In October 2019 Shay Bradley is being laid to rest at a funeral in Dublin, Ireland. Dozens of his loved ones are gathered around, many clutching tissues and fighting back tears. But then, as Shay’s casket is lowered into the grave, the grief-stricken mourners pick up on something rather odd. Could that really be…? Yes, there it is. A bizarre sound rises from inside the coffin – and it’s the last thing anybody expects to hear.
But perhaps Shay’s family and friends should have realized that this funeral wouldn’t be a run-of-the-mill affair. After all, Shay’s daughter Andrea Bradley admitted on Facebook that he had been “an amazing character.” In fact, hailing from a suburban area of Dublin called Walkinstown, Shay had been the proud father of four adult children. He and wife Anne also have eight grandkids. As for the grandfather’s career, he used to work for the Irish Defense Forces.
Unfortunately for Shay’s family, though, the veteran had received a devastating piece of news from his doctors back in 2016. That’s when the patriarch was told he was suffering from incurable cancer. Yet despite the bleak diagnosis, Shay bravely battled the effects of the disease for the next three years.
In the end, however, Shay succumbed to his cancer in October 2019, leaving behind his heartbroken family. His funeral was then scheduled a few days later, with a large number of people attending the service. Yet, as we’ve already heard, the dad-of-four had one final surprise up his sleeve as the mourners prepared to say their last goodbyes.
Arguably, of course, the grieving loved ones might have appreciated the bizarre noise that emanated from the coffin taking their minds off the sad occasion. Statistically speaking, after all, cancer is Ireland’s deadliest disease. According to the Irish Cancer Society, 30 percent of the country’s annual deaths can be attributed to the illness. And even that’s not the whole story.
It’s believed that more than 43,000 people in Ireland alone were diagnosed with cancer throughout 2019. And to break things down even further, over 11,600 of those cases were related to skin cancer, making it the most common form of the disease for these sufferers. In fact, there was a significant gap between that and the second-biggest type of cancer.
You see, the Irish Cancer Society revealed that over 3,300 people were diagnosed with prostate cancer in the same period. More than 3,100 women found out they had breast cancer as well. After that, there was another noticeable drop when looking at the next batch of figures relating to the diagnoses. And this is the category that Shay would have fallen into.
According to the Irish Cancer Society, more than 2,600 individuals were diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2019. And that’s the form of the disease that Shay was originally battling in 2016 – before he developed further related complications. So how bad is this disease? Well, Cancer Research U.K. provided some stats on the ailment via its website.
Between 2014 and 2016, an average of just over 42,000 people were told that they had bowel cancer in the United Kingdom. And in terms of the mortality rate, Cancer Research U.K. stated that over 16,000 individuals died from the affliction between 2015 and 2017. However, the website also shared another important piece of information.
The organization revealed that around 57 percent of the afflicted patients in Wales and England could live for a further decade after their diagnosis. Those particular figures were drawn between 2010 and 2011, proving that bowel cancer isn’t necessarily always an instant death sentence. Sadly for Shay, though, the disease did eventually lead to his passing in 2019.
As previously mentioned, Shay had been much loved by his family and friends. And to give you a better idea of just how big Shay’s family really is, his obituary summed it up rather succinctly. The touching message was posted online before his funeral service.
The obituary read, “Shay Bradley [died] peacefully in the tender arms of his loving wife after a long illness bravely borne. [He was a] beloved husband of Anne and dear father of Jonathan, Susanne, James and Andrea. [He will be] sadly missed by his heartbroken family, son-in-law, daughters-in-law and his eight grandchildren.”
The obituary also referenced Shay’s siblings and some other in-laws as well. And to round things off, the message acknowledged his nephews and nieces before mentioning his acquaintances outside the family, too. Away from this formal tribute, though, one of the Irishman’s kids wanted to share a bit more information about his personality.
In October 2019 Andrea Bradley sat down for an interview with the Dublin Live website. During the conversation, she revealed that Shay had been a unique figure in their family – and had displayed a wicked sense of humor. And her thoughts on the matter didn’t conclude there.
Andrea told the Irish news website, “My dad was absolutely crazy. He was always a prankster and joking with everyone. He was a real jovial character.” As well as offering those endearing words, though, Shay’s daughter also focused her attention on her father’s health problems before his death in the fall.
