Lorraine Tutmarc was very ill with peritonitis. During her Near Death Experience she was rescued by Jesus from the River of Death, and visited Heaven.
When I was 22 years old, in the spring of 1928, I was pregnant with my third child. Unfortunately I had a miscarriage and efforts to remove the tissue were unsuccessful. Peritonitis set in, causing blood poisoning. My condition rapidly deteriorated. Although I went to the hospital several times, I was sent me home on each occasion, saying there was nothing further that they could do.
Antibiotics were not yet available. I can remember my doctor visiting our house at regular intervals, asking my husband, “Has she gone yet?” For about three months I had pain throughout my body. I was almost too weak to move, I could not eat, and I required intravenous feeding.
One morning I awoke and noticed a numb feeling from my head down. All the pain was gone. And then, slowly, I was rising from the bed. Immediately I felt a sense of freedom, as though I had just taken off a heavy coat. I was floating, and euphoric with peace. I can also remember asking myself, “How did I do this?” I looked down at my body, which appeared to be sleeping. Nearby I saw the doctor, the nurse and my husband, who was sitting next to my bed. Then, from the upper corner of the room, I began to move backwards. I glanced at my physical body. It was the last thing I saw as I went through the wall.
I found myself in a region of total darkness up to my neck in water. My bodily pain, absent moments before, had returned. The water was moving, and very cold. I was quite panicky because I cannot swim. In my mind I asked, “Where am I?” In response I heard a loud, loving and beautiful voice, sounding almost as though it came from a megaphone, saying, “This is eternity! This is eternity! You are lost! You are lost!” In some way I knew that was God’s voice. “What is this?” I again asked in my mind. God’s reply was, “This is the river of death.”
Struggling in the darkness I suddenly found myself being carried into the upper part of a large whirlpool. I fought to keep my head above water, but gradually was drawn lower into the centre, where the water was whirling more quickly. By the time I was sucked into the bottom of the whirlpool I was completely exhausted. I was emotionally drained with fear and hopelessness. So, as I was going underwater for what I was sure was the last time, I completely gave up! It was then that I saw light enter the water around me. The water turned warm.
I turned, looked up and there was Jesus, about four feet above me. I was staring at the most beautiful Person I have ever seen. The love I sensed coming from Him was beyond description. Light coming from Him lit up the entire area around me, but He was so wonderful to look at that I kept watching Him. His robe was pale ivory. His hair was auburn coloured, and shoulder length. But it was a look in those eyes that I could not turn away from, and which I will not forget. They were large, full of meaning, and kind. The gaze was loving, and also penetrating. He knew everything I had ever done, and everything I would ever do in the future, both bad and good. No matter what, He would always be there. I could count on Him. His love would never fail.
In the background I heard what sounded like millions of tiny bells with the purest tone. Throughout the rest of my near-death experience they were always detectable as a distant presence.
Then, in a voice that was powerful and loving, He said, “Follow me.” I answered, “Yes, I will.” Instantly the water disappeared. He lowered His right hand and held my left. His hand was warm. Then I felt the power of God moving through my body. I had never heard of the power of God! It was like sparks from smitten steel, just coming right through my body, from my head to my toes, over and over again. As it came I grew stronger and stronger, until finally I thought, “I am well! I have no more pain! This is real! This real!”
I rose and found myself next to Jesus. Although I was still holding His hand, He had turned, and I followed His gaze. Both of us seemed to float toward a gold wall that stretched as far as the eye could see in both directions. Around us I felt a warm breeze carrying with it a scent of flowers. We stopped fifteen feet away from the wall. I noticed that the golden wall, which was about nine feet high, was transparent, and was about eight inches deep.
Around me it seemed like the dawn of a new day, as though it was about 5 a.m. From behind the wall I sensed activity. Things were happening. This was something felt rather than heard. I began to hear birds singing and chirping. As I listened to the birds for several minutes, their number and volume increased, and then died away. Stringed instruments then began to play beautifully. Their volume and number also grew slowly, then disappeared. Finally, I heard a Heavenly choir of the most beautiful harmonised voices, all singing in a minor key. These voices also grew in number, until hundreds of voices were apparent. I was captivated and drawn toward this Heavenly realm. It seemed that the music spoke to me and welcomed me. I was still holding Jesus’ hand, and stepped toward the wall to search for a gate or door. I could not see one, so I turned back to look at Jesus. He had gone.
I felt myself return into my body, going back the same way I had come. When I opened my eyes the doctor, the nurse, and my husband were around me. I exclaimed, “I’ve seen the Lord! I’ve been to Heaven!” I repeated this and added, “I’m healed! I’m healed!” I can remember my husband staring at me and trying to restrain me. I was extremely hungry and insisted on eating something. Despite protests from the doctor, I eventually enjoyed my first meal of tea, toast and asparagus. I can remember the doctor saying, “I’ve always been an atheist, but now I have seen a miracle.”
Two weeks later I was painting the inside of my house. I never experienced any pain after that. This experience was not one that I was searching for or expecting. I had not been to church since I was quite young, nor had I ever read the Bible. For me it was an intensely personal experience that went far beyond the boundaries of denominational religion. It also led to my awareness of God’s presence in the world, and gave me an insatiable hunger to read the Bible.
Occasionally, I find myself waking in the middle of the night. I hear, for a short period of time, the sound of those bells I first heard during my near-death experience.
Editor’s note: Lorraine left this world several years ago, but while she was alive here she brought hope, love and inspiration into the lives of many. This story is published with the kind permission of Seattle IANDS, PO Box 84333, Seattle, WA 98124, USA. This story may be found on the Internet at the following web site address: www.seattleiands.org/stories/HealedByChrist.htm
The true story of Lorraine Tutmarc is included, with kind permission, in the free e-book BEYOND THE FINAL FRONTIER which includes 27 similar true stories, and may be freely read and downloaded from this web site.