wheelchair. She wrote a book called, To Heaven And Back, which was published in May 2012.



In 1956 I was at home having a barbecue with the family when suddenly I felt a pain in my chest that felt like someone had pushed a knife in and twisted it.

I was rushed to hospital and was told by a doctor in charge that I had a very bad case of pneumonia.

Because of the lack of medical knowledge in those days he told my family that I would be dead in a few days and just left me in the corner of this large room.

Over the next couple of hours I felt myself drifting off to sleep. As it turned out I was in a coma for three days.

While in this state I heard a beautiful humming sound that was gradually coming closer. It sounded like a church choir but much louder and more beautiful. I saw a white mist approaching from over a hill and a beautiful light following and as this mist came closer so did this wonderful sound and radiant light.

As it reached me I experienced the utmost peace rush through my aching body and suddenly felt myself rising towards the roof of the hospital. I just looked, it was beautiful and the mist was swirling around. Then I found myself standing in the middle of a bridge.

I looked over to one side of the suspension bridge and saw my dead mother standing there. She had her arms outstretched towards me and said: “Sadie, take my hand, it’s so lovely over here”. As I put my hands out to touch her, I heard my children crying uncontrollably and realised the pain they were going through seeing their mother dying. At this point I made a conscious decision: I turned away from my mother and made my way to the other side of the bridge.

The light and mist that took me from my body arrived and took me to be with my children. I woke in the hospital bed with my family standing around crying.



I could tell people what had happened in the hospital room while I was dead, it’s not like I was sitting on the ceiling, because I was travelling toward the light, but somehow I could also see what was happening there, I knew exactly what was being done where and when – it was like being omnipresent.

The doctor said I was dead for 20 minutes; they’d stopped working on me, called for the morgue attendant as rigor mortis set in to my body, and then all of a sudden they said I gave a cough and I was back.

Afterwards I went back and spoke to all the nurses and doctors about it. They said that when I revived I was still black and purple. It was the longest time they’d had someone gone before being revived after a cardiac arrest.

I think I had to die to learn to live. It changed my whole outlook on life, my whole outlook on people and changed me from a bigoted type of person to being more broad minded and letting people accept what they want to accept.


What was your near death experience, and how has it changed your outlook since? Do you think there is life after death?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I had a heart attack where my heart stopped and I was revived by paramedics and I’m still going

  2. ‘Died’ during ♥ surgery. .didn’t have any visions. But have had several ‘weird’ unexplained experiences..SO who knows. .

  3. Yep. Riding bikes. Have a crash. Life does flash by. 6 down. Still here. Still riding. Jimmy don’t want me yet.

  4. Not sure about life after death. When you lose someone close though I think this brings things into perspective and changes your outlook on everything.

  5. l should have been dead twice…once when a blood clot passed thru my heart n lodged in my lung ..2nd time in a car crash in which my car was beyond recognition was not my time then…..and yes l do believe in the after life,

  6. On two occassions (that I know of), I have been v e r y close to death – in both cases, I saved myself by reflex. It has made me look at death in a relaxed way, knowing that every day that I have had since the two incidents has been a bonus.

  7. I had an experience while in hospital with thrombosis and pulmonary embolism where I went from intense pain, to absolute stillness and peace, I was aware I’d stopped breathing. I remember a question with in my mind about readiness, and my response, no I want to see my children grow up. Was it God giving me a a second chance, or my subconscious making me fight back and survive. I’ve never been religious but the still period wasn’t scary more blissful. Moments later I was back and in pain again.

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  8. I’m not a believer in life after death but I have experienced potential serious injury or death that has stayed in my mind ever since. I saw it as a time to be grateful for being alive and not to take life for granted.

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