How a near-death experience changed my life

Forrest Cunningham was pulled from a burning car.

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Death is something that many of us fear, but what is life like for people who’ve been on the brink of death, then survived?

Near-death experiences may happen more than you think. 53 percent of people who responded to an informal WFLA poll said they had a near-death experience.

WFLA News Channel 8 Reporter Melissa Marino spoke with three Tampa Bay area residents who survived near-death experiences. The survivors told her how their near-death experience changed their lives.

Forrest Cunningham was a college student back in 2013 when he was nearly killed in a car crash after he fell asleep behind the wheel on the way home from a weekend music festival. Cunningham was nearly burned alive. Hear what he has to say in the video above.

Former Tampa police officer Kevin Howell knew he was dying after a suspect opened fire on him in 1995. Howell was one of several officers pursuing a car of armed robbery suspects in east Tampa. When the car crashed the suspects started shooting.

“I just knew I was going to die. It was given. I was scared. I knew that if I closed my eyes it would happen,” Kevin Howell told WFLA.

Melissa Dohme of Clearwater, was left for dead, lying alone in the road after a vicious attack, where she was beaten and stabbed 32 times. She flat-lined four times, but somehow she survived and because of what she believes is a miracle from God, has lived to fulfill a new purpose in her life.

“I felt myself drifting, is when I said my final prayer. I said, ‘Okay God, if this is your will, please forgive me for my sins and take me to heaven.’ At that moment a spotlight shined on me,” she recalled.

RELATED: People describe near-death experiences on special website

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