This is the story of my journey to the afterlife and back. It is a simple story of life and death. A story of pain and suffering. Of fear and faith. Of love and hope. It is a story of Passion. This is the story of how PassionPen came to be. My name is Jack. I was born in Laredo, Texas. My father was an Air Force Fighter Pilot and my mother a Registered Nurse. While growing up we moved frequently around the U.S. and Overseas. I also served as a Pilot in the Air Force and now fly as a Contract Pilot.
In May 2009, I was contracted to fly a backcountry bush plane from Ogden airport to Anchorage Alaska. Unbeknownst to me the owner had been using car gas in his airplane which is not legal. On takeoff at approximately 9 A.M. at 1000 feet above the ground the engine quit. I was unable to restart the engine or glide it back to the airport. While gliding to a small nearby field with little time and altitude left I shut all aircraft systems off and maneuvered the aircraft for landing. I immediately noticed an elevator pitch control problem which caused the nose to be unresponsive to pitch changes. NOT GOOD. The plane continued down in what soon became a steep dive angle and violently crashed. Upon impact I instantly found myself in the “ WHITE ROOM !! ”. See the news articles below:
I thought this “White Room” was NOT a good place to be. The realization of me being DEAD set in! I found myself in a state of multiple emotions and panic. I was shocked, confused, afraid, fearful, bewildered, astonished, angry, amazed, freaked out, overjoyed, and scared. All at the same time! Time being irrelevant, I then heard a powerfully comforting voice unlike any other voice I’ve ever heard. This voice said, “RELAX”. As I did an indescribable feeling of pure love and joy overwhelmed my beingness. I surrendered to my personal moment of death. Everything now including my death seemed natural. I noticed how brilliantly white this “room” was. Not really a white room at all but just a pure super brilliant all surrounding light. I received a powerful awareness and understanding that I too was a conscious part of this light. This all was beyond words and extremely overwhelming. So I will briefly describe the result. I lay there becoming one with the light till and again the realization of being dead, of no longer having a body or life, no longer being with my family and friends set in. My panic, fear, and anger came vigorously rushing forward. Again the voice spoke, “Relax, everything is as it should be.” I relaxed and completely let go to the light. Feelings of immense love and joy came rushing in. My attention turned to wondering who Is this comforting voice? No sooner had I thought that, the voice in the most loving and caring way answered saying, “I am whoever you need me to be?” My thought was that’s not what I asked. I need you to be who you really are. Who are you and why can’t I see you?” The voice answered, “AS YOU WISH.” Then the brilliant white light surrounding me began to swirl in an energetic almost faint rainbow color as a figure slowly took form. Out of the light ever so gently appeared Jesus! There are no words to describe this moment other than my thought at that moment: “JESUS CHRIST!”
My anger, concern and fear was not so much about my death, but having to leave my loved ones. Jesus assured me that everything would be fine and that I would once again be with my loved ones. I thought,, “In this lifetime or in this afterlife?” Jesus answered, “Both.” I thought, “What does that mean?” Jesus said, “It means you have to go back.” Me, “No, I want to stay here.” Jesus was quiet. Me: “What do you mean I have to go back? ” Jesus, “Your mission is not complete.” Me, “What mission?” Jesus, “Hope.” Me, “Hope?” Jesus, “Hope is a gift for everyone. You must finish your passion.” Me, “Passion?” Jesus was quiet. I then knew I was going back. I became agitated and concerned. Thinking to myself: “Was the airplane on fire?” Jesus, “There will be no fire.” Me, “Was my neck or spine broken, would I be a para/quadriplegic?” Jesus, “No, you will make a complete recovery, but it will be very long and painful.” Me, “Crap!” Jesus, “It’s time.” Me, “Double Crap.” Jesus smiles and says, “Do not worry you will be back here with me again. Go now your loved ones await you.” And then the light started to swirl and Jesus slowly ascended into the all encompassing white light, while I descended into my broken and shattered body… Ouch!
