Woman Says She Spent 9 Minutes in Heaven

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ALTUS, Okla. - An Oklahoma woman said she spent nine minutes in heaven as she flatlined during a medical procedure.

Crystal McVea said it happened on Dec. 10, 2009 after she was admitted for a routine medical procedure.

An adverse reaction to medication sent the small town teacher and mother of four from Altus, Oklahoma into cardiac arrest.

Medical records confirm she flatlined, and she said she experienced heaven in this nine-minute span of time.

“The moment my eyes closes there He was, two angels to my left, the most glorious tunnel of light that I could ever describe,” she said.

Crystal's story is more astonishing than other heavenly encounters. Though baptized four times as a child, she said she always questioned the authenticity of a heavenly father.

"I made up my mind. There were two choices. One, God was real and He didn’t love me, or two, there was no God. And I would hold that doubt in my life until the day I died," she said.

Crystal's life took a downward spiral of sexual abuse, teen pregnancy, abortion, drugs and divorce.  She said she carried years of secrets and shame.

"Because I felt like I had no worth, I acted like I had no worth," she said.

While she may have doubted, Crystal believes God never gave up on her.

Her time with the Lord was cut short by the piercing screams of her grief-stricken mother.  The 33-year-old requested God let her return.

"I just remember calling over my shoulder saying I'll remember everything and I'll be right back and then I opened my eyes in the hospital room, with a room full of doctors and nurses performing CPR."

Crystal recognizes there will be skeptics, But Dr. Richard Smith says scientific studies on near death experiences support Crystal's claims.

"There's enough evidence from individuals who have experienced this to suggest there's a commonality, the spiritual life has reality and the existence of God is real," said Dr. Smith. "And that's what these people say. It changes their life."

Crystal McVea's life is certainly changed.  The book she wrote about the experience is a New York Times best seller.

She now ministers to the homeless, in strip clubs and hospitals, to the terminally ill.

But mostly, she's working to please God, because she doesn't want a repeat of her first words to the almighty.

"As I turned to face this light I fell to my knees in front of Him and raised my hands and said why didn't I do more for you?  The next time, I don't want to say why didn't I do more for you. That is when I hope He takes me by the hand and says 'Good job'," McVea said.


  • Patsy

    When I had my first child I lost a lot of blood and my blood pressured dipped to 42/20, I went into shock. At that time I had never heard of anyone almost dying and seeing the tunnel of light. I remember feeling as if I was floating above myself looking down, I could see the anesthesiologist sitting at my head and holding a mask over my face.. I also remember seeing a long wide tunnel that got more narrow at the other end and that end had a very bright light shining toward me. I awoke 9 hours later and kept thinking about the experience I had. I know there is something more waiting for us…. At the end of the tunnel.

  • happy mom of 3

    More and more people are experiencing heaven. Even without near death experiences. It is very real and God wants us to know how much He does love us. I believe these stories are true. I too lost a lot of blood during birth and felt like I was drifting away. The Lord kept saying you will pass through the waters but the waves will not consume you. Which is in the Bible. So even though everyone was afraid for me I knew I wasnt going to die. I had such peace! I know many christians from all walks have seen Jesus and been in front if the Lords throne in worship. When we seek Him we do find Him and the more I get to know Him the more amazing He is.

    • Nuclear Mike

      “REM Sleep Behavior Disorder (RBD) is often noted in persons with Lewy Body Dementia. During periods of REM sleep, the person will move, gesture and/or speak. There may be more pronounced confusion between the dream and waking reality when the person awakens. RBD may actually be the earliest symptom of LBD in some patients, and is now considered a significant risk factor for developing LBD. (One recent study found that nearly two-thirds of patients diagnosed with RBD developed degenerative brain diseases, including Lewy body dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple system atrophy, after an average of 11 years of receiving an RBD diagnosis. All three diseases are called synucleinopathies, due to the presence of a mis-folded protein in the brain called alpha-synuclein.)”

  • T

    “But God showed his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

    Sure sounds to me like He loves us.

  • Thomas Marshall

    “But God showed his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

    “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosever believeth on Him will not perish but have everlasting life.”

    Sure sounds to me like He loves us.

  • Sammy

    I spent 9 minutes in a UFO that went to Mars and around Saturn, only to return me to Alabama! The pilots were angels with white flowing gowns and feathery wings! I saw bright lights and heard hymns!! You do believe me don’t you? Don’t you?

  • Debra

    Listen guys, I am a christian, I believe in prayer and I believe in miracles. But, I also believe these “experiences” are reactions to Heavy neurological drugs that were thrown at these people to bring them back “to life”. That being said, yes, our medical equipment visibly shows a flat-line and they may also be referred to as “clinically dead”, but I do not believe that they were spiritually dead. My brother was seriously ill just a few short months ago, his survival relied with the dreaded ventilator for three weeks. Upon awakening, he had horrible hallucinations. The head of the team of doctors that brought him back explained to us about the side effects of these drugs. And that is my summation. Good day.

