37 Seconds

Dying Revealed Heaven's Help--A Mother's Journey

Non-Fiction - Spiritual/Supernatural
208 Pages
Reviewed on 01/24/2016
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Author Biography

Stephanie Arnold was a producer creating and directing TV shows, music videos, and documentaries until she met the love of her life, from which point the only thing she wanted to produce was a family. During the birth of her second child, Stephanie suffered a rare and often fatal condition called an amniotic fluid embolism (AFE). Everything she does now is a direct result of her survival.

Stephanie currently serves on the board of directors for the AFE Foundation (AFESupport.org)and speaks on patient advocacy to organizations like the American Society of Anesthesiologists. She was named one of the Today’s Chicago Woman’s “100 Women of Inspiration.” For more information, you can find her blog at www.stephaniearnold.net.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Tracy A. Fischer for Readers' Favorite

In a highly personal and affecting true life story, 37 Seconds: Dying Revealed Heaven's Help -- A Mother's Journey is simply an inspiring and wonderful read. Authors Stephanie Arnold and Sari Padorr have done a fantastic job in telling Stephanie's story. Pregnant with her second child, Stephanie has a premonition that she will die during delivery, a premonition that comes true. Stephanie flatlines for 37 seconds due to a rare complication, and then remains unconscious for six days after the birth of her child. After she recovers, she begins to recount the experiences she had during this time, experiences she witnessed on her own from outside of her body, surrounded by spirits. The experiences that she had and the messages that she returned with comprise an important and meaningful message for all.

I loved 37 Seconds. Loved. It. How's that for a review? This book is emotional and moving and contains such an important message of God's love. Authors Stephanie Arnold and Sari Padorr have presented a lovely, impactful and interesting read, and one that will keep readers turning the pages from the start to the very end. I highly recommend 37 Seconds: Dying Revealed Heaven's Help -- A Mother's Journey to any reader looking for a great book with a beautiful message. I would be interested in reading more from this writing duo as well, and hope that they will consider collaborating on another project in the near future. For potential readers, I suggest you pick up and read this book as soon as you possibly can!

Hilary Hawkes

37 Seconds: Dying Revealed Heaven's Help--A Mother's Journey is Stephanie Arnold’s extraordinary account of a traumatic experience that occurred at the birth of her son, Jacob. Stephanie learns that she has Complete Placenta Previa, a dangerous condition that necessitates a cesarean birth. She begins researching this condition and has premonitions that she will die after giving birth – from a further complication called Amniotic Fluid Embolism. This is a condition that is very often fatal. Stephanie's dreams and premonitions intensify. As the end of her pregnancy approaches she has an uphill battle convincing doctors, her husband Jonathan, and others that precautions to save her need to be in place for the birth. Stephanie’s predictions prove correct and she dies for thirty-seven seconds on the operating table, and remains in a coma for six plus days. Later she is determined to find out what happened to her spirit during that time, and regression therapy enables her to recall her temporary separation from her physical body and her experiences with those from the spirit world or afterlife.

37 Seconds by Stephanie Arnold and Sari Padorr is about one mother’s determination to get others to take her premonitions seriously, her spiritual growth as she uncovers life beyond the physical body, and her desire to encourage other women and families who go through the serious consequences of AFE complications. Well-written, with detail about the author’s medical condition, this is a revealing and thought-provoking book. I felt unable to put it down and was touched by Stephanie’s courage and bravery and the steps she took to help herself as she recovered. As a Jewess, the author’s faith and belief in the soul and life after death plays an important part in both what happened to her and in her approach to telling her story. As the story unfolds, Stephanie’s fears and frustrations at not having her intuitions and premonitions taken seriously enough build and draw the reader into all the tension she experienced – and the relief that one doctor at least felt a connection and understanding and took some precautionary action which, in the end, saved her life.

Out of body and near-death experiences are fascinating and remarkable, and Stephanie Arnold’s ability to write well and create a well-constructed account enables readers to explore and ponder such things for themselves. Anyone with an interest and concern in finding possible answers to what happens at the point of death will find this book a must-read. While it focuses on her own crises and experience, it also encourages us all to listen to our instincts, face our fears, and believe that there is so much more beyond our understanding of our physical lives. A thought-provoking and inspiring read.

Patricia Reding

During much of her pregnancy with her second child, Stephanie Arnold predicted the strangest possible event: her own death during delivery. Surrounded by a loving husband and other family members, good medical advisors, and dear friends, she was nevertheless left feeling alone and afraid when they shunned her concerns, chalking them up as the consequence of hormonal fluctuations. But as Stephanie Arnold explains in 37 Seconds, she did not give up. She researched facts about complete placenta previa, a condition she’d been informed she had, then investigated unusual things that may occur during a delivery, including a condition called placenta accreta. She left her message of the catastrophe-to-come with anyone who would listen, including an Ob-gyn, and an anesthesiologist. Not until the professionals worked on her body during her emergency delivery did the facts make themselves known. Stephanie’s condition was caused by Amniotic Fluid Embolism (AFE), an extremely rare condition where materials from the baby get into the mother’s bloodstream, setting off a chain reaction that causes the mother’s cardiac arrest and her organs to shut down. To make matters worse, her doctors discovered thereafter that Stephanie had placenta accreta — the very condition she’d earlier warned others would happen.

Weeks after Stephanie Arnold made her way to the hospital while in labor, she headed home. Her body was on the mend, but her spiritual and emotional condition was in a shambles. Searching for understanding, she underwent regression therapy. During those sessions, she relived the pain and shock of her experience, ultimately coming to grips with it. She shares, in 37 Seconds, her journey in trying to get her husband, a practical man not given to non-scientific information, to appreciate the real-life truth of her largely inexplicable experience. It was one that included having met numerous people after her death — people she is convinced were responsible for the advance warnings she’d received. She has since made informing others about AFE her cause, and she does so while sharing her critical message: “If you sense something, say something.” After all, she reasons, there are those on the other side who may be speaking to you.