PHOENIX, ARIZONA– Five years ago, Arizona mother Tina Hines suffered a massive heart attack and died for 27 minutes. After multiple failed attempts at resuscitation, she was resurrected. The two single words she immediately scribbled on a piece of paper chilled the room.
“It’s real,” she wrote.
In 2018, Hines was getting ready to embark on a hike with her husband, Brian, when she abruptly collapsed.
“Her eyes didn’t close, and they were rolled back in her head,” Brian Hines told reporters at AZFamily. “She was purple and not making any noise or breathing.”
Brian Hines resuscitated his wife multiple times with CPR, and when paramedics arrived on scene, she coded multiple times enroute to a local hospital, where she was intubated.
“We ended up shocking her three times on scene and two enroute,” a Phoenix paramedic said to AZFamily. “I’ve never shocked anyone five times.
In total, Hines was considered dead for 27 minutes. Then, as if by miracle, the mother of four woke up. Unable to speak due to the intubation tube down her throat, she gestured for a pen and a scrap of paper.
Her hands flew over the paper as she jotted down, “It’s real.”
A party in the room asked Hines what her note referred to. She responded by “pointing up to heaven with tears in her eyes,” according to her niece, Madie Johnson.
Later, Hines was able to articulate the afterlife she had experienced during the near half-hour she spent deceased.
“It was so real. The colors were so vibrant,” Hines recalled. She described Jesus “standing in front of black gates with a bright yellow glow behind him.”
Hines’s experience and note permanently transformed many members in the hospital room. Johnson, Hines’s niece, was so moved by her aunt’s story that she took the note to a tattoo parlor and had it tattooed on her wrist.
Johnson and her tattoo artist both shared images of the tattoo on their social media accounts, and their postings received viral recognition.
On Johnson’s Instagram, she shared the photo alongside an image of her aunt when she originally penned the note. In the caption, Johnson described her aunt’s story.
“A little over a year ago, my Aunt Tina, one of the most amazing, discerning, and healthy people I know, had an unexpected cardiac arrest, and, according to doctors, had died and was brought back to life four times by my Uncle Brian and first responders before arriving to the hospital,” Johnson said.
“After miraculously waking up, the first thing she did, unable to speak because she was intubated, was ask for a pen. In my cousin’s journal, [she] wrote, ‘It’s real.’”
“The people in the room asked, ‘What’s real?’ and she responded by pointing up to heaven with tears in her eyes.”
“Her story is too real not to share and has given me a stronger confidence in a faith that so often goes unseen. It has given me a tangibleness to an eternal hope that is not too far away. I love you [Aunt Tina]! The way you boldly love Jesus and others has changed the way I hope to live and love!”
Hines has since made a complete recovery.