Greensboro Man Who Died For 45 Minutes Shares Story

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Charles Shepperd said his life changed 110 percent after his heart stopped for 45 minutes. This is what he said he saw, “It was just beautiful bright lights all over the place and I never saw no one, but I just remember beautiful bright lights.”

Charles had a heart attack at his home in September 2013. His wife, Carmen, found him collapsed on their bedroom floor.

“I never imagined that I would ever be in a situation like that. My husband was very healthy, very active,” Carmen said. “I literally saw my husband die right before my eyes.”

She called 911 and the dispatcher led her through CPR while dispatching EMS to the couple’s home.

“I thank God for the EMS worker that was persistent that continued to keep me calm, continued to enforce within me that I can do it,” Carmen said.

Once emergency crews got there, they took over. Carmen said she wasn’t so sure her husband was going to make it.

“Each time that’s when the paramedics let me know that, ‘I’m sorry, but we tried our best, there’s nothing else we can do,'” Carmen said.

Eventually, emergency crews found a faint pulse and took him to the hospital. He spent two weeks there, seven days in a coma. When he woke up, Carmen told him how his heart stopped for nearly an hour and he told her what he remembered.

“I was very much at peace, yes, at peace and it just seemed like I was in another world,” Charles said. “I just remember beautiful bright light. It was like I went to the other side, but I never seen anyone.”

“So, my honest reaction to him was, ‘Are you sure it was the right light,'” Carmen said laughing.

The couple said the experience has restored and affirmed their faith.

“It brings you to a spiritual closeness because you truly value life,” Carmen said. “He recognized how important his life was and not just his life, but our relationship and it changed him drastically.”

“I’ve always believed in God, but I’ve got much, much closer, you know, because I know now, I really know the power of God and the miracles he can work in your life,” Charles said.

It has also brought the couple closer together.

“I always have loved her, but now I love her twice as much, you know. She always say I love you more, but that’s not true,” Charles said.

“Love is such an amazing gift because if you have that you’re willing to go through anything that you have to go through for each other,” Carmen said.

The Guilford Metro 911 dispatcher who took Carmen’s call, Jessica Eason, received in award in April 2014 for helping save Charles’ life.

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