Real Name: Kristle Merzlock
Case: Near-death Experiences
Location: Pocatello, Idaho
Date: March 13, 1982
Details: On March 13, 1982, seven-year-old Kristle Merzlock attended a birthday party at a swimming pool in Pocatello, Idaho. She had just recently learned how to swim, but she felt comfortable in the water. At one point, she got out of the pool and was walking towards the deep end when two boys accidentally pushed her in. She was unable to swim in the deep end and began to drown.
Kristle was pulled from the water and rushed to the hospital. A team led by Dr. Melvin Morse began to work on her. He noted that she had almost no normal brain activity and was certain that she was going to die. At 3:30pm, she was clinically dead. Twenty minutes later, however, she was revived. During this time, she underwent a "near-death experience". She said that she first awoke in a tunnel with colored brick walls. She noticed a light at the end of it and went towards it. A woman calling herself Elizabeth appeared and told her that she was going to help her. She then led her into the light and into Heaven. Kristle also said that at one point she saw herself on the operating table, being worked on by the doctors. Realizing that she wouldn't be with her family, she asked if she could go back. Within seconds, she was back in her body.
Kristle remained in a coma for three days. Fortunately, after returning home, she completely regained her health. A few weeks later, she met with Dr. Morse and said that she remembered him well, even though she never actually met him beforehand. Since she was in a coma during that time, she would have been unable to know who he was. She was also able to accurately describe her resuscitation.
Several psychologists and doctors have studied Kristle's case. Some believe that her experience was merely a physical one, due to chemical reactions and other phenomenon within her body. Others, however, are convinced that she underwent a metaphysical and supernatural experience.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the February 22, 1989 episode, about near death experiences, along with that of Thomas Sawyer.