Helmond, the Netherlands.
In August 1999 I was on the phone talking to a friend when I said, "listen I have to hang up because I have to send a fax to England for a holiday." I sent the fax and suddenly I started to get a pain in my back, which is not unusual as I often have back trouble. I went to lie down on the couch and started to feel bad on the stomach. My wife asked if I maybe wanted to drink some warm milk to settle my stomach, so I said yes.
She went to the kitchen to warm the milk and moved me to the bigger couch to be more comfortable. She then got the milk and I drank most of it, she took the glass to the kitchen and while in the kitchen she heard a bang in the living room where she found me on the floor screaming of pain, I told my wife that I was going to die.
She ran to the phone but couldn't remember the alarm number, which had been changed a few weeks earlier. She phoned my daughter in law, who by the way is hardly ever home, but she answered immediately this time. She phoned for an ambulance, which came very quickly. I can still hear the medic say, "I know what it is" and immediately got in touch with the hospital. They threw me, like a bag of potatoes, on the berry and chased down the pathway; which gave me such a lot of pain that the whole neighbourhood could hear my screams.
The ambulance actually flew, my wife said afterwards, and a whole lot of staff was already waiting for me at the entrance. During the ride I lost consciousness.
I happened to have a burst abdominal aorta (abdominal aneurysm) and had died on the way to hospital. They managed to revive me and started operating. The operation took six hours. The surgeon told my wife not to hope for my revival, the chance of outliving this was one in a thousand. My situation didn't improve and went into a coma that lasted six weeks. The doctors prepared my wife for the worst, as I would be a vegetable if I would awaken from the coma. My lungs had stopped working and so did my kidneys. My brain had been without oxygen for about 6 minutes.
When my wife got home after the operation at 01:00 hours, she prayed to God to save me, as she wouldn't be able to live without me. (She's born in South Africa). A voice said loud and clear, "He will be alright"!
When she told the doctors that I would survive they told her not to have any hopes, they even had the idea of pulling the plug at sometime or another. But my wife insisted that I would come home again.
The moment I woke up from the coma my condition started to become normal in a matter of days, the doctors couldn't believe their eyes, and said, "This is a miracle". It only took a few days to be transferred from the Intensive Care Unit to a recovery room. Since then it was forward all the time. I only have a loss of short-term memory.
I can't say what happened at what time. This is a recollection of what I experienced during the six weeks.
It must have been while on the way to hospital that I met with God. The picture I re-call is rather strange. I was in an enormous ball, and inside this ball was the entire Universe. The lining of the inside of this ball was the face of God. The face that I grew up with during my school time at a Protestant school. I believe that it is a fragment of ones imagination to see him the way I did. A Buddhist or Moslem would see the face they grew up with. I must confess that I have never been religious; as a matter of fact I have always been against organised religion.
God just looked at me, he never spoke. Then my journey back was set in motion. I honestly don't know if this all happened in a matter of minutes or if it took the entire six weeks. To me it lasted a very long time.
One of the nurses said to my wife; "Your husband has four Angels, one on each corner of his bed." Afterwards, when I was
told about this it sounded rather strange as I indeed had four Angels accompanying me all the time. I can still remember
The head Angel, as I call him, was "William B. Corey", he was an American. The second in command was, "Marietje C. Kohl", she was of German descent. The third one was "Judy", a very pleasant young American girl. The fourth one did have no name but she was the most beautiful woman I have ever seen in my life. She spoke like a deaf person, so I assume she was deaf, I believe she had been a nun in a previous life. This might sound funny but I can still see her riding her racing bike after her night shift, she always had night shifts. I still look around for her on her racing bike when I go for a walk.
At times I could see myself lying in bed, and one night I had wet my bed and undressed myself and tried to get fresh sheets for the bed. I wasn't capable of doing this and suddenly there was the night nurse, way in the corner of the room laughing her head off, and I in the nuddy. She asked with a big smile; "Are you sunbathing?" She cleaned the bed, and me, and I went to sleep again.
