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‘The Day My Heart Stopped Beating…’

‘The Day My Heart Stopped Beating…’

My friend Urvashi had a cardiac arrest when she was 29. This is the inspiring story of her journey back from the jaws of death.

I was about 29 when I had a cardiac arrest.

No, it didn’t happen because of obesity. In fact, I was quite thin. I had no vices, either.

It began with a bout of food poisoning that slowly spiraled out of control. I had to be hospitalized. For more than a week, doctors tried to control the infection, but something particularly toxic had entered my system. I was weak and exhausted physically, mentally, and emotionally.

About a dozen days into the ordeal, I was sitting up on my hospital bed, talking to my sister-in-law, who is also a doctor. Suddenly, I said to her, “Something is not feeling quite right.” She said, “It must be from lack of sleep. Try to get some rest.” I shook my head. “No…I think you better come and ch….” I never completed the sentence. Before I knew it, my words had blurred and dissolved, and I had slumped over, unconscious. My sister-in-law felt my pulse. It was missing.

Her being a doctor saved my life. She knew exactly what to do, so every timely effort was made to revive me. If unattended, cardiac arrest can lead to sudden death within minutes.

When I awoke, it was early in the morning, and I saw my husband and my father standing by my bedside in their nightclothes. A pair of hands was pressing down on my chest. I managed to gasp out my questions, “Why are you dressed like this? Why have you come so early? Why are you pressing my chest?”

That was when they told me they had nearly lost me.

“Oh, really,” I said, slowly. “But I was in the midst of a beautiful dream. I saw myself in a pool, with a figure with a demon-like face before me. It was smiling, but underneath, its large hands were pulling me down into the water. Choking, I asked Lord Ganesha to help me. And He replied, you have to help yourself. Come on out now… The dream ended with the demon drowning and I emerged from the water, safe.”

Looking back, it isn’t hard to understand why all of this happened to me. For the two years preceding this episode, I had been under tremendous stress. Marriage, with all its new, unfamiliar challenges. Two children in quick succession. A constant feeling of exhaustion, and a total disconnect with my own essential needs.

That dream during my near-death experience changed my life. A few months later, I met a woman who introduced me to Reiki.  I slowly began to regain the life-force that had been sapped from me for so long.

On the physical front, I began paying attention to my diet, making sure I got plenty of fruits, vegetables and essential fibre on my plate. Yoga helped me tremendously, too.

I have learned a lot in the past few years, as I am sure each one of us does. Had I known better, I would have handled my marital life differently—the mistake I made was to try and conform to the mindset that a woman’s place in her new family is to adjust and compromise. Instead, the right thing to do is create an intelligent balance between their expectations and your own needs. Because unless you are happy inside, you cannot hope to make others happy with you. And bottled-up pressures are bound to burst one day, as they did in my life.

Today, I am a Reiki Master. I live a full, happy life with my family, and am not only blessed with good health, but am helping others restore harmony in their lives.


  • Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. When this happens, blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs. During cardiac arrest a victim loses consciousness, stops normal breathing and loses pulse and blood pressure.
  • The most common underlying reason for patients to die suddenly from cardiac arrest is coronary heart disease. Other factors include respiratory arrest, electrocution, drowning, choking and trauma. Cardiac arrest can also occur without any known cause.
  • 95% of people who have SCA die from it—most within minutes. Rapid treatment of SCA with a defibrillator—a device that sends an electric shock to the heart to try to restore its normal rhythm—is lifesaving.


ü  The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words – Rei which means “the Wisdom of God or the Higher Power” and Ki which is means ‘life force energy.’ So Reiki means ‘spiritually guided life force energy.’

ü  Reiki  is a technique for transmitting subtle energy to yourself and others through the hands into the human energy system. It relieves the physical and emotional effects of pent-up stresses, opens blocked meridians, nadas and chakras, and clears the energy bodies, leaving you feeling relaxed and at peace.

ü  Anyone can learn to tap into an unlimited supply of ‘life force energy’ to improve health and enhance the quality of life by learning Reiki, or by receiving treatments from a Reiki Practitioner or Master.

Read more: Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food, General Health, Guidance, Health, Inspiration, Self-Help, Spirit, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman's book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).


+ add your own
5:19AM PDT on Mar 25, 2012

Thanks for the article.

9:28AM PDT on Sep 29, 2011

Thanks a lot for sharing your story. If I may say so, this near-death was the ending of your old life and the beginning of a new one. I hope and pray that you are always well and blessed and able to help yourself (and others with Reiki).

3:52PM PDT on Sep 16, 2011

I had some troubles of my own , with my heart...stress is so Not your friend..

3:05AM PDT on Sep 6, 2011

I pull in the current of light and sound that flows from the throne of God.

I fill my body with that golden love energy and let it heal me and soothe any part of my body that may need healing.,

I've often used it in my work with others.

It works for them also.

6:52AM PDT on Sep 4, 2011

"BALANCE," she said! Thank you!

10:47AM PDT on Sep 3, 2011

thanks for sharing it will inspire not only me but other people as well.Godbless

10:00PM PDT on Sep 2, 2011

Thanks for sharing your friend's story Shubhra, very inspiring....
God bless her and her family too.

5:39PM PDT on Sep 2, 2011

Glad she's ok

8:08AM PDT on Sep 2, 2011


10:12PM PDT on Sep 1, 2011

Thank you

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