table. They asked me to count backwards from ten as
they administered the anesthetic. Before I lost
consciousness I remember thinking: I wonder if I'm
going to wake up from this one?
"When I awakened, my wife, as usual, was
waiting for me. She reassured me that I had behaved
well and the doctors were pleased. Unlike other
operations, however, I noticed that I had many wires
attached to me. I was wearing an oxygen mask and
there was an urgency about the people as they attended
to my needs.
"I asked my wife: 'What's going on?' and she
said: 'It was a difficult operation and you bled a
lot. they had to give you two units of blood.'
"They put me in the Intermediate Care Section
of the hospital and for four days I was in and out of
consciousness. Blood continued to be lost down my
throat, requiring that I receive three more units.
This worried me because of the fear of contracting
"I remained in IMC until Tuesday, November 29,
when they put me in a private room. My doctor came
into the room to remove the nose packing that had been
tightly packed into my sinuses to minimize bleeding.
As he was pulling the packing out of my sinuses
through my nostrils, it seemed as if there would never
be an end to the packing. The pain was excruciating.
I was crying from the intense pain, but he just kept
pulling and pulling. My mother left the room because
she could not bear to see me suffer such pain.
"When the doctor left I just wanted to go to
sleep and forget the pain. I was totally exhausted,
both physically and emotionally.
"In the early morning hours of Wednesday,
November 30, I woke up to the realization that I was
no longer in my body. In fact, I was being drawn down
a tunnel. Had it not been for the books I had read
about near-death experiences, I would have probably
been ignorant of where I was."
I interrupted Don's narration and asked: "You
had read books about the near death experience, then,
before you went through this?"
"Yes, for some reason I had a fascination with
"OK, so you were in the tunnel. What happened
"I found myself being drawn toward a bright
light that was down the tunnel. The tunnel was about
seventy-five yards long, and as I was drawn toward the
light, I finally realized where I was and I said to
myself: Whoa, stop! I had to consciously say, stop.
My movement wasn't by walking, it was more like
floating. But it wasn't floating, either. It was a
different process than anything I had experienced in
"As I told myself to stop, I stopped moving.
I was about half-way down the tunnel with the light at
the end I was moving toward. Turning around and
looking at the opposite end, I saw my family sitting
there. My wife was there with our two boys sitting on
her lap. I thought to myself: This is really strange.
"Before I had this experience, and knowing how
serious my disease was, I told myself that if I ever
went through a near-death experience, I would ask a
set of questions. My first question was: If I came
into this world naked, how do I leave the world? I
looked down and saw that I was dressed in a white
garment, tailored like a jump suit. The material had
a thick weave to it, yet it had the softest feel of
any material I had ever felt. It was softer than silk
and it glowed. The color of the material was the
whitest white I had ever seen. The suit covered most
of my body. Starting with a snug, yet comfortable
neckline, it had full sleeves to my wrists, and full
legs to my ankles. A curious part of the suit was
that it had no openings such as those we need as
humans. I wondered briefly about this aspect of the
clothing, but then I focussed my attention on other
"One amazing aspect of my experience attracted
my early attention. Because I had suffered from
cystic fibrosis since youth I was not aware that
breathing could be a pleasant exercise. I soon
noticed, in the tunnel, that I was breathing and it
didn't hurt. I could actually fill my lungs and it
didn't burn, it didn't sting, it didn't tickle! How
exhilarating it was for someone who had never breathed
without difficulty. Filling my lungs was such a
pleasure that I stayed in the same place for a moment
simply enjoying it.
"Not only were my lungs responding without
pain, I next noticed I had no pain throughout my body.
Pain had been a constant companion throughout my
life; I had learned to accept it as normal. I learned
there, however, that pain was not normal. For the
first time I realized how intense my pain had been.
It was a wonderful feeling -- to be without pain --
one that I sometimes have to force myself to forget
when I am having painful sieges in the hospital.
"A second question that I had puzzled over
was: If I am a spirit when I die, do I really have
substance to me?
"To find out whether I had substance, I rubbed
my hands together and I felt my face with my hands.
In both cases I found that I had form and substance.
I could feel myself. Looking at my hands, I saw that
they looked like my hands normally did, except there
was a glow to them. My feet weren't visible, I'm not
sure why, but I knew that I didn't have socks or shoes
on. These discoveries excited me. I remember
thinking: Wow! This is great.
"Another issue that I had wondered about from
reading the near-death literature was the physical
characteristics of the tunnel. When that thought
entered my mind I found myself at the side of the
tunnel. My tunnel was about as wide as this hallway
(about 30 feet), and it resembled a half-circle. The
texture of the tunnel, which I felt, was rough and
undulating. The side of the tunnel was cool. Indeed,
it had temperature, texture, and form.
"One of my anxieties about death was that of
fear. To my delight I found that the emotion of fear
was nonexistent. There was absolutely no worry, no
concern, no fear. My primary emotion was a feeling of
security. I was alone, and yet I knew that I wasn't
alone. There was something else there that was
encompassing me. I felt warm and serene -- fear
couldnt' exist in that environment. It was a
"At this point in my experience I became aware
of a voice talking to me. My surroundings, and my
analysis of them, had so interested me that I had not
paid attention to the voice at first. It was a soft,
fatherly voice that kept repeating my name. Facing the
light, and then turning 90 degrees to my left and
looking up at a slight angle, I looked to see where
the voice was coming from. There was no one that I
could see -- but the voice persisted, not in my ears,
but in my mind. I finally responded by asking the