An account that I’ve gleaned for my notes from P.M.H. Atwater, The Big Book of Near-Death Experiences: The Ultimate Guide to What Happens When We Die (Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing Company, 2007):
Patricia Meo, administrative director at Holy Cross Hospital, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was skeptical of near-death experiences until her husband, Tony, had one. That had traveled from their home in Florida to Milwaukee so that Tony could have open heart surgery and cardiac revascularization performed by a surgeon renowned for his ability to help “hopeless” cases. After nine hours of surgery, the surgical team tried to remove Tony from the pump that was keeping his heart beating, but couldn’t, so he was moved to the intensive care unit with every support device and pharmaceutical infusion imaginable. Still no luck. A few hours later, he was back in surgery, this time to determine why he continued to bleed into his chest. But while being prepped, he went into cardiac arrest.
“After the first four minutes,” Patricia recalls, “the code team wanted to stop, but the physician opted to continue, later telling me that he felt a ‘power’ in his hands while massaging Tony’s heart, and that he instinctively knew he could revive him. He was right. It wasn’t until three weeks later, once his trach had been removed, that Tony told our daughter, son-in-law, and me how he had ‘gone home’ and ‘visited heaven.’ We didn’t believe him. We dismissed it as a dream.”
As Tony described the beauty of the “place” he had visited, his whole demeanor changed. “He was no longer afraid to die. He lived life to the fullest and taught us how to slow down, enjoy life, and savor precious moments. He taught us to value people, not possessions,” Patricia says. Tony died two and a half years later, amidst incredible “coincidences” that proved to his family that his death was indeed “according to plan.” (141-143)