Waking up in Norfolk General Hospital

Published 10:20 pm Thursday, September 24, 2015

By Frank Roberts

A lady named Crystal McVea recently wrote a book called, “Waking Up In Heaven.” According to her promotional material, “she simply remembers drifting off and waking up in Heaven.” Supposedly, it changed her life.

I have heard many stories about people dying, then seeing lights or streets of gold, or strange places and, probably, strange people.

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I do believe stories about people being pronounced dead, then returning to life. I believe those stories because it happened to me in 2003.

I was at Norfolk General Hospital where I’d been for several days. I had improved and was ready to go back home. My wife was with me, and we were waiting for the papers that would allow me to leave.

The nurse came in with the papers, and then, “Poof, there goes Roberts.”

The discharge papers landed on the floor. No papers were needed. I was “permanently discharged,” and I stayed that way for almost five minutes.

My wife panicked as she heard “Code blue” come over the loudspeaker several times. I guess she had a natural reaction, wondering what she would do now.

As luck would have it, my niece, Trudy, who lives in Virginia Beach, was coming to visit me, and she had just left the elevator when all this happened. Her hubby took his wife to a quiet room. Next, my daughter, Jennifer, was called. She was on her way to Sam’s Club when she got the phone call. She says she broke speed records getting to the hospital.

Finally, I “lived again.” People asked me if I saw anything while I was — er — deceased. Nope, it was all dark black — nothing I could write a book about. Shucks!

As of last month, I ‘welcomed’ my third defibrillator, which is supposed to last for a decade. Will I?

About five years later, I developed ulceritis and, as far as pain is concerned, it was far worse than my heart attack. I did see something. Let’s just say it was a whole lot of colors. I will say this: It hurt worse than the heart attack, and it was far more troublesome.

So, good luck Ms. McVea. I wish I could contribute to your book, but five minutes of darkness is not very fascinating.

If you want something fascinating, get “Dinotasia.” Great for everyone, especially the kids. The animals are authentic-looking and move as good as, or better than, the Jurassic or King Kong crews. You can find it in the Netflix documentary section. And, it was originally on Discover, so you know the bloody stuff is not there. Oh, and the authentic looking animals don’t use cuss words.

Finally, a romantic thought: Marriage is like a mushroom. You never know if you’re getting a bad one until it’s way too late.

Along those lines, this parting thought: “A quiet man is a thinking man; a quiet woman is usually mad.”

During a 60-year career spanning newspapers, radio and television, Frank Roberts has been there and done that. Today, he’s doing it in retirement from North Carolina, but he continues to keep an eye set on Suffolk and an ear cocked on country music. Email him at froberts73@embarqmail.com.