As we mentioned earlier, Shay had been suffering from a form of bowel cancer, which then got progressively worse. And due to the severity of the ailment, it couldn’t be cured in the end. Yet regardless of that devastating medical situation, Andrea’s dad reportedly didn’t stop fighting for the last three years of his life.
“[Shay] was diagnosed with terminal cancer three years ago,” Andrea told Dublin Live. “It started out as colon cancer but spread to his lungs and eventually his brain. He fought a hard battle. He went through lots of chemotherapy and surgery.” She then expanded on the last point by bringing up an example.
Andrea explained, “As recently as Easter of , [Shay] had surgery on his brain. But he never lost his jovial-like character.” But what about the day of the funeral? Well, just a few days on from Shay’s death, arrangements had been made for his funeral service at a local church. Mourners could visit his body the evening before at the family home, too.
The funeral itself took place on the morning of October 12, 2019. When the service concluded, Shay’s casket was moved from the church to a nearby cemetery, where he was laid to rest. However, the dad-of-four wanted to give his loved ones a final surprise – as we’re about to find out.
Fortunately, when the time came for Shay’s coffin to be placed into his grave, Andrea pulled out a camera to record what transpired next. The resulting video opens with a shot of the gathered mourners delivering a round of applause in the cemetery. Then a piece of music starts to play for a brief moment – before getting interrupted.
Everyone in attendance suddenly realizes that a noise is coming from Shay’s grave. And as it turns out, it’s the veteran’s voice. “Hello?” Shay says. “Hello. Hello? Let me out!” Then a knocking sound starts up – hinting that Andrea’s dad is still alive in his casket.
But Shay’s message from beyond the grave shows no signs of ending. He continues, “Where the f*** am I? Let me out, it’s f****** dark in here. Is that the priest I can hear? This is Shay. I’m in the box… No, in f****** front of you. I’m dead.”
Then, as Andrea pans her camera around the gathered mourners, Shay breaks into a song. Fortunately, many of Shay’s loved ones are in fits of laughter. And with that, the short video comes to an end. The clip was posted on social media the following day, with the Irishman’s daughter sharing it on her Facebook page.
But then someone else got hold of the clip and posted it on Twitter. And Shay’s prank quickly went viral as a result. This led Andrea to tweet out a response on the social media website. Alongside the message, she also included a picture of her dad.
Andrea’s tweet read, “Here is a picture of the legend himself. My dad, Shay Bradley. It was his dying wish that we played [the message] at his funeral. What a man. To make us all laugh when we were incredibly sad. He was some man for one man. Love you forever, Poppabear.”
Andrea revealed the intricacies of the prank during her conversation with Dublin Live, too. According to her, Shay had planned it out some 12 months ahead of his death, with son Jonathan lending a hand. And once their plan was in place, Jonathan had to make a vow to his sick father.
Andrea explained, “So my oldest brother called over to the house for tea one day. They were having the craic and joking and my dad just said, ‘Put your phone on the table and start recording.’ And he recorded the message. It took just one take because he was just naturally that funny.”
“Dad made Jonathan promise not to show any of us until days before the funeral,” Andrea continued. “He specified, ‘Tell [your mom] but tell her she’s not allowed to stop it.’” So Jonathan respected his father’s wishes and held on to the secret for the next year.
And when the time eventually came, Jonathan brought the family together to listen to the recorded message. The group included his mother, his brother and sisters, and all of Shay’s grandkids. So from that point, the family were clued in on what was going to happen at the cemetery – but everyone else was in the dark.
After sharing that information with Dublin Live, Andrea recounted the prank from her perspective. She said, “People are gathered around the open grave, bagpipe music begins to play and then it stops. My brother presses play on the speaker. Next thing, people can hear dad saying ‘Hello’ and a noise that sounded like someone knocking on the coffin.”
“Everyone was in disbelief for a couple of seconds,” Andrea added. “[Shay] kept roaring ‘Let me out!’ and ‘Can you hear me?’ For a moment, he had fooled everyone just like he wanted.” One of those individuals was a lady named Rose, who is Shay’s sister. Apparently, it took a little longer for Rose to realize that it was a stunt.
Andrea concluded, “Everyone is laughing at this stage, except Rose. She’s shocked. She thinks the message is real. Then the penny drops, and she’s like, ‘It’s a good thing [Shay’s] dead because I’d have killed him.’ That reaction would have pleased him the most.” And as the video continued to pick up steam online, the Irish Defense Forces shared it on Facebook too.
