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November 27th, 2013
10:22 PM ET

Did Dr. Mary Neal go to heaven and come back?

Editor's Note: "Anderson Cooper Special Report: To Heaven and Back" airs Sunday, December 1st at  7 p.mand 10 p.m. E.T.

Orthopedic surgeon Mary Neal was kayaking in South America when she got pinned underwater for 15 minutes. She says she had no pulse, was not breathingand experienced what she described as an out of body experience. Dr. Neal told Randi Kaye  her extraordinary story, and says "you can't write everything off as a coincidence."

Mary Jo Rapini says her life changed profoundly when she suffered a severe brain aneurysm.

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Filed under: Randi Kaye
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  1. Elizabeth

    I'd like to thank Dr. Neal for coming forward and telling her story. It takes a lot of courage to brave the disbelief of others in the face of what you know to be true and we all benefit from opening our minds beyond our cultural paradigm. There is more to existance than the rational mind can explain, even if that scares us. Dr. Neal is reporting that there is goodness beyond the comings and goings of our lives and if death is not the end then we might live with less fear and more love. Thank you for your willingness to step forward.

    December 7, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
  2. James Smallwood

    We had Mary Neal here in Santa Barbara as a guest speaker to our IANDS group. My degree was in Psychology and when I listened to Mary's account, the time she was under water and unconscious, and other events, which were independently corroborated by witnesses, I was able to suspend my disbelief, and give her some credit. In my opinion, physicians as scientists, and others who say her experience is a fabrication, have fabricated their own reality, and undermined their own credibility. Science is the act of observation. How can physicians possibly weigh in on an event they have not personally observed? Contradicting the foundations of observation that the practice of medicine is based on? Thanks to Mary for bringing a bit of sanity and science to an otherwise fabricated and insane world.

    December 2, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
  3. Ron

    Dr. Neal certainly had a compelling experience but I can't believe it had anything to do with heaven. There have been other cases of survival and recovery after loss of air for longer than normal periods, expecially when surrounded by cold snow or water. The fact that she still had memories and body functions show that her brain was not dead. Anyone who has brain damage either loses functions and memories or at best has to relearn. We dream which can be called hallucinations and in the conditions she experienced that could well explain the experience. Finally, if there was a god (which there isn't) why save just a few people and let millions die early just like her son, Willie? Is this a god you want to believe in? Not for me.

    December 2, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • Amanda

      It is a very valid and complex question you pose. I encourage you to investigate more thoroughly and decide for yourself if you can answer that question and any others you may have. A good starting place is The Case For Christ. Have you read it?

      December 7, 2013 at 1:01 pm |

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