The woman had never been a religious person, until what she believes was a monumental experience with Jesus Christ. After battling a throat disease and spending time in hospital the woman, called Vivian, suffered some complications with her illness and temporarily lost consciousness. At that moment she encountered a tunnel, and at the end she saw Jesus Christ.
Writing for the Near Death Experience Research Foundation, Vivian wrote: “All I know is that suddenly I was in a very long, dark tunnel moving very rapidly toward a very large, bright light that radiated love.
“I could hear beautiful, high-pitched wind chimes, and I could hear angels singing; legions of angels. They were singing the Doxology.
“The light was Christ, and I was fully aware of that at the time. I experienced a life review in the tunnel which showed me experiences in my life where I had expressed unconditional love and giving toward others – and they were things I had done that were seemingly so small and inconsequential at the time that they were forgotten.
“Then all of a sudden, I was hurled backwards as if pulled by a giant rope. I closed my eyes and heard a woman calling my name over and over.
“When I opened my eyes, it was a nurse, and I was lying on the floor.”
Some researchers, however, say these visions are normal phenomenon and not necessarily a sign of an afterlife.
Dr Sam Parnia, director of critical care and resuscitation research at NYU Langone School of Medicine in New York City, told a recent Oz Talk: “People describe a sensation of a bright, warm, welcoming light that draws people towards it.
“They describe a sensation of experiencing their deceased relatives, almost as if they have come to welcome them. They often say that they didn’t want to come back in many cases, it is so comfortable and it is like a magnet that draws them that they don’t want to come back.
“A lot of people describe a sensation of separating from themselves and watching doctors and nurses working on them.”
Dr Parnia says there are scientific explanations for the reaction, and says seeing people is not evidence of the afterlife, but more likely the brain just scanning itself as a survival technique.
He said thanks to modern technology and science “death does not have to be limited to philosophy and religion, but it can be explored through science”.
He added: “They can hear things and record all conversations that are going on around them.”