Ken Barnes says he has had two near-death experiences (NDEs) in which he left his body and had experiences that confirmed his belief in the afterlife. Whether one believes in such NDEs or not, Barnes’s story is one of perseverance, forgiveness, and positivity in the face of adversity.
The first NDE purportedly happened when he was 9 years old.
He had a bad reaction to medication he was taking and doctors gave him only a day or two to live. He was standing beside his parents in the hospital, talking to them, but they couldn’t hear him. Then he saw his own body on the bed.
A minister was standing by his parents, giving his last rites.
When Barnes revived and later told his father about this experience, his father told him he was watching too much “Twilight Zone.” Barnes described in detail what the minister was wearing. “My father dropped his beer can; he was a believer,” Barnes said in a video posted to YouTube.
When Barnes was 49 years old, on Oct. 12, 1998, he was beaten by five men with baseball bats. He spent 32 days on life-support, three months in the hospital, and three years in a nursing home.
He said that, while on life-support, he left his body and met three beings who introduced him to the afterlife, a place in which Barnes learned compassion. A major lesson from his NDE was how to have compassion for himself as well as others.
Despite having a body full of rods and bolts, he now experiences no pain, which he says is a gift he brought back with him from the afterlife.
Barnes is not angry with the men who beat him. He goes so far as to say, “If they took their coats off, they’d probably have wings underneath them.”
Calling his attackers angels is something Barnes said it is hard for many people to understand. But he is grateful to them (they were never caught and he doesn’t know who they are), because the experience changed him profoundly for the better.
He is now a hospice worker, dedicating his time to helping terminally ill cancer patients come to terms with dying.
Barnes said: “[Death] is only the beginning, not the end.”
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