During this time I only met harmonica players and learners. The music teacher was no less than "Boyd Edger" a well-known
musician/big band leader of the past.
I met with Mattheus Hohner, the founder of the Hohner Harmonica Company. He told me that he had just invented a new model; this was to be a cross between a Polyphonia (three deck chord harmonica) and a Harmonetta (a cross between a harmonica and an accordion). He promised to send me three of these new harmonicas after my return home. This happening had been so real to me that from the first day I was home I would look out for the postman for this package from Hohner. Only after a few weeks did I realise that it was something that happened during my "flight".
I had been all over the world in different hospitals; don't ask me why, I wouldn't know the answer. I was in the
Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Mexico and Singapore.
When I was in Singapore I had been given a day off, and since my son lives there I obviously went to visit him. Unfortunately he wasn't home as he was standing next to my bed in hospital, but the neighbour let me in as they shared a double house. Between the two apartments there were several bubble baths and to my astonishment my mother and her sister were having a ball of a time in them with their boy friends. Later that day my daughter arrived with her family; they arrived by car and had been skiing. Can you imagine snow in Singapore? I went for a swim with my son in law!
In Mexico I was getting rather fed up with the whole situation and wrote out a cheque for all the equipment around me as
my two sons would be coming to visit me with their bus and was quite convinced that they would take me home. They refused
to do this.
One of the nurses had a little boy called Chico, and when I returned to another hospital in The Netherlands I realised that they had converted my own house into a sort of little hospital with my wife living on the top floor. The funny thing was that Chico had hidden himself in the cargo and was now living between the walls of this house, and as soon as the "Angels" found out about him the chase was on, as he had to go back to his mother. I could hear him cry as they were chasing him and eventually he was caught and send back home. His excuse was that he wanted to protect my wife. (Another Angel?)
At night the two Angels, 1 and 3, always went out to look for accidents and collect blood for patients. I wasn't supposed to know this but I could watch from my bed and look underneath the curtains what they were doing when they had returned.
One evening I was told that the German President had died and that William had to write a speech and Marietje had to compose a song for the funereal. It had become rather late that night and since they had to get up very early for their trip to Germany I was given a sticky (Marihuana) to smoke in order to keep me quiet so that they could have a good sleep. That morning I noticed that William was dressing himself into an American Uniform. To me it looked as a post war uniform, the Second World War I mean. Later I was told that the German President had been replaced at about this time.
My brother, whom I hadn't seen for some 20 years was in and out of the hospital but never visited me. He was involved in giving the children a special ride home when leaving the hospital. The driver of this ambulance was always a VIP, and the children of course loved this treatment. The organisation my brother worked for was called "The Ronald McDonald Homes". I had no knowledge of what my brother was doing in real life, and was told afterwards that he was involved in the advertising campaign for this organisation. I do remember that my brother had paid for all the equipment that was necessary to keep me alive so that I could take it home with me. By the time that I woke out of my coma, I was furious when they were taking the equipment away from me rather quickly. I told them they couldn't do that as it was mine and needed it at home.
My first thoughts when out of the coma were as if all this had really happened, and didn't really know what had really
happened to me until I was told later.
Since I now noticed that the nurses were different persons I started wondering and looked if the other four would come back on other shifts or so. When I asked one of the nurses if these four were working in the hospital she said no, and we talked about my experience since she seemed very interested.
On my check up day at the hospital after three months I went to the Intensive Care Unit to see if I would find any of the four "Angels". They weren't, and after several visits I started to believe that they must have been real Angels.
The moment I was capable of sitting behind my PC again I started to look for my Angels on the Internet. I had several letters from people with the surname Corey who had a family member in the Forces who had died, but no one was related to the one I was looking for.
I am still hoping to meet them one day or another. However, I believe that one will only meet with Angels when it's not your time to die yet.
Art M. Daane.
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