The first Art of Dying Well podcast of 2024 looks at coma recovery, second chances and spiritual awakening.
James Macintyre, a freelance journalist and biographer, describes his extraordinary near-death experience giving a first-hand account of the life-threatening pancreatitis he endured in May 2023 that led to a five-week coma and four-month hospitalisation.
James was admitted to the intensive care unit at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in a critical condition. Doctors informed him that he was suffering from severe pancreatitis that could be fatal. After a difficult week involving blunt conversations with medical staff about the possibility of dying, he was placed in a medically-induced coma to aid his breathing and survival.
Whilst in a coma, James nearly died when doctors performed emergency tracheostomy surgery. Thankfully he pulled through, but awoke to the devastating news that his mother had died while he was unconscious.
James credits his survival and new outlook to the excellent hospital care he received as well as his Christian faith. He now hopes to impart lessons about valuing each day, having an attitude of gratitude, and centering one’s life on eternity, rather than worldly pursuits.