Life after death: Expert discusses research into topic

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Scientists studying the physiological and paranormal circumstances surrounding death have a particular interest in NDEs. NDEs or near-death experiences are described as a collection of seemingly unexplainable phenomena that occur when people stand on the brink of death. Visions of deceased loved ones, intense hallucinations and out-of-body experiences are frequently reported by people who died in their hospital beds or suffered great trauma.

One such person is a woman named Terri B, who claims to have had a “surreal” experience while having a heart attack 11 years ago.

According to Terri’s NDE account, she heard her mother’s voice while being taken to hospital in an ambulance.

The account is all the more astounding, considering Terri claimed her mother had died three months prior to the NDE.

And yet, the woman told the Near-Death Experience Research Foundation (NDERF) her mother’s voice “came through clearly”.

Terri said: “I was in the ambulance en route to the hospital.

“I knew I was having a heart attack but I felt no pain.

“I remember thinking how calm and at peace I felt.

“Suddenly, I heard my mother who had been dead for three months.

“As children, we had always joked that prayers went from Esther’s mouth to God’s ears.”

According to Terri, she heard her mother’s “no-nonsense” voice said: “You put her back.”

That is all Terri can remember of the incident in the ambulance as the next thing she recalls is a medical technician telling her: “Stay with me.”

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Terri then woke up the next morning in hospital with a new stent – a small tube inserted into a blocked passageway to keep it open.

In the aftermath of the incident, Terri claims to have experienced deeper faith and is no longer fearful of dying.

To some extent, she claimed, she even looks forward to seeing her dead loved ones in the afterlife.

She said: “While I felt like I was alert and aware at the time, I have spotty memories of the whole event. Most of my memories seem surreal.

“My mother, however, was not surreal in the least. I truly believe she was in that ambulance.”

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Medical experts, however, would challenge Terri’s story, instead proposing her NDE was the result of strictly natural processes – not spiritual or paranormal ones.

According to Dr Daniel Kondziella, a neurologist at the University of Copenhagen, NDEs may be the result of brain activity even during a moment of intense trauma.

Dr Kondziella published research on the topic in 2019 that was presented at the European Academy of Neurology Congress, arguing the experiences can be triggered before imminent death.

He later told NBC News: “I think that before passing out, they have the near-death experience.

“When they are then resuscitated, the last thing that they remember is that experience.”

However, a 2014 paper published by Dr Jeffrey Long in Missouri Medicine, the journal of the Missouri State Medical Association, concluded NDEs have not been “adequately explained based on physical brain function” after 35 years of research.

According to the paper, some 17 percent of patients who nearly die report some form of NDE.

The NDEs have been reported by men, women, adults and children alike.

Although no two NDEs are the same, there are some similarities, such as the sensations of leaving one’s body or flying through a tunnel.

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