We left the house at 5:00 a.m. on April 18, 2012, on our way to the Los Angeles airport. We were heading to Charlotte, North Carolina, for a TV show. By 5:30 a.m. we were driving on the 405 freeway. We were in the inside lane of six lanes of heavy morning traffic, and all of a sudden, I felt like I was going to faint. I said to Annette, “Honey, I don’t feel right. I think I am going to faint.” And a second later I was passed out at the wheel—the car going sixty-five miles per hour. Now I have fainted several times in my lifetime, but this was different. There was not the normal wooziness or things starting to go dark before it happened. It was like there was an instant drop of power in my body, and then it was lights out.
My wife had to maneuver the car across five other lanes of traffic. She had to get her leg over the console and situate her foot on the brake—and do all of this in the dark, as it was not light out yet. This was a miracle in itself—you know this if you have ever seen Los Angeles traffic! Thankfully we made it to the side of the freeway, and a couple of minutes later I regained consciousness—for about thirty seconds. My wife called emergency services. She knew something was not right, as I had never been ill or had any medical problems whatsoever before this. I have always been blessed with good health throughout my entire life. I had recently had an extensive physical and was found to be in excellent health.
So what was the cause of my fainting spell?
Well, we had gone to a nutritionist to get some vitamins two days before this. The nutritionist recommended we take a certain vitamin that was good for circulation, since we sit on an airplane so often. It turns out that the so-called vitamin we were given was 85 percent nitric oxide. It is usually given to people with high blood pressure in order to lower it, as it opens up the veins and arteries. However, I already have a slow pulse rate and low blood pressure, so this “vitamin” inadvertently dropped my blood pressure down to almost nothing.
The ambulance arrived very quickly. The medics checked my pulse and said my heart was beating at only three beats per minute. They called out, “Precardiac!” and gave me an injection to raise my blood pressure, but that got my heartbeat up to only thirty beats per minute. Although my memory was fine, I couldn’t get up and function properly. I felt dizzy, weak, and just terrible. The ambulance delivered me to the emergency room of the nearest hospital, and we ended up spending thirty-six miserable hours there while they ran every test known to man to be certain it wasn’t something other than the pill I had taken.
Now my wife had taken the same pill at the same time as I did. She told me that as soon as I told her that I didn’t feel right, she also felt a wave sweep over her body. It didn’t cause her to pass out, as her blood pressure is normal, but it must have lowered hers a bit as well. The hospital had to flush out the nitric oxide from my system with intravenous fluids for those thirty-six hours, and once it was out of my body, I felt fine and back to normal. All the test results revealed I was still in excellent condition. Thank God for that!
Now I want to share what happened to me when I was passed out during that minute when I was lying on the side of the freeway. This is actually the relevant part of the story.
When I was unconscious, I saw myself sitting in a room and watching a video, but it wasn’t a video for the purpose of entertainment. It was my entire life passing by at an incredibly high speed. I watched my whole life of sixty years in a single minute, and I could absorb it all. As the film approached the end, and as I was coming up on my current age, it began to slow up just a bit. When I regained consciousness, I found myself lying on the ground on the side of the freeway. The paramedics had pulled me out of the car.
I didn’t realize for a moment where I was or even what age I was. Traveling through the years of my life and then so abruptly ending that experience leaves you a bit disoriented. It was as if I had been placed back into life in order to complete the video.
When I found out I had almost died, I became aware of just how fragile life really is—and how quickly it can end.
We are all going to die, but we really don’t think it will happen to us. After my near-death experience I became keenly aware that there truly is an afterlife, and everything we do is all recorded—every second and every word we speak. I think today we can all relate to things being recorded, as we have e-mails, text messages, and telephone recorders. But God has a system that captures even the thoughts and intents of the heart. That is a pretty sophisticated system.
It has caused me to be ever so conscious of my life in every area.
What about you? Are you also paying attention to your actions, thoughts, and motives? The Bible states that we will all give an account of every word, thought, and action. (See Proverbs 12:14; Ecclesiastes 11:9; 12:14; Matthew 12:36; 16:27; Luke 12:3; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 6:9–10; Galatians 5:19–21; Ephesians 5:5; Revelation 21:8.)
I wouldn’t want my entire life shown to anyone. Yet, if we do not know Jesus, what we have spoken in darkness will be proclaimed from the housetops, and He will bring to light the hidden things of the heart. However, the Bible states that when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior and ask forgiveness of our sins, then God erases all our sins and remembers them no more. (See Psalm 103: 11–12; Hebrews 8:12; 10:17). I am so grateful that all of the foolish things I have done are forgotten.
Can you say the same?
Bill Wiese, the founder of Soul Choice Ministries, is the best-selling author of 23 Minutes in Hell. He and his wife, Annette, travel the country speaking about Bill's near-death experience. This article was excerpted from his new book, What Happens When I Die?