In response to this post.

When I was 13 (28 now) I had a severe asthma attack that took my life for 3 minutes.

Background: I've had asthma my entire life. As a kid visiting the ER once or twice a year for an attack wasn't an uncommon thing for me.

After I recovered I got to hear the stories from the heroes that saved my life that night: My dad, the pilots, doctors, nurses, and a cop. This is my story and theirs.

We were finishing up dinner after spending an awesome summer afternoon with my dad and grandfather at my grandfathers ranch outside Fredericksburg, Texas. After dinner I started to notice another one of my asthma attacks coming on. At first I remember thinking to myself: "no big deal, just another minor attack coming on." I whipped out my trusty Albuterol inhaler and took 2 puffs. About 30 seconds after taking my inhaler I knew something was very wrong.

My chest was getting tighter and I knew was just minutes from a full-blown asthma attack. My dad looked over at me and immediately recognized that I wasn't doing well. My dad got my nebulizer and immediately started treatment. Near the end of the treatment my breathing I had gotten worse. I told my dad that we need to go to the ER, I can feel it getting worse. I remember the fear in his face when he looked to my grandfather an asked him how close the Fredericksburg hospital his. "20 miles" my grandfather replied. Without hesitation my father picked me up, took me to the car and started driving racing me to the hospital. I remember his car bouncing and sliding around the back country roads. By this time in the car I was using every ounce of energy in me to breathe. With my arms straight out to my side trying to support my entire back (for some reason this seemed to help) and my eyes looking to the sky as I am desperately gasping for air. I look out the front window to see us coming to a stop sign at an intersection. Seeing the stop sign is the last thing I remember seeing in Fredericksburg.

This is where things get real fuzzy for me. According to my father this is when I went in to shock and started throwing up everywhere and eventually passed out barely hanging on with very shallow breathing. I have no memory of this whatsoever.

As my father was doing 100Mph down the Main St. in Fredericksburg a police officer pulled over my dad. Dad frantically jumped out of the car yelling for help and a hospital. The cop immediately recognized what was going on and gave my father a police escort to the hospital a few blocks down the street. The hospital in Fredericksburg stabilized me, but they knew I was in serous condition and needed special care immediately, they called for backup Star Flight. Star Flight (rescue helicopter) picked me up and took me to the Austin Children's Hospital in Austin, TX.

Now I don't remember anything about the Fredericksburg hospital. However I do remember hearing the sounds of a jet turbine and the helicopter rotors slicing the air as they rolled me in to the chopper. I remember being inside the chopper. The odd thing is: I have no visual memory of seeing the inside of the chopper, just the sound of the turbine and the EMT talking to me. Then something happened, I stopped breathing, my left lung collapsed and my heart stopped.

Yes, I saw a light (I dunno if it was bright tho...). This wasn't just your standard issue 'oh I just looked directly in to my LED flashlight' bright light. This experience goes way beyond any "light". IMO the "bright light" stores we hear are the best representation we can come up for such a mystical experience. Anyways, the best way I can describe this happening I experienced is: "a machine of light". Dynamic, complex, and calming beyond our wildest dreams. I remember before I could formulate my "what is this" question instantly I was presented with the answer. The strange thing is, the answer was never verbally or visually given to me. It was as if the knowledge was always there and I just had to remember. This machine of light also didn't seem exist in any particular dimension either (way beyond fourth-dimensional space time I think). Because not only did I "see" it, I was this machine and this "machine of light" was me. The initial shock of this quickly wore off which was followed by the most amazing bliss. I then woke up (or came back technically). I had been in a coma for a day and in intensive care for a week. When I first woke up I didn't remember the experience right away. I just remember being hungry as hell and very very confused. I requested a cheese burger and fries, to my sunrise the doctors approved and I had a burger delivered while in ICU. It wasn't until I was eating I started to try and recall what happened before I woke up in the hospital. Then I started to remember. However it was difficult to completely recall what had happened and what I had experienced exactly. It wasn't until later that night my teary eyed mother told me that they had almost lost me on the helicopter. She told me the medics had to use every trick in their book to get me back to life again. I then knew what I had experienced was something very real and mystical. I was scared for a long time to even mention or talk about what I had saw because even I am still not sure till this day. However I've got a pretty good idea tho.

