Tina Hines had to be revived eight times and was technically dead for 27 minutes before she woke up. But she seemed to have made quite the trip in that period.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on December 2, 2021. It has since been updated.
Where do we go after death? Heaven? Hell?
Do we even have a life after death?
Is reincarnation real?
These questions have sparked debates that have spanned decades. Metro UK now reports the story of a woman who was considered technically dead for at least 27 minutes and who came back to life with a vivid description of "heaven."
Tina Hines, from Phoenix, Arizona, is a mother of four who was all ready to join her husband, Brian for a hike in February 2018.
Suddenly, she had a cardiac arrest that caused her to collapse. Brian gave her CPR and was able to resuscitate her twice before handing her off to the paramedics once they arrived.
According to AZfamily, she had to be revived six more times by the medics as they were on the way to the hospital. In essence, this meant she had died for a total of 27 minutes. She was intubated at the hospital, but awoke, to everyone's surprise. But what came next left everyone stunned. As soon as she woke up, she asked for a pen and paper. And she left a chilling message to her loved ones.
In barely legible handwriting, she wrote, "It's real." And when she was asked as to what was real, she angled and nodded her head upwards. "It was so real, the colors were so vibrant," Tina told AZfamily. She also said that she saw a figure whom she believes was Jesus standing next to some bright, yellow, glowing gates.
Her niece, Madie Johnson, was so touched by her aunt's story that she got the child-like handwriting tattoed on her wrist.
Does this mean she's got the answer to all our questions? Maybe not.
Research states that Tina's near-death experience (NDE) is actually quite common. While most people don't recall that period of time when they were medically dead, nearly 10-20% of people describe certain visual or sensory episodes during the time.
Researchers at the University of Michigan did a study on nine rats in 2013 to study this effect further. According to reports by the BBC, there is a sudden surge of activity in the brain just before death and is higher than during most waking, conscious states.
The leader of the study, Dr. Jimo Borjigin from the University of Michigan, said, "A lot of people thought that the brain after clinical death was inactive or hypoactive, with less activity than the waking state, and we show that is definitely not the case. If anything, it is much more active during the dying process than even the waking state."
The study found that for 30 seconds after the rats' death, there was a sharp increase in high-frequency brainwaves. The researches rationalize it, saying that these pulses help to "link" information from different parts of the brain quickly.
Dr. Jason Braithwaite of the University of Birmingham mentioned that this surge of energy is what causes people to see "striking" colors, emotions, feelings, and visions.
But that hasn't stopped others from claiming that they have been to heaven.
According to Deseret News, a woman named Crystal McVea died for nine minutes and in that time, she claims she was greeted by two angels.
“What I saw and felt was just this beautiful, radiant, glowing light. That’s the only word I can even think to describe it,” she told The Blaze. “But I was very aware that I was in front of the presence of the one true God. I’m a Christian. I believe it was the presence of the father, and the son and the Holy Spirit.”
A man named Eben Alexander found himself in an accident in 2012. According to The Huffington Post, Alexander was surrounded by butterflies. He was also told by a woman that he had nothing to fear while he was in heaven. “Again, thinking about it later, it occurred to me that the joy of these creatures, as they soared along, was such that they had to make this noise — that if the joy didn’t come out of them this way then they would simply not otherwise be able to contain it,” Alexander said.
Another man by the name of Brian Miller suffered a major heart attack which led him to be unconscious for 45 minutes. Upon waking, he told his wife that he had seen family members who had passed on and that he had been to heaven, according to an interview Miller gave Fox News.
Miller said when he went to heaven, he saw “the light and just kept walking towards it.” Then, finding himself on a path with flowers on the side, he was greeted by a man and woman. Those two then grabbed his arms and told him that he had to go back to Earth.
So, is heaven really "real?" The debate continues...