In the accompanying message, it was suggested that Shay’s brand of comedy was different for a very specific reason. According to the post, Shay’s prank reflected the darkness of “military humor.” The clip certainly resonated with the general public, though, as several news outlets went on to cover the story.
Yes, after being featured in everything from HuffPost to The Independent, Shay’s hilarious prank was reaching audiences everywhere. The Irish Daily Mirror newspaper also got hold of the video in October 2019, posting it on its Facebook page. And since then, it’s racked up some impressive numbers on the social media website.
The clip has earned over 317,000 views on Facebook, alongside more than 3,800 likes and 3,000 shares. In addition to that, it’s generated over 1,100 comments, with users offering their reactions to the prank. And as it turned out, many of them loved what Shay managed to pull off that day.
One Facebook user wrote, “Only way to do it, brilliant! To make your loved ones laugh at your funeral, that’s beautiful. [Shay] must have been a wonderful man.” Those words were echoed in the comments section by another individual, who couldn’t help but look back at their own father’s service.
“Absolutely wonderful of the man to make his family and friends smile,” said the social media user. “Hats off to the priest for being involved too. There was lots of laughter at my dad’s funeral because that’s the man he was.” And the positive comments didn’t end there.
Several more users hailed Shay’s trick, leaving brief messages of support. In fact, a few of those people hinted that they know people in their lives who might try to pull off a similar stunt in the future. But as the comments continued to roll in, one post stood out from the rest.
Much like the previous users, this individual praised the stunt and Shay’s idea to make his loved ones smile. However, they also focused on the veteran’s family – noting that their attitude to the situation was commendable too. After all, funerals can be incredibly difficult to deal with at the best of times.
The social media user wrote, “Fair play to the man for giving his family and friends a chance to lighten the mood. Even for a few minutes in the days of terrible heartbreak. And also fair play to his family for giving him the last word and his dying wish. May he rest in peace.”
Yet while Shay’s message from the other side was merely a morbid prank for his family, it seems one woman from Arizona really did come back from the dead. And when she woke up, she grabbed a pen and paper to tell her loved ones what she’d witnessed.
After 27 minutes of unconsciousness, Tina Hines is finally coming round in hospital. Her husband Brian is convinced that the heart attack the mom had just suffered almost killed her; in fact, it was touch and go as to whether she would ever wake up again. Then Tina requests a pen and paper. And what she scribbles down after being on the verge of death is enough to give anyone goosebumps.
Tina hadn’t seemed at risk for cardiac arrest, either. The mother of four was active, for one, and she ate well in a bid to stay in perfect health. Indeed, her family could perhaps never have imagined that her heart would one day simply stop. But while the medical emergency was shocking in itself, it was what happened next that may have been the biggest surprise.
Following Tina’s heart attack, Brian worked alongside rescue crews to keep his wife alive. It wasn’t an easy task, either, and firefighters were forced to shock Tina’s heart back into action a total of five times. As the team battled on, though, they had little clue that the unconscious woman was in the middle of a surreal near-death experience.
And Tina and Brian went way back. The two were college sweethearts, having first encountered each other at California’s Biola University where they’d shared two classes. During that period, however, the pair couldn’t have known that Brian would one day be tasked with saving Tina’s life.
Recalling those college days in a June 2019 interview for Phoenix’s American Heart Association, Brian said of Tina, “She was tall, she was athletic. She’d be jogging by or she could be going someplace, and I’d say, ‘Hey, what are you doing?’ And she’d say ‘I’m going running’… So I’d say hi to her.”
From there, Brian and Tina’s relationship progressed quickly – and seemingly with ease, too. “A friendship started, and then we got engaged,” Brian explained. “Then, six months later, we got married.” Speaking affectionately of his wife, he added, “She made the things that I liked to do… she made [them] better by being there.”
Given that Brian is Tina’s husband, it’s perhaps unsurprising that he had good things to say about her. But he wasn’t the only one to sing her praises. Friend of the family Jeff Logas told Phoenix’s American Heart Association, “Tina is adored by everybody. Brian and Tina [and] their family – they spread so much joy and happiness in everybody’s life.”
Then, after tying the knot, Tina and Brian would go on to have four children before eventually settling in Phoenix, Arizona. And it was at the Hines’ home in the city that the couple’s world was almost shattered; there, you see, was where Tina had her near-fatal heart attack. Yet the story ultimately took a miraculous turn for the better, as Tina somehow woke up after being technically dead for close to half an hour.