My life was and has been forever changed knowing that I had just jumped over the fence that most everyone fears (death), and made it back, or did I... Pfft. You want to talk about a mindfuck... I often wonder if I did die in that lifetime when I was 13, and my hospital survival story is just a continuation of my own experience of the one-self for whatever reason. I think deep deep dimensions also exist in conscious experience, IMHO. :P

Today I live a good life. I consider myself a very spiritual person and absolutely love this crazy experience we call life.

Edit: Not real sure how I can prove the events that happened. I was 13, maybe I could get a copy of the hospital/helicopter bill somehow? I remember my parents showing it to me and the price tag was in the tens of thousands. However I still do suffer from asthma (thankfully not nearly as bad). This is a common thing for me to get from the doctors after an attack.

Second Edit: Thank you for all your questions and input. I've gotten allot of questions to answer (most are pretty deep). I'll do my best to try and answer your questions.

TLDR; Died, saw light and came back changed forever.

Comments: 992 • Responses: 21  • Date: 

Markowiak304 karma

What is it like being a fully functioning, living, re-animated, zombie?

r0kud630 karma

mmmm eeeerrrrr aaahhhhhhh

Dixzon100 karma

Your "machine of light" description sounds similar to trips people have on DMT, sometimes referred to as the spirit molecule because of the profound spiritual experience people have while on it. These experiences are said to be like near death experiences. Do you believe what you saw represented something real, but beyond your understanding, or was it just a fantasy your brain cooked up?

r0kud6 karma

Done DMT on several occasions (3 to be exact) and it was nothing like this. I did have a great DMT trip tho (allot of visuals, wonderful colors, bliss, etc...).

I believe what I saw represented something real, but not beyond our understanding.

lexalynn132 karma

I hesitate to ask this question because of how popular atheism is on this site, and I don't want you to incriminate yourself depending on the answer haha. But the "light" you saw, did you attribute it to, like, "the universe"? Or fate? Or did you start believing in God or going to church or anything of that nature? You said you call yourself a very spiritual person. Were you before the incident? And what exactly do you mean by "spiritual" you live your life a different way? Sorry, I feel like I'm rambling, and I just threw a bunch of questions at you, but it's all sort of one question :P

r0kud19 karma

Honestly I have nothing to fear from the Atheism crowd. They provide good insight and ask questions I've never thought about till now.

Anywho, I now think of it as some "universal light". When I say I'm a spiritual person. Imagine a guy in sandals, long beard, and a tie dye t-shirt. That's me in a nutshell. Hope that helps.

heady_hood2 karma

Do you listen to phish man

r0kud6 karma

Actually I do. My old roommate introduced me to phish about two years ago. Good fun!

WisconsinHoosier78 karma

No question, really. Just wanted to say that my grandmother passed away yesterday morning. She was 91 and lived a great life. Knowing this is what she (could have) experienced, a calm, peaceful, and blissful-feeling passing, makes me glad.

Thanks and carry on.

EDIT TO ADD: Thanks for your kind words, everyone. She was an amazing woman. She stood by my grandfather as he served as a calvaryman in World War II (Europe), Korea, and Vietnam. Never once did she believe he wouldn't come home. And her family always took priority over everything else. She is missed.

r0kud3 karma

I'm sorry for your loss. Your grandmother sure did live quite the long life!

I can tell you that since I've had my NDE. Knowing that they are okay has always been very soothing. Now I just have to figure out how to keep from missing loved ones so badly.

FriendlyEgoBooster45 karma

Have you read any studies or articles on DMT? They say it's released naturally in our bodies before we die. I'm wondering if you could compare your experience to accounts of people experimenting with the drug.

r0kud40 karma

Absolutely! I was drawn to learn more about DMT after reading trip reports on Erowid that were very similar to my near-death.

MrCool8786731 karma

Has this changed your view on God and Heaven? I have heard a story of a man who has died and came back to life. He said he saw the light, but he quickly sank into the most intense pain imaginable. Have you had a similar experience? Or have you only seen the light?

r0kud151 karma

Absolutely. Spiritual enlightenment can be the most dangerous thing in the world. From the viewpoint you find out you are the one-self and that in the end you will come back to yourself. This can be a very dangerous situation to be in. Because one will start to think "Okay, well the cat is out of the bag, the big secret is up and I know the end game. So I might as well check-out right now with suicide." Umm these are actual thoughts and emotions I have gone through.

