I began the journey back to my body and found myself hovering over my body as two nurses were standing on either side of my bed.
Heather Sloan, 50, is a clerk from Portsmouth, Hampshire.
My experience was in 1976. I had an 18-month-old daughter, no close relative nearby and a husband at sea with the Royal Navy. I had had severe abdominal pains for about a month and was very thin.
I was told I needed an operation to investigate the cause of the pain and was in a side ward in hospital following this surgery.
I found myself lifted out of my body and looking down on myself. My spirit was attached to my body by a thin wisp of cord which looked like it could break apart at any time. I was urged by the presence of a being not to look back but to move on towards the light. I felt reassured by my companion, which I can only describe as a 'being of light'.
I did not find it too difficult to think this was the God which we would all meet. However, this was not how I had envisaged God to be. This was a compassionate being and not the judgmental character I had been led to expect. I felt surrounded by many beings of light.
I started to see my life from its beginning. I was able to experience everything in its entirety. I became aware that perhaps I was not returning to life. A period of distress occurred as I knew I had a small child at home. How could I leave her and my husband? The beings of light were compassionate and it was decided I would return. I asked why this was happening and was told I had an ectopic pregnancy and had suffered a severe hemorrhage.
Heather had not actually been told this by her doctors yet but it was true.
I was allowed to meet this 'child' and I explained that it had no reason to fear, that it would have a happy home full of love. However, it did not feel able to attempt life yet.
I began the journey back to my body and found myself hovering over my body as two nurses were standing on either side of my bed. There was a small jolt and the next thing I remember was being woken up for temperature and blood pressure recordings.
Heather says she had no idea what an out of body experience was when she had hers.
It wasn't until years later, when I was reading a magazine, that I realized my experience had a name and many others shared it with me. Perhaps the experiments going on now will find the answers the skeptics need to see to demonstrate scientifically that there is a self beyond the physical.