The Death Letter Project
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Kevin Pattugalan | Barista / Waiter

Hi I’m Kevin, and this is my story of my near to death experience. A few years ago in October 2011 I suffered from a severe asthma attack from a cat. As I was finding it hard to breath, I realised I needed to go to the hospital, so I drove myself to the hospital and once I got there they took me straight [to] emergency, so I had my girlfriend contact my family and advise them of my situation. While I was in emergency I was finding it very hard to breathe, it was like sucking peanut butter through a thin straw. I was sweating so much, they had to cut my t-shirt as it was stuck to me and that was the last thing I remembered.

Then I opened my eyes, it was pitch black and I was wondering where the hell I was. Trying to figure out what just happened and realising that I must have died, and thinking to myself “fuck I’m dead, this sucks!!”. I thought about my family, friends and loved ones, thinking I didn’t get to say goodbye. But I didn’t dwell on it too long ‘coz there wasn’t much I could do, I didn’t feel sorry for myself or sad or scared. I didn’t feel anything, just curious.

Since I couldn’t see much, I started walking in hopes I would run into something. It felt like I was walking for hours, but I eventually found a door which I opened without hesitation. As I opened the door, in my mind I was expecting the door to heaven or something cliché like that. As my eyes adjusted to the light, I found what was in front of me very weird. It was 3 doors, I opened all 3 doors to see what was behind all of them. I found that behind each door were 3 other doors. This place I walked into, reminded me of a maze with no roof and a view of the sky and 3 white doors. As I was walking through the doors, I was thinking; is there an end to this? I guess it was better than being in the dark.

When I thought – this is it, this is all I’ll be doing – opening doors forever! - everything started, the sky started to change colours. I started to feel dizzy, like everything around me was spinning around. That’s the last thing I remember [about] being dead – I guess?

According to my brother I sat up suddenly shouting out FUUUCCKKK!!! Then I passed out. When I regained consciousness the doctor told me I flatlined and they had to stick adrenaline into me, which explains the shaking and colours in the sky.

The whole experience was surreal, I started crying after seeing my brothers. I was asked what death means to me? Honestly, it happened so quick, it makes you realise that you shouldn’t take life for granted. To me, death is lonely, it’s not something to be scared about, it’s just a never ending nothing-ness.

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Wow what a story how freaky - interesting the feeling of loneliness. - Fern Smith (email)