The top doctor who swears he saw a glimpse of hell: No-nonsense anaesthetist dismissed patients who said they’d had out-of-body experiences until HE went under the knife
Rajiv Parti heard people say they’d seen dead friends during cardiac arrest
Doctor said patients also claimed to have seen lights at the end of a tunnel
He was diagnosed with prostate cancer and had a series of operations
During one operation he saw visions of his family and former patients
By Dr Rajiv Parti
18 November 2016
By all indications, the patient on the operating table was dead. His heart had been stopped, his body drained of blood and he was no longer capable of breathing on his own.
He was, in fact, in suspended animation — through a surgical procedure that replaces the blood with a cool fluid and stops all bodily functions. Meanwhile, surgeons had just one hour to repair a tear in the main artery leading to his heart.
This is a difficult operation, not to mention dangerous. And, as the hospital’s chief anaesthetist, it was my job to make sure that the patient remained deeply unconscious throughout.
He did, and thankfully he survived.
In the recovery room later, I was there by his side as he woke up — with a smile on his face.
‘I was watching you guys in the operating room,’ he told me. ‘I was out of my body, floating around by the ceiling. I saw you just standing at the head of the table, I saw the surgeon sewing the patch on my artery, I saw that nurse . . .’
Everything he said was uncannily accurate. But could he really have witnessed it all?
No, of course not — how could he see anything when his heart wasn’t beating, his head was packed in ice and his brain had stopped functioning?
He wasn’t the first patient of mine to have reported strange events. Over the course of my 25-year career, I’d heard people claim to have seen deceased friends during a cardiac arrest, or lights at the end of tunnels or people made of light.
I’d always thought such stories were nonsense, so I said I’d return to talk to him later. But I never did.
By the next day, he’d been moved to another department, so he was no longer technically in my charge. And time, after all, is money. That’s how materialistic I was.
Within a few days, that patient had become just another anecdote.