Scientists are yet to conclusively determine whether life after death exists, but many people claim to already know the answer. One of these people is a woman who only introduced herself as Diana, and claims to have had a profound near-death experience (NDE). According to her account, Diana caught a glimpse of the afterlife in 1990 during a sleep apnea episode.
The sleep apnea, which happens when a person stops breathing in their sleep, was a result of Diana’s struggle with chronic kidney failure since the age of five.
She told the Near-Death Experience Research Foundation (NDERF): “During most of my sleep apnea episodes, I would just stop breathing, my heart would kick start back up immediately, and then I’d immediately wake up from the jolt of the heart starting back up again.
“It became almost routine and I didn’t worry about it too much. But then I had the bad one.
“I stopped breathing and my heart stopped but instead of waking up immediately, I found myself in front of a being of light in a heavenly place of light.”
During the incident, Diana thought she was in the presence of Jesus Christ.
The pair spoke and Diana was presented with a life review.
The review was fast but she was able to understand everything despite its speed.
She said: “After the review was over, I had many questions especially the meaning of life, many scientific questions and the meaning of the universe, etc., type of questions.
Most medical experts, however, do not believe NDEs are genuine supernatural phenomena.
Instead, researchers have tried to explain them through natural processes such as hallucinations caused by hypoxia or insufficient oxygen in the brain.
A similar theory suggests NDEs are visions caused by brain cells dying during a moment of trauma.
Another unconfirmed theory has proposed the dying body naturally releases the psychedelic chemical dimethyltryptamine or DMT.
In the UK, the NHS does not consider NDEs to be true instances of a person dying.
The NHS said: “A more accepted definition of death is when brain stem death occurs, which is when all neural activity in the deepest brain ceases.
“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.”