But you see on the other hand it is complete liberation from ones self. Knowing that no matter what you do or what happens you will come back to center, always. That fundamentally there isn't anything to be afraid of. So you can go in to this experience of life wholeheartedly and come out at the end and go: "WOWe! Now that was something else!". Just like those of use who enjoy a good movie, show, or roller coaster. It's easy to forget just whom we really are when we are in the moment. But we also forget when we are in full emotional mode and crying during the movie drama that you rented, you wanted this experience/drama.

DontBeMeanPeople13 karma

Have you ever read/listened to Alan Watts? You speak a lot like him.

r0kud20 karma

Read allot of his books and listened to allot of his lectures. I suppose after a while he has rubbed off on me. :)

EvilEmperorZurg28 karma

You can put your mindfuck fears to rest. I know for a fact that I'm real; therefore, this is real and you're still alive.

r0kud35 karma

That's subjective. :)

watermelonboy227 karma

How do you feel now that you can tell people yelling "YOLO" to shut the fuck up?

r0kud8 karma

I say "YCLT". You Can Live Twice!

BeeKeeperReno25 karma

How was the cheeseburger?

r0kud8 karma

It was a Whopper from Burger King. It was so damn good. Since then I really can't eat Burger King anymore. It was just too awesome to recreate after that night.

calm_collection18 karma

Are you a Buddhist now? Or rather, would you say your philosophy on life coincides with Buddhism?

r0kud32 karma

My philosophy on life definitely coincides with Buddhism.

meeeeepy9 karma

You said you read the Bhagavad Gita and that fitted in with your experience. So I take it you're influenced by Hinduism too?

My own revelatory experience (trauma induced, not drug induced) led me to Buddhism, but it didn't stick. The feeling that it's not something you can really take back into the world. It's an all-body sense of blissful knowing, not ideas, beliefs or actions. The closest I can come to my experience is to say there's nothing to fear in death- nothing's ever really gone, the universe is just a giant recycling plant. Extrapolating that out to dharma, rebirth cycles, karma etc is a stretch too far for me. I simply didn't believe all the attendant baggage of a religion.

Not sure I attach any real meaning to the experience now. I'm more of the "it's just chemicals" persuasion. I don't really tell people about it IRL because I feel like a fruitloop.

r0kud12 karma

Eastern religion in general. Japanese Zen is another favorite of mine.

I find that having just one religion or the other doesn't really work for me. Because each one seems to compliment each other in their own way.

So what are your thoughts on Gravitational singularity? From the standpoint of the works in 'the world' as you put it.

Ishkatar14 karma


r0kud5 karma

I know riight?

DudeAsInCool10 karma

Interesting. Can you break the above in paragraphs so it will be easier to read and comment upon?

r0kud21 karma

Done. Hope this helps a bit.

whiely6 karma

Have you ever asked your father how he would have coped if you had died in his hands?

EDIT: Permanently died, I mean...

r0kud22 karma

Nope, I honestly know the answer to that question. It would've been absolutely horrible for my dad. He tears up just talking about that night he almost lost his boy.

kolnidur4 karma

How has this changed your decision making process? Are you more readily willing to take chances with risky or nerve-wracking situations?

r0kud11 karma

I go in to life with no regrets. That isn't to say I start my day out as a fool shooting smack in my arm or anything like that. Or I am eager to to some ice climbing or anything crazy like that. I still jump when I hear a loud noise, cry when I am sad, and get angry from time to time- all of which is the experience of living. We can't have the ups without the downs as we've seen in science with waveforms.

I have since been able to rationalize and calm my mind with a better understanding during difficult times and situations like loosing a loved one.

alejandrosoto272 karma

As a 23 year old asthmatic with similar, although not as extreme stories, what did you do to overcome your asthma? Ive been dependent on my inhaler for my entire life...

r0kud2 karma

Exercise really seems to have helped me.

dontforgetaboutme2 karma

How long did the feeling of the 'light' last?

r0kud5 karma

I have no idea.

God_Wills_It_2 karma

Were you and/or your family religous or not before this event?

r0kud10 karma

Growing up my family was the mild church family. Never really talked much about God and Jesus. Before my parents split up when I was 6 I remember us going to Church on Sundays pretty regularly. I did go back to school in 11th and 12th grade, which was a private Baptist school. After I graduated we all came to the conclusion that organized religion isn't for us at all.