In 2020, Mathieu, a resident of Prince Albert, Canada, faced significant challenges. Single-handedly raising his 10-year-old daughter and shouldering the responsibility of caring for his ailing mother, he endured a trying period in his life.
“She didn’t show how sick she was, so when she died, it was a huge shock for me. She was my world, and when this stability disappeared, I just flew off the coils,” Mathieu says.
Mathieu described being under such overwhelming stress that he now has hazy recollections of the period between his mother’s passing and the day he found himself in the hospital. Having been diagnosed with diabetes earlier, he struggled to adhere to his medication regimen amidst the mounting stress, leading to instances of forgetfulness.
Eventually, I just didn’t have any insulin left. Then they told me that my daughter called 911 and they rushed me to the hospital.
On October 10, 2020, Mathieu was admitted to a hospital in Prince Albert due to critical health conditions. At that point, his pancreas had virtually ceased functioning, accompanied by kidney failure. Additionally, his heart stopped beating and required resuscitation.
Within the following day, Mathieu experienced another cardiac arrest, necessitating another revival. Consequently, a decision was made to transfer him via helicopter to St. Paul’s Hospital in Saskatoon. Remarkably, during the helicopter journey, Mathieu’s heart ceased functioning for the third time, prompting immediate resuscitation inside the aircraft.
Upon arrival in Saskatoon, Mathieu fell into a coma that persisted for three weeks. During this period, doctors attempted to persuade his brother to sign a do-not-resuscitate order in the event of another cardiac arrest. They expressed strong conviction that Mathieu’s chances of survival were slim. Despite their pleas, Mathieu’s brother steadfastly refused to sign the waiver.
And then Mathieu woke up from a coma.
I remember seeing my doctor’s face and he has the most beautiful blue eyes. It was the first thing I saw when I woke up from a coma. At that moment I can say that I loved this man more than my brother, because I knew I was in big trouble and I knew this man was there to help me.
Following his ordeal, the medical personnel conveyed to Mathieu that his awakening was nothing short of a miracle. However, his path to recovery was far from smooth.
I had a big tube stuck down my throat, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t go to the toilet by myself, I could barely move. The doctors told me that they had to open me up and manually clean out the insides. My doctor described it as “getting rid of the buckets with green stuff.
Just when it appeared that Mathieu was making a gradual and promising recovery, he experienced a fourth cardiac arrest.
“When it happened for the fourth time, everything was different. This time I remembered what happened after death and it was then that I found out that everything that was said about it was true.
I lost consciousness, and when I woke up, I found myself on a very large white field, where I was floating in the air, and there were dark figures around me.
When I looked to the end, there was a tunnel to which everyone (other dead?) swam. I thought “of course, why not” and also swam there. The whole scene was calm and very peaceful.
Suddenly, someone, I don’t know who told me to turn around. When I looked back, I saw hands approaching me. This made me stop. I looked at my hands and said “I’m not done yet” and I reached for my hands.
The second I grabbed my hands, I woke up in the ICU.”
Since he was on the verge of death, Mathieu has been slowly recovering, but two and a half years later, he is still suffering from long-term effects.
He lives with only one-third of his pancreas, his memory is no longer the same, and he sometimes has problems with his balance, so severe that he crashes into walls. Even now, he has trouble walking, doing housework, or digesting food.
During his ordeal, Mathieu also lost a lot of weight.
I’ve always been a big guy. At one point, I almost gained 136 kilos. When I got to the hospital, I weighed about 127 kilos. During my stay in the hospital, I lost 62 kilos. It was the most excruciating weight loss plan that I have ever tried and I do not recommend it to anyone.
Previously, Mathieu held employment as a laborer and also worked as a janitor in a hospital. Uncertain of his future work prospects, he currently relies solely on a meager social allowance to sustain himself.
Mathieu reveals that his utmost aspiration is to remain by his daughter’s side, providing her with support and care until she reaches the age of 18. He fervently hopes to manage this responsibility without any decline in his health.
Mathieu’s journey through life has been marked by extraordinary challenges, leading him to reflect on the concept of the afterlife. His encounters with death and resuscitation have stirred deep contemplation about what lies beyond our earthly existence.