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My Last Breath

My Last Breath

5.0 8
by Matthew D. Dovel
Dovel drowned at the age of 12 and temporarily died. During the time he was unconscious, he remembers a calming and overwhelming feeling of peace coming over him. Eventually realizing he was in heaven, Dovel, a child with no religious training, stood in the presence of Jesus and immediately understood that his work on Earth was not complete. Returning to Earth after


Dovel drowned at the age of 12 and temporarily died. During the time he was unconscious, he remembers a calming and overwhelming feeling of peace coming over him. Eventually realizing he was in heaven, Dovel, a child with no religious training, stood in the presence of Jesus and immediately understood that his work on Earth was not complete. Returning to Earth after feeling the love and peace that pervades heaven caused him to spend his teenage years filled with angst and disgust over the ugliness in the world. He turned to drugs and alcohol to escape the pain of being separated abruptly from paradise and the Lord. Dovel eventually attempted suicide to spur his reentry into heaven. To his shock, he spent three days in hell, but returned to tell about the experience. He chronicles his journey between worlds in his autobiography, My Last Breath.

Editorial Reviews

Marc David
Back from the dead, former addict Matthew Dovel writes about his experiences.

Matthew Dovel is not a writer, but he is a published author.

As confusing as that sounds, Dovel is a computer and mathematics whiz who felt compelled to write his autobiography.

Dovel has been to the “dark side.”  He almost drowned when he was 12.  He attempted suicide at 25.  That he is still here today, at 42, Dovel believes is because he is carrying a message that needs to be told.

“My Last Breath” was published in 2003.  It follows Dovel’s life from a youngster growing up in San Diego to military service in Alaska.  From one who took his first drink as a “nerdy” high school student to one who became a serious substance abuser with a $1,000-a-week alcohol and drug habit to one who quit cold turkey 17 years ago after a suicide attempt, it’s a story about an individual who believes he’s alive today to keep others from following a similar path.

Dovel, a four-year resident of Seven Hills, operates a successful computer consulting business and works with recovering alcoholics and drug addicts.  He also is a licensed property and casualty insurance agent.  He is in his third marriage, this one to Louise Barrera, and he has an 18-year-old daughter, Brittanie Dovel.

Dovel has no idea how many of his books have sold.  That’s not his main focus.  The book, which is available at Barnes & Noble and Borders, is “for one person.  If it saves one person, great,” he says.

“I am not a holy roller,” Dovel says.  “I’m just a normal guy.  I was told (by the Lord) to quit drinking and doing drugs, and I did.  My goal is to help somebody or give somebody the ability to help others.”

He has been a guest on radio shows throughout the country.   He has been contacted by a California congressman.  He is even writing a second book.  “My Last Breath: The Book of Desire.”

“There are a lot of people who need to hear about suicide prevention,” Dovel says.  “It’s not just from alcohol and drugs.  It’s because of antidepressant drugs.  It’s an epidemic.”

When Dovel speaks about suicide and prevention, he almost seems evangelical.  But then, he talks from first-hand experience.  Dovel remembers the day he drove his car to a spot on a highway outside of Anchorage, Alaska, drank gin and took sleeping pills.  What happened afterwards is a bit surreal.  Dovel has no idea how he ended up back in a friend’s home.  He does know that he was scared straight.

“I was so angry for 12 years,” Dovel says, recalling the aftermath of a time when while engaging in horseplay with friends, he “drowned” after spending between 5 and 10 minutes on the bottom of a pool.  He had a vision of heaven that day, and was angry that he could not relive it during the 12 years before his suicide attempt which was another effort to reach heaven.

Dealing with a “messed-up nervous system” and kidney failure during the next six months, Dovel came to the realization that he was meant to do more on earth.  He chose Las Vegas because “this is the place where I am needed.  Drug addiction, alcoholism and gambling are rampant here.”

Dovel, however, is not a preacher.  He merely wants to get to people before they contemplate suicide, which he calls “an unforgivable sin because you can never ask for forgiveness.”

October, 2004 Issue "215 South Magazine"

Product Details

Publish America
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
0.35(w) x 8.50(h) x 5.50(d)

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My Last Breath 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I purchased My Last Breath from Barnes and Noble and read and finished it in one night and next morning. It was a little of everything, scary, funny, real life and heart warming. Loved the book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
My Last Breath is an intense autobiography by author Matthew D. Dovel. The author shares with the reader two incidents where he came to the door of eternity and returned to tell about it. One happened when he was a young boy, meeting and enjoying the presence of a loving Savior. The second was at his own hands, and what he experienced at that time was much more detailed and not as pleasant. I believe this had a great impact on the rest of his life. I have read many near death experience books, and have found the experiences of what they see and feel can vary greatly, but I always find them intriguing. This work was no different. I would have liked to have had a few more details in some areas, but what he gave was enough to keep my interest, and perhaps look forward to another book. I did like the way the author encourages others to think about their life on earth, giving some important points to follow and warnings to heed. He also shares with the reader the change in his life since these happens, which include visions, predictions and healings. Interesting! If you are curious about the afterlife you will enjoy this book. All in all an interesting and enlighten read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a life Matthew led. He's lucky to be alive to tell his story. It took a lot of boldness on Matthew's part to be willing to put what happened to him in a book and share it. A definite must read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book makes me think about my actions towards others and I can't seem to get what I have read in this book out of my mind. It's very impactful and I actually cried at the end. Life is very short and I've always want to make a difference with mine in this world. And after reading this book I'm convinced that my actions are important. We all matter and I believe Matthew has been touched by God to relate this fact to us all. I also give this book high marks for its relevance in todays world as we search for answers to all the insane behavior taking place, and that there is a purpose for each and everyone of us.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'As a professional I'm recommending this book to EVERYONE who is looking for truth and enlightenment. I found this book to be exciting, intriguing and riveted with surprises'!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read Matthew's book - couldn't put it down after starting. Very powerful. Matthew's a very gifted young man.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading 'My Last Breath' yesterday. I really enjoyed it, and couldn't put it down. It had great flow and kept my interest. Most writers, don't have flow and can't keep my interest. You're either very blessed in that department or you worked very hard on revisions, or both! I found your experiences, to be very profound. One of the most intriguing things was your visit to Hell and description of it. I have never heard of anyone ever visiting, coming back, much less writing about it. I too believe that torture of ones soul has got to be the most painful of all. I have great empathy, and could not imagine myself experiencing what you have. Another thing that stands out in my mind is your view that we're all here to help other people and we never know who it is. I truly believe that we have to be kind to others, because you never know who you might impact, even with a word of kindness. I often think about judgment day and standing before the Lord. What am I going to tell him? One line in particular that was in your book, reinforced my thoughts on a personal matter. I am turning 40 this year and am thinking of doing something very important and life changing, if God is willing. Your line, and I quote said,' Live your dreams no matter how old you are and never look back saying that I wish I had done that.' Never give up writing, you'll only get better! I look forward to another book, so get busy asking the Lord what it should be, because your books will always be on my shelf next to Stephen King. (What can I say, it was his stories that got me started reading,)
Guest More than 1 year ago
It definitely make me think about my actions both positive and negative towards others. After reading the book, I am comforted about my feelings towards death. It was a very interesting book that examines both heaven and hell and helps answer the question, 'What happens after you die'.