Yakima Action News

YAKIMA, Wa. -- A doctor who worked for 25 years in emergency medicine is in Yakima speaking to students about some of his surreal experiences in the field.

Pacific Northwest University hosted a public event tonight featuring former Emergency Physician Jeff O’Driscoll to speak to students on how they can deal with patients going through near-death experiences.

O’Driscoll says every day is different with emergency patients, he says one moment you can be dealing with a baby who has the sniffles and another moment you may have a guy with a gunshot wound.

“On one occasion, for example a young man came in with a gunshot wound to the chest and we opened his chest and I did open cardiac massage which even as an emergency physician it’s a rather unusual experience,” said O’Driscoll.

But O’Driscoll says the most extraordinary cases he’s dealt with have been the ones where patients have near death experiences.

He says in those situations many patients have spiritual encounters such as feeling like they are out of their body or that they are talking to loved ones who have passed, or divine beings.

O’Driscoll says after meeting a man who had been in a devastating car accident where his wife and son died on the scene, O’Driscoll himself had a spiritual experience and saw the man’s wife in the trauma suit.

“While he was in the emergency department I went into the trauma suit, and his wife, his deceased wife was standing above him in the air looking down on him and observing the care that he was receiving,” said O’Driscoll.

Now O’Driscoll has left his job caring for emergency patients and travels the country speaking about the spiritual experiences he has personally encountered.

O’Driscoll says he does not expect medical students to believe in the spiritual encounters some patients have or even connect it to being a religious thing, but instead just be prepared because they might deal with patients like that sometime in their career.

He says if there is anything he has learned this quarter century in emergency medicine is to appreciate life and be grateful every day.

“You come to appreciate those you love and how abrupt and immediate change can come into somebody’s life,” said O’Driscoll.

Content from KIMA in Yakima, WA. Read original article on KIMA Action News.