According to a Gallup Poll, eight million Americans claim to have had a near-death experience. But, some experts say that figure may be much higher, because not all NDE survivors are comfortable talking about their experience. In a KSLA Special Report, we investigate the near death phenomenon.
Surrounded by statuettes and symbols of her faith, 72-year old Sondra Abrahams of Lake Charles, Louisiana will never forget the day she died. "I went to the ceiling and I'm watching him working on my body."
Abraham's doctor worked frantically to save her life, inside that Houston-area emergency room. But her body's allergic reaction to medication ultimately stopped Sondra's heart. "I heard the doctor yelling, 'I'm losing her,' and then a whole list(s) of curse words, 'I'm losing her.'"
Abrahams says her soul then floated through the ceiling and into a tunnel. "Heaven is another dimension. I do know that because I could hear the roar as I was going and I've always thought of that as a different dimension."
Sondra describes seeing sparkling lights while being whisked through that long, dark tunnel. "And I was told that those were, some were angels and some were other souls in transit."
When she arrived at the light, Jesus stood before her. "He showed me everything. He showed my life from the time I was a tiny child, the first two angels that were given to me as guardians."
Sondra says Jesus waved his arm and she spotted hell below her. "The souls that are in there, when they come up out of the fires, they're horrible looking. And you hear the screaming and screeching and they're still cursing God."
But Abrahams also describes seeing purgatory. "Purgatory is the in between heaven and hell." Purgatory, says Sondra, has many levels. "It goes from the darkest, blackest area where those are the souls that have murdered or done horrible things but at their last moment of their life they asked forgiveness."
Sondra says her grandmother then appeared, someone she'd never met in life. And she had a message for Sondra's mom. "By the way, I gave my mother the message and she said there was no way I could have known that unless I had actually seen her mother."
Abrahams was then given what can only be described as a frightening vision of the future: "Devastation, horrible, bodies everywhere, death, death, death that's all I kept thinking was death."
She said earth seemed titled somehow and in chaos. "Where mountains had been there weren't mountains any more. Mountains were somewhere else. Where there was rivers and lakes and oceans before they had been changed, they were somewhere else. It was like we'd been turned upside down or something. It was just crazy."
Abrahams was later told she'd been dead just a few minutes, even though it felt more like days to her. And she returned with a message: "If we didn't get back on the right track and put God first, that there would be horrible destruction throughout the world."
But Abrahams says she's seen nothing in her four decades since that vision that makes her think mankind has changed a bit. Still, she speaks whenever she can to the public, not knowing when our 'day of reckoning' might come.
In part two of our 'Near Death Experience' special report on Friday's 5pm newscast, we hear from a best-selling author and researcher, based right here in Louisiana, who claims to have scientific proof that the phenomenon is real. We'll also hear from an LSU Health Sciences Center psychiatrist on why NDE's could all be 'in our heads.'
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