Back From The Dead: Woman Says She Visited Heaven's Doorstep
Most of us have heard the stories from people who are brought back from death, resusciated. Some say they saw their own lifeless body from above. Others say they're taken to a place they say can only be described as the doorstep of heaven.
You'll meet one of them in the first part of a special series of reports from KLTV 7's Morgan Palmer.
Rose Marie Richter suffered a sudden cardic arrest more than a decade ago, and the East Texas woman says she remembers everything from a bright light to a voice telling her she had to come back from the dead.
"It was the 14th of September, 1993. I just didn't feel good," she recalls.
Driving near her home in Florida, Richter felt something was very wrong with her breath shortening, and her vision becoming dim. She called her husband.
"He said, 'Do you want me to come get you?"'
She didn't want a ride, but minutes later, she barely made it through the doors of a carpet store.
"I could see them through a fog, and I said please call 911, I can't breathe, and I was gone."
Her heart stopped. Richter says that was where the journey began.
"I went up. It was very, very, very dark. There were no stars. And I don't know if there was wind, that I cannot tell you. But before I became frightened, there was a tunnel there."
She wasn't walking, not floating. She says she was carried toward a place she says was real and heavenly.
"I went through the tunnel like 'shwoosh,' and at the end of the tunnel was a light. I followed it. I had no choice. I came out by the light. There was no sun. It was all in a golden, warm, loving light," she says.
"I stood up and I was barefoot, I remember that. On my right was a great big tree."
She was in a body, though not her body. It was something beyond comprehension, though everything was crystal clear, and incredibly vivid.
"It was full of leaves, flowers and birds. And everything was so colorful. The colors were so bright, that I remember thinking it's a good thing I don't have my human eyes, because they would burn."
In that place, beautiful as it was, she says she knew it was just a waiting room.
"I knew there was another door at the other end, and if you go through that door, there's no coming back. Don't ask me where I knew that, but it was instinctive. And I wanted to go through that door, but first I wanted to play in the water.
"There were fish in there in all kind of colors, and stones, and everything was colorful."
Richter says she has no idea how long she was in the water. A few seconds? Longer? Time didn't exist. This world was new.
"I had never been that peaceful and that content, and have felt so loved in my entire life. And about that same time, I heard that voice softly in my head: 'Rose, it's time to go back.'
"And I said, 'Oh, no you don't.' And then the voice was a command: 'Rose, you are back.'" The first thing I heard was a male nurse, saying 'Mrs. Richter, don't move your left leg, you have a balloon in your heart.'"
While she was brought back to life, she was sad to leave the place she describes as wonderful.
"I cried for about two days. I didn't want to come back," she says.
In the years since, she has spoken only little about her experience, but agreed to have her story published in a book. Recently widowed, Rose Marie Richter says for as long as she is in this world, she has just one obligation.
"The reason you couldn't go is that your time is not up, you have more work to do. And then I was content, because I know what it is, and it is simply helping people."
Near-Death Experience is a growing field of research by many medical professionals. More on that Tuesday night at 10.
If you have an experience to share, we'd like to hear about it. You can e-mail us at this address: