The man, who only introduced himself as Paul, claims to have visited the afterlife after he suffered a cranial aneurysm in 1998. The life-threatening incident left Paul on the verge of death, as he fell into a coma. Paul does, however, remember everything that happened immediately afterwards and has shared his account with the Near-Death Experience Research Foundation (NDERF).
He said: “I can recall the sense of doom I felt as I could physically feel my energy leaving my body; I was so scared and I don’t know how to explain this but I mustered the strength to come to long enough to ask my wife to get me a priest and give me my last rites.
“I guess she did so, but at this point, I fell back into a coma and at some point I remember standing on the edge of a cliff and in front of me I saw a mist, a floating fog, but for some reason I knew it was bottomless.”
While in this state, Paul recalls feeling and experiencing nothing but sadness.
He then noticed his right hand was raised and it was being held by someone.
“It was at that moment that I realized I had died and come back.
“I began crying uncontrollably and put myself into shock.”
Most medical experts, however, believe NDEs are not supernatural phenomena.
Instead, it has been proposed NDEs are hallucinations caused by a lack of oxygen in the brain.
An alternate theory suggests NDEs are hallucinations triggered by dying brain cells during a moment of trauma.
In the UK, the NHS does not consider NDEs to be genuine instances of a person dying.
A more accepted definition of death involves the death of the brain stem, which happens when all activity in the brain ceases.
The NHS said: “While it is possible to keep the heart functioning using life support systems, a person with brain stem death has permanently lost the potential for consciousness.
“The existence of an ‘afterlife’ remains a matter of belief, not scientific proof.”