A WOMAN who came back from the dead has described for the first time what she saw on the “other side”.
Doctors had declared Lorna Baillie “technically dead” and told her loved ones any further attempts to resuscitate her would be pointless.
But her husband, John, 58, and children were astonished when after a 45-minute vigil beside her ‘lifeless’ body, she suddenly opened her eyes and squeezed her daughter’s hand.
Despite remaining in hospital as doctors continue to monitor her progress but is making a remarkable recovery and is slowly beginning to remember events, and has described one vivid episode from the period immediately after she passed away.
Speaking from her hospital bed, the former auxiliary nurse recalled how she had suddenly found herself face to face with her father, James, who died 16 years ago, and her sister, Margaret, who died from lung cancer
But she was also overwhelmed with joy to see, standing by their side, her two young grandchildren, Katie and James, whose tragic loss within the last two-and-a-half years has left their mother, Claire, 29, devastated.
Softly, her voice still badly affected by her life or death struggle, Mrs Baillie, from Prestonpans, East Lothian, said: “Katie told me she had a ring, for her mum.
‘It’s a message that it is time for Claire to move on. To live her life.”
Tiny Katie lived for just over one hour when she was born prematurely at 22 weeks in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary in September 2009 after a difficult labour.
Mrs Baillie and her elder daughter, Leanne Porteous, 31, were at the birth and were there to support Claire, whose fiancé was away from home on duties with the Army, when she was told the news their baby would not survive.
Eleven months later, in August 2010, baby James was delivered stillborn at 23 weeks old.
She has not tried to have any more children and has since discovered she has a thyroid condition which might have contributed to the babies’ deaths and is now receiving treatment.
Mrs Baillie added the two children looked ‘happy’ and ‘cared for’ with their ‘spirit’ family members, adding that James “looked like his mum”.
Yesterday, Leanne, whose hand Mrs Baillie squeezed when she first came back to life, said: “My younger sister Claire has been haunted every day since by the fact she lost two babies. Mum’s message to her from Katie means so much. To hear that mum saw Katie and James and they have both grown and are being protected and looked after by family has brought her so much comfort. She could even see that James looked a lot like his mum.
“Claire now says she can finally accept what happened and move on.”
She added: “It’s the only thing mum has been able to remember clearly at the moment. We’re curious to know everything, what she saw and what she heard, if anything, but we will just have to be patient and let her recover properly.
“It hasn’t been easy for mum to talk about but it made her happy despite everything to see her loved ones waiting for her on the other side, even if she did decide she wanted to come back. But it’s helped Claire as well because she has been thinking about Katie and James all the time and she now looks happier for the first time in a long while.
“Who would have thought any good could have come out of this terrible situation? It has been a whirlwind of emotions from start to finish.”
Mrs Baillie collapsed at home on February 10 after suffering a heart attack.
Paramedics and doctors battled to save her for three hours before telling the family all hope was gone and they should say their final goodbyes.
The grief-stricken family members kept a bedside vigil beside her and began to see signs of life in the mother-of-four.
The family watched in amazement as the colour began to creep back into Lorna’s face, her eyes opened and she squeezed her eldest daughter’s hand.
A nurse at first reassured the family that these were the normal after-effects of medical treatment but a doctor was eventually called and found a pulse.
But Doctors still warned the family that she was likely to be severely brain damaged, with kidney failure and in a vegetative coma.
But Mrs Baillie yet again defied the odds and scans since showed she had no obvious brain damage.
Leanne said: “Each day she is getting stronger but she still has a long way to go. She is a shadow of her former self but we’re so grateful to still have her with us to talk to and hug.
“It’s too early to say how it will affect her in the long term. At the moment, she does not know about everything that happened to her – she doesn’t know that we were all told she had died and had to deal with the trauma of that before she came back to life again.
“There’s so much to tell her but it will have to wait for another day. At the moment we are just taking one day at a time.”