NDE: Nurse Investigates Near-Death Experiences

NDE: Nurse Investigates Near-Death Experiences

Mar 14


By Monica Cafferky
March 14, 2011

Original Link

We have all heard stories of patients lying apparently lifeless on a hospital bed while doctors work frantically to resuscitate them. When they come round they talk about seeing a white light at the end of a long tunnel. They may often report talking to loved ones.

While sceptics may dismiss these visions as little more than the effect of anaesthesia, these tales are accounts of classic near-death experiences (NDEs). After more than 21 years as a nurse, the last 17 of those in intensive care, I’ve heard countless similar stories.

I became so fascinated with NDEs I decided to undertake my own study at the Morriston Hospital in Swansea where I work. I began documenting NDEs and my research is the largest of its kind in the UK. I was awarded my PhD in NDEs five years ago from the University of Wales.

At first I thought this phenomenon was caused by hallucinations but one 59-year-old’s experience I documented clearly suggests this isn’t the case. The woman was admitted to A&E with severe asthma and revealed that she suddenly found herself feeling calm. In reality she’d blacked out.

Next she was looking down on her body in the hospital bed and she spotted a mousetrap on top of the cupboard. She then saw a bright light. She was drawn towards it and figures appeared as outlines.

She felt incredibly peaceful and travelled towards the light but the figures told her she had to go back. “I wasn’t sure who the beings were but I had a feeling I knew them,” she told me. “They felt like family members.”

When the woman woke up in A&E she told a nurse about her experience. The nurse then discovered the mousetrap on top of the cupboard.

Other people I’ve interviewed for my research reported travelling down a tunnel and meeting relatives, some have seen spiritual or religious beings standing in bright light, while others have even undergone a life review where everything they’ve done flashed before them. However all the cases I’ve spoken to have one thing in common: they are told it’s not their time or they make a voluntary effort to return to their body. The traditional medical view of NDEs is that they’re caused by drugs, a lack of oxygen to the brain or hallucinations. However my research found that in some cases oxygen levels were normal during an NDE and other patients were not receiving drug treatments yet both still had NDEs.

I have also talked to people who have been recorded as clinically dead for up to five minutes yet during this time they’ve undergone a powerful experience they can recall.
Following 15 years of research, I have come to the conclusion that NDEs are real, spiritual experiences that can have a profound effect.

Some people change their lifestyle and careers while others become less materialistic. The psychological impact can be overwhelming with people afterwards saying they now know the death of the physical body isn’t the end. I’ve even discovered people whose energy field appears to change. If they stand near household appliances, such as kettles, the equipment blows up or becomes faulty for no apparent reason.

I recently headed up new research called The Hereafter Report which shows that 66 per cent of people in the UK now believe in life after death, up from 47 per cent in 1955.

I’m not surprised by the high figure because I suspect many people have NDEs but are afraid to disclose the experience for fear of being ridiculed.

I also believe current scientific thinking is unable to understand NDEs and that the boundaries of science with respect to this phenomenon need to be revised.

But of course however we investigate NDEs, we will never be 100 per cent sure what happens after death until we die ourselves. Meanwhile we can simply try to make sense of the tantalising glimpses reported by others.



