A woman has shared what she experienced when she “died” before regaining consciousness during an MRI breast screening procedure. Courtney Santiago, 32, from New Jersey, said she went into the screening feeling fine but started to feel sick after medics connected her to an IV.
Ms Santiago, who carries the BRCA gene which increases the risk of breast cancer, told her TikTok followers ahead of the procedure she was afraid something would go wrong.
She said her mother, who had a heart condition, had died after a routine dental procedure in 2019, and she felt an intuition something might go wrong.
Nevertheless, she put aside her fear and started the scan, but moments after the IV was inserted the medical manager’s vision went black and she lost consciousness.
The 32-year-old said she then saw a man in front of her who made her feel reassured, but without using words.
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Ms Santiago said: “So all of these reassuring thoughts were just in my mind as all of the scenery around us is continually changing.”
She then recalled a series of memories from a surfing trip to Central America six years ago to being back in the back yard of her childhood home.
Courtney continued: “And it’s just morphing around us to all of these memories that are places that I felt most connected to God, to the universe to myself just playing out.”
The experience felt as if it lasted for years, Courtney said, but she recalled feeling a “pull” and hearing someone say: “Courtney are you with us?”
Ms Santiago said: “All I felt in that moment, aside from the immense feeling of peace, was this deep sadness and regret to have to leave it.
“I could have stayed there forever and not missed out on anything, and I have a child, I have a family – things to come back to – but none of that mattered.”
She described waking up to a roomful of concerned-looking medical staff asking her to tell them her name, who the president is and what year it is.
Courtney told her TikTok followers her whole body felt stiff and she couldn’t even move her mouth.
Eventually, after being sick four times she said she recovered enough to ask a medic how long she had been out for.
He told her about 30 seconds, but she recalled that it felt like she had spent a lifetime in this “place” she was in.
She said she would have passed the whole thing off as stress-related due to the needle, had it not been for the experience she said she had while she was unconscious.
Ms Santiago said she then went for testing and saw a cardiologist who diagnosed an irregular heartbeat.
She said what she described had taught her lessons about trusting her intuition and her beliefs about life and death.
Describing herself as a very spiritual person, Courtney said she believed in reincarnation very strongly and what she saw while unconscious confirmed her beliefs and intuition.
She said: “The things that I experienced and saw can only be explained by the things that I believe in about what happens when we die and where we go when we’re on the brink of it.
“If there’s anything I can take away from this experience and give to you is – it’s beautiful.”
Ms Santiago continued: “When we die we’re not gone and where we go – we’re happy.”