She died, went to heaven and came back to life knowing her son would die.

She died and came back to life knowing her son would die. 

It was 1999. 

Dr. Mary Neal, an orthopaedic spine surgeon, was kayaking in a Chilean river when her kayak capsized and pinned her underwater.

Technically speaking, Dr Neal ‘drowned’ and it was only after 24 long minutes of resuscitation that she was brought back to life.

Remarkably, Mary suffered no brain damage and what she saw during those 24 minutes changed her forever.

RELATED: “I was only metres away when my child almost died. And I didn’t hear a sound.”

Filmmaker Jonas Elrod visited her to talk about her experience.

“It was this experience that was different than here,” Mary told him. “The senses were different. I mean, the beauty was incredibly intense; there’s no other earthly experience that is equivalent.”

Dr. Mary Neal.

Others who have suffered near death experiences have described seeing as tunnel of light but Mary said she saw something else.

“But I was in a hurry to get to this big, domed structure of sorts,” she says. “There were many spirits inside, and when I arrived, they were overjoyed and welcoming me and greeting me and really joyful at my arrival.”

RELATED: This picture was taken in 2014. The little girl in it died 100 years ago.

Although Dr Neal says she had no intention of leaving, she was told she had to go back and that it was not her time. But she says that before she left she was forewarned of her eldest son’s death, although she wasn’t given a timeframe of when.

Dr Neal says she woke up everyday hoping the plan for her son’s life would change. Not wanting to scare her husband, Mr Neal didn’t tell him what she was told.

Tragically, ten years later, her son Willie was hit and killed by a car.

As a doctor she says she has struggled to make sense what happened to her and that she tried to find a scientific explanation.

But her conclusion was that her experience was beyond science.

You can watch her story below.

What are your thoughts on near-death experiences? Real or fake?