About 6 years ago my friend and I were on our way to pick up another friend from work at around 10pm. He was the driver and I was the passenger. We approach the intersection of my friends work traveling about 55mph (88kph) and as we’re entering the intersection a girl on her phone ran the red light at about 70mph (113kph) and we T-boned her. My seatbelt ripped the buckle from its housing and I went through the windshield.
I’m awake and conscious. I stand up and reach for my phone in my pocket; my arm feels like it’s on fire but I get my phone out and dial 911 through the lock screen. I look down and I’m pouring blood onto the street, as in a nice steady stream is making a puddle. People that had seen the accident, including the friend we were picking up, stop and watch me in horror as I walk around and hand my now blood covered phone my friend who is still stuck in the car. He takes it and I proceed to lean against the car.
An ambulance shows up, straps me to a board, and starts to load me into the back. As the as the stretcher is being loaded into the ambulance my mom showed up at the scene of the accident. I never saw her but I heard her yell “I love you, *****,” I tried really hard but I wasn’t able to reply.
While I was in the ambulance, I started feel odd and, although it’s weird to say, I could tell that my body was giving up on me.
In the beginning my fingers started to go numb, at first in the pins and needles sense and then I couldn’t feel them at all. I remember touching them with my thumbs and thinking about how weird it was. My vision blurred and would go in and out of blackness. I coughed out a “thank you” and for some reason an “I’m sorry” to the person who was working on me in the ambulance. I closed my eyes and I thought about my how my friend would probably blame himself and how my Mom would handle it (I was 21 and still lived with her.) My body started to feel really light, and I tried to touch my thumbs to my fingers again but my hands wouldn’t move. Everything seemed quiet to me, I could see that the person was trying to talk to me but it was like I was selectively tuning him out. Instead I could hear my heart beat steadily getting further and further apart.
My final though was “I wish I had replied to her.” (referring to my mom’s “I love you.”) After that everything went black, just like falling asleep.
I was defibrillated, and let me tell you, it’s a total sensory overload. It’s like being kicked in the chest, it tastes and smells like hot copper, you see a blinding white flash, and you hear an enormous BANG all at the same time.
After I was defibrillated I had 4 shots of Epinephrine to make my heart beat steady. The guy in the ambulance was literally crying because I had apologized to him before he had lost me. I later found out that my heart had stopped for 113 seconds.
Not an experience that I’d recommend to anybody, but interesting to know about nonetheless.