near-death experiences

life less ordinary banner In my community I find incredible resilience against violence and those who through terror seek to divide, that resilience is found everywhere. It's found in the coffee shops in the foothills of Galata where life moves on after attacks and attempted coups in Turkey. It's found in the offices and streets of London where friends gathered after the attacks the city has lived through over the last few months, devising plans for what they could do to heal their city. It's found in the cafes, restaurants, nightclubs and concert stages in and around Paris and in the homes and cars that were opened to strangers after the terrible attack in Manchester in May.
Halfway through the gruelling trip, travelling over eight of the highest mountains in 155 days, I caught the most deadly strain of malaria - Plasmodium falciparum. Getting malaria - the world's oldest and deadliest disease - was very debilitating and very scary.
life less ordinary banner Life had never been simpler. I was lying in my hospital bed with only one goal: survive. The level of pain was extreme, I had 12 broken vertebrae, two punctured lungs, multiple broken ribs and a broken collarbone.
life less ordinary banner At first I thought the odd, tingling sensation was part of an unusual hangover - my feet felt cold, as if I'd slept all night with them hanging outside of the end of my bed. But over the next few days the tingling spread up my legs, and was accompanied by pain and numbness.
A year ago today I was eighteen weeks pregnant and I had contracted swine flu, though at the time nobody knew that.  My mother-in-law came round and found me lying on the sofa in agony, throwing up, and feeling faint.  She was frightened for me and phoned my dad.
life less ordinary banner I ran over to the car, cutting my bare feet on the glass and metal, and tried to break free the man stuck inside. I clenched my teeth, sunk my body weight and used every last ounce of strength I could muster, but I couldn't break free the door.
life less ordinary banner The whole experience is a bit like climbing a mountain on which un-foretold difficulties continue to arise. These can be as small as stubbing a metaphorical toe, or as big as a ten-tonne boulder hurtling it's unforgivingly stony way towards you, Indiana Jones style, just as you are reaching for your hat.
life less ordinary banner The barracuda was right there; lurking. It was enormous, with great black marks like portholes down its side and teeth that made me shiver. It was side on when I first saw it and about 20 metres away but it flipped in less than a second to face-on and came towards me so fast it was like a blur.
What happens when we die? It's a question that has divided scientists and religious leaders for centuries, not to mention
What happens when we die? Is there such a thing as life after death? These questions have divided opinion for centuries, but