I was halfway to losing myself – and my baby
Carol Page, 67, a retired nurse and mother of three, lives with her husband John in Perthshire, Scotland. She says: ‘It should have been the moment I held my daughter in my arms. Instead, after a gruelling labour that lasted over 24 hours, my baby was whisked away as the midwives treated me. ‘I could sense the panic around me as the medical team painfully pushed and pulled on my abdomen, blood seeping out.
‘Then, suddenly, the pain lifted and I was fading, floating above my body. ‘Though I could still hear the voices of the nurses, everything was quiet, gentle and a beautiful pinky white colour. ‘I wanted to stay in this pain-free and happy place, but then I heard the wail of my daughter and knew I had a responsibility to her and my two year-old son, Benjamin, waiting at home. ‘Just as I made the choice to return, I heard a voice say ‘Christ, she’s back!’ and I slammed back into my body, where it was red, black and enveloped in pain. ‘I remained in hospital for five days and had numerous blood transfusions to replace the huge amounts I’d lost. ‘When I held Rachel in my arms after those scary few hours, I was so relieved and happy. ‘ was halfway to losing her — and myself — but thankfully, I managed to hold on. ‘Forty years later, we still talk about it.’
Saved by my late grandmothers
Susanna Omuri, 30, from Chigwell, Essex, is a stay-at-home mother to her 18-month-old daughter Isla. She says: ‘Almost 20 years ago, when I was 11, I visited a friend’s house. They lived on a dangerous bend and as I began to cross the road, a car came swerving around the corner.’It hit me hard, throwing me 30ft into the air. At that moment, suspended in the air above the car, time slowed and I got a clear vision of my two grandmothers — who had died when I was young — standing in a group of other people nearby, though I couldn’t recognize anyone else. ‘They were shouting at me and saying I couldn’t join them. Then they purposefully turned their backs on me. ‘The next thing I remember was hitting the bonnet of the car and then the road. I was in agony, but fully conscious the whole time.’Despite being covered in bruises and suffering from shock, thankfully I was relatively unharmed.’An ambulance took me to the hospital and on the journey I couldn’t stop thinking about how angry my grandmothers had seemed.’The nurse told me that at the speed the car was going I should have died, and would have done if I had landed in any other way.’She said a fairy godmother must have been looking after me. I was sent home that day.’I was three when my first grandmother died and six when the other passed away. ‘Being so young when they died, I had only a hazy recollection of what they looked like, but when I saw them at the moment of the car accident they were as clear as day.’
Moment I knew my son was going to die
‘My husband Ken and I were staying with him, and I went out to speak to him.
Angela Dent, 61, said she had a premonition predicting her son’s death
‘As I looked at him, a strange calmness came over me. We asked each other if we were OK and both said yes. In that moment, I got an inexplicable feeling that I would never see him again and that he was going to die. ‘We held each others gaze. ‘There was no sadness or smiling. It was strange and unnerving, but I have never felt so certain of something before. ‘I went back inside and into my bedroom and woke up my husband Ken to tell him of my premonition because I felt so strongly that something bad was going to happen. He told me not to be so silly.’Simon went off to work a little later. That night at 3.37am, the phone rang when Ken and I were asleep in bed. ‘I started crying, knowing it would be the news I had been dreading. ‘It was one of my son’s friends saying there had been a terrible car accident and Simon was very badly hurt. ‘We arrived at the scene of the accident, but our son had already been pronounced dead.’I was strangely numb, but knew that it was his time. I will never forget that moment when we looked at each other and I just knew.’
Childhood near miss that still haunts me
Anne Sanderson, 64, believes she had a near-death experience when she was a young child
Anne Sanderson, 64, a retired medical secretary, of Larbert, in Falkirk, lives with her husband Derek, a landscape artist. They have two grown-up children. She says: ‘I had a near-death experience 62 years ago when I was just two. My twin sister, Lesley, and I had been put into our shared cot by our mother, Susan. ‘I recall the sparse but sunny room clearly, with its linoleum on the floor. Lesley was standing in one corner of the cot and I was standing opposite her when she suddenly sneezed.’I got such a start that I fell over the raised cot side and onto the floor. At the same time I had one of the strangest and most lasting memories I’ve ever experienced.’It was a dream-like scene where I found myself floating high above Earth, looking down from outer space.’The blackness was all around highlighting the colours I could see below me — all blues, greens and yellows marking out the countries and seas. ‘I could see the entire globe so I must have been a long, long way away. There was also a slender, silver cord attached to my left hand side, reaching all the way back to Earth.’I felt very tranquil as though it was the most natural thing to be happening, even though I had no idea what I was looking at.’This happened in 1951. No colour photos of the world like that had yet been taken, let alone produced for a toddler to look at, and we didn’t even have a black-and-white television. How could I have known what the Earth looked like? ‘Fortunately, it was not my time to go. ‘I discovered much later that I’d cracked my collar bone. I regained consciousness in the hospital and have gone on living for six decades.’
