Ned Dougherty, author of Fast Lane to Heaven
, almost died at the age of 37--an experience that ultimately saved his life. Before he collapsed on the cement outside of his nightclub in the Hamptons of New York, he was leading a hedonistic lifestyle of heavy drinking and short-term relationships with women half his age. Then, one day after fighting with his business partner, Dougherty felt his chest tighten and suddenly he was unable to breathe. "My sense of hearing turned inward, and I was listening for sounds from my now silent lungs, which seemed to have collapsed," he recalls in his characteristic gripping narration. "For a long, pregnant moment, everything before me stood still. I was dying and I knew it. In a split second, I thought: This is it! This is how it all ends! Suddenly, I felt what seemed like an electrical explosion in my head, and my body collapsed to the sidewalk." As an ambulance crew valiantly tried to resuscitate him, Dougherty shifted in and out of his body. Finally, he felt his spirit lift out of the ambulance and he was left standing before a tunnel that curled like an ocean wave and "stretched directly in the heavens." From there he entered a "life review process" in Heaven that forced him to reckon with his past as well as the life he created in the present. Nothing was the same after that.
Readers can't help but like Dougherty. He's brutally honest about his character flaws and alcoholism, so when redemption comes, it's all the sweeter. (And it isn't instant--he has to return to a few years of hard lessons before the benefits of the near-death experience truly take hold.) Count on an exceptionally smooth read with an endearing narrator who offers classic, yet unique encounters with life and death. --Gail Hudson
About the Author
Ned Dougherty was born on September 19, 1946 in Hazleton, Pennsylvania where he attended St. Gabriels High School in Hazleton. In 1968 he graduated from St. Johns University in New York with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics and Finance. Following a brief career on Wall Street, he became a licensed real estate broker in the Hamptons where he owned an active real estate business. For over twenty years he owned and operated both Club Marakesh of the Palm Beaches in Florida and Club Marakesh in Westhampton Beach, New York.
Ned Dougherty also worked with Dr. Bruce Greyson, the preeminent psychiatrist and leading Research Director of the International Association for Near Death Studies (IANDS). Dr. Greyson currently holds a position at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. In October 1995, he was elected to the Board of Directors of IANDS and served as Media Spokesperson for IANDS for two years. He has been a featured speaker in the IANDS Speakers and Listeners Bureau and a participant in the New York City and Connecticut Friends of IANDS Support Groups.
He is currently living part-time at Valley of the Lakes, Hazleton, PA where he returned to write and to fulfill a prophecy that was part of his near-death experience--to create a non-profit organization, called Mission of Angels, and to assist in the creation of a new community of spiritually-minded people.