A Bristol man is planning to sue the National Health Service (NHS) after hospital doctors resuscitated him. According to forty nine year old Jonty Shegwell – who was clinically dead for nearly fifteen minutes following a massive heart attack – by reviving him, the medics had wrenched him away from the afterlife against his will, depositing him back in mundane reality. “It was a bloody liberty – I’d stepped through those pearly gates and was having the time of my life. It was bloody brilliant,” he told the Avon and Somerset Classified Advertiser. “Believe me, being wrenched away from that paradise without warning, to find myself back on a trolley in the corridor of some shitty NHS hospital – all peeling paint, sagging ceilings and anti septic – was a real shocker. I’m amazed I didn’t suffer another heart attack.” According to Shegwell, following his collapse, he experienced a blinding light, before finding himself looking down on his body. “Then I found myself floating upwards, toward another bright light,” he recalls. “You know, I’d never really believed in the afterlife and all that stuff about heaven before this happened. But after I passed through that light, I found myself stood before these huge gates! It was just like in all the stories that vicars and religious nutters go on about -there was this old bloke with a white beard and a big key. He unlocked the gates and beckoned me in – and there I was, in heaven!”
Having arrived in paradise, Shegwell found that it wasn’t quite what he had expected. “I thought it would all be heavenly choirs, white mist and blokes with wings,” he says. “You know the sort of thing – lots of people in white kaftans wandering around being pious – but the first place St Peter directed me to was a pub. It wasn’t a fancy one either, it was more like the local on my estate than some poncey gastro pub.” In the pub, Shegwell found a welcoming party waiting for him. “It was bloody amazing – the public bar was full of people I knew who had died: my granddad and my mate Bill, who’d been run down by a bakery van in 1996, were there! They were all there rubbing shoulders with loads of famous dead people: Burt Reynolds, Tupac and Gandhi were all there drinking pints. That was the other thing – nobody had to pay for their beer!” After a few pints, Shegwell was led by his grandfather into the lounge bar. “It was almost as packed as the public bar, but there, sat at the bar was Jesus himself! He beckoned me over, indicating the stool next to him!” he recalls. “It was amazing – there I was sitting next to the Messiah himself as he welcomed me to his dad’s eternal pub!”
The former brick layer’s descriptions of the hereafter have, however, proven controversial in religious quarters. “In religious terms, heaven represents being at one with God, rather than being the sort of hedonistic experience described by Mr Shegwell,” opines Bishop Philip Ballcrack, the Anglican Bishop of Bracknell in the latest issue of the Christian Exchange and Mart Digest. “While the simplest explanation is that he was hallucinating, it is equally possible that he has found himself deceived by the devil: what he saw could have been a false vision designed to debase earthly ideas of the Kingdom of God.” Indeed, Ballcrack believes that Shegwell has become an unwitting agent of the devil, returned to life in order to deceive people as to the true nature of heaven. “Perhaps the idea is to tempt otherwise good people into committing the sin of suicide in order to hasten their entry to this supposed alcoholic paradise where it is never closing time,” he muses. “By doing so they would, of course be committing a mortal sin and condemning their souls to the devil!”
Despite these theological objections, Shegwell is sticking to his claims, arguing that, if anything, it is the church which is misrepresenting the situation. “I know what I experienced and it was nothing like the way they make out it will be in church,” he says. “I mean, take Jesus – he wasn’t at all like you’d expect him to be from reading the Bible. He wasn’t pious at all – he was just a regular geezer to talk to!” Shegwell claims that he and Christ had a lengthy, beer fuelled, conversation, encompassing topics such as politics, immigration and transgender rights. “He told me quite clearly that his Old Man had fixed the election so that Jeremy Corbyn lost because he was a Godless Anti-Semite,” he claimed. “That Boris might be a fornicator, but at least he’s Christian fornicator! As for Gender, you are what God created you, he reckoned. Oh, and as for immigrants – you can only trust the ones who worship the right God!” Shegwell added that Jesus had been about to enlighten him as to the true divine plan behind Brexit, when he found himself ripped from heaven as a result of the hospital’s efforts.
In addition to his threat to sue the NHS, Shegwell is also urging an end to medical resuscitations. “It’s bloody inhumane, calling these people back from heaven against their will,” he declares. “Stuff like defibrillators should be banned outright and anyone practicing cardiac massage or mouth-to-mouth should be bloody prosecuted!” He has also implored that the public start obstructing ambulances on emergency calls. “Run them off the road if you have to, but just stop those bastard paramedics from reviving any more people,” he told the Advertiser. “If you see an ambulance parked outside a house, firebomb it! Give some dying bastard a chance to get to heaven!” The British Medical Association (BMA) has dismissed Shegwell’s threats of legal action, with a spokesperson pointing out that as Shegwell had no living will and no non resuscitation request, the hospital had a legal and ethical duty to try and save his life. “Of course I didn’t have a non resuscitation order, or anything like that,” Shegwell retorts. “That was before I’d experienced heaven and was still shit scared of dying! But now I’m facing another twenty or thirty years of this shitty existence before I can get back to paradise!” One of the doctors who treated Shegwell has, however, opined that if he doesn’t radically change his current beer, fags and fast food lifestyle, he can probably look forward to seeing heaven again mush sooner.