White-robed man with a tranquil smile
Teacher Jan McPherson lives with her husband David, 68, a retired civil servant, in Carmarthen. They have two children. She says: ‘Five years ago, I grew ill with a lung condition called bronchiectasis which meant I had difficulty breathing.’As my condition deteriorated, I had the same dream over and over again. ‘In it, I went to a wooden door with a brass handle. Every time I tried to open the door it stayed closed.
Jan McPherson, from Ferryside, said she had a dream in which she saw ‘a man in white robes’ while she was suffering with a lung condition called bronchiectasis
One night the door opened and inside was a garden filled with blond children playing by a waterfall.’They had smiling, angelic faces and the air was filled with laughter. I had an overwhelming feeling of calm. In the corner was a man in white robes. ‘He had a long, grey beard and hair and carried a stave, rather like a shepherd’s. ‘He had the most a tranquil smile I have ever seen and radiated warmth and light. ‘Soon, I knew it was time to return, but I felt sure I’d had been privileged to witness such a scene.’Over the next few days my condition began to improve. I believe I was touched by healing hands and miraculously given strength from somewhere that night.’
I was hovering 10ft above hospital bed
Bob Pendlebury, 63, a retired financial services manager, lives in Hove, East Sussex.
Bob Pendlebury, 63, a retired financial services manager, said he recalls floating ten feet above his hospital bed after an asthma attack.He says: ‘Five years ago, I had an asthma attack that very nearly killed me. I was at home with my wife when suddenly I felt very tired and my breathing became difficult. Within minutes, I was struggling for each breath and panicking.’My wife, Nicole, rang for an ambulance and I was rushed to A&E, where they gave me emergency drugs and adrenaline as I had stopped breathing. I was convinced I was about to die.’I blacked out in one of the emergency rooms while doctors surrounded me, pulling tubes in and out of me.’The next thing I can remember is hovering 10ft in the air in the corner of the ceiling, looking down at myself on the hospital bed. I could see lots of people rushing in and out of the room.’Then suddenly my wife was leaving.
‘I was not in pain and couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about. I remember thinking: ‘That’s nice, Nicole’s abandoning me.’ Then I felt a sting in my neck, as though vinegar was being poured into my artery, and suddenly I came to again. Things slowly came back into focus.’I made a full recovery.I later found out that magnesium had been injected into my neck as a last resort. My wife told me they’d been moments from performing a tracheotomy when I suddenly started breathing again.
Strange dream as my heart stopped
Carol Paradise had a near death experience in hospital in January 2013
Carol Paradise, 71, a former mayor of Bath, lives with her husband David, 75, a retired builder. They have three children. She says: ‘A year ago, I went into hospital for a straightforward gallstone operation. But the gallbladder burst and my organs began to shut down. ‘I was unconscious for two days and my heart stopped three times. ‘From those two days, all I can remember, vividly, is the strangest dream. My friend Anna was sitting by my bed and I suggested that we go for a walk in the grounds.’We came to a circle of grass edged by a low stone wall that looked down to the sea. ‘A group of people joined us and we turned to enter a cave that led into a black tunnel. ‘The group, none of whom I recognised, seemed happy and went into the tunnel. ‘I looked around and Anna had disappeared. At the last moment, I turned around and went back. ‘Then I remember waking up, being rushed along a hospital corridor and seeing my family around me.’I made a full recovery eventually and was told I had been very lucky to survive.’
A vision of nuns at my feet
Gerald Grainger, 69, from South Wales who suffered a near death experience when he had a heart attack in June last year.Gerald Grainger, 69, lives with his wife Laurel, a retired sales assistant, in Merthyr Tydfil. They have three grown-up children.
He says: ‘I was at home last June when I started feeling chesty and sweaty. My wife Laurel insisted I called 999.’In the ambulance, the lovely paramedic, Vanessa, was talking to me when suddenly I felt myself floating down a square tunnel lit by a bright shining light.’I could see four faceless figures, dressed in nun-like habits with pointy hats, float beside me and there was a feeling of calm, as if I was suspended in a lovely dream.’I was looking ahead at what I thought was a large garden when suddenly everything went into reverse and I was speeding backwards through the tunnel and I was awake, my face pressed up against the side of the ambulance with Vanessa saying: ‘Come on Gerald, fight for me, come on.’’We arrived at the hospital minutes later where I stayed for six days, after apparently suffering a heart attack and ‘dying’ for five minutes in the ambulance. ‘Vanessa had shocked me with a defibrillator and carried out CPR until I’d eventually regained consciousness.’When I returned home, I continued to see visions of those nuns at the foot of my bed every night for about six weeks, and, strangely, their presence felt very comforting.’I used to be afraid of dying alone, but I’m not any more.’