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Woman who died for 24 minutes: ‘I feel like I dissolved’

A Virginia resident, Lauren Canaday, 39, who had a cardiac arrest and was revived using a defibrillator, described a profound warmth when reflecting on the 24 minutes she was clinically dead.

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Canaday, who has managed epilepsy with medication for years, experienced a grand mal seizure at her home eight months ago, leading to loss of consciousness, as reported by Newsweek.

Upon her husband’s discovery, she had already turned blue. He promptly called 911 and performed CPR, a crucial action that ensured continued oxygen flow to her brain, potentially saving her life.

Medical responders administered four shocks to restart Canaday’s heart successfully. Subsequent hospital tests confirmed her positive Covid-19 status, suggesting that the viral infection might have triggered the cardiac arrest. Doctors indicated she likely suffered from myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscles, known to occur as a complication of Covid infections.

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Despite being unconscious during the event, Canaday didn’t report any visions but emerged from the ordeal with a profound sense of tranquility.

“I have this gut feeling that it was friendly and peaceful, even though I can’t report any shapes or personas or visions of that time,” Canaday said. “I feel like I dissolved, and it was just really nice.”

Canaday returned home after just nine days in the hospital. Despite her relatively quick recovery, she said there were still frustrations along the way.

She had short-term memory loss during the first few days “and didn’t understand what was going on,” she recalled.

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Still, she was thankful that follow-up MRI scans showed no permanent brain damage. And the incident also gave her a mental reset.

“I remember a lot of very serene moments in and after the hospital, like none of the worries I used to have mattered, and I got insanely excited about things like cheeseburgers. Things just felt very simple,” she said.

About 1,000 people a day experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting, and only about 10% of those sufferers will survive, the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation told Newsweek.

Canaday said she isn’t taking anything for granted, adding that her life goals have now become clear: She said her new mission is to make even small improvements to the world and to help the people she meets along the way.

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“I feel like this is my second life. I feel like I have two birthdays,” she said. “In my first life, I was very individualistic and strong. In this life, I have a completely different worldview and am comfortable — mostly — with depending on others.”

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Jake Carter

Jake Carter is a researcher and a prolific writer who has been fascinated by science and the unexplained since childhood. He is always eager to share his findings and insights with the readers of anomalien.com, a website he created in 2013.