  • Jim Saunders

    Heaven is real. The only way to get there is tHrough Jesus Christ. It’s sad that so many don’t believe, because a time is coming when there will be no doubt. that day will be great for some and horrible for many. Where will you spend eternity?

  • Alabama hypochristains

    The brain of a human shows signs of electrical life after death , not all cells die at the same time , and one of the last to die is the brain giving way to memory and what we learned as heaven gtowning up . The tunnel , angels the out of body experience etc etc are all being played out within you mind in its final moments . Churches was designed way back in the day to emburke fictional laws so man may live life thinking wrong is sin and believing in fairy tales gets you into a magical kingdom . For all you know is Christ was a person who came forth as the son of god and proclaimed himself The Lord and savior , well so did Charles mansion and like the Romans you cast him aside . Faith is nothing more than believing in fairy tales science shows there is nothing after death just a mere few moments of dying cells grasping for life , don’t worry once you gone it will not matter it’s just endless sleep you never wake from . And if you believe in fairy tales the church done their job by scaring you into a one lane belief system .

    You got one life no matter how long it may be , dont believe in fairy tales and live it to the fullest cause after you die that’s it.

      • Branko Pezdi

        George, you’re stating Pascal’s Wager. Here is what Dan Barker writes on this fallacy:

        Pascal’s Wager
        “God can’t be proved. But if God exists, the believer gains everything (heaven) and the unbeliever loses everything (hell). If God doesn’t exist, the believer loses nothing and the unbeliever gains nothing. There is therefore everything to gain and nothing to lose by believing in God.”
        This argument, first formulated by French philosopher Blaise Pascal, is sheer intimidation. It is not a case for a god’s existence: it is an argument for belief, based on irrational fear. With this kind of reasoning we should simply pick the religion with the worst hell.

        It is not true that the believer loses nothing. We diminish this life by preferring the myth of an afterlife, and we sacrifice honesty to the maintenance of a lie. Religion demands time, energy and money, draining valuable human resources from the improvement of this world. Religious conformity, a tool of tyrants, is a threat to freedom.

        Nor is it true that the unbeliever gains nothing. Rejecting religion can be a positive liberating experience, gaining perspective and freedom of inquiry. Freethinkers have always been in the forefront of social and moral progress.

        What kind of person would eternally torment an honest doubter? If their god is so unjust, then theists are in as much danger as atheists. Perhaps god will get a perverted thrill from changing his mind and damning everyone, believers and unbelievers alike. Or, inverting the gamble, perhaps god will only save those who have enough courage not to believe!

        Pascal was a Catholic and assumed that the existence of god meant the Christian God. However, the Islamic Allah might be the true god, which turns Pascal’s wager into a riskier gamble than intended.

        In any case, a belief in a deity based on fear is not a belief that produces admiration. It does not follow that such a being deserves to be worshipped.

      • JA

        George is right. This is why I currently practice 10 different religions. You can never be sure which is true, so your best bet is to practice as many as possible.

        Sending someone to hell for eternity because they didn’t believe something that had no scientific or logical foundation is the sign of a loving god.

  • Marlene Thurston

    Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. He is the only door to eternal life in the ONE heaven! We are not saved by good deeds or good works. We must repent of our sins and ask Him into our hearts and believe that He paid the penalty for our sins on Calvary’s cross and rose from the dead after three days AND three nights; receive that peace that passes all understanding (deep inner peace) that you cannot get from this world! I believe Crystal’s story and thank God that seeing the Saviour made her a believer and no longer a skeptic!

    • Branko Pezdi

      So the unfortunate person who gets born in the deep Amazon jungle and never gets the opportunity to be exposed to a Bible and a Christian denomination’s interpretation of it is just plain out of luck, eh? That’s a real nice God you have there!

      • George

        Actually the spirit is instilled in these people, just like Helen Keller, blind and deaf, yet she communicated to her teachers that she knew Jesus Christ before her they mentioned Jesus to her. I pray that you non-believers will find him before its too late

      • Branko Pezdi

        You’re deflecting my point, Happy Mom. If a person has no opportunity at all in his life to learn about Jesus (more accurately, what has been said and written by OTHERS about him) and therefore get “saved”, then the argument by certain “Christians” is that this person is forever doomed not to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I consider this point of view perverted and arrogant.

  • Nuclear Mike

    “The lollipops are in bloom”…go google this famous medical study conducted years ago to explain this ‘heaven experience’ of the mind that was performed in several hospital settings with the near dying patients…

  • Branko Pezdi

    So about this Tunnel of Light… is it connected to our Universe like a wormhole? Does this light consist of real photons or spirit world photons? How does the gravitational field work as one makes his way down this tunnel? Are you breathing oxygen? What is the temperature in Heaven, kind of a steady comfortable room temperature like maybe San Diego’s climate? Have any physicists experienced this Tunnel of Light and returned? I’m dying…..errrrrr….. eager to know!

  • Good grief.

