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Image by Nick Scheerbart

Guest Speakers: Catherine Chiesa and Jack Bonczyk


June 12, 2004

Near-Death Experiencers from our own group, Chicago IANDS, will tell their stories and discuss them with the audience.

Jack Bonczyk, 53, had his NDE in 1972 as a result of having a car fall
on him, which broke his spinal column. He had been under the car,
preparing it for an interview with Hot Rod magazine. One of the supports
collapsed and the car fell on Jack. He was taken to the hospital, had
surgery, and was expected to die. After the operation. he flatlined for
about 4 minutes. While the medical team feverishly worked to revive him,
Jack woke up in the corner of the room watching them, listening to the
talk about what they were going to do. \" I suddenly realized I was in
the corner watching them and I was the one in bed. \"

\"The next thing I knew I was falling down a well shaft. At first I
tried to stop myself. I saw bright light and I realized I was dying. I
knew I was headed to a soft and comfortable place. And I knew everything
would be fine. I let go and started to fall faster. Looking back was
horrible---the world is filled with such mean people. Meanwhile I
dropped for what seemed like four hours. I woke up in the hospital room,
three days later. \"

Jack was in the hospital for two years. Initially, he was paralyzed
from the chest down, but while in the hospital, he learned how to talk
to the cells in his body and gradually released the paralysis. After
seven years of working on this, he had released the paralysis down to
the mid-calf. He still wears braces on both ankles so he can walk. He is
now a commercial airline pilot.

Catherine Chiesa, 69, is the mother of three (one deceased) and
grandmother of five. In 1957, as she was about to deliver her first
child, she suddenly found herself \"way far out\" in a bright
illuminated tunnel. \"It was effervescent---so beautiful and peaceful.
The feeling of being completely safe ---and HOME. I kept trying to reach
out more. It was as though I could touch this main Source of Power. It
felt like God or Jesus.

The space was so vast, I can\'t describe it. Then I heard a voice say
\'You have to go back. You have a little boy. It is not your time.\'
Disappointment could not describe what I felt. I did NOT want to go back
at all! I found myself descending, floating back into my body in the
hospital---and I was back. I knew I couldn\'t tell others about this
because everyone would think I was crazy. But now, when so many others
have also experienced this I can share. It is such a blessing.\"

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