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At death's door

 A former police officer met Jesus at death's door...

DOCTORS  gave police officer Paul McWilliams little chance of survival when he was hit by a stolen car travelling at 40mph.

He was in a coma for five weeks, and "clinically died" twice before being revived.

His mother was told that the best he could hope for was to wake up with severe brain damage.

Paul had been in the process of breaking up a street brawl in Peckham, London, when the vehicle hit him.

He suffered severe skull fractures, brain haemorrhaging, and broke virtually every bone in his legs.

He said: "One of my colleagues who tried to help me at the scene went home with some of my brains on his uniform. There was a hole in my head you could put your hand in. Medically I was a goner. My life had been fairly uneventful up to this point. God had certainly not figured in my life to any meaningful degree."

Paul said this changed dramatically after he had a vivid vision while lying unconscious in hospital.

"I found myself in a cold, dark place with a lot of moaning going on around me. I had this awful feeling of overwhelming dread. Suddenly I became aware of a glimmer of light above me and I went into a room where it became intense. I could see a man about 50 metres away and instinctively I knew it was Jesus even though he had never had a part in my life at all. He put his hand on my shoulder, and also on my head, and told me that He loved me and that I shouldn't worry. I later woke up in the hospital and told people about my experience of Jesus. The doctors said it was a miracle that I hadn't died."

The 48-year-old, from Seamer, near Scarborough, spent several months recovering in hospital and was forced to retire early because of his injuries.

He said he felt like a different person after his vision encounter but didn't immediately go to church.

It was not until he met his future wife Laura at a social gathering that he eventually agreed to go along to her local Anglican church.

He said: "I heard the vicar preaching about Jesus and I recognised who he was talking about it. I hadn't equated Jesus with the church before. After that moment I went to church often and the Bible came alive to me. It felt like I'd come home."

Paul is now an active member of his church community and regularly speaks at evangelistic events about his experiences.

"I want to tell people about Jesus because he saved and helped me."