Tina Hines awoke from her brush with death to scrawl a chilling message to her loved ones: ‘It’s real.’
She had always been healthy and was looking forward to a hike near her home in Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband, Brian, last February, but Tina collapsed as the couple was heading out.
Brian dropped to the ground beside his wife who had turned a grim purple, he told AZfamily.com, and started giving her CPR.
The mother-of-four was momentarily revived, but Brian had to bring her back once more before paramedics arrived and took over.
In the harrowing ambulance ride and at the hospital, the team kept losing Tina, who was resuscitated a total of six times before she came to in the hospital.
For a collective 27 minutes, Tina was effectively dead, she and her family told AZfamily.com.
At the hospital he was intubated and unable to speak, but as soon as she awoke, Tina gestured for something to write with so she could scribble her cryptic message, which she claims refers to heaven.
In almost illegible print, Tina Hines scrawled ‘it’s real,’ referring to the vision of heaven she said she had during the 27 minutes she was ‘dead’ after going into sudden cardiac arrest
Tina had always been healthy, until she suddenly collapsed in February 2018 (left). As soon as she woke, Tina gestured for a pen and wrote ‘it’s real’ in a notebook (right)
‘It was so real, the colors were so vibrant,’ Tina told AZfamily.com.
She described seeing a figure she says was Jesus standing before black gates, behind which a bright yellow light was glowing.
When her loved ones asked the still-intubated Tina what was real, she simply ‘nodded’ upward.
Tina is very be alive today to tell her remarkable story.
About 90 percent of people who go into sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting die.
Tina’s husband, Brian (right), administered CPR and may well have saved her life
But her husband’s CPR likely made the difference between life and death for Tina.
Survival rates for cardiac arrest change dramatically when a bystander administers CPR, going from 10 percent to nearly 45 (although women are 27 percent less likely to receive CPR from someone besides a paramedic).
One of the reasons that cardiac proves so deadly is that it happens completely unpredictably.
Even someone like Tina with no history of heart or other health problems can experience an unexpected glitch in the electrical system that keeps that heart’s rhythm, stopping it cold.
This horrifying health problem strikes over 356,000 US adults a year.
The vast majority have no memory of the brief periods of time during which they were technically dead, but a remarkable 10 to 20 percent have visual or sensory ‘near death experiences,’ according to various studies on so-called ‘NDEs.’
As mystical as they feel to those who have had NDEs, scientists have started inching closer to explaining what is happening in the brain when the heart stops.
Once the heart stops beating, blood stops flowing to the brain – eventually.
Tina has recovered remarkably well after a short hospital stay to recover from her brush with death (left, pictured with an unidentified friend). Her niece, Madie Johnson, was so inspired by Tina’s story that she got her aunt’s message tattooed on her wrist (right)
But in the immediate aftermath of sudden cardiac arrest, something curious seems to happen, according to a small 2013 University of Michigan study on rats.
When they researchers induced cardiac arrest in nine animals, they saw a burst of brain activity in the moments that would normally precede death.
And not just any activity, but in a dying brain they say ‘a widespread, transient surge of highly synchronized brain activity that had features associated with a highly aroused brain.’
In other words, in those first moments after the body body dies, the brain is behaving as if it’s very much alive, having complex thoughts, and is perhaps even ‘hyperactive.’
They suspect that this burst of surprisingly organized, likely conscious brain activity may be way people have near-death visions, particularly those aligned with what they believe they will see after their lives have ended.
But science is a long way away from a clear confirmation of that theory.
For Tina and her family, the writing might have been cryptic but they believe the message was clear: heaven is a real place.
Tina’s niece, Madie, Johnson, even got her aunt’s message tattooed on her wrist as a reminder of her own beliefs.