I have to imagine this is one of the biggest fears of every parent. As a parent of three children, I cannot begin to imagine what I would do if something tragic happened to any one of them. Especially if I was behind the wheel with them when it did….
(Columbus – Ohio) November 14, 2004. While riding home with his father Kevin, Alex Malarkey was involved in a terrible automobile accident. Specifically:
Alex was presumed dead at the scene of the accident, and first responders considered calling a coroner. He survived but suffered traumatic injury to his brain and an internal decapitation. His skull was almost completely detached from his spinal column. Alex’s parents were told that injuries involving this extent of spinal alignment virtually always result in death. If Alex were to survive, he would be a quadriplegic, never breathe independently, swallow food, or speak.
The prognosis was grim. Alex’s family and friends started a round-the-clock prayer vigil in the ICU, which quickly spread across the country. In a matter of weeks, Alex’s most severe spinal injuries were healed without medical intervention leading stunned doctors to cancel a critical spinal alignment surgery. (To watch a video book trailer CLICK HERE)
“The vertebrae were completely detached. The tendon sheath around the spinal column was severed near the base of his brain. The injury was so severe and so high on the spinal column; it is simply incredible that Alex survived.” -Dr. Raymond Onders (Christopher Reeves’ & Alex’s doctor)
After two months in a coma, Alex slowly learned to speak again and had incredible things to say about where he had been: of events at the accident scene and in the hospital while unconscious, of unearthly music that sounded just terrible to a six-year-old, and of the angels that took him through the gates of heaven.
“When I arrived in heaven, I was inside the gate. The gate was really tall, and it was white. It was very shiny, and it looked like it had scales like a fish. I was in the inner heaven and everything was brighter and more intense on the inside of the gate. It was perfect! Perfect is my favorite word for describing heaven.” -Alex Malarkey
Miracles continue to be the theme of Alex’s story. On January 9, 2009, he became the first child to undergo the Christopher Reeve Surgery, allowing him to breathe without a ventilator. Today, twelve-year-old Alex loves watching sports and cheering for his favorite teams, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Ohio State Buckeyes. He believes he will walk again.
For some reason, we are drawn to these books. We want so desperately to know, without a doubt, that Heaven exists. We want to know for those that have gone before us. We want to know if there is a future place when we pass from this life. In “The Boy That Came Back From Heaven” you will read parts of Alex’s story through his own eyes. You will also read the very open and honest struggle of his father throughout the journey. That was one element I appreciated the most about this book. Kevin Malarkey is transparent and real in his struggle with faith and belief.
Like the other books similar to this available today, no one can tell about what happened with Alex and if his accounts are accurate. You cannot, however, deny the miraculous healing which took place (and continues to). This is a remarkable story about faith, miracles and possibly a glimpse into a reality we all so desperately want to believe in.
I give “The Boy That Came Back From Heaven” a 5 out of 5.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Tyndale House Publisers sent me a free copy of this book as part of their bloggers book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”