    Good grief, some of you guys are just pitiful. YOU are the reason this world has turn to sh*t because you don’t let people truly believe in what THEY WANT TO BELIEVE. How about this one for a story. I had a dream, and in this dream, something or someone came to me in human form and specifically told me I was going to have an accident but you will still be able to take care of your son who is special needs both physically and mentally.. 2 weeks later, I fell 35ft in a cave and broke my back. I should NOT have lived, but I did. Today I have a fusion and rods and screws in my back. The surgeon told me he was literally picking pieces of my L1(lumbar 1/ spine) off of my spinal cord, and that all it would have taken was one of those pieces of bone to pierce my spinal cord and I’d be paralyzed. After about a year or rehabilitation I was able to walk without a walker or back brace and pick up my son and move him, take care of him, you name it I can do it. If you look at me you’d never guess I had gone through that. All I can say, is there is someone or something watching over us. And I choose to say that someone is God.

    • happy mom of 3

      Oh wow. So thankful you recovered from that. That is awesome you had a dream and you knew you would be ok. Big hug to you and your son!!

  • happy mom of 3

    Responding to an earlier comment…it is so important to not judge Jesus through what you’ve seen from Christians or churches. You have to know Him for who He is and not get jaded from the church. Sadly, its not suppose to be that way. Man does He live us! I have along with tens of thousands across the globe, a very real and personal relationship with Him. He is so real and so is heaven. He made a way back to the Father, back to how He created us to live before sin entered thebworld. We cant save ourselves but He has already done everything we need to have the most amazing life deeply connected with God. Not about dos and donts but about whoa, I get to know God! The one you behold is who you become like. Im not interested in Jesus fan clubs who are prideful and dont have love. Im all about Him, all those who walk with Him, and all those who have yet to meet Him.

  • jamison jones

    PEOPLE, stay away from drugs! meth and pcp give you similar experiences. hell, even xanax mixed with alcohol will be just about right. some drugs like finegan taken in combination with other anti psychotics make u feel a certain way. i personally do believe there is a heaven but some of this stuff is ridiculous.

  • Just Me

    Wow…Really had no idea how many people are lost. We are on a ball floating in space..do you REALLY believe there is nothing spiritual ? Do you REALLY think we are flesh only? We will be born of water and of spirit..flesh and when we die ..spirit. I asked God to show me he was real many years ago. I dreamed a dream that night. I promised him I would never tell what He showed me. I never have. He IS real and you will stand before him. I was not dying nor on drugs.
    Without him the hope is lost. When my home burned twice it was the Red Cross who showed up..tons of Christians..even some who didn’t go to church..yet their hearts were full of compassion. He has asked you to show love to the weak , feed the poor, take care of orphans/widows. If you do these things you have Him in you whether you go to church or not. But , the CHOICE is yours to believe or not. I could tell you tons of examples in my life where He has stepped in to show me His love for me BUT it will still be YOUR choice what you take from it. I did notice that as I drove to church on a Wednesday night( which I just started a few months ago)..the bars were full of it’s people and God’s people were headed to their place….CHOICES…I did the bar scene, I have a past…There is nothing I needed at the bar accept the experience of what I didn’t want..I learned. I know He is real, it’s up to each person to make their own decisions at their time. My purpose (not only) is to let some of you know He is. You are not ALONE! More of us as mere humans need to step up and care for each other, HELP each other. Why do people only believe what they see??? Wouldn’t that limit your thinking completely??? LOVE each other… Happy Valentines Day

  • jamison jones

    why don’t you women ever accept peaceful divorces? i mean after a while, people get tired of each other, why is it so hard for women to accept that its time to move on?

  • George

    it is a sad world we are in these days. I know GOD is real, he lives in me and I feel his presence all the time. I choose to seek and follow him. The BIBLE says we will be persecuted people wil try to convince us otherwise.. so I’m not surprised, neither convinced by atheism.. God bless you all.

  • Red

    if you want to believe people….believe the “story” if you want to believe god and the bible, then you know it was a hallucination…the bible clearly says that when you die, you know nothing….Ecclesiastes9:5-10 why do you think they call it “near death” experience? duh…because they are not really dead..the bible is full of scripture on this point. the dead do not praise the Lord….Psalm 115:7, the bible says that king david was a man after God’s own heart…..if anyone should be in heaven you would think it would be him, wouldnt you? check out Acts 2:29 and you will be surprised. The problem is that most people would rather believe garbage that they hear for their religeon, than believe what God says in his word….study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman rightly deviding the word of truth! Satins deception is about to come upon the world in a big way on this point. know what you believe, why you belie e it, and where it’s found…

  • Red

    and another thing…….Lazarus was dead for 4 days (a little longer than 9 minutes) isn’t it amazing that he had absolutely nothing to say about how heaven was when he came back to life??? not one word! folks, you can believe any of this garbage you want to, but i choose to believe what the bible says….it’s all in there, just read it..

  • Deb

    Almost 9 years ago, my son had life/death experience. He had a blood clot that made his heart stop for over 13 minutes. I not going to go into details in all the things he told me, but heaven is real. A year ago, I was going through some of my grandmother pictures when she was young. I had put 2 on the floor, and my son said, “Mom, who is that?” I told him who it was, and he said she hugged my neck in heaven. He had never seen these pictures before of my grandmother. I know that one day we will see our loved ones. Jesus is our Savior.

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