The night my heart stopped and I flat-lined
Hello everyone please read this updated, edited version, which better describes what happened to me night my heart stopped beating in 2011
On the night of 18th, August 2011 at approximately 9.30 pm, my heart stopped beating numerous times, both at home and later at Sunninghill Hospital.
On resuscitation table due to third stage or total, AV heart block. I went through the whole drama of my heart stopping, flat- lining over and over again, adrenaline, atropine were injected directly into my heart and the shock paddles and chest depressions used over and over again in a desperate effort to get my heart to beat again on its own without help.
I had taken a nap on that Thursday night, and a dear friend of mine, Tony Martin was somehow moved to phoned late at night, a thing he had never done before.
I woke up with the phone ringing due to his call, with great fear because my heart was reacting in a manner that I had never experienced until that moment, it was going heart crazy in my chest hesitating then beating and then, almost stopping completely,
I cried out to my daughter Desiree for her to get my wife to phone for an ambulance
My wife immediately called the for the ambulance and they got to my home in ten minutes. Sunninghill hospital is less than a half kilometer from my home and I was there in five minutes and when I arrived, expert medical attention was immediate.
I saw my daughter Desiree in the passage and called out weakly for her to tell my wife Denise, that I was having a heart attack. I do not think my wife believed me, but after looking at me with my face which now looked like death and sweating body, she called the ambulance, which most fortunately to my survival reached our home in less than ten minutes. (South Africa's 911)
Note! If my Christian friend of some thirty-five years, Tony Martin, had not phoned, from the town of George in South Africa to Johannesburg some thousand miles away, at the exact moment he did, I would never have woken up and would have died in my sleep.
I am sure God moved Tony that night to phone me when he did, which for him was a very unusual hour at about 9 pm. Tony never phones me so late at night and maybe he can explain what made him call me or why he was moved to call me at that exact moment in time.
His phone call woke me up from a deep sleep from which I would not have awakened and from I would have died in my sleep, because I was unaware in my sleeping state the fact that my heart was going wild in my chest, a somnambulist battle of life or death
Tony could hear over the phone that there was something really wrong going on which me. He said over the phone “Alan McDougall you don’t sound right, are you OK?’ I replied “No”!! “Tony something is very wrong” “you phone back a little later”.
I put down the phone and could feel my heart actually vibrating in a frightening way, it would stop completely and I would lose consciousness for a while, and then regain awareness, but not know where I was, or who I was, as I struggled to survive, during this frightening life or death episode.
I became ghastly pale and started to sweat profusely. I did not realize at this stage know how very close to death I came that night.
It is very scary when I looked at wife or daughter and saw them actually becoming dimmer and dimmer in my eyes because my brain was being deprived of oxygen.
It was then that I began then to move in and out of consciousness on the very edge of death.
At the hospital, my blood pressure reading was zero.
I now entered a life-threatening desperate state of AV heart block (stopping and starting) I recall very little of what happened to me that night, because I had begun to go in and out of consciousness, until I finally became fully conscious the next morning with a temporary heart pacemaker installed in my heart to keep me alive.
I had to wait a day or two in the hospital for Doctor Rodney King Cardiologist, to get my medical aid to agree to the fitting of a permanent heart pacemaker, under my skin in my chest wall. This pacemaker cost about sixty thousand South African Rand or about nine thousand American (USA) dollars.
I only conscious of a just a little of what was going on in those three hours that the team of committed doctors who refused to give up on me in the very difficult task of restoring my heart beat and save my life This was a battle of life or death
However, I have lately begun to remember more and more about some rather odd things I saw and heard while on the resuscitation table that night.
Denise, my wife was kept in the dark by the medical staff and did not know until the next morning how really sick her husband has been or that he had metaphorically knocked on the gates of death, survived to live again, hopefully, many more years as husband and father to his children.
Over the period of three hours, each time my heart stopped and I flat-line, I went somewhere, not of this world and each time the emergency team of doctors in Sunninghill Hospital got my heart to beat I came back.
Each time my heart stopped I seem to go away for an eternity to elsewhere, but when they started it up again, I returned to life from this elsewhere seemingly in contrast, without even the smallest moment of time passing.
I remember being vaguely aware and conscious of what was going on around me. But kept going in and out of consciousness during the continual attempts at resuscitation.
