PureInsight | January 5, 2001
Near-Death Experiences could perhaps be dismissed as people's conscious imaginations. This is less readily so in the case of children's NDEs. Melvin Morse has researched this subject - having himself once resuscitated a nine year old girl:
Morse first met Katie as a lifeless body in an intensive care unit. She had been found floating face down in a swimming pool a few hours earlier. Morse wondered whether she had been knocked into the water, or whether she had suffered an epileptic seizure.
Morse examined her carefully and reckoned that at best, Katie had a ten per cent chance of survival. She was one of the sickest children he ever cared for, and all the time he was looking after her he was convinced that she was going to die. However, she did not. After three days she made a full recovery, and when she was well enough, Morse summoned her for a follow-up examination:
A nine-year-old tours heaven
I marvelled at Katie when she came into the office. She was a pretty girl with long blond hair and a shy, frightened manner. Her eyes revealed an intelligence that hadn't been dimmed by the deprivation of oxygen to the brain that always accompanies drowning. There was nothing abnormal in her walk or mannerisms. She was just another nine-year-old kid.
Katie clearly remembered me. After introducing myself, she turned to her mother and said, 'That's the one with the beard. First there was this tall doctor who didn't have a beard, and then he came in.' Her statement was correct. The first into the emergency room was a tall, clean-shaven physician named Bill Longhurst.
Katie remembered more. 'First I was in the big room, and then they moved me to a smaller room where they did X-rays on me.' She accurately noted such details as having 'a tube down my nose', which was her description of nasal intubation. Most physicians intubate orally, and that is the most common way that it is represented on television.
She accurately described many other details of her experience. I remember being amazed at the events she recollected. Even though her eyes had been closed and she had been profoundly comatose during the entire experience, she still 'saw' what was going on.
I asked her an open-ended question: 'What do you remember about being in the swimming pool?'
'Do you mean when I visited the Heavenly Father,' she replied.
Whoa, I thought. 'That's a good place to start. Tell me about meeting the Heavenly Father.'
'I met Jesus and the Heavenly Father,' she said. Maybe it was the shocked look on my face or maybe it was shyness. But that was it for the day. She became very embarrassed and would speak no more.
I scheduled her for another appointment the following week.
What she told me during our next meeting changed my life. She remembered nothing about the drowning itself. Her first memory was of darkness and the feeling that she was so heavy she couldn't move. Then a tunnel opened and through that tunnel came 'Elizabeth'.
Elizabeth was 'tall and nice' with bright, golden hair. She accompanied Katie up the tunnel, where she saw her late grandfather and met several other people. Among her 'new friends' were two young boys - 'souls waiting to be born' - named Andy and Mark,who played with her and introduced her to many people.
At one point in the voyage, Katie was given a glimpse of her home. She was allowed to wander throughout the house, watching her brothers and sisters play with their toys in their rooms. One of her brothers was playing with a GI Joe, pushing him around the room in a jeep. One of her sisters was combing the hair of a Barbie doll and singing a popular rock song.
Finally, Elizabeth - who seemed to be a guardian angel to Katie - took her to meet the Heavenly Father and Jesus. The Heavenly Father asked if she wanted to go home. Katie cried. She said she wanted to stay with him. Then Jesus asked her if she wanted to see her mother again. 'Yes,' she replied. Then she awoke.
I didn't understand it. I began to investigate. I probed her family's religious beliefs. I wanted to see if she had been heavily indoctrinated with belief in guardian angels and tunnels to heaven.
The answer from her mother was an emphatic No.
My deepest instinct told me that nothing in Katie's experience was'taught' to her before the near drowning. Her experience was fresh, not recalled memory.
From 'Closer to the Light' by Melvin Morse.
Morse unearthed a number of other cases where he was convinced that the children's NDEs could not be explained by what they had previously read or heard - including this account by an 11-year-old:
Out of the body experience of an 11-year-old
I remember going to that hospital that day. My parents had gone into a room (the admitting office) when suddenly I heard a whooshing sound in my ears. I felt like you feel when you go over a bump in a car going real fast, and you feel your stomach drop out. I heard a buzzing sound in my ears.
The next thing I knew, I was in a room, crouched in a corner of the ceiling. I could see my body below me. It was real dark, you know. I could see my body because it was lit up with a light, like there was a light bulb inside me.
I could see the doctors and nurses working on me. My doctor was there and so was Sandy, one of the nurses. I heard Sandy say, 'I wish we didn't have to do this.'
I heard a doctor say 'Stand back' and then he pushed a button on one of the paddles. Suddenly, I was back inside my body. One minute I was looking down at my face. I could see the tops of the doctors' heads. After he pushed that button, I was suddenly looking into a doctor's face.
No, I have never heard of a Near-Death Experience. I don't watch TV much. If I read, I read mostly comic books. No, I didn't tell my parents about it. I don't know why not; I guess I didn't feel like talking about it. I have never heard of anybody having this happen to them. I would not tell my friends about it. They would probably think I was crazy.
From 'Closer to the Light' by Melvin Morse.