blinkstar.gif (494 bytes) Heather Sloan

If patients are conscious while clinically dead, they should be able to describe what happened as they were resuscitated. One night in June 1976, Heather Sloan, a former State Registered Nurse and Midwife, was pronounced clinically dead. As her spirit left her body, she recalls that she looked down at herself lying on the hospital bed until a Being of light encouraged her to float through a glowing tunnel. Sloan, who had an ectopic pregnancy, was resuscitated and, by the following morning, was able to describe her experience. But it was not until the late 1980's that she discovered that her experience actually had a name associated with it. The following is her NDE in her own words:



My experience was in 1976. I was a young mother with an 18 month old baby to care for, no close relatives living nearby, and a husband at sea serving with the Royal Navy. I had severe abdominal pain exacerbated by ingestion of food I had coped with this pain for a month. 24 hours prior to admission I had been unable to drink. Consequently my physical condition was very low. I weighed about 6 stone.

It became evident that I required a laparotomy operation to ascertain the cause of the pain. It was in a side ward following this surgery that I had my experience.

I found myself lifted out of my body standing beside the bed, looking down on what I eventually realized was myself. My spirit was attached to my body by a thin wisp of cord which looked like it could break apart at any time. I was encouraged not to keep looking back but to move on towards the light. I felt reassured by my companion and found myself in the presence of a "being of light". I had grown up in a Christian background so did not find it too difficult to think this could be the God which one day we would all meet. However this was not how I envisaged God to be. This was a very kind, compassionate being of great wisdom and not the judgmental character I had been led to expect. I became aware that my every thought was shared with all in his presence and himself. I was surrounded by many "beings of light". There was no place to 'hide' my thought process which I found quite discomforting because in life no one sees you in your entirety as an open book.

I started to see my life from its beginning. I was able to experience everything yet at the same time I was able to feel how my actions were felt and received by those I affected. All my transgressions were revealed and commonly experienced by the beings I was with. However at no time was I judged. The person who did the judging was me. In the presence of such perfection it was embarrassing to acknowledge my imperfections.

At this point I became aware that perhaps I was not returning. A period of distress occurred as I knew I had a small child at home. How could I leave her and my husband. All in my presence were very compassionate to my distress and it was decided that I would be allowed to return. I asked why this had happened to me and I was told that I had an ectopic pregnancy and that I had suffered a severe hemorrhage.

I found myself hovering over my body as two nurses were standing either side of my bed. For a short period of time I was concerned as to how I would return to my physical self but my companion reassured me that all would be well. There was a small jolt and I was aware that things were back to 'normal'.

During the day my mother and husband came to visit. I told them about my experience. In 1976 there was very little said about people having these experiences. It was not until some years later that, reading an article in a magazine, I realized that my experience had been given a name (NDE) and that many others shared it in common with me."

Heather Sloan


"Life is a great sunrise. I do not see why death should not be an even greater one." - Vladimir Nobokov

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