It is a fact of life: we are all going to die. Modern developments in technology and medicine mean that we are living for longer and we understand more about death - including, for instance, the fact that we start dying two weeks before we actually draw our final breath. However, we will all die at some point and usually, that’s the last thing we’ll experience.
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Nevertheless, there are some exceptions. This man fell off a cliff and lived to tell the tale of what he saw in the afterlife, while this woman died and was miraculously 'healed' from breast cancer. Our story today is about a man who died on a ship and found out the truth behind good and evil.
Michael Roguski’s death
Michael Roguski, a former US marine, was working as a military contractor on a ship when he died. The ship was providing relief over the pandemic period, and was off the coast of Saipan (an island in the Pacific Ocean by the Philippines) at the time. Michael, who was eating well and staying fit, got up early to go for a run and train on the ship’s stairs. It was raining, and he was alone. After some time, he started to feel like he had low blood sugar and headed to the lift to get back to his room for a snack. When he exited the lift, he was having a hard time breathing and felt a ‘squeezing of the chest’ - he suddenly realised he was having a heart attack.
It was around 5:30AM so no one else was around. When Michael got to his room he collapsed onto the bed ‘in full cardiac arrest’:
I was actually laughing as I said, ‘After everything I’ve been through I can’t believe i’m gonna die this way’.
His body rebounded off his bed, and he ‘completed left’ his body.
Michael’s experience in the afterlife
In the past, Michael had already had open heart surgery, during which he had an out-of-body experience where he exited his body and witnessed medical professionals working on him. However, he was aware throughout that he was in this world, and then he returned to his body. But this time was totally different - he felt he was ‘in the universe’ and explains it is very hard to describe what he saw.
He says that ‘a higher version’ of himself was ‘met by two other energies’ who represented good and evil:
‘One male, one female; yin, yang; positive, negative; heaven, hell - however you want to describe it’
He and these energies communicated without words, they simply knew what each other were saying. The three of them found themselves in a ‘blooming, beautiful garden’ with ‘ancient marble steps leading up to a platform’. There was a half-moon black pedestal with water running all over it. The choice was his: if he went to the left of this pedestal he would come back to the physical world and if he went to the right he would ‘ascend’.
He decided: he wanted to go to the right. As he stepped towards this choice, he heard his mother’s voice. She said his name, and that was enough: he turned around and told his mother he was so glad to see her. At that moment, he understood why she was there. Michael knew he needed to go back to the physical world to spare his family the grief of losing him.
When he came back to this world, he managed to text his colleague and friend Susanna one word: ‘help’.
How Michael survived
She came running from her room and discovered Michael lying in the corridor. He had crawled there from his room, and he was purple and could respond in ‘animal grunts’ alone. Susanna immediately notified the captain of the ship, and he was swiftly taken to the boat’s hospital.
The captain sent out a distress signal, but no one answered. For three hours, Michael ‘clung to life’ as he drifted ‘in and out of consciousness’. Eventually, he woke up to hear the captain and a doctor speaking. They were talking in Spanish, but Michael could understand. When the captain asked if Michael would pull through, the doctor replied that he didn’t think he’d make it to tomorrow.
They were preparing to lower Michael on a crane into a water taxi to take him to Saipan, and his colleagues were coming to see him to tell him they would pray for his survival. But then Susanna came running: the distress signal had been answered. They could only be there in 45 minutes at best, but Michael chose to take this option and four hours after his initial heart attack he was being airlifted to a naval hospital in a helicopter.
Michael’s dire medical situation
Within 20 minutes of landing, the naval doctor was with him. The man was chewing gum as he looked in disbelief at Michael’s electrocardiogram. He told his patient that what had happened was impossible and that he should never have woken up.
Michael’s heart started to slow again, and he experienced ‘tunnel vision’. He knew he was ‘dying and going to leave’. But then he snapped out of it, and told himself he was a ‘survivor’ and needed to get back to this world for his wife and his kids.
The medical staff decided to use adrenaline and another medicine that works against blood clots. When they administered it, Michael suddenly sat up - he was 100% back in his body.
Michael now knows ‘there is something more’
After his recovery, Michael was transferred to Hawaii. He had a big steak dinner and a beer to celebrate being alive. But another, more remarkable thing, happened after he got back to this realm of existence: he miraculously knew the whole gospel of John by heart. Though he had read parts of the bible in the past, he had never memorised this section, but he amazingly woke up knowing it word for word.
He likens the persecution that people experience after having a near-death experience to that of Jesus Christ. Science, he says, is persuaded that you feel a blast of endorphins and have ‘visions’ when you die.
Michael knows not everyone will believe his testimony, but he is sure about what he saw and knows there is ‘life after death’. He says he is grateful to his wife and children, and to his friend Susanna and the captain for the roles they played in saving him. Michael is keen to keep on sharing his experience and putting ‘peace, light and love’ out into the world.