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I Couldn't Believe It Happened to Me

Updated on September 6, 2018
Drtruthman profile image

Dr. Lee Outlaw is a both a pastor and PhD Psychologist as well as an epileptic with years of experience counseling epileptics.

Dream Weaver

The Dreaded Aura
The Dreaded Aura
Cannabis | Source

Epilepsy, neither ignore nor obsess

Epilepsy falls either into one of two modes of thought: the whimsical which doesn’t see it as a problem or the extremist which obsesses and thinks of nothing else. In reality epilepsy is probably somewhere in between. It should never be taken lightly and it should not be allowed to control ones life.

With Medical Cannabis now legal in 38 states and CBD legal in all 50, the ability for epileptics to gain greater control of their lives is becoming increasingly easier more than ever.

Still, we must never forget that epilepsy is a serious neurological disorder that can kill and which takes the lives of approximately 50,000 people each year.

Its because of that fact that I am updating and re-releasing this important 2015 article.

I am updating and re-releasing this article to share with those that have asked, my NDE (Near Death Experience) or as sometimes referred to as an OBE (out of body experience) from 2005. I will attempt to recall as much as possible from the experience; which as most epileptics know memory is usually very difficult following any seizure; especially a Grand Mal seizure.

I am doing this to make what I believe to be three extremely important points:

  1. Although maintainable, epilepsy is serious and not given the attention by medical research as are other neurological disorders,
  2. Available resources such as CBD or Cannabinoid (Cannabis oil/ aka medical marijuana) is being politicized by pharmaceutical companies with fake news and junk science to encourage medical doctors in opposing scientific studies which demonstrate proven effective results in epilepsy while continuing to urge State and Federal Government from legalizing.
  3. Epilepsy even manageable can still be dangerous leading to coma, stroke or death.

I have discussed the fact that I am a Grand General Epileptic; that means I have the alpha waves of my brain shooting wildly all over the place on the EEG machine all of the time.

It also means I can have an epileptic seizure at any time (even with medication) and when I have one it is usually the big one best known to most people as the “Grand Mal” seizure with all of the shake, rattle and rolling, foaming at the mouth and completely passing out for time periods from five or ten minutes to long unstated periods of unconsciousness. My longest seizure lasted nearly 4 hours (including return to complete consciousness). It was also followed by four days of a "post seizure aura from hell".

Although my doctors and neurologist originally thought my epilepsy was caused by a non malignant mass called an angioma in the center of my brain, further MRI’s revealed there was nothing there; well there was a brain just no angioma (a little humor to lighten a very serious topic).

Further study and investigation revealed initially that my epilepsy was of unknown origin but further medical and family history allowed my neurologist to conclude that my epilepsy was genetic.

It seems the big indicator was my grandfather on my father's side. He was known for having the "fits" or "spells", a term used for epileptics back in the day and back then there wasn't much which could be done.

I knew all my life something about me was not right. I would go into dazes while reading, pass out while running, riding my bike, even standing up and often feel shaky. I apparently even had a seizure while on the wrestling team in High School when I passed out in the middle of a wrestling match and slid across the mats receiving second degree “mat burns”.

But the doctors always chocked it up as lack of sleep, wrong diet, teen age stress, etc.

It was not until 2000 when I awoke from an after church nap and had bitten my tongue half off, my face swollen from apparent shaking and the inability to walk on my right side (thinking I had a stroke) that I found out in the ER I was indeed an epileptic.

On Halloween, 2005, I was having lunch in a restaurant with my wife when as I was eating, I felt kind of strange and suffered a major grand general seizure (grand mal).

Prior to my meeting her for lunch, I noticed everything around me had started to turn a pale yellow and I didn’t feel quite all here. It was like I was here, aware of everything around me but that I was also somewhere else. I would later learn this was the much dreaded “aura feared and hated by all epileptics regardless of the form of epilepsy they have.

The aura seems to be a precursor, a warning or as some neurologists believe the actual beginning of the seizure. For those of us who experience this, it is an absolutely horrible experience.

The Grand general seizure I experienced on October 31st, 2005, changed my life because I experienced something I had only previously heard about and on occasion I had counseled others who spoke of it.

Light in the distance
Light in the distance
OBE Out of Body Experience
OBE Out of Body Experience

Life after life

I obviously as a Christian pastor and theologian believed in life after death but honestly as a human being I had questions and had been frightened of death all my life; even as a Christian pastor.

