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It all began with a sore calf. Randy Kay assumed it was a strained muscle and ignored it, until it swelled during a bike ride and he went to see his doctor. What had seemed like a strained muscle turned out to be a blood clot, which then led to contracting Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and septic shock. “The doctor said I was a walking dead man,” Kay recalled to Faithwire. The situation was literally dire, with Kay’s heart stopping for 30 minutes and 49 seconds, making him clinically dead. Despite being dead, Kay remained conscious. “Everything went dark initially, and the next moment of recall, I was looking down on my body. I was being pulled by this light. I know that sounds cliché almost, but it’s absolutely true,” he said.

“I was seeing things, hearing things beyond which I would be able to do otherwise in my body,” he said. At one point, he called out for Jesus, who then showed up. “I was so overwhelmed with emotion, and my first thought was, ‘So, this is love?’ And I just caved. And I started shouting every superlative I could think of — ‘Praise you, Lord God!’ And then He reached down, and He wrapped His arms around me,” he said. On his website, he described seeing his grandmother and animals in Heaven, including his old family dog. When he was told he had to go back to Earth, he was disappointed. “I did not want to go. I was returned because I had not fulfilled my purpose and it was the most disappointing statement from Jesus that I heard in all of heaven but was also one that I knew I had to do, because I had to be obedient to the Lord,” he said.

But Kay didn’t go telling the world right away about his experience. In fact, other than a few close individuals, no one knew about what he’d seen until 14 years later. Prior to his own experience, he wasn’t the sort of person to take stock in after life, or near-death experiences (NDE).  “I would have said, ‘You know … they may have believed that they had that experience, but that the mind can play tricks, essentially. You know, some of them, I would say, were looking for attention,” he said. He was also a very rational person prior to his experience. “I was considered as a very logical and practical business professional not prone to any fanciful thinking. I knew that would all change, and in fact my life has been dramatically altered as a result. However, my blessings have far outweighed my financial sacrifices in being able to share the hope of heaven and Jesus Christ to people. No amount of money can surpass the joy of giving someone hope by helping them to realize that God and heaven are absolutely, positively real,” he wrote on his website. He chronicled his experience in a book, entitled Dying to Meet Jesus.

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