By her own admission Roisin Fitzpatrick wasn't one for tales of 'divine interventions' or 'miracles'. "Early in my life that just wouldn't have been part of my reality," she says.
Facts were her stock in trade at the United Nations, the European Commission and the European bank where she worked in the area of Economic development.
But the day after her 35th birthday in 2004 her world and belief system was turned upside down by a near-death experience (NDE) in the intensive care unit of Beaumont Hospital in Dublin.
Roisin was at home on the seafront in Bray, where she'd set up her own homeopathy clinic, when severe, 'almost paralysing' headaches arrived in waves that afternoon.
"They just came out of the blue but immediately I knew this was serious. I knew I'd have to stay calm or else I'd pass out and that could have been the end for me," she says.
Bouts of nausea quickly followed but somehow she managed to call an ambulance and make her way to the front door of her home waiting for the paramedics to arrive.
When they did they found Roisin on her knees fighting to maintain consciousness.
"I'd learned how to meditate and so was doing that because I knew I was having a brain haemorrhage. If I panicked the increased flow of blood to my brain could have resulted in death or a stroke so by staying calm I managed to slow the flow down and give myself a chance."
Roisin was transferred from Loughlinstown hospital to Beaumont later that evening and plans were made for a vital life-saving operation the following morning.
It was during the night as she waited for her surgery that she says something extraordinary happened.
"I felt myself being drawn out of my body and could see a sparkling light, which grew in intensity. The light came in waves and the feeling was one of pure bliss and total serenity. I felt so at ease with the energy I could feel, the peace of it all. It was bizarre as I also knew that I still existed."
Roisin says that while it was difficult to put a timescale on how long her near-death experience lasted it came and went during the night.
"In the end I made the decision to come back. My parents were alive at the time and I couldn't have gone before them. They did everything they could for me and I wasn't prepared to leave them behind."
The experience transformed Roisin's life to the point that she now says she was 'lucky' to have had such an experience.
Roisin decided to use the inspiration of her experience to launch her career as a contemporary artist focusing on the light that was so powerful in her NDE.
"I wanted to share the beauty of the light I'd accessed," she told the Irish Independent.
Particularly successful in the USA, she skilfully uses fine crystals and natural silks to create the reflection and refraction of light, and her pieces have been snapped up by the likes of tycoon Richard Branson.