January 23, 2012 - Reported in heraldsun.com. Durham, NC - Angela Bennett clearly remembers the day she had an out-of-body experience as death was closing in.
She had gone into diabetic shock, her eyes had rolled back and paramedics were frantically working on her.
“I don’t know if we can bring her back,” one of the medics had said. They did bring her back from death’s doorstep that day in 1990, but not before Bennett had an out-of-body experience she’ll never forget.
“They knew I was in big trouble,” she said. “The whole time this was happening, I felt like I was suspended and floating in the corner of the room. And I remember thinking: ‘I want to let them know I’m OK – what are you so worried about?’” Bennett said she could see herself, from above, as the chaotic scene played out below on the bed of her parents’ Durham home.
“I could see myself being worked on,” she said. “I remember lying diagonally across the bed, surrounded by eight or nine paramedics and volunteer firefighters who were frantically trying to get an IV in. I can see it now just as clearly as if it happened yesterday. It was not like a dream – fuzzy or foggy, and you can’t remember details later. I remember this like it was yesterday.”
“I know I left my body,” she said. “I saw myself. Some people who don’t believe might think: ‘Well, you were just way out of it.’ But when it happens to you, you are convinced that it is absolutely real. It is not something I imagined.” Later, she realized that the experience had eliminated her fear of death.
“What really stuck in my mind is that I don’t fear leaving this world, because I know what’s in store for me – that we are just passing through. And if you are a Christian, death is not final – only a stepping stone to what’s next,” she said. “I remember having the thought: ‘I’m OK. Y’all stop worrying,’ because they seemed like they were in such a panic mode.”
Bennett, 50, who has always had a strong faith in God, said she never saw a white light as many of those who nearly died have reported. But what happened to her that day gave her a peace of mind that has remained.
“I know I’m a child of God and the only fear I have is leaving my loved ones, and the fear of suffering,” she said. “But I don’t fear going to another place.”
Bennett, whose parents own Bullock’s Barbecue in Durham, has had multiple health problems since that episode. She received a pancreas-kidney transplant at Duke University Hospital in 1993, and was thrown through the windshield of her fiancé’s truck in 1995 when a drunken driver hit them head-on. She’s had many hospitalizations, and been on numerous medications.
But today, her health is good, and she’s off most of the medications she’s had to take for years.
She knows she wouldn’t be alive today if not for the organ transplant from a 17-year-old girl who died in an accident, and that’s one reason she’s thankful for every day.
“You get a peace from knowing that there’s something bigger than you,” Bennett said. “That is what having faith is all about. I believe the experience I had confirmed what my faith has always taught me - that there is a loving God and that death is not final. And for me, that gives me peace.”