The near death experience of Dr Maurice Rawlings

I didn’t believe in God, let alone an afterlife, but that belief quickly changed one evening in 1977. I was monitoring a patient of mine, a guy aged 40, whilst he carried out an ECG stress test. There and then in my office, he had a cardiac arrest and dropped dead to the floor. Three nurses rushed in and began CPR whilst I started external hard massage but it wouldn’t maintain its own beat. I had to insert a pacemaker wire down through the large vein. The patient began coming to but whenever I reached for instruments or interrupted chest compressions, he would lose consciousness again, stopped breathing and died one more time. But the terrifying thing was this: each time he came around and began respiration, he would scream “I’m in hell” and plead with me not to quit. This literally scared the hell out of me. Every time I quit, I was sending him back there. He looked petrified. After this happened a few times, I dismissed his complaint and told him to keep his “hell” to himself until I was finished fitting the pacemaker. But the man was beyond serious. “How do I stay out of hell? Pray for me.” “Pray for him?” I thought. I was a doctor, not a preacher. He repeated. It was a dying man’s request. As I continued working, I took my mind back to Sunday school and had the man repeat a prayer asking Jesus to save him and turn his life around. It wasn’t complicated and with that his condition stabilized. I asked the patient a couple of days later to explain what he saw in hell but he remembered nothing, as if they were wiped from his memory. He did, however, remember everything after the prayer. Seeing us work on his body, a pleasurable experience of brilliant light, lush vegetation in a narrow valley and meeting his deceased family – his stepmother and birth mother who had died when he was just 15 months old. The whole experience changed everything I ever believed.