Awakened from Death


“They said I was glowing,” Shirley said. “They also said I was dead.”

In the fall of 2016, Shirley Chokan began having excruciating pain in her abdomen. After a couple of days and no relief with the heating pad, she checked herself into the Emergency Room. The doctor who examined her said her appendix was about to burst. His face revealed that she was in bad condition. She asked if he could make just a little cut, so she wouldn’t have a large scar; he said he couldn’t promise. He seemed so overly concerned, she asked if she could pray with him before he did the surgery. He agreed. So, she prayed that God would be his hands.

“I’ll do my best for you,” he assured her.

The surgery went fine, and she ended up with only a tiny scar. Later on, when she was due for a colonoscopy, she decided to call the same nice doctor who had done such a good job with the appendectomy.

A Simple Procedure Gone Wrong

On October 5, 2016, Shirley went in for the simple procedure. But while she was on the table, her heart stopped three times! For over three minutes, the hospital staff frantically worked to bring her back.

“I’m sorry, Mr. Chokan, but your wife died,” the doctors told Shirley’s husband.

It was such a shock, he began to laugh. “It’s only a colonoscopy,” he reasoned. They told him her heart had stopped, then started, then stopped three times. Terry refused to believe she was gone.

She Was Being Lead

Shirley relates, “Everything seemed black– like I was gliding through the darkness. I was aware of my death but had no fear; I knew I was okay. Love and so much peace enveloped my soul. All the things of the world passed away. No worries, no stress, no pain.

I wasn’t asked who I was; I only knew I had an appointment to keep.  Beautiful colored lights appeared ahead, and for some reason, I knew was in a garden. It was so peaceful and beautiful, and I wanted to stay. Any longings for this world were completely gone; there was no attachment to things left behind.

All of a sudden everything came to a full stop. I heard the words, ‘Stop. You must go back.’

I resisted and said, ‘NO! I don’t want to go back.’

“Not Your Time Yet”

‘It’s not your time yet,’ I heard. As soon as the words were spoken, I was back on the table.”

After the third time Shirley’s heart stopped, a shot of adrenaline was administered.  She immediately woke up and began ‘talking up a storm’. The nurse screamed, her face white as a sheet. She was terrified and couldn’t believe her eyes.

Shirley immediately began talking and laughing about what she’d seen and where she’d been. She couldn’t move as the procedure was only half over. The doctor finished but she couldn’t quit telling them about her experience. The nurses panicked.

“What happened?” Shirley asked.

“You were dead; really dead,” the doctor said. “I even told your husband.”

“Your body was glowing,” said one nurse. “We knew something must be happening, but we didn’t know what?”

“You were the most beautiful dead person I’ve ever seen,” commented my doctor.

That made Shirley smile. God is good. “Oh well. Guess it’s not my time yet. I’m back!”

God’s in Control

The doctor and nurses nervously left the room and made her stay a few hours for observation. They weren’t quite sure what to do with her. A nurse stayed to watch her vitals. “We were astonished when you glowed. “It really scared us,” she admitted.

“God was watching over my body, I guess,” Shirley responded.

“Someone was,” the nurse agreed. She was intrigued and wanted to hear more although the other staff didn’t want her to say anything more. The more Shirley talked about dying and going to heaven, the more nervous the nurse became and asked her to stop.

Shirley was sent to a heart physician following the procedure who explained if too much air is pumped into the intestines during a colonoscopy, it may have stopped her heart. She knew all along God was in control – and she was okay with that. He would take care of her. She said it was a funny feeling of being lead along and nothing she could do about it.

Heaven is Real

Later, Shirley was able to share her testimony with another person who was dying. “I was glad to comfort them. I told them, ‘You know Jesus, so you’ll be fine. You don’t have to fear because Jesus will lead you into heaven.‘” It gave the person real peace. If that was the only reason for me to experience this miracle, then it’s enough. But I want readers to know this too.

God is in control when you die, and you can’t make your choice where to go at that time. Wouldn’t it be better to make your peace with God now and know you’re headed to glory when your time comes?



As told to C.A. Simonson by Shirley Chokan, Ohio.

About C.A. Simonson

C.A. Simonson is a freelance writer and author. Her most recent book, "RUNAWAY," is a fictional account of a runaway child released in June 2019. Her award-winning short stories have appeared in seven anthologies. The Journey Home trilogy, "Love's Journey Home," "Love Looks Back," and "Love's Amazing Grace," are inspirational Christian fiction based on true events. Her nonfiction books include two anthologies, two children's speller/story coloring books and a food book of hacks, helps and hints. Copies are available in paperback, digital, and audio format on Amazon, KOBO, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, and audible.com or at casimonson.com. When she is not writing, she is quilting, crafting, or fishing.
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