Commentary by Bill Buchanan
Sometimes you get a little miracle in your life. No, I was not told by the IRS I didn’t have to pay my taxes today (or actually Monday this year). Three weeks ago, a friend had a heart attack, precipitated by a blood infection. He was found unconscious, and his breathing was very shallow. He was rushed by ambulance to the hospital. Friends and family were informed by his doctors that the prognosis was not good.
He stayed in a coma for six days, and repeated tests showed that his brain activity was minimal. He was attached to a variety of tubes and was on a ventilator. At one point, he became very agitated, and had to be restrained to the bed.
But gradually, there were hopeful signs —- a squeeze of the hand to someone he recognized; blinking his eyes to show that he understood simple questions.
And then he came out of the coma and was able to speak. We finally knew he was OK when he opened the back of his hospital gown and mooned a friend who was visiting. Thirteen days after entering the emergency room by ambulance, Doug left the hospital under his own steam. It was the answer to a lot of prayers.
For a while, it looked like I would be getting on a plane, putting on my best dark suit, and talking about how much I missed him. Now, I will go visit him and we will swap lies and tell old stories.
While Doug was in the coma, he had a dream or a vision or whatever you want to call it. Some people have described near-death experiences as seeing a light, or moving toward a light. Others have said that they saw friends and relatives who had died years earlier, sometimes beckoning them to come, acting as a guide to shepherd them into another world or dimension.
Doug said he was walking on a beach, listening to a Jimmy Buffet concert. He said he was enjoying himself immensely. But at one point someone told him it was time to go. That’s when he woke up, and came back to his friends.
I have never had a near-death experience. On two separate occasions, while flying in small private planes, I thought I was probably going to die. But I escaped unharmed. If I ever do have a near-death experience, I hope I have one like Doug.
I just hope Jimmy Buffet is playing “Cheeseburger in Paradise” and not “Highway to Hell.”