Portraits Of Boston: 'I Knew I Was Dying'

This article is more than 7 years old.

“The most important thing in my life is my relationship with God.”

“How long have you had that relationship?”

“Since 1991.”

“What happened then?”

“I drowned. I was born with epilepsy. One day I was swimming in a pond, and I had a seizure. There was also a sinkhole in the pond. From what they said, I was under water for 20 minutes. My friends knocked on people’s doors and one guy came to get me out. He looked for me for a while because the water was so murky. He found me on the fifth try. But during the whole time, I had an out-of-body experience. I remember everything. When I first went down, I knew I was dying. I asked God, ‘God, please don’t let me die like this.’ Next thing I knew, it was pitch-dark. And then there was a person with me under water. I couldn’t talk to him, but he told me I would be okay, and he showed me my mom by my hospital bed. That was the first thing I saw when I woke up later.”

“Do you still have seizures?”

“No, that was the end of it. I never had another seizure again.”

Portraits of Boston is a project of independent photographer Ivan Velinov. He is regularly sharing some of his favorite portraits with WBUR. Visit his website to see the hundreds of portraits he has taken on the streets of Boston.

This program aired on December 4, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.