A woman who just identifies herself as Judie was enduring child birth when the Anaesthesiologist injected the epidural and “accidentally put it into a vein”.
Judie’s blood pressure began to drop drastically and she said she “knew it was over before I slipped out of consciousness”.
According to an article Judie wrote on the Near Death Experience Research Foundation (NDERF) – a website which collects people’s accounts of dying temporarily before being resuscitated – death was an “entirely pleasant” experience.
Judie also says she was aware of everything that was going on around her, even as she drifted into the unknown, which was like “a curtain of light descending”.
She added: “I remember how surreal it was to realise how dark our world is.
“I’m not sure how to describe this but I could see the world. I was as if a veil had been lifted that made everything very clear and vivid.
“I rose up out of the dark part of the world and ascended into a very right, peaceful, and painless reality. There were others there who I could not see, but I did feel their presence.
“I could see where I had to go, but heard a voice in my head telling me it was not time yet.
“Suddenly, I was back in this world and really noticed how painful it was. I was very angry they brought me back.
“Then one of the nurses reminded me that I will soon have a baby who will need me.”
Some researchers state this is a normal phenomenon and not necessarily a sign from heaven.
Dr Sam Parnia, director of critical care and resuscitation research at NYU Langone School of Medicine in New York City, told a recent Oz Talk: “People describe a sensation of a bright, warm, welcoming light that draws people towards it.
“They describe a sensation of experiencing their deceased relatives, almost as if they have come to welcome them. They often say that they didn’t want to come back in many cases, it is so comfortable and it is like a magnet that draws them that they don’t want to come back.
“A lot of people describe a sensation of separating from themselves and watching doctors and nurses working on them.”
Dr Parnia says there are scientific explanations for the reaction, and says seeing people is not evidence of the afterlife, but more likely the brain just scanning itself as a survival technique.
He said thanks to modern technology and science “death does not have to be limited to philosophy and religion, but it can be explored through science.
“They can hear things and record all conversations that are going on around them.”