I knew the scriptures, had the faith, had preached literally hundreds of funerals but I had the question, “what happens when the body and spirit separate?’

I had read the books such as “Life After Life” by Dr. Raymond Moody and I had a Baptist deacon in a church I had pastored who actually became a featured speaker at other churches to give his testimony of having a life after life experience or what many call an out of the body experience.

But now it was me.

I was told that I started shaking horribly and a gentleman helped get me on the floor and turn me on my side and that’s when it happened;

My OBE/Out of Body Experience:

I was no longer in my body which I didn’t realize at first.

I thought at first I was standing to the side looking at someone else, but then I saw my wife and she was crying and I suddenly realized I was looking down at all that was going on.

I then heard what sounded like familiar voices which I think were my grandparents, father-in-law, aunts, uncles and a cousin who had all long passed on. I never saw them but I definitely heard them and actually calling my name, “Lee”. They had all been Christians back on earth.

And yes there was the much talked about light way in the distance but I was never drawn to it, in fact I felt the need for some reason to AVOID it. I really don’t know why.

I might have avoided the light as a purely suggestive thing from hearing a famous pastor say one time that he wasn’t sure he wanted to go to the light (when he died) or not. Even though the New Testament tells us Jesus is the light of the world, we should not forget that Satan (ha’ sa’tan in Biblical Hebrew or the evil one) is also known as the “light giver“ or “angel of light” and the Bible tells us he is so, in an attempt to deceive mankind.

Since I am a believer, there is no way Satan could have me or take me (or anyone else as far as that goes; believers or not). The Bible in the book of Job is clear Satan does NOT have power over life or death. He might be the guardian of Hell but contrary to popular belief he can’t take or send anyone there; ONLY God has that power. But like Job of the Old Testament Satan can frighten and threaten even believers.

Make no mistake; I know I was dead or at least “near dead” for a short while and here is why:

As I looked on from wherever I was, the female EMT was shaking her head negatively. They couldn’t find a pulse and I had stopped breathing. My wife who had worked in hospitals for years cried even harder as the EMT was giving the vitals to her colleague and over the radio.

EMT at ER | Source


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We lost him twice

She was performing CPR on me the entire time they were urgently moving the gurney to the ambulance and they had me attached to oxygen as well.

During the procedure I noticed the EMT’s name badge was Becky but the badge fell off as she continued to perform CPR on me so she picked it up and put it in her shirt pocket.

I was floating. I felt conscious from wherever (I knew I was at Applebee’s restaurant but I am speaking of “plain of existence” not the physical location of my body) and whatever I was temporarily. Was I in the purest sense of the spirit? Honestly I don’t know.

I know that the Bible is full of all sorts of explanations on this subject: 2 Corinthians 12:2-4, 2 Corinthians 5:8 and Isaiah 6. These are just a few of many examples.

Physically I WAS GONE. But it didn’t bother me. Let me say it again, it didn’t alarm me or frighten me although I was saddened to see my wife crying.

As I floated into the ambulance above and just back of my body on the gurney, I was suddenly back in my body and as I returned I was totally UNAWARE. I didn’t know who I was, where I was, and what day of the week it was or anything else.

I might add that while I was in the OBE or “out of Body experience” I was very conscious of everything around me and who I was.

Becky (the EMT who lost her badge) yells to the driver, “he’s back, we got him back” suddenly the siren is turned on (it had not been on previously because for all intent and purpose they thought they had lost me) and off to the hospital ER we went. My wife was riding in the front seat with the driver in the ambulance and yelled out “Thank God”.

I began to talk and pull at the oxygen line. Becky (EMT) said, “Don’t do that”. I responded saying “stop it BECKY”. She was obviously shocked that I knew her name and she asked me, “How do you know my name?” I told her it was on her badge but she told me she didn’t have the badge on. I told her I saw it before she dropped it and she said I couldn’t have known that because I had been unconscious, I then told her I saw it while I was out of my body. My wife turned around and looked back and said “What did he say?”

I then passed out again, and was out of my body again, I saw the ambulance pull in from a great distance, I floated closer and finally made it to directly over my body again.

As the ER doctors met the EMTs at the ER entrance and began their examination as they moved me, the EMTs tell the doctors, “We lost him twice”. The ER doctors are yelling, NO PULSE, NO BP, He’s not breathing, let’s move it.

I floated above, following my body to the ER examination room where I went back into my body and ultimately stayed.

