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home : arts & entertainment : arts & entertainment May 28, 2016

10/1/2013 1:58:00 PM
Speaker explores near-death experience
Ken Prather will speak at Sisters Art Works. photo provided
+ click to enlarge
Ken Prather will speak at Sisters Art Works. photo provided

Ken Prather invites you to hear his extraordinary journey "to the other side and back" when he speaks at Sisters Art Works on Thursday evening, October 17, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Prather has experienced two lives during his 64 years. He calls them his "past" and his "beautamous present." The moment that distinguishes one from the other occurred at 10:30 p.m. on October 12, 1998.

Carrying a bag of groceries and a six-pack of beer, Prather was walking down the street in his hometown of Fort Wayne, Indiana when five men jumped out of a van. Each of them was wielding a baseball bat. They were not there to invite Prather to a game of baseball.

"I remember the first guy coming toward me ... I dropped the groceries and six-pack and hit him, and after that was 32 days later," Prather recalls.

After 14 days in a coma, after a broken back and a complete shutdown of every organ, no one in the medical field thought he would survive.

At the time of the beating, Prather had been on disability for 14 years because of spondylitis, a spinal disease the dictionary defines as inflammation of the vertebrae. Prather says he has suffered from the disease since age 13 and that his spine is "100 percent fused ... lower back to the top of my head. I have two 14-inch rods in my back and 28 nuts and bolts."

Because of injuries from the beating and spondylitis, he cannot turn his head and walks with aid of a cane.

Since he was young, Prather has had an interest in what he calls "the other side." Many people today know that term as a near-death experience, NDE. International best-sellers by authors from Anita Moorjani to neuro-surgeon Eban Alexander, have made the phrase known and accepted by millions.

Prather's NDE, which occurred while he was on life support, found him "in a garden ... flowers, streams, animals everywhere ... on the other side. I was approached by a lot of spiritual beings of light ... my soul was downloaded with extreme compassion, joy and love."

Prather spent three years in a nursing home while undergoing daily physical therapy for his injuries, while also dedicating himself to helping patients understand death. He continues to this day as a grief and bereavement counselor at various hospice facilities in Indiana.

The real balancing act for Prather today is experienced through his Day Away program, designed to bring together animals at local zoos with children near the end of physical life.

"Little kids, the birth of new animals - joy. This," he says, "was the balance."

Prather does not charge for his presentations, however he does accept donations for his Day Away program.

For more information, contact Kelsey Collins at 541-419-8833.

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