An Arizona woman who "died" for a total of 27 minutes asked for a notepad after she was resuscitated to share an urgent message about the afterlife, her family claims.
Madie Johnson took to Instagram last month to share photos of her new tattoo, modeled off a note written by her aunt, Tina Hines, who suffered a massive heart attack in February 2018.
"Her story is too real not to share and has given me a stronger confidence in a faith that so often goes unseen," Johnson wrote.
Hines, from Phoenix, was getting ready to go for a hike with her husband, Brian, last year when she suddenly collapsed.
"Her eyes didn't close, and they were rolled back in her head," Brian Hines told AZFamily at the time. "She was purple and not making any noise or breathing."
Hines's husband was successfully able to resuscitate his wife before paramedics arrived, but she coded multiple times on the way to a local hospital, where she had to be intubated.
"We ended up shocking her three times on scene and two en route," one Phoenix firefighter told the outlet. "I've never shocked anyone five times."
Miraculously, the mom of four woke up and immediately gestured for a pen and piece of paper, with which she scribbled down, "It's real." When asked what her note referenced, Hines responded by "pointing up to heaven with tears in her eyes," according to her niece.
(sharing because this story is too cool not to share) A little over a year ago my Aunt Tina, one of the most amazing, discerning, and healthy people I know had an unexpected cardiac arrest and according to doctors had died and was brought back to life four times by my Uncle Brian and first responders before arriving to the hospital. She was put on a defibrillator and after miraculously waking up the first thing she did, unable to speak because she was intubated, was ask for a pen and in my cousins journal wrote “it’s real”. The people in the room asked “what’s real?” and she responded by pointing up to heaven with tears in her eyes. Her story is too real not to share and has given me a stronger confidence in a faith that so often goes unseen. It has given me a tangibleness to an eternal hope that is not too far away. I love you @_tinahines! The way you boldly love Jesus and others has changed the way I hope to live and love❤️
A post shared by Madie Johnson (@madiejohnson) on Jun 18, 2019 at 5:10pm PDT
"It was so real, the colors were so vibrant," Hines recalled of her vision, which she said included Jesus standing in front of black gates with a bright yellow glow behind him.
Johnson said she wanted the tattoo as a permanent reminder of her aunt's journey, which has given her a "tangibleness to an eternal hope that is not too far away."
"The way you boldly love Jesus and others has changed the way I hope to live and love," she added.
Johnson's tattoo artist, Suede Silver, took to Facebook to share photos of the tattoo along with the story behind it. They have since been shared over 237,000 times and racked up 38,000 comments, some from people who have experienced similar visions following near-death experiences, which is not an uncommon occurrence.
A 2013 study on the phenomenon, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that high levels of brain waves present in rats at the time of their deaths may help explain the vivid experiences described by near-death survivors.
"A lot of people thought that the brain, after clinical death, was inactive or hypoactive, with less activity than the waking state, and we show that is definitely not the case," said Dr. Jimo Borjigin, who led the study.
"If anything, it is much more active during the dying process than even the waking state."