I woke up sometime later physically and permanently. They performed the usual epileptic test, CAT scan, MRI, EEG, ECG and blood enzymes.

I was kept overnight because my blood enzyme test confirmed my heart had stopped.

It was an experience I will never forget.

I have had another major Grand Mal seizure since then which lasted four hours in 2008 while I was driving but I did not stop breathing nor did my heart stop so no OBE.

The Bible tells us that all things work together for those that love the Lord.

For me, I believe God allowed this OBE to happen so my fear of death could be removed and it did.

Yes, I couldn’t believe this happened to me but it did and I am grateful that God gave me the experience.

This article is dedicated to epileptics, their families and friends everywhere; estimated to be over fifty million world wide.

Remember that epilepsy is not a disease but a neurological disorder.

Please support epilepsy awareness.

©Copyright 2017 Dr. Lee W. Outlaw III


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    • Tami Fite profile image

      Tami Fite 

      8 years ago

      Thank you -- my mom entered into eternity March 30th -- for several days I constantly wished I could check on her and see her for myself so that I knew she was ok -- the Bible and God's wisdom has encouraged me that she is ok and I can trust Him ... thanks for your glimpse into the peace that comes following death.

    • Drtruthman profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Harlingen, Texas

      I am so sorry for your loss Lilleyth but I am happy your son was aware of the man's experience. This was a truly life changing experience for this preacher, counselor, writer who had proclaimed eternal life, yet feared death.

      I understand allot more now. Thank you for stopping by, taking the time to read and comment and sharing about your son. Cod's blessing on you. Lee

    • Lilleyth profile image

      Suzanne Sheffield 

      8 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

      My husband's best friend, a pharmacist, flatlined while being given a stress test. It completely changed him. It was a blessing that he was able to tell his account of seeing the light, feeling the love, etc. to my 18-year-old son before he died of leukemia, as it gave him (and me) much comfort. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • Drtruthman profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Harlingen, Texas

      Thanks for the read and the comment Michele. I always appreciate your stopping by. Lee

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 

      8 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      What an amazing hub. I am so happy you are back with us. I believe you will go to heaven, but for now, I am happy you are here.

    • Drtruthman profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Harlingen, Texas

      Thanks for the read and comment Sparklea, I appreciate greatly the comment. Thanks for taking the time to stop by.


    • Sparklea profile image


      8 years ago from Upstate New York

      OH WOW! What a story! You probably have no idea how this will affect readers in such a positive way, to hopefully, remove their fear of death, as well as inspire and encourage those who have epilepsy, or a family member with epilepsy. You have certainly helped me! I think, way deep down, many fear death because, on the surface, it tends to be viewed as a very dark zone.

      THANK YOU for letting me know about this hub, and I read it with great interest. It flowed beautifully, and great descriptive writing. Blessings, Sparklea :)

    • Drtruthman profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Harlingen, Texas

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment. I really appreciate the comment and it is very interesting about the poll statistics. Jer. 29:11 is indeed one of my favorite scripture verses. God's blessings on you.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      8 years ago

      Such an amazing story! I believe you that this happened and that you were in another spiritual dimension. My father had a similar experience and as a pastor would share it occasionally from the pulpit. I took the vote and saw that it was split 50-50 on beliving OBE and 100% on life after death -- so this means people support your testimony. Thanks for sharing and may you be richly blessed in your ministry. Jer 29:11

    • Drtruthman profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Harlingen, Texas

      Thank you SusieQ42. I appreciate you taking time to read and comment. As to Jesus and Angels, No I did not see either; although as I stated in my article, I did see the light in the distance. All I can say is I felt no fear. Thank you for your prayers. I do miss Florida. My folks live just up the road from you. God bless and I look forward to reading all your Hubs. Lee

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I have a friend who has epilepsy. I'm going to email her a link to this. My blog "Angels By My side" tells about people who have seen angels so I thought I would read this hub. It's very interesting! Did you see an angel or Jesus? I wonder because I always thought that He would be there with His hands out to greet you when you pass and angels are often seen when a light has appeared. Very interesting hub. I'm praying for you! God bless, Susieq42

    • Drtruthman profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Harlingen, Texas

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. As a doctor of Psychology, I am aware of the various OBE that people have and right you are, many are visions due to lack of oxygen, amoniated gases forming in the blood, etc. Unsually however, these visionary experiences are non-focused and without conscious visual acuity; which I had. I saw what was happening. As I stated in the article I have counseled many people over the years who have had OBE's of various types. I have also know several people with non-epileptic seizures. I am sorry to hear about yours.Do they have any idea what the cause is? In my opinion it is very "cool" that you did have the OBE when you received your confirmation name. I am aware also that saints, mystics,religious leaders of all types and even the artistic such as writers, poets, painters, etc.have all seemed to tend toward some form of neurological disorder. I do agree with your last statement as well that you "believe our GOD works through differently functioning brains as much as GOD works through anything else in this world of ours.