And the chain of events that led to Tina writing that spine-chilling note began on February 12, 2018. “It was just like any normal Monday,” Brian told Phoenix’s American Heart Association. That day, the couple had been out for a hike before Jeff called in to see them. Then, shortly after the Hines’ friend had arrived at their home, disaster struck.
“When I got [to the Hines’ place], Tina and I were standing shoulder to shoulder one second,” Jeff later recalled. “The next second, Tina had fallen virtually straight face-forward into the rocks.” Realizing that something was seriously wrong, he thus yelled out to Brian to call 911.
Given that Tina had appeared in good health mere moments earlier, Brian was at first confused by Jeff’s demand. When the dad of four saw his wife on the ground, though, he knew that her condition had taken a serious nosedive. And with Tina’s life seemingly hanging in the balance, Brian duly called for the emergency services.
From what he could see, moreover, Brian believed that Tina was having a heart attack. More worryingly still, she had passed out, while her breathing appeared to have halted. As a result, then, Brian was instructed to lie Tina on her back so that he or Jeff could carry out CPR. And together, the two men battled to keep Tina alive until first responders arrived to take over.
In particular, the emergency call handler told Brian that Tina needed chest compressions. Describing what happened next, Brian said to Phoenix’s American Heart Association, “Jeff, immediately – because I’m talking to the 911 operator – he started pushing down on [Tina’s] chest. Neither one of us had had any kind of training at all.”
Given the physical exertion that CPR can require, however, Jeff soon tired. Ultimately, then, it fell to a distraught Brian to save Tina’s life. “She was Superwoman,” Brian stated. “Here was the girl that I’d known for 30-plus years, that’s worked out every day to not have this happen. And here she is dying… I was just pushing as hard as I could.”
Yes, during the ordeal, Brian had truly believed that Tina was losing her life. And as he spoke to Good Morning Arizona mere months after his wife’s heart attack, it appeared that he was still haunted by what he’d seen that day. “[Tina’s] eyelids didn’t close,” Brian explained during the May 2018 interview. “Her eyelids were open, and her eyes were rolled back into the top of her head.”
Then, once the fire service personnel arrived at the scene, they took Brian’s place. Now all the concerned husband could do was watch on as a firefighter tried to save Tina’s life. In all, the crew gave Tina five electric shocks on the way to the hospital in a desperate bid to kick-start her heart.
However, according to firefighter Joe Sandman, it was Brian’s actions that had prevented Tina from dying on the sidewalk outside of her home. Sandman told Phoenix’s American Heart Association, “What Tina’s husband Brian did prior to our arrival – continuous chest compressions before we got there – is what saved his wife’s life.”
But while Tina would survive her ordeal, things seemed touch and go for a while. By the time she was loaded onto an ambulance, in fact, she still hadn’t responded – meaning Brian had to come to terms with the fact that his beloved wife might not make it. And in that desperate moment, the husband and father turned to God.
Recalling his prayers, Brian claimed that he’d tried to make a deal with God. “I told God if he gave me Tina back, then he could take anything else,” Brian said. “He could take all our cars, he could take all my stuff. I don’t need that stuff – I needed Tina.”
And it seems that Brian’s prayers may have paid off. After he had arrived at the hospital, you see, a doctor told him that his wife was alive. For Brian, then, Tina’s survival was nothing short of a miracle; indeed, he truly believed that God had granted him his wish. But while his wife was unconscious, she had apparently witnessed something that she went on to report to her spouse.
As Tina laid lifeless for 27 minutes, she believes that she had a so-called “afterlife experience.” And the Arizona mom isn’t the first person to claim to have seen something beyond this realm while on the cusp of death. Some individuals who’ve since been brought back to life have reported observing bright lights or frightening creatures during their periods of unconsciousness, for example.
And given that no one knows what happens to us when we leave this world, afterlife experiences are understandably the subject of much fascination. There’s even a Near Death Experience Research Foundation. This organization gathers testimonies from people around the globe who’ve all been back from the brink in a bid to understand more about what might happen to us when we die.
The Near Death Experience Research Foundation’s website is filled, then, with amazing stories that may offer an insight into what’s in store when we pass away. And while some accounts are pretty unsettling, many people who have had visions during their near-death experiences have reported feeling relaxed and tranquil while they basked in a brilliant light.
