Sean happy to be home after near death experience "I say my prayers every night. I pray for people who have problems ... but now it seems someone was praying for me"
(In article, recalls a out-of-body experience he had when he suffered an emergency respiratory failure.)
April 17, 2021 - Reported [here]. Local man Sean Maxwell (70) has recalled the out-of-body experience he had when he suffered an emergency respiratory failure at St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin recently.
The husband and father, who believes he is lucky to be alive, said that he has plenty more living to do and will continue his prayers every night.
'When this happened, I was ready to go home to Gorey and we were discussing that with the doctor and consultant when, all of a sudden, I thought I blacked out but basically I wasn't there,' said Sean.
The consultant was looking at me and calling things out. She called for people to go in to the ward, and the next thing I could see myself. I was looking down at them, which was a strange position to be in, and next thing all different people on the medical team were around me. The consultant was calling on them all for different functions, saying that they'd try a procedure and counting it down, then she might say stand-by.
'While all this was going on, I was amazed as it looked like an orchestra which was absolutely brilliant. I felt separate from them as if they were down there and I was up here, and I felt myself calling out to them. I imagined that they heard me but it's very hard to know. I remember it feeling peaceful in the setting where I was, but I knew I didn't want to be there too much longer.
'It got to a stage where I thought I was going up and up and I didn't want to go any further, I wanted to get back down to ground level,' said Sean.
'Slowly but surely I could feel myself coming down, thanks be to God, and after that I was away with the fairies as I was out for a good while. I didn't wake up until the next evening and, at that stage, I couldn't remember much but all this came back to me after a few hours'.
Having recovered well, Sean is now looking forward to getting his Covid-19 vaccination this week.
'I suffer with myeloma, which is a cancer of the blood, and I was diagnosed about 12 weeks ago. For years though I've had COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), and I'm on oxygen all the time. I bring my canister around the town - I won't do marathons but I'm able to get around and home again. I'm grateful to not be lying around all the time.
'When I got diagnosed with cancer, I was gobsmacked. When you hear something like that, it goes in one ear and out the other. I won't be able to get rid of this cancer but it's not a death sentence as it can be treated. I'm hoping to get a few more years, as I've a lot more things I want to do so that's what I'm working on. Some days you might get down about it, but you have to slap yourself and say "get back up again" and stay positive.
'I've a good woman, my wife Catherine, at home looking after me; I've good friends; eight brothers who ring me every other day; and my son. I'm surrounded by people who are pushing me on and clearly there's people nearer to God who are praying for me.
'Covid is always a worry, especially being in and out to hospital. We barely go out and even when we do, it's a brisk run down to the shops. I'm hoping that getting the vaccine will give me less to worry about'.
Sean said that he no longer has a big fear around dying.
'I'm apprehensive but I'm going to be fighting up to the last minute anyway, even though I don't know how long it's going to be. From having that experience now, if that's the way I'm going to go, I'm happy enough to go that way.
'God is very close to me. I don't go to Mass very regularly but I say my prayers every night. I pray for people who have problems, and my wife does as well, but now it seems someone was praying for me as well.
'I feel much better now and I've been contacted by the Hope Centre in Enniscorthy, I'm in constant contact with them. I couldn't ask for anything else. My message to people is to be positive and strong now during the pandemic. We'll get through this and we may have our ups and downs, but we have to get back up'.
Sean has thanked the team in St Vincent's Hospital who work in palliative care, COPD, cardiac and haematology who have helped him, both physically and mentally, as well as his family.