      Great comment Marie. Thanks for stopping by. Keep me informed about those seizures of yours, I am genuinely interested.

    • Marie Gail profile image

      Marie Gail Stratford 

      8 years ago from Kansas City, MO

      "Abnormal" activity in the temporal lobe has frequently been linked to visions and "out of body" experiences in medical research as well as in anecdotal evidence you give here. I have non-epileptic seizures (which means I have most of the symptoms of seizures but an EEG doesn't pick up the activity), and I have found it interesting that many saints and also mystics of today also have seizure or seizure-like afflictions.

      My "out of body experience" as you call it took place one night when I was given my confirmation name by St. Faustina in the presence of Mother Mary. It is a memory I treasure deeply as I believe our G-D works through differently functioning brains as much as G-D works through anything else in this world of ours.

    • Drtruthman profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Harlingen, Texas

      Thanks again Debbie, appreciate the read and comment and taking the poll.

    • Drtruthman profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Harlingen, Texas

      Thanks for the read and comment Susan. Interesting to know about your OBEs. We should talk some time.Yes, I have counseled many who induced OBEs as an escape mechanism. As usaul, I appreciate your wonderful comments.

    • Drtruthman profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Harlingen, Texas

      Thank you Christy for your read and comment. I am glad you have some knowledge of epilepsy and please know I will pray for your sister. Thanks so much for stopping by.

    • Drtruthman profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Harlingen, Texas

      Thanks for the read and comment michiganman567. An epileptic even with meds can have a seizure at any time, that's why we need a cure. I have counseled people who had OBE's and experienced it on both sides of the controversy.My conclusion is like myself God may have allowed the individual to experience some part of the afterlife experience to bring them closer to God and to help change their life for the better. The Bible tells us that in the last day God will pour out His spirit on on flesh, I don't know but this could be part of that.

      Thanks for the read and your comment.

    • michiganman567 profile image


      8 years ago from Michigan

      Thank you for sharing your amazing story. I hope that you don't have to experience any more seizures.

      What do you think of the people that say that they died and went straight to heaven or hell before they came back?

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 

      8 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I have shivers as I read this. While I have heard of out of body experiences I had never quite believed.. until I read your account. I do not know you well but am so thankful you have survived and live to tell us about this and spread your knowledge. My sister has epilepsy and I can understand some of your episodes. Thank-you for providing us this information and sharing your experience.

    • profile image

      Susan Joyner-Stumpf 

      8 years ago

      Dr Lee I'm so glad our Lord allowed you to come back. You must have more to do on this Earth, your mission is not over, and I, for one, am glad. I love stuff like fascinated in the Paranormal, the Spiritual, UFO's, and all your hubs touch on that. I'm a fan for Life. But this truly interests me.......i've had an out of body experience but not because of death......I was experimenting from my "hippie days" on OBE's. Plus, as a child, it was an escape mechanism for me being so abused and traumatized. But this is died. I always wanted to know what it's like. Thank you Dr Lee

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 

      8 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      ok I took the test.. love your hub.. you are amazing..

      Have a special day today in the Lord.


    • Drtruthman profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Harlingen, Texas

      Debbie, you might want to re-take the poll. It wasn't working properly. Again, thank you for the comment.

    • Drtruthman profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Harlingen, Texas

      Thanks so much Debbie. I promise to get caught up on commenting and reading your Hubs tomorrow. Praise God, WE do serve a risen savior who is in the world today and WE know that He is living no matter what men may say, HE lives, HE lives, Christ Jesus lives today.....and Because HE lives, We can live too. I was, like Paul just given the opportunity to know and understand that it is ALL real. Thank you again for reading and commenting.

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 

      8 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      OH my sweet friend I am crying and so joyful at the same time.. Praise the Lord you are still with us, I do believe so joyfully in life after death. I believe In Jesus our Savior. and I believe in what you describe. You are a very special person. I thank God that I know you.

      My prayers will always be with you



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