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Proof Of Heaven

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4% of Americans say they've had a near death experience.
An Ohio woman shares her son's near-death story, in hopes of offering comfort and peace to those who have lost loved ones.

Lisa Schuster's son is Army Specialist Matthew Drake.
He was critically wounded in a suicide car bombing in Iraq in 2004.
Five soldiers were in the vehicle, Matthew was the sole survivor.
He underwent brain and skull surgery, and nearly died while suffering a stroke during recovery.
His mother says six months later, Matthew remembered a near death experience.

"We happened to be sitting at the VA hospital and I said something to him about well we have to talk to God about that honey, and he hesitated and said 'Hey I met him.' I looked over my shoulder to see if I recognized someone behind me. He said, 'God... I did I met him.'" Said Lisa.

Lisa says at the time Matthew had short term memory loss, 30 seconds to a minute.
He wasn't able to create or maintain a story line.

"I asked him again and said, 'Matthew you just said you met God' and a typical response would of been 'I did,' but he said with certainty 'I did... and he told me I wasn't done here and that I needed to come back and help people.' And he said, 'He touched my hand and it was like WOAH!'" Lisa added.

Matthew described God to his mother as being light, with colors of white, yellow and gold.
He also said there were colorful angels there and that two soldiers who died in that accident were there with him.

"If I would mention Mike and Jonathon or say we need some extra help today we should call on Mike and Jonathon for whatever he was struggling with and I would say, 'Jon and Mike help Matthew' and he would say, 'they are right there.'" Said Lisa.

Lisa says Matthew does not remember his near death experience.
University of Toledo professor Dr. Linda Smith teaches workshops about the afterlife.
She educates counselors, hospice workers and other hospital personnel on how to prepare for end of life issues.

"I definitely believe that there is a survival of consciousness independent of the body. I do believe there is strong evidence of that totally independent of religious beliefs… Doctors will say I cannot explain that. That's impossible but it happened." Said Dr. Smith.

But meet Virginia neurosurgeon, Dr. Eben Alexander.
While on a family trip, he was struck with severe meningitis and spent 7 days in a coma.
He writes about his near death experience in his New York Times best seller "Proof of Heaven".
During his experience Eben says he encountered an angel.
He would later learn it was his biological sister who had died.
The two had never met.

"I thought it was too real to be real. I tried to write it off as brain-based but because I had severe meningitis I was able to prove it didn't happen in my brain. It was very real." Said Dr. Alexander.

Dr. Alexander considers himself a Christian, but this taught him something about his faith.

"I learned there is not one true religion as long as they talk about one loving and powerful God that loves us more than we love ourselves that teaches compassion, loving others, forgiveness, that God loves all of his creation." Said Dr. Alexander.

As for Matthew Drake's mother, Lisa, she says she knows there are skeptics out there, but she shares her son's story anyway.

"I understand it creates conflict but if nothing else it creates conversation and that's always good and at best it gives comfort and peace," said Lisa.

That death, may not be the end for us.

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