We Saw Heaven, True Stories of What Awaits You on the Other Side, by Roberts Liardon, an enthralling account of a general Christian boy who at age eight had an incredible experience of visiting Heaven and accompanying Jesus on a 'tour,' with many insights and similarities to near-death episodes-- and accounts from others who have been granted 'glimpses' of eternity, including the netherworld! click here



Do angels hang around hospitals?

We ask this because so many have reported experiences. A while back (2008), there was the highly-circulated security video showing a radiant light that seemed angelic and was linked to the miraculous recovery of a youngster suffering what was believed to be fatal pneumonia [below left or see here] at Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Of course, it only makes sense that hospitals would be hotbeds of spiritual activity. When people die, their angels are acutely active. There is also spiritual warfare: nurses have an entire blog about preternatural happenings in those corridors of medicine (2,133 entries thus far; besides angels, and demons, spirits of the deceased; see The Spirits Around Us).

As ABC News reported (as did others) on another case:

"A couple of months before he died of an inoperable brain tumor, 10-year-old Ryan Reynolds was at a picnic with family and friends, and during the hayride he told his mom he could see angels. This wasn't unusual, because Ryan often spoke of angels. But when the family photos from the picnic were developed, right there among the aunts and uncles and friends were white transparent images. 'We had first thought that it was something to do with the developing,' Shirley Reynolds, Ryan's mother, told ABC News affiliate WCPO-TV in Cincinnati. But Ryan's mom wasn't the only one to get back photos with unusual images. In fact, three different cameras, using three different kinds of film, developed at three different places, all had the same transparent white shapes. No, I've never seen that before in a photo,' said Angie Shafer, a photographer for a local newspaper. 'We thought that maybe there were spots on it.'"

Should we be surprised?

Angels are with us our entire lives and usher us into the afterlife; some who have glimpsed it say their angels took them on tours of Heaven (these accounts from the burgeoning annals of near-death experiences). The spirits around most people do not include the "grim reaper," but a radiant white messenger or guardian.

During visits to doctors, and especially during hospitalization, prayers of protection -- invoking angels, but always, first and foremost, Jesus, and His mother -- are crucial. There is quite a spiritual interplay.

When an atheist professor named Dr. Howard Storm of North Kentucky University had a near-death experience, he said later (now as a believer), "Several times during this period, when I was awake and believed that I would die soon, an angel came into the room. The room would fill with radiant white light and the most beautiful figure of a luminous angel would appear by my bed. This only happened when I was awake and I was amazed by the angel's appearance. The angel would assure me that I was going to live and that God was watching over me. I would immediately feel better physically and emotionally. The angel never came when anyone else was in the room, and the angel always left before someone arrived. A nurse would often come into the room immediately after an angel had departed. I would be sitting up in bed, tears running down my face, and I would tell them an angel had just been in the room. They always laughed and told me to rest. I knew the only reason I was alive was because the angels were helping me heal."

Meanwhile, in our mailbag are accounts from nurses and other health-care workers who report on the supernatural component of the hospital experience and the presence of angels. Not all are skeptical! In fact, most nurses are not. Said one who (however) prefers anonymity:

"There are a few occurrences that I can report on. Once a few years back, a patient was becoming very agitated, and when this happens, there are concerns for safety. I asked God to send St. Michael and angels and archangels to help with the situation. I became aware of a very large angel on the unit. I felt surprise and then was given the understanding, 'Why are you surprised? You asked for help, didn't you?' The patient calmed down and was able to be dealt with in ways which did not require force or restriction, which are sometimes necessary for safety's sake, safety of the patient and of others.

"Another time I was going past the room of an elderly gentleman, and did a double take when I noticed a very large angel in his room, in the sunlight. It was a very beautiful, peaceful scene.

"Another time a very agitated patient came to us to be admitted on the unit, I asked God to send angels to help the situation, and due to the very loving and calming work of the other two staff people with him, he became very clear and then went to sleep. I felt at that time a wonderful feeling of peace on the unit and believe that angels were indeed helping with the situation. I have also seen a few times out of the corner of my eye, someone garbed in a hospital gown go by in our hallway, who it turns out was not physically there. One time when this happened, I experienced someone like this go towards a room. I thought it was a patient for a second until I realized that this room was empty, having been vacated a couple of hours before by a departing patient. I went and checked and indeed, there was no one there and the room was locked, so no one could have gone into it." 

Said another from New Mexico: "I read the recent article which included statements from a nurse who works on a psych ward. I am a psychiatric technician (psych tech) and have worked on an inpatient behavioral health unit for going on eight years. I have begun to carry some blessed sacramentals in my pocket as well as a small bottle of Holy Water and have these with me whenever I work. I feel comforted and protected by them, and at times put Holy Water on my forehead or sprinkle a few drops at work. I feel also that they bring a positive influence in my interactions with patients. I pray before I go to work, asking the intercession of  Jesus, St. Michael, St. Pio, St. Joseph, St. Raphael, Mary, and my guardian angel. I ask for guidance, protection and healing, and that I be helped to say the right things to patients and do what is most helpful for them, and to keep them safe. I am very grateful to God and to the saints and angels for helping me and our patients in this way."

From the nursing blog:

"As a nursing student we have a short time to make a lasting impression on our patients. Each time I enter a patientís room I am somewhat nervous because I am unsure of the way my patient will perceive me. I selected a patient that I wanted to learn from, researched her disease process and gave report the next morning. I felt prepared and I was ready to perform my assessment, interventions and teachings.

"When I entered the room I saw my patient lying in the bed with her back to me with her covers over her head. I called her name to introduce myself, but it was not until I told her my name was Miracle, a student nurse and I was ready to take care of her, that she removed the covers and sat up in the bed for care. There was an immediate connection, unlike anything I had ever experienced before. As I performed care for her that morning we talked about life, love and family. When she started talking about her health I noticed a huge change, her head dropped down her voice was low, as if she was ashamed. She then revealed to me that one week prior she attempted to take her life. 'Why?' I asked. She replied that she was so overwhelmed with the progression of her disease that she felt like there was no option. In the bed before me, I saw a sweet woman with so much to offer the world, feeling spiritually broken and physically defeated. I explained to her that she had so much to be grateful for with grandchildren and great grands on the way and two older sons that look to her for strength. 

"As we were talking the chaplain entered the room and came to her bedside and asked her if she wanted prayer. I turned to leave the room thinking that she wanted some privacy, when she asked me to stay and pray with her. All three of us joined hands, as the chaplain prayed, she wept and I cried. When the prayer was over and the chaplain left, I held her in my arms and reassured her that the Lord will make a way for her. At the end of day one it was hard to leave, but I promised her that I would return the next day to take care of her. The next day we gave report in pre-conference, and afterwards I mentioned to my teacher Ms. Hannah that I wanted to do something special for my patient. She told me that one day prior the chaplain gave her a Cross, and since she already had one I could have the other one. When she handed it to me, it read, 'Jesus loves me,' I knew it would be perfect. I rushed to her room.

"When I entered the room this time she was already awake and when she saw me her face lit up. She told me that she was waiting for me to come. I smiled and replied, 'You were on my mind all morning.' I gave her excellent patient care; we talked and laughed all morning. She no longer looked sad; she had a vibrant energy around her that was contagious to anyone who entered the room. She looked at me and said, 'You are an angel and you give me hope.' I took the Cross out of my pocket and told her whenever she felt sad, hold on to this cross and say a prayer. She took the cross in her hand and held it close to heart, looked to the ceiling, and said, 'Thank you Jesus, for sending me a miracle!' I left the room, to give her chance to rest and I told her I would be back to check on her later. I checked on her from time to time and noticed that she was resting and in her hand held close to her chest was the cross I gave her.

"At the close of the day it was an emotional goodbye, because I felt like I was leaving a close friend. As I turned to leave she said, 'I love you!' and I replied, 'I love you too!' Later the night I realized that I was not losing a close friend, I was a gaining an angel. Just as I made a great impact on her life she has made a lasting impression on mine. In life everything happens for a reason, due to Divine intervention, I selected her as my patient or did she pick me. A cross a symbol of hope for those in need that God is watching over them, given to my teacher who already had one, passed to me and now passed on to my patient who will hold on to it when she needs to draw strength. From this experience alone I know that I will always strive to be a compassionate, caring nurse and even though I am with my patient for a short while it is enough to make a difference. I chose the learning experience but in actuality and angel chose me."

[resources: Spirits Around Us]

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