In the early winter months of 1998, I fell ill with severe stomach pain. At the time, I was only 13 years old and only concerned with playing sports and being with my friends as much as possible. The pain began as a very subtle pain that was located directly in the middle of my stomach and the pain would come and go. Over the course of a few weeks, it began worsening. Finally after nearly a month, my grandmother took me to my doctor who evaluated and diagnosed me with constipation and gas pains. I was given medications and sent home. However, over the next two weeks, the pain became so severe that I was nearly unable to function. Lying on my side was all I could do to be comfortable. Eventually, I stopped eating and became so ill that I was rushed to the local emergency room for more evaluation and testing. My vitals were extremely poor and the doctors feared that I was becoming septic due to high fevers and vital signs. After weeks of testing and treatments the doctors finally found that I had a rare condition that had caused my intestines to twist. Over the course of time, a small section of intestine tissue had died. I was quickly scheduled for surgery and on February 2, 1999 I went into the operating room. The surgeons informed my family and I that the procedure would only take 5 hours and at the time I remember being terrified but at the same time, the amount of pain I was in seemed to override my hesitation about having the surgery. I remember the IV’s and being wheeled into the operating room to be met by a group in complete gowns ready to operate. The anesthesiologist placed a mask over my face and had me count down from 10… Now, I’m not sure how long I had been under but I remember waking up during the procedure for just a split second. The people in the room sounded like they were under water trying to talk and then I went back out.

Next thing I knew, my eyes opened up and I’m sitting in the bed with the most golden and brightest, yet warmest, light I have every seen or experienced. It was shining through a window to my left. There was no pain; there was no fear. I felt completely at ease. At this point I felt a slight brush on my left hand. As I looked to the side of my bed, there was a woman sitting with me. She was completely engulfed in this golden light. I could not make out her face and she wasn’t looking at me. She slowly continued to brush my hand over and over again. I attempted to speak, ‘Where is my mom?’ But she didn’t reply. As I began to attempt to pull my hand away from the woman, she grasped my hand with both of her hands and slowly turned to me. She was a younger woman with blondish hair. She had a grin on her face that instantly made me smile in return. The look was giving almost said, ‘Relax, you’re not alone.’ I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. It felt like I was sitting with her for hours and never once felt a sense of fear or anxiety. Suddenly, the woman released my hand and stood up. She peered over to me again, smiled a big smile and walked backward towards the window, causing me to lose sight of her in the blinding golden light.

All of a sudden, I woke up to so much pain that I begin to scream. My mom is now at my side and summoned the nurses who helped by increasing my pain medications. Confused and drugged, I went back to sleep. After a few days of recovery, my mom tells me that there had been complications during the operation and that the 5 hour operation turned into an 8 hour ordeal. My body temperature and vitals had dropped and the surgeons found more issues than expected once they got inside my body to the problem area. I asked my mom how long I had been in the recovery room after surgery and who the nurse was. This is the point that she informed me that after the operation, I was brought directly to the room I was currently in to recover. Confused, I told her she was wrong because I had a nurse taking care of me in the bright recovery room. She ignored me thinking that it was the drugs that caused me to hallucinate. However, to this day, I still believe that I meet someone, possibly an angel, in that room. I can’t explain it but what an amazing experience.