Changed by a Near-Death Experience Interview on NPR’s Up First On Sundays Show with Rachel Martin

NPR’s Up First On Sundays Show with Rachel Martin covers reporting and analysis from NPR News biggest stories, recently featured the thrilling account of Near Death Experiencer, Randy Schiefer, and Dr. Bruce Greyson, an internationally renowned researcher, respected for his 50 years of studying what happens when people are close to death.

In this episode NPR’s Rachel Martin dives deep into a Near-Death Experience that Randy Schiefer had when he was hospitalized in March 2020 with COVID-19. After nearly a month in a medically induced coma he pulled through, but an experience he had while unconscious left him forever changed. In this episode Randy shares the life changing story of his near-death experience. Randy’s daughter also shares how changed her father was after his return.

Then Rachel interviewed psychiatrist Dr. Bruce Greyson who shares what he’s learned from 50 years of studying what happens when people are close to death. Dr. Bruce Greyson is the Chester Carlson Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia. Dr. Greyson’s interest in near-death experiences began just a few months after graduating from medical school, when he treated an unconscious patient in the emergency room who stunned him the next morning with an account of leaving her body. That event challenged his beliefs about the mind and the brain, and ultimately led him on a journey to study near-death experiences scientifically, leading to more than a hundred publications in medical journals. He co-founded the International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS), an organization to support and promote research into these experiences, and for 27 years edited the Journal of Near-Death Studies, the only scholarly journal dedicated to near-death research. Through his examination, he has discovered common and universal themes in near-death experiences that go beyond neurophysiological or cultural interpretations, as well as patterns of consistent aftereffects on individuals’ attitudes, beliefs, values, and personalities.

Dr. Greyson says, “I’ve got story after story of people who couldn’t go back to the same profession, people who were say, career police officers who couldn’t shoot after their near-death experience and people who were in competitive businesses, who no longer felt it was meaningful to get ahead at someone else’s expense and had to change their careers. They often go into helping careers like healthcare, teaching, social work, clergy, that sort of thing. And these changes are often so significant that friends and family have to adjust to a new version of the person they knew and loved. Often families can’t accept the changes they feel.”

To listen to the enlightening episode featuring Randy Schiefer and Dr. Bruce Greyson, check out the July 17, 2022 NPR Up First episode page

To learn more about IANDS and NDE Research, go to


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