'I saw a bright light': Man reveals details of his harrowing near-death experience

Posted October 17

A man who was reportedly clinically dead for eight minutes after suffering a heart attack is speaking out about his near-death experience.

Mike Gibbons, 58, cardiac arrested at the YMCA in Bonner Springs, Kansas, on May 2, though he told WDAF-TV he doesn't remember many details of how it unfolded.

What Gibbons — whom some are referring to as "Miracle Mike" — does recall, though, is what he says happened after his heart stopped.

"I saw a bright light and I thought okay, I'm goin' home. And then all of a sudden, it went dim," he said. "I started rattling around and yelled out, 'Let's roll, Lord', after I pulled something off my face."

Gibbons said he was clinically dead for eight minutes before being revived.

The near-death experience unfolded after he finished his daily, hour-long swim routine and he went to take a shower.

"I didn’t have any chest pain or discomfort, but they tell me my heart stopped while I was in the shower," Gibbons told Wyandotte Daily Online.

A number of people at the YMCA tended to Gibbons, taking him out of the shower and keeping him alive using an automatic external defibrillator until paramedics arrived on the scene.

Since the incident, Gibbons has been making healthier choices. He had six-way heart bypass surgery, lost 57 pounds and ran in a 5K — and he's trying to encourage others to live healthier lives as well, according to WDAF-TV.

Doctors said Gibbons was lucky to be alive, as only 2 percent of patients survive with the condition he had and only 1 percent have no neurological damage after, according to Wyandotte Daily Online.

As for his revival and recovery, Gibbons believes it comes with great purpose.

"I believe God put all these people in this position to bring me to where now, he has some things for me to do," he said.

Gibbons also described himself as a "man of faith" and said he believes he "wouldn't be here" if not for the people who worked so hard to save him.

As the Deseret News has reported, Gibbons is hardly alone in his claim of seeing a white light or some other similar experience after narrowly escaping death.

Dr. Rajiv Parti is among those who claim to have visited heaven after nearly dying, an experience he recaps in his book, "Dying to Wake Up: A Doctor's Voyage into the Afterlife and the Wisdom He Brought Back."

"I felt supreme harmony, peace, love and joy," he said.

While there's skepticism about such stories, there's also no shortage of material, with a plethora of people adamantly insisting they've died and either met God, or visited heaven.

As we've reported, some have become increasingly skeptical of these so-called "heavenly tourism" stories after Alex Malarkey, the subject and author of the book, "The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven," later said his own story was made up.

Others, though, like Colton Burpo, whose story was told in the book and feature film, "Heaven Is For Real," have passionately defended their purported experiences. Read more about the debate here.

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