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Hospice Nurse Reveals Unexplained Phenomenon Patients Experience Shortly Before Death

Photo: TikTok
Julie McFadden hospice nurse TikToks

“Here’s one phenomenon that happens during the death and dying process that medical professionals, like myself, cannot explain,” Julie McFadden opens.

McFadden has a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing and is a registered nurse who worked in an ICU for over a decade before becoming a hospice nurse, where she has worked for 5 years and continues to work at.

Under the TikTok username, hospicenursejulie, McFadden shares all of the experiences she has working in hospice care — tackling taboo subjects like death and dying in hopes to spread awareness about how our bodies take care of us and alleviating some anxieties people may have.

The hospice nurse explained “the rally” phenomenon that happens before death.

“[The rally] is when someone is really sick and almost towards actively dying, meaning dying within a few days, and then suddenly they look like they are ‘better,’” she says.

They’ll start walking, talking, eating, and making people think that maybe they were never sick in the first place.



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Someone in the comments shared that their mother who had Alzheimer’s had this happen to her — she remembered everything and laughed with her daughter, telling her she loved her before she left.

“They act like their old selves, they have a little more of a personality, king of laughing, talking, joking,” she explains. “But then, usually, they die within a few days after this, sometimes even that night.”

“The rally” happens often — according to McFadden, it happens to around a third of the patients in hospice care, and it’s so common that they educate the families beforehand that this might happen “so it doesn't devastate them when they suddenly pass after doing so well for a few days."

Several people in the comments of the TikTok referenced an episode of hit TV Show Grey’s Anatomy, where the doctors called it “the surge” when Mark Sloan, one of the main characters in the show, woke up after becoming unresponsive following a plane crash.

'The rally' is also known as 'terminal lucidity.'

German researcher Michael Nahm has been studying the phenomenon and seeks to find out more about what he calls “terminal lucidity.”

According to his studies, people have been reporting the phenomenon for over 250 years — 84 percent of those who experience it die within the week, with half of that dying that very day.

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It’s become a medical mystery that many tie into their spiritual beliefs, since the idea that brains that are severely damaged could easily return to a state of “normalcy” is scientifically impossible.

Dying patients may also see dead loved ones.

The second phenomenon that McFadden talks about in another TikTok refers once again to patients who are near death but doesn’t refer to this one by a name.



"It usually happens a month or so before the patient dies, they start seeing dead relatives, dead friends, old pets that have passed on, spirits, angels, that are visiting them and only they can see them,” she explains.

“Sometimes it's through a dream, sometimes they physically see them, and they'll actually ask us 'do you see what I’m seeing.’”

Once again lending to the spirituality of what happens beyond the grips of life, many people see this as a way people are comforted before passing on and joining their loved ones who have left before them.

"They're usually not afraid, it's usually very comforting to them and they usually say they're sending a message like 'we're coming to get you soon' or 'don't worry, we'll help you.' Most people love this, they're very comforted by it, it's not scary to them," she adds.

In another video, McFadden talks about how her experiences have opened her eyes to the concepts surrounding death and how they’ve made her believe that we continue living after we pass, and it’s not hard to see why.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.

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