Lee Thornton


Lee was born in Italy and raised in Europe as the daughter of a U.S. diplomat, growing up multi-lingual, and living and traveling all over the world. Later as the wife of a CIA officer, she lived in India for six years. While there, during childbirth in 1973, Lee had a life-altering near-death experience that was to set her on a spiritual path of healing from the aftereffects of a troubled childhood. Along this path, she tried to integrate the lessons learned from her near-death experience (“NDE”) as she drew from it to heal herself and then facilitate the healing of others.

After a divorce, she went on to pursue a career as an editor in technical publications. Later she studied fine art and became a successful artist represented by several galleries. She also became a song writer whose works were featured as theme songs on several nationally syndicated television shows. In addition to these occupations, Lee has spent her remaining years engaged in a variety of ways to help others with personal emotional difficulties and stress management. She became a certified expressive arts therapist working with individuals and giving workshops to various population groups. They were designed to help others tap into their own wisdom and healing powers using integrated methods including writing, imagery, visualization and meditation. She has also worked as a hospital volunteer and crisis hot-line responder.

A few years ago Lee submitted an account of her NDE to the International Association for Near Death Studies (IANDS). At the request of their co-founder, she wrote her book, Through Heaven’s Gate and Back, an autobiographical account of her NDE and its transformational effects on her life.

Today Lee lives with her husband of 25 years in a coastal town in Rhode Island, where she continues to paint for a local gallery and provides expressive art therapy sessions for mental health patients at an area hospital.

Lee can be contacted at leethornton@verizon.net