“This story would be remarkable no matter who it happened to. That it happened to Dr. Alexander makes it revolutionary. No scientist or person of faith will be able to ignore it. Reading it will change your life.”
Those aren't my words. That text appears on the back cover of Dr. Eben Alexander's new book, Proof of Heaven (A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife). But after reading it, I agree.
My 2 cents:
Q: Who is Eben Alexander, M.D.?
A: Dr. Alexander is an academic neurosurgeon, now in Virginia, formerly in Boston, Massachusetts at Harvard Medical School and the Brigham Women's & Children's Hospitals. The son of a doctor, Dr. Alexander grew up in Winston-Salem (where his father was chief of staff at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center), graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1976 with a chemistry major, and four years later, earned his doctorate at Duke University Medical Center in Durham. Dr. Alexander's family includes his wife, Holley, and sons, Eben IV, and Bond. He lives in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Q: What happened to Dr. Alexander?
A: Just over four years ago (on November 10, 2008), Dr. Alexander woke up at his Lynchburg home very early on a Monday morning, not feeling well. He had flu-like symptoms, back pain and his head hurt. By lunchtime that day, Dr. Alexander was in a coma in the hospital emergency room with a ventilator machine, IV antibiotics, and a diagnosis of spinal meningitis. Within 24 hours, tests for E. coli-bacterial meningitis came back positive. Dr. Alexander was very sick.
Q: How sick was he?
A: According to Dr. Scott Wade, one of Dr. Alexander's physicians:
“Despite prompt and aggressive treatment for his E.coli meningitis, as well as continued care in the medical intensive care unit, he remained in a coma six days and hope for a quick recovery faded (mortality over 97 percent),” (p. 184). In fact, doctors were discussing with Holley the possibility of stopping treatment, because her husband was still in a coma, part of his brain (the neocortex) was not functioning, he was not responding well to antibiotics, and was not likely to recover - when something happened …
Q: What was going on during those six days he was in a coma?
A: Dr. Alexander went to another place, a place of unconditional love, a place of light, and music, and God, and beauty, trees and waterfalls, all with a “girl on a butterfly wing.” He tells his story with breath-taking, simple, (but incredibly vivid) detail.
Q: Was everyone surprised?
A: Surprised, shocked, astonished … the whole range of emotions.
Q : Is Dr. Alexander's experience unusual?
A: Yes, very.
Q: Why did Dr. Alexander write a book about it?
A: “Medically speaking, that I had recovered completely was a flat-out impossibility, a medical miracle. But the real story lay in where I had been, and I had a duty not just as a scientist . . . but also as a healer to tell that story. A story – a true story – can heal as much as medicine can,” (p.144 – Dr. Alexander).
Q: What were the first words Dr. Alexander spoke when he woke up?
A: I'll let you discover that one for yourself . . . . because I know you're going to want to read this book.
Length: 188 pages
Worth Your Time? Do I really need to say it? Okay, yes.