The team of doctors and nursing assistants were desperately trying to get a needle into one of my veins. I have very poor veins and they are fairly deep under my skin and difficult to locate. Later back in the emergency care ward after I finally became fully conscious I noticed that both my arms and hands were full bruises and needle pricks.
It took three hours of effort on the on the resuscitation table before the doctors were able to installed a temporary pacemaker to maintain my pulse between 65/110 beats per/minute, instead of the zero to 15 it had been beating/not beating most of the time.
I heard them call for atropine and adrenaline, which they injected directly into my heart. When even this did not keep my heart beating as it should, the electric paddles were used to shock my heart and get it beating as it should.
On my return to the emergency ward, I noticed both sides of my chest, ribs, or torso were very painful to touch as it hurt to breath for a day or two after the event
The doctor said if I had arrived hospital even five minutes later it would have been impossible to revive me. I am 75 years of age now and would not have minded if I had died then, but I suppose there must be some reason for me to carry on with life or activities yet to do because it is true that a whole lot of favorable coincidences came together to make it possible for me to survive, what should have been impossible to survive under any other circumstances.
I was told by one of the doctors that I had been “really really dead”. He stressed that if I had arrived at the hospital even five minutes later it would have been impossible to revive me. I am 75 years of age now and would not have minded if I had died then, but I suppose there must be some things left for me to do because a whole lot of favorable coincidences made it possible for me to survive.
I really came as close to death that night as possible, without actually dying, and was fortunate enough to be brought back to quality life by a great team of doctors, to live again and be with my family and friends a little longer.
In fact, since the heart pacemaker was fitted I have felt healthier and maybe the heart irregularity was a long-standing problem of which I was unaware.
I vaguely remember being on the table with people pricking me with needles all over, my arms and hands.
Because I was continually being revived by the medical team , I floated in and out of consciousness, into the Other-World realms and then back to this one the resuscitation table, this continued until my heart was fully supported by the doctors, who had managed to get my heart to beat with a temporary heart pacemaker.
I had no tunnel or meeting of a being of light, which is usual for the near death experience. I went directly into a gloomy large dark cave and saw countless people sitting in the dark gloom.
There was some enormous evil entity, so pitch black that it seemed like tar and did not reflect any light
Only later when I saw the Golden Light that was Jesus, approached it, it shrank away from him. Was this dark entity Satan the Devil?
If I had any doubts about life after death I have none now, each time my heart stopped my soul or consciousness left my body and went into other dimensions of existence.
When I was elsewhere on the other side in some dimension or the other, I saw a huge tree with a large number of books all around its huge trunk.
Just by attempting to read what was on the covers of those books, it was somehow brought to my understanding that within them, were all the answers to all my questions I had pondered over most of my life. These books also contained within them all the knowledge, wisdom and mysteries of existence.
In my opinion, this great tree was the "Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil”?
Among the many books, was very much larger one, much larger than the other rest which was scattered randomly around the huge trunk of this beautiful tree. I assume the very large book is a consolidated all that was in all the smaller books.
When I tried to lift the large book, I found it was much too heavy for me to carry, so I decided to leave it there under the tree and return later for it.
Maybe when I finally do die and go to heaven, I will go back to that beautiful tree and retrieve this book which I think might the "The book of Knowledge"
During the moments that I flat-lined, I went somewhere outside of this earthly dimension into strange places outside of three-dimensional space and time as we know it is the physical universe.
I walked through a doorway of sorts and saw numerous people gathered apparently to welcome me into the afterlife.
I did not recognize any of them, maybe because the scenario too fleeting and was over in less than a blink of an eye.
Maybe they were some of my beloved passed over family or friends but I cannot say what I saw was factual or not. However, what the were gathering for seemed to be was some sort of a welcome home party or wedding reception.
Although not in this particular event, I thought about my beloved Dog Bully who had died fifty years prior and remembered the many dreams I had when I felt his loving doggy presence.
When on the other side of life I also one saw a beautiful pulsating sphere of golden light that I took for the Spiritual Essence of the Lord Jesus, because only he can emanate perfect golden peace and love.
I now have a permanent pacemaker in my chest which should last another six years and despite the great shock, I got that night, I am feeling much better and very alive and well.
Note; the medical term for what happened to me is Total AV heat block.
By Alan McDougall (2016)