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Grow Through... Health Issues & Illness

Astrid Baumgardner on Growing Through a Near Death Experience

Grow Through It: Health Issues & Illness

Astrid Baumgardner, author of Creative Success Now, describes how in 2007, she had a small outpatient procedure in a doctor’s office and 36 hours later, she almost died. She had developed sepsis, a blood infection that has a more than 50% mortality rate.

Baumgardner was in a coma for 10 days and woke up in the ICU of Weill Cornell Hospital in New York City hooked up to what seemed like a million tubes. She couldn’t walk or talk and her hands and legs were swollen immensely. She knew she had come back for a reason because she woke up on her birthday, March 16. It was a very spiritual experience and she felt reborn.

This came at an interesting point in her life because she was basically in transition and at sea of what she was doing professionally.

She spent a month in the hospital and when she emerged her sole job was to rehab. She spent many hours in physical therapy, hand therapy, you name it therapy, and she was also getting ready for another major surgery six months later. And after this surgery, she was lying on her couch one day and she heard a voice that said, “Astrid, you need to get up off that couch and help people with their life transitions.” She called a dear friend and told her what happened and her friend said, “Oh, that’s easy. That’s called life coaching.”

Baumgardner got through it with the support of family, friends, and the medical staff at the hospital. She also was blessed to be born with a very positive nature and was determined to make herself healthy again and get back to her life.

She learned that she really discovered her courage. And she was lucky to have two epiphanies: the first in the hospital where she felt she was here for a reason and the second discovery on her couch that her calling is to help people through difficult transitions.

Her advice for anyone going through something similar is to draw on your inner resources, feel and process your emotions, chart your progress, and journal about your experience.

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