On October 23, 2015 I collapsed at home due to massive pulmonary embolisms five weeks after complete knee replacement surgery.
I coded when the ambulance reached the hospital Emergency and three more times after that. The ICU doctors and nurses worked on me for 95 minutes. They were preparing to call Time Of Death when one of the doctors found a faint pulse which I managed to maintain. I was in ICU for seven days and in the Rehabilation section of the hospital for seven more days.
During my experience I was in complete darkness. There was a man dressed in white standing next to me on my right side. At the end of the darkness was a circle of light. In the light were people milling around. They seemed to being going on about their lives as if nothing was wrong. It reminded me of when my mother would leave the hallway light on at night so my sisters and I wouldn’t be afraid to go to sleep. This light was much brighter and intense.
As I tried to focus on the man standing next to me, his face began to become clearer. I had a strange feeling of not so much fear as despair. As his face began to come into focus, I believed I had been kidnapped by a Klingon. I was on a spaceship and they were taking me far away from my family. I remember my heart being so heavy with sadness as if I had lost someone close and dear to me. The thought of never seeing my husband, children and grandchildren was almost too much for me to bear.
As my despair grew, the man placed his hand on my right arm. His face began to become even clearer. He had long, stringy brown hair and the blackest eyes I have ever seen. I could feel the calm. He spoke to me but I don’t remember his mouth moving. I could hear him say, “You have to fight, Deanne. We’ll take care of you.”
My next memory was waking in ICU with my husband and son standing beside my bed. I was intubated and had my nose packed because of bleeding. My hands were tied to the bed rail to prevent me from pulling my breathing tube.
On December 19, 2015 my husband had prepared lunch. I made my way from the bedroom to the kitchen table. It was laundry day so my husband was in and out of the laundry room off the kitchen. I hadn’t thought about what he was watching on television until the show caught my attention.
My husband returned to the kitchen table and noticed tears streaming down my face. Of course he asked what was wrong now. Since my surgery, my emotions had been all over the map. I have always been able to cry at the smallest things but now it was almost every day. Television commercials, birthday cards, you name it. I pointed to the television and, with my voice cracking, I explained the person on television was my Klingon.
My husband took a seat in his chair as he explained he was watching a documentary titled ‘Jesus, the lost 40 days.’ The image of Jesus was a 3-D reproduction taken from the marks on the Shroud of Turin. He told me he had tried to tell me when I was in the hospital the man in my room was an angel. I was insistent he was a Klingon.
I couldn’t say anything. I ate my soup, letting the moment sink in. My thoughts were all over the place. This would be the first of many pieces of the puzzle explaining what happened to me. I didn’t just die. I was taken to the gates of Heaven and Jesus comforted me there. He gave me a choice to go with him or to stay. As he listened to my heart, he could feel the despair and sadness at the thought of me leaving my husband, kids and grandkids. He let me return with the knowledge everything would be all right.