A BRITISH skier who ‘died’ for 20 MINUTES after being trapped in an avalanche revealed today how she “saw a peaceful forest” while experiencing the “afterlife”.
Rhianna Shaw, 29, said “everything became so peaceful” after she made the chilling decision to stop breathing following a clash on the slopes in February 2012.
She had been skiing with friends at the St Anton ski resort in Austria, when she collided into another skier.
As both of her ski’s flew off her feet and she tumbled down the slope, she felt what she thought was a “wash of snow” shower her. But that ‘snow shower’ turned out to be a massive avalanche.
Rhianna, from Chichester, West Sussex, told Sun Online: “Our crash was so powerful, it created a massive fracture in the mountain and forcing a ledge to break off, setting off an avalanche which pushed me 200m down.
“But suddenly I stopped moving and all I could feel was this weight. Heavy snow just stopping me from moving, seeing and thinking. I could feel everything, but within seconds I couldn’t breathe. I was just focusing on breathing.
“I tried to scream, but it became apparent that no one could hear me. So I decided to stop breathing. And everything became so peaceful.”
Rhianna initially thought she was having a vivid dream, but says this was different. She had died, but her brain was still ticking.
She said: “I started walking along a pathway in this peaceful, pale forest. It had big tall evergreens on either side.
“Everything was as bright as day. Weirdly it was so calming, and it looked like there was some kind of snow on the ground but not like snow as we know it.”
Rhianna believes she was conscious for at least five minutes before she decided to ‘let herself die’.
Experts have suggested that we remain ‘trapped’ inside our bodies even after our hearts stop beating.
Dr Sam Parina and his team from New York University Langone School of Medicine launched a study into consciousness after death.
They found that survivors of cardiac arrest were aware of what was going on around them while they were ‘dead’ before being ‘brought back to life’.
THE NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCE
We are often told of a bright white light.
The blinding glow that signals we’re about to die.
But the accounts from those who once reached the brink of death confirms that we all may see something different.
Scientists have explained that the human mind remains active for minutes after our heartbeat has stopped. It’s during this time, our imagination wanders, or our hearing becomes extremely sensitive.
For violinist Paul Robertson who died of heart disease in 2016, he claimed he had 17 near-death experiences. In one near-death experience, he described being blocked from entering heaven by a group of laughing angels who smelled of aftershave.
Artist Roisin heard a doctor saying he would operate on her the following day after she suffered a brain hemorrhage.
She said: “There was no pain or fear, just a vast consciousness. It was like the horizon you see out of a plane window — except, instead of looking down on it, I was a part of it.”
But it was totally different for reality TV star Spencer Matthews, who recalled “seeing a lot of colours”, while describing his experience on Loose Women. He survived a frightening boat crash, despite dislocating both of his shoulders.
Diane, a tailor, found herself in a “room filled with a beautiful, bright purple glow” after she had a heart attack..
But it has not been made clear whether the type of dream or vision seen during a near-death expereince prompts how quickly the sufferer can come back to life.
Rhianna’s friends had tried to call her phone for nine minutes after she collided with the other boarder.
If not for their determination, she may not be alive today.
She said: “It’s actually only by chance that I was found. My friends told me they had just been sticking their hands in random parts of the snow.
“At first they found one of my ski poles. But then they found my leg.
“My face was completely white, I had purple lips and no pulse. But I remember waking up to my friend kissing me, which was so bizarre.
“My doctor told me that there was a six per cent chance I would have survived from the suffocation I had endured.”
The St Anton ski resort is known for its hazardous conditions.
A dad-of-two suffocated to death as his pals desperately tried to revive him – after he landed headfirst in snow, an inquest heard.
David Ewart, 48, was on the second day of his trip to St Anton am Arlberg, Austria with his seven uni friends when disaster struck on March 8.
His friend Jamie Lord recalls Mr Ewart smiling moments before he went over a ridge and landed head first in a crevasse.
Earlier this year, the resort was cut off as the danger of an avalanche was raised to the highest level since February 1999.
And last year, five people were killed after a giant wall of ice engulfed them down the slope.