Pulse on Near-Death Experiences



  1. Simon C. Limbrick

    As a member of this site for nearly a year now, I never cease to be amazed at the variety of individual experiences. Having had two ‘spiritual’ experiences that I can recall, they have focused my mind even more intently toward believing in God and the Afterlife.
    During these two experiences, especially the second, I was intensely calmed, realising I was totally understood and accepted. Moreover, totally forgiven.
    Becoming baptised between both of these experiences, I was enjoying a very close relationship with Jesus/God; both in prayer and verbally in everyday life. Even so, I felt I let God and myself down terribly when, two weeks after my second NDLE, I went on an 18-30.
    The day after, I awoke and half that feeling of profound love and acceptance went. I don’t mind telling you that I have never felt more guilty and alone in all my life. The next day, that feeling had totally vanished, and it has haunted me ever since. The parable of the seeds comes to mind and I see myself as one of those seeds that fell on stony ground, sprouted, and was burned up by the sun. Or the vine that fails to produce fruit and is thrown into the fire.
    Mentioning this to many people over these years, I am told that it is not God who has moved far from me but that it is my guilt that separates us. If I was telling this to another who had this problem, I would tell them God understands this and forgives them. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to work this way round. Confidence in my future has been affected.
    Remembering the parable that ‘the road to salvation is very narrow, though which only a few will pass; the road to destruction is very broad, through which many will pass’, does little to engender confidence either.
    In one respect, I feel I should maybe run on faith alone, without that spiritual blanket of comfort I felt. In another, I wonder, if then, I will only be deluding myself? In a nutshell, that is my predicament. I had a look at Proverbs today and remember reading about how no one can be aware of the life God has chosen for us.
    I defend God when people say how can He love us when He keeps letting all these disasters happen in the world, that kill and maim so many. When I point out that it is us, Humankind, who are responsible for our own existence, the atheists just pour scorn on my reasoning. How quick they are to blame God, who they don’t believe in, when these things happen. It is mankind, exploding numerous atom/nuclear bombs under the Earth’s crust that can account for all these earthquakes and sunamis.

  2. Jennifer Rensing

    Simon, I am a nurse interested in NDE from things I have heard working. I feel however, I need to respond to you. It is obvious you believe in God, and sounds like you are so convicted by whatever you have done. Are you forgetting that no sin is greater? The fact that you are feeling so guilty is conviction, I believe those who feel that deep down guilt/conviction have the Holy Spirit within them. I feel “our father” disciplines us in ways that may make us feel uncomfortable so that we will not make the same mistake again. This is done by him only out of love. How do you know that the feeling of discontent over your salvation is not part of this. It sounds like to me, you had a first hand experience that has made you believe first hand, and for some of us, it has really taken God to REALLY show us he is real. You are lucky to have had this, but for people who are sooo blessed by God like this, I also feel when you become a follower/more obedient etc, you are also thrown challenges and/or evil may intervene. Remember, fear, jealousy,anger,hurt etc, is not of God. Love, acceptance, ….. is of God. As a Christian, I am embracing you, and I don’t even know you. I just read about Abraham, he was definitly not a perfect soul, he lied twice telling someone his wife was his sister, giving her to other men, he had a child with his slave, but he ended up being one of the descendants of Jesus. Whomever he prayed for, appeared to be blessed. God still made his life amazing. For me, this was comforting, why? because I am surely not perfect, have to ask forgiveness a lot. What is important is God knows what is in your heart. I am going to go pray for you today, Simon. I do not want you to lose faith in what God wants for you. I am a total stranger, comming to this site to read stuff interesting to me, and then end up reading your reply feeling totally compelled to pray for you. Could this be God? Take care Simon, I wish the best for you. Sincerely, Jen

  3. Jennifer Rensing

    Ok, back to write on the NDE article. Again, I am a nurse that had heard fascinating stories at a large city hospital where I used to work. Totally cool. I always really wanted to do research just like the nurse above in this area. In fact that has always been what I really wanted to do as a nurse was research in this area. Why? becasue it gives us hope. NDE are universal. The light, the change in personality after, seeing loved ones. The one thing that always has confused me is the choice that some have been given to come back or stay. I am not sure this is biblical, then again, free choice is biblical, and we are not supposed to know everything that God does. Anyway, a recent story that is totally legit because of who it happened to really struck me. My daughters boyfriend who is becomming a nurse was working as a tech in the same hospital I told you I worked in and heard amazing stories in. He was on a med surge floor, it was night shift, and he was sitting at the end of this hallway charting on a computer. At the end of this hallway were two patients who were dying. One was his patient, the other was a patient he had assisted with. Now my daughters boyfriend, is a jock, with a big heart, but not a really emotional male etc. What I mean, is he is the one with the story of what I am going to tell you next which makes it more believeable. Because he out of anyone is not into any of this stuff, and is just not that person to tell a story like this. Anyway, he said all of a sudden while he was charting he felt a surge of adrenaline go through his body, like he was going to run a race, and then felt the biggest chills and goosebumps he has ever felt. He then said he immediately had the instinct that the man in one of the rooms that was not his patient had just died. So he looked up and went into the room, the man did just die. I drilled my daughters boyfriend, it appears he was not scared concerned or even thinking about the fact that the patients in those rooms were dying, his comment was ” I was just sitting there charting, not really thinking much, and it was not drafty there either.” He doesn’t know what happened there, but he will admit something he has never experienced has happened to him, and he is associating it with this guys passing. Was it this mans spirit leaving his body and passing through him?