My beingness slowly descended then abruptly reentered my broken body. I opened one eye (the other eye was damaged shut) to find myself mangled in a jagged metal cage which once was the cockpit of my aircraft. Soaking wet in highly flammable 100Low Lead airplane fuel I gasped for air. I could hear the gurgling sound of air escaping from my lung. I glanced down at my chest to see two ribs protruding through my blood soaked T-Shirt as white foam and blood oozed out on each breath. The fuel fumes were overwhelming, stinging my eye, lungs and open wounds creating an intense sense of survival and fire panic. Panic set in as I tried to quickly egress out of the cockpit. Right then a calmness overcame me. Though I could no longer see Jesus he was right there with me and said, “Relax, there will be no fire.” Being soaked and breathing gas fumes tends to motivate one no matter what condition they are in to exit the present circumstances immediately and expeditiously. I assessed my physical bodily situation only to determine it was not good. Both my arms were pinned by my legs pushed up high against my chest. I squeezed my thighs just above my knees to determine if I had any feeling meaning my back/spine was not broken. I could move my fingers and feel both my legs. I fumbled with my arms to unlock my seat belt. I got the belt unlocked with much difficulty only to then raise my arms up in front of me to see that both arms were snapped in half between my wrists and elbows at 90 degree angles to one another with bones poking through my skin and bleeding. I was amazed that my fingers and hands actually still worked. I thought to myself, this must be what a praying mantis must feels like. For some reason none of this seemed to bother me as my only concern was to get out of the aircraft and not burn up. I looked around in amazement at what was once an airplane. There wasn’t much left. I felt like someone had placed me in an aluminum can and crunched me inside of it. The only way out appeared to be several inches above my head through a small opening which had once been the plexiglas overhead window. With the seat belt removed I placed one broken arm up through the hole on my elbow and the other on the edge of what was once the seat next to me now scrunched up about neck high. With one quick motion, I pushed up on my elbows and with a sort of twist pushed with my feet and legs. When I did this I heard the most terrible loud crunching and grinding of bones and felt the most excruciating pain imaginable. OOCH !! My pelvis and hip bones had been completely shattered and detached from my spine. Surrendering to the pain I took a deep gurgling bloody breath and prayed “OH GOD.” Again I heard Jesus still with me say, “Relax.” I did. Shortly thereafter a man cautiously approached me with a sad face. He stood staring at me and felt for my neck pulse. I coughed blood and gurgled another breath and said, “Hello.” He jumped back in amazement. I gurgled, “I’m fine, please keep away I’m covered in gas.” He backed away saying that an Air-Med flight helicopter was just landing and everything was going to be okay. Little did he know how right he was. Thank You Sir !
My hospital recorded first entry in the ER says, “Severe Head Trauma Not Expected to Live.” I spent the next two weeks in ICU in an induced coma on a breathing ventilator. Two months in the hospital I underwent four major surgeries for both my arms, pelvis, skull and face. I weighed 175 lbs. My body swelled to 265 lbs of fluid as I was one completely blackened mass contusion / bruise from the severe crash impact trauma. My pelvic girdle (hips) were broken completely away from my lower spine into four sections each of these were shattered into a total of 36 fractures. The x-rays show my hips are pierced back together with what appears to be two large screws, a metal band with five more screws and two large metal plates in my arms. For two months I was not allowed to move and laid limp on a specially designed big squishy balloon bed. To say this was a horrible experience is an understatement. I was blessed with loving supportive family members as well as extremely competent experienced and skilled surgeons, nurses, and staff at an exceptional hospital. To say I was lucky is also an understatement.
Two months in the hospital and I was at the last busy three times a day with rehab to just sit up. Really hard to do when you are not allowed any weight bearing on your arms, legs or hips. I was placed on what looks like a small rocket which is sliced top down to the halfway point and cut out flat to make a seat. They move you sideways from the bed to the half rocket chair which is placed next to your bed and strap you in. You are now laying on your back with legs bent in a sitting position. They crank the rocket chair up a degree at a time from horizontal to vertical until you experience pain and scream to stop. They hold you there for as long as you can stand it, while you scream and beg to please put you flat horizontal again. You have not been vertical for 2 months nor moved your body. You have been fed through a tube, have a catheter inserted in your penis, have fought a massive infection from a collapsed lung, may lose your left eye, are on massive amounts of pain medication internally and IV. Not to mention a spinal block for the first two weeks which when they took it out you screamed bloody murder for 12 hours having your Registered Nurse Mom sign a waiver for it to put it back in for another week. Very serious matter to leave a spinal block in place that long on either occasion for the very high chance of spinal cord infection. Then after all this PAIN, the real fun begins…Rehab! I now weighed 112 lbs when rehab started. They used a Hoyer-Hoist sling to take me to Rehab. I was placed on a rubber mat on my back and told my job was to roll over onto my stomach without using my arms or legs. It took all afternoon to accomplish this simple task. It took all week to simply learn to belly crawl using only my elbows to drag my lower body. After 7 days of rehab (pain) I was sent home, non weight bearing on my arms, legs, and pelvis. Just before leaving the hospital my 14 year old daughter Shannon wrote her first song and played it for me at the foot of my bed. It is a great and special song capturing her perspective of my crash. Needless to say it brought big tears to my eyes.