A man going by the name of Richard L, for example, claimed that he had felt calm when coming close to death following a seizure. In his testimony to the Near Death Experience Research Foundation, he said, “I felt no pain. I felt an unending love and a sense of peace as I kept floating towards the light.”
Similarly, heart attack survivor Heidi C described seeing “the most beautiful white, golden light.” She added, “There are no words to really express or articulate how I felt or to describe the beautiful light and warmth that I was bathed in. The colors and feelings were a million times magnified.”
So, as Tina was revived time and time again by emergency services, little did her distraught husband Brian know that she too was having one of these afterlife experiences. The first he would learn of the matter was when Tina came round and was seemingly in a hurry to pass on a message to her surrounding family members.
Incapable of being able to voice her thoughts out loud, an intubated Tina was handed a pen and paper to help her communicate. Then, in an almost unintelligible scrawl, she simply wrote, “It’s real.” Confused, her family members asked Tina what she was referring to. And in response, she pointed upwards, signifying heaven, as the emotion of the occasion overcame her.
Tina later divulged more details of her afterlife experience in a 2018 interview with Good Morning Arizona. There, she claimed that she’d seen Jesus next to some black gates that themselves led to a beaming, yellow light. Tina added of the vision, “It was so real; the colors were so vibrant.”
And for Tina, there’s little doubt that what she saw that day was a little piece of heaven. Referring to the number of times she was resuscitated following her heart attack, she continued, “From what the paramedics shared with us… truly, I died five times and came back.”
Like many other accounts of afterlife experiences, Tina’s also includes light. “It was bright yellow, so it was almost like that vision of a sun,” she told Good Morning Arizona. And it was within those golden rays that Tina claims Jesus had stood.
Furthermore, Tina’s vision has made both her and Brian convinced that it was God’s will to save her. And the couple have discovered a new appreciation of life as a result. “I am just so thankful that he didn’t take you right then, right now [and] that you got to stay and still be my wife,” Brian told Tina during the Good Morning Arizona interview. “So, I celebrate every day.”
That isn’t the only way in which Tina and Brian’s lives have changed in the wake of the heart attack, either; now, both are also spokespeople for the American Heart Association. And if that wasn’t enough, the couple have found viral fame, too, as a consequence of Tina’s apparent afterlife experience.
Tina and Brian’s story hit social media after their niece Maddie Johnson had a copy of Tina’s “it’s real” scribble tattooed on her wrist. Then, in June 2019, Maddie posted a picture of the spiritual inking on Instagram. And alongside the snap, she revealed the meaning behind the tat.
In the accompanying caption on Instagram, Maddie wrote, “[Tina’s] 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 @_tinahines! The way you boldly love Jesus and others has changed the way I hope to live and love.”
That said, Maddie hasn’t been the only person eager to spread the word about what had Tina had apparently seen. You see, the mom of four herself has opened up about her afterlife experience, even telling her story at Arizona’s Reunion Community Church. And it was there that Tina revealed she was thankful for what had happened.
While addressing the church congregation, Tina explained, “I got to be able to talk about seeing the face of Jesus… I see it as such a beautiful, incredible gift. Where Brian sees it as just an unbelievable, incredible gift that I’m still here, I see it as a gift in a different way, in that I got to literally see Jesus face to face.”
Meanwhile, Brian has spoken about his take on events in his interview with Phoenix’s American Heart Association. “I know that God, the God that I believe, touched [Tina’s] heart and allowed her to come back,” the dad said. “[He] had heard my plea and had done a miracle in not only letting me have her back but letting me have her back whole.”
Nevertheless, despite their bolstered faith in God, Tina and Brian acknowledged that others had also helped in the bid to save Tina’s life. Consequently, then, the couple made sure to visit the 911 call handler as well as the firefighters who’d assisted them on that fateful day, as they deemed it important to thank each individual in person.
And at least one member of the emergency crew who helped Tina after her heart attack also believed that a higher power had intervened to ensure her survival. “It’s one of those calls that none of us will ever forget,” one of the firefighters told Good Morning Arizona. “I was a witness to a miracle, is the way I look at it.”
Yet for Tina, at least, there was one more person to whom she had to pay tribute for saving her life: her husband of three decades. After all, it was Brian who had administered the CPR that had kept Tina’s heart moving. His grateful wife told Phoenix’s American Heart Association, “In those few moments, if I was on my own, everything could have been different.”