One of the most amazing and well documented near death testimonies is that of Pam Reynolds. Since the experience Pam has given numerous interviews her near death experience is considered as one of the most reliable testimony of this phenomenon. Pam was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm. To have the aneurysm successfully removed, she underwent a surgical procedure known as hypothermic cardiac arrest. To perform this operation she had to be put to death. This meant that body temperature was lowered to 60 degrees (15 degrees celcius); her heartbeat, breathing and brain activity were stopped and that the blood was drained from her brain.
The fact that she was intentiannaly put to death makes this near death experience reliable. There is no doubt that Pam was dead during the main part of the operation. During her standstill all indicators showed that Pam was dead. Her brain wave activity (electroencephalogram-EEG) was flat denoting non-function of the cerebral cortex. Also the auditory evoked potential (AEP), a type of EEG signal emanated from the brain scalp by an acoustical stimulus was measured to be zero denoting a dead brain. The doctors also confirmed absence of brain function as they measured that no blood was flowing to the head during hypothermic cardiac arrest. But how was she able to have a conscious experience with no heartbeat of brainwave?
While all her vital signs were flat, Pam was able to experience a conscious existence. Pam reported witnessing the doctor using the surgical saw to cut through her skull. She also reported leaving her body and hovering over the operating table. From that point of view she could witness procedure details and listen to the conversations that were later confirmed by the doctors and nurses. She described the time she was looking down on herself being operated as being the most aware she had ever been.
At some point Pam’s consciousness left the operating room and travelled down a tunnel towards a light at the end. In the tunnel, she became aware of her deceased grandmother calling her through telepathy. In the light, deceased relatives, friends and unknown ones were standing. It was more a sensation that they were there. Apart from her grandmother she began to notice many relatives from both sides of her family. It seemed that light was emanating from them; they were a source of light.
The feeling was that they were all there to take care of her. She felt that her deceased loved ones were not allowing her to move further and if she did she would not be able to return to her body and die. She wanted to go into the light but at the same time she wanted to go back to be with her children. Then her deceased loved ones seemed to be nourishing her with something not with some food but something that was sparkly; energy maybe. Through this process Pam felt physically strong.
She was accompanied from her uncle on her way back through the tunnel. As she looked at her body from above on the operating bed, the idea of returning into the body terrified her. Pam got the message that reentering into the body was as easy as jumping into a swimming pool. It felt like her uncle pushed her in some way. The body was pulling her in and the tunnel was pushing her towards the body. Once in the body the doctors got her vital signs back. Pam described the experience of reentering her body as “plunging into a pool of ice”.
Pam’s observations while outside of the body were confirmed by the discussions she had with the doctors. While dead she observed the sounds of the drill and the saw that were used on her skull; heard one of the surgeons state that her arteries were too small for the cardiac bypass tubing and the music the doctors were listening (Hotel California) when closing her surgical wounds.
Photo by João Amoral