Businessman’s near-death experience in hell transformed his life


Businessman’s near-death experience in hell transformed his life

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Businessman’s near-death experience in hell transformed his life

By Mark Ellis
Senior Correspondent, ASSIST News Service


(ANS) — He was attending a business convention with his brother and another family member when random shots sprayed a crowd outside an Atlanta restaurant.

Matthew & Nancy Botsford

Three intoxicated young men were denied entrance to the eatery and retaliated with a burst of nine-millimeter bullets from an Uzi submachine gun. One shot entered the back of Matthew Botsford’s head, lodging itself in the frontal lobe of his brain.

“They were angry, so they took a shot straight up the sidewalk,” says Matthew. “If you took a hypodermic needle, heated it up, and stuck it in your head, that’s what I felt,” he says. “It was a searing hot pain, then things went black.”

His body slammed to the pavement and the last thing he remembers is the cold, hard cement amid “inky” darkness.

He was at the edge of death – if not clinically dead — three times after his heart stopped once on the sidewalk, once in the ambulance, and once in the emergency room of Piedmont Hospital. But weak vital signs returned and doctors induced a coma that lasted 27 days to reduce brain swelling.

Matthew’s wife, Nancy, described what happened in this horrifying ordeal in her book, “A Day in Hell; Death to Life to Hope” (Tate Publishing).

Prior to this incident, Matthew had a minimal belief in God. “I knew there was a God and that Jesus is His son,” he recalls. “But never had I made a commitment to say Jesus is the Way or made any effort to get to know Him.”

“It was all about me. I had my own plans. At 28-years-old, I felt young, vibrant, and strong.”

When the lights went out, Matthew entered a different conscious reality. “Immediately, I shifted from the temporal realm I lived in, to the eternal realm of hell,” he recalls.

In the book, Matthew describes a horrifying scene in what he believes was hell, with his body suspended in midair, arms outstretched, shackled with ancient black chains clasped around his wrists and ankles, suspended over a deep glowing red abyss.

He saw four-legged creatures roaming about in apparent agony, as they attempted to stay clear of flowing lava. Smoke billowing up from the magma seemed to carry the souls of the lost. He heard awful screams emanating from the depths of hell. None of the screams were intelligible — just cries of pain, loss, and anguish.

“It was obvious by the countless screams I heard, I was not down there alone, yet isolated. I was in my own torment.”



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Mark Ellis is a senior correspondent for ASSIST News Service and the founder of  He is available to speak to groups about the plight of the church in restricted countries, to share stories and testimonies from the mission field, and to preach the gospel.

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Senior Correspondent, ASSIST News Service–>

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