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Given Up For Dead

This article appeared in The World's News (Sydney, NSW) on Saturday the 9th of November 1907

Given Up For Dead

Chaplain's Strange Story.
How it Feels to Die.

A remarkable story has been told to a "Daily Mail" representative by Mr. James J. Kane, who for 30 years was a chaplain in the United States Navy, from which he only recently retired. Mr. Kane pays occasional visits to London.

"I have been no fewer than eight times at the point of death," said Mr. Kane, "and on three occasions I was pronounced dead by physicians. On one of those occasions I rested in my coffin for 24 hours."

"During the third year of the American Civil War I was attached as an executive officer to a gunboat of the West Gulf blockading squadron, which was under the command of the late Admiral Farragut. Yellow fever was virulent, and ultimately I contracted the disease.

"I struggled hard against the disease, which was deeply rooted in the system. I gradually grew worse, and began to welcome the approach of death.

"All this time I was perfectly conscious, and as the body grew weaker the mental powers grew stronger. I recognised the peculiar distinction between the soul and the body, and made the startling discovery that I was possessed of the wonderful faculties belonging to the soul, which were gradually developing as the separation from the body was taking place. I am unable to describe them. Their power was marvellous. For each faculty I had in the body I had 10 in the spirit form.

"Weaker, and yet still weaker, I grew; my breathing became difficult; pulsation almost ceased. Without losing consciousness I at last passed through the final stage. In an instant the spirit was freed, and I stood beside my body, pronounced dead by the doctors and nurses.  'All is over; he is gone,' said they, as they closed my eyes.

"I claim that he act of dying is one of the most delightful and exciting episodes of my life, filled with pleasurable emotions, not only at the thought of meeting long-parted friends, but the increase of knowledge and freedom from earthly elements. When I awoke a colored preacher, who was very much attached to me, and who was weeping at my bedside, said, 'Thank God, you are once more alive,' and there was rejoicing at my restoration. My vision haunted me. I mourned over my return. I soon fell into a deep sleep, and the next morning felt increased vitalisation.

"I once had a cataleptic seizure in London, when Dr. George W. Callender was in attendance upon me. He afterwards stated that I was the only man in his varied experience who had recovered after being so far gone in the throes of death. Two other medical men were also called, and they concurred with Dr. Callender."

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