    A similar story, I was being orientated in the neonatal intensive care by a nurse who had worked there half her lifetime. She was a normal, trustworthy gal who was an excellent nurse. She proceeded to tell me one night about how she was holding a baby that was dying, she was rocking the baby because the parents were not present and she did not want the baby to die alone. The baby was hooked up to a moniter. My nurse friend proceeded to tell me, she all of a sudden felt this surge of adrenaline run through her body again, as if she was about to run a race, and then she said whereas before she felt bad the baby was dying with no parents around, she had the full instinct at that moment she felt the adrenaline that the baby just died, she confirmed this by looking up at the heart moniter to see the heart beat had slowed down and stopped. At this moment, she also realized she felt the utmost peace and felt all of a sudden it was all ok. As she is telling me this story her fact was so sincere and she had tears.

    How cool are these stories.

  4. Jen, cool stories. Thanks for sharing them!

  5. Simon, thanks for taking the time to share your experience on Pulse. I think experiences like yours need more exploration. I thought I saw it posted on NHNE NDE. If you didn’t post it there, you might want to. I would be interested in seeing how many other NDErs can relate to your experience. They may have had similar experiences and found helpful ways to understand them:


  6. Jennifer Rensing

    Hi Dave! I cannot get Simon out of my mind and I do not know him. I hope he reads what I posted, and knows I prayed for him today. Simon needs to know that a totaly stranger cares, and prayed for him today thus God cares for him.

    Two books you should read!!! Totally cool about near death experiences. “The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven” By Malarkey. This is totally amazing, this boy should not have lived by the way.

    The other book is by a family on the today show yesterday, “Heaven Is For Real” This boy was too young to know all he did about heaven, and he did not even die, he was just deathly sick on an operating table. The kicker, is he was able to recite exactly what his mother and what his father were doing at the exact moment he was under anesthesia, so how could he have known what they were doing. The dad was in one room door shut and mom in other room. He also knew his mom had miscarried before him, of which he was never told this, his parents weren’t really even talking about it to many people. Plus he was too young to be told this anyway.

    These are two books that offer amazing hope in heaven, God, and that the bible is factual. I am not sure, but I think even one book talks about the poss of a new heaven or new earth in the future. Pretty cool! Makes you really want to do the right thing and be a better person!
    You sound like you have an awesome open mind David, I wish more people were like you in this respect.

  7. Hi Jennifer,

    I’ve read and reported on “Heaven Is For Real”, but haven’t heard of “The Boy Who Came back From Heaven”. Thanks for making me aware of it!

    Concerning Simon, many people who have NDEs report experiences similar to his. There are, in fact, so many issues that people have on the other side of NDEs that there is an organization that specializes in helping them: The American Center for the Integration of Spiritually Transformative Experiences (ACISTE)


    In case you missed it, there is also a page up on Pulse full of NDE resources:


    Take care. Thanks for taking time to share your thoughts and concerns.


  8. Jennifer Rensing

    Hi Dave,
    Wow, I had no idea there was actually a support group for NDE people. I wish I would have known this when I worked in a hospital setting. I am sure someday this will be helpful. What made you put up this website, did you have a NDE yourself?

  9. I have not had an NDE. I have, however, been interested in near-death experiences since I heard Dr. George Ritchie describe his at a conference in Virginia beach, Virginia in the mid 1970’s. Realizing in recent years that this phenomenon was emerging as a transformative force around the planet, I’ve done what I can to put together a few online resources that can help those who are interested find out more about them — and also to help NDErs find one another, and compare notes…

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