Jim Woodford woke up in the middle of the night with his arms and legs completely numb. The doctors diagnosed him with a disease called Guillain-Barre. This disease is a rare condition in which your immune system attacks your nerves, leading to muscle weakness and even paralysis.

The disease filled him with incredible pain that was difficult to get any relief from.

“It eventually shut down my earthly body,” Jim says. “My fingers began to curl inward so much they had to be splinted to remain straight. Through medical treatment and physical therapy, I was able to learn to function. I found temporary relief in powerful prescription drugs.”

The pain eventually became too much for Jim, and he decided to take an entire bottle of pain meds in an attempt to end his suffering.

“I should have known better but all I was consumed with was stopping the pain.”

In what he thought was his last moment alive, Jim cried out “God, forgive me!”. Jim didn’t identify as a Christian at the time, and even considered religion a crutch. In that moment, though, he had a strange change of heart.

“I had this overwhelming sense, in those last nanoseconds of my life, that I had wasted this beautiful life that the Creator had given me. And I had never honored him for that life. And I was just trying to express my sorrow for not having lived a better life.”

He was completely brain dead for 11 hours, and during that time he says he went to heaven and hell.

“I soared beyond the scope of any aeronautical instruments. In a moment, I was transported through a tunnel of brilliant, golden light into fields and pastures surrounding Heaven whose colors and sounds defy description.”

He began to descend into a dark wasteland, where he saw dark beasts with shining red eyes yelling out his name. Jim became scared, and started calling for Jesus. Three angels came to his rescue.

“As I looked into the gracious, loving eyes of Jesus, I found healing for the emptiness I had experienced in my earthly life and a new purpose to declare God’s glory. I wanted nothing more than to abide in the presence of the One who rescued me from death and destruction, but I was sent back with a single command: ‘Jim, my son, this is not yet your time. Go back and tell your brothers and sisters of the wonders we have shown you.’ With that, my spirit left the brilliance of Heaven’s paradise and traveled back, re-inhabiting my earthly body, which had been brain-dead and on life support for eleven hours.”

Next thing he knew, Jim woke up inside a hospital room completely free of all pain. After some years of self reflection on his experience, Jim started to share his testimony with others and even wrote a book about it.

“Once you’ve seen Heaven and walked in the very presence of angels and of Jesus, you can never be satisfied on earth again. Now I’m filled with the love of Jesus and desire to fulfill his mission.”

You can hear his full story below.

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