Doctor in medicine Eben Alexander woke up one morning with flu-like symptoms. As hours passed, his situation rapidly deteriorated, and by the time emergency personnel brought him to the ER he was unconscious and having grand-mal seizures. As doctors began to work on him, it became evident he was suffering from a bacterial infection (of some sort) that was attacking the brain. Doctor Alexander’s illness turned out to be E. Coli meningitis, a case so rare in adults and so lethal that his chances of surviving were less than 10 percent.
Doctor Alexander fell in a coma for six days while his chances of surviving, let alone a full recovery, diminished to zero. On the seventh day, amidst talks of discontinuing his treatment and “letting nature take its course”, he woke up from coma and within two months he was without apparent negative sequels.
The real value of Doctor Alexander’s experience doesn’t lie in the fact that he beat impossible odds, though he did. Aside from his miraculous recovery is the fact that he experienced a near-death-experience (NDE) so profound that affected his view of the world and of his scientific thinking.
I liked this book. It is a true story of a miraculous medical recovery against all odds (literally). I understand that an experience like coma changes one person profoundly; I also believe in miracles and have had psychic experiences of my own so I am no stranger to the topic, but what Doctor Alexander’s recounts he lived while in coma sounds so unique, far-fetched even, that I had trouble picturing someone undergoing all that. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not denying he underwent that, I’m just saying that I have trouble grasping it.