ROUND LAKE, Ill. -- Cold, pain, and fear: that's what Humberto Casas felt when his chest started hurting during a bike ride last winter.
The only thing he could do as he waited for the ambulance, was to pray.
"When I started praying, all this fear and the cold and the pain in my arms, it went away and I experienced peace," he said.
He was rushed to St. Catherine's Hospital in Wisconsin where cardiologist Dr. Michael Rosenberg met him for the first time on the operating table.
Humberto asked Dr. Rosenberg, "Is this a death or life situation?"
The doctor looked at him and answered, "Yes, yes it is."
Humberto felt at that point his life was ending. Dr. Rosenberg confirmed that he had the 'Widow Maker legion." He suffered two cardiac arrests; his heart stopped.
What happened next was Humberto's incredible experience of dying and entering "paradise, the path that leads you to heaven."
Humberto also remembers the unimaginable feeling of peace, rest and relief that washed over him..."like the feeling you get after a long, long day of work, but 1,000 times more wonderful."
"It's a beautiful feeling," he said. "Your soul just lets go, your soul keeps following the light, the light of God. This is where you feel life starts."
While Humberto was on his heavenly sojourn, he remembers looking down and seeing his children on the couch.
His wife then talks about how, after his recovery, he told the story to his children and they started crying and said, "Dad, that's where we were sitting the whole time--praying."
Humberto emphatically discounts the idea some may have that he was only dreaming or hallucinating because the he says the experience "is engraved in my soul." Dr. Rosenberg confirms that other patients have described to him their near-death experience.
Humberto has a joyful and hopeful message for all those mourning the death of a loved one: "They don't need to worry, they'll be in a very good place. God is there."