Both my arms and hands had been immobilized in special clam shell type fiberglass casts for eight weeks and my hands did not work. Once home, I was undergoing intense one on one hand therapy for both my hands. I had severe nerve damage in both arms and hands with the left being the worst. I was diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) which is an extremely debilitating nerve disorder in both arms and hands. I regressed and had to stop all rehab therapy. RSD is a chronic condition characterised by severe burning nerve pain sensations. RSD or CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) is incredibly painful and rated the highest level of pain experienced on the McGill Pain Scale as well as all other pain scales. People actually die from the severity of their pain! It is most often appearing in one or both of the extremities, arms, legs, hands or feet. It is not uncommon to resort to amputation as treatment for relief, if that gives any idea how painful it is. Even though I knew in my heart, as Jesus told me, “…you will make a complete recovery, but it will be very long and painful.” Wow, he was not kidding! I prayed multiple times daily for a miracle and the strength to endure this god awful severe nerve pain. After an intense personal cry to Jesus for help, a phone call came from a chiropractor friend of mine with a suggestion. A remedy he tried on himself for his sciatic nerve issue. We worked out a solution which worked like the miracle I prayed for! Within hours the pain decreased substantially and in a week I was able to resume my rehab routines till eventually the pain finally stopped. I can’t say enough about how great this simple solution works. I pray for all who suffer from this terrible pain syndrome and hope it works for them too! Here is the recipe for RSD / CRPS nerve syndrome.
My son and I named it
Note: Shake well and apply liberally (topically) to follow affected nerves. Soak cheesecloth with solution and drape over affected areas following nerve paths, see nerve path charts. Also keep a journal of your pain level and note the hours and record your pain level drop. When pain level starts to rise, re-apply. Use your own pain judgement per number of applications.
During my physical healing, an emotional and spiritual healing took place within myself. Why had I been sent back? What did Jesus mean by; “…your mission is not complete.” and “…hope and passion…”? My long and painful recovery was brutally agonizing not only for me, but my family as well. A few weeks after leaving the hospital my 11 year old son Calvin came up to me and gave me a great big hug and said, “Dad I prayed everyday for you and you are still here!” That was a great moment! Then he said, “Dad when can we finish our Jesus pen project?” In a flash I knew what Jesus meant: “Your mission is not complete.” and “Hope is a gift for everyone. You must finish your passion.” Six months prior to the crash, Calvin had come to me and stated that he wanted to be a businessman when he grew up. I asked why a businessman? He said, “To bring back Hope to the world?’ I must admit that this was not the answer I expected. We spent many hours over the next few weeks figuring out: Who we were, where we were, what we wanted, and why? Then decided our goal was to create a simple low-cost, low-tech product. Something that would make a person feel good, be useful, and represent Hope for themselves and others. One evening sitting on our back porch sketching ideas for a product I accidentally dropped my favorite sketch pen through the floorboards. I cursed out loud knowing I was going to have to crawl under the dark porch to retrieve my sketch pen. Calvin offered to retrieve it. I told him I would do it as there are lots of spider webs and scary things under the two foot crawl space. I crawled forward and managed to see the pen. As I stretched reaching for the pen the flashlight died. I cursed out loud again. Calvin said don’t worry dad everything would be fine and that he would go get another flashlight. I said to wait a second and to move aside to let the light from the church steeple behind our house shine under the porch so that maybe I could see the pen. He stepped aside and sure enough the light from the steeple lit up the pen. I grabbed it and crawled out from under the porch. I smiled at my son and turned and held the pen up to the steeple light which has a light cross at the top. With the pen now superimposed over the lighted cross, we both looked at each other in amazement and at that moment the PassionPen was born. We sat on the back porch and sketched ideas of how a cross shaped pen should look. The next day was Sunday and after church we visited Grandpa’s workshop and started making the first cross shaped pen prototype. Over the next eleven years we have worked methodically chipping away on our cross pen idea. Together Calvin and I have learned and overcome a lot.
This is the story of my journey to the afterlife and back. It is a simple story of life and death. A story of pain and suffering. Of fear and faith. Of love and hope. It is a story of Passion. This is the story of how PassionPen came to be. I hope you enjoyed reading about this unique cross shaped pen and what it represents. I am sure you will love using your PassionPen enjoying your own unique passionate writing experiences for many years to come. I truly feel “the pen is mightier than the sword” and that together we can make a difference in this crazy beautiful world we all pass through. Thank you for your time and consideration.
God Bless You !
Jack and Calvin