Miracles from Heaven: A Little Girl, Her Journey to Heaven, and Her Amazing Story of Healing
By Christy Wilson Beam
In a remarkable true story of faith and blessings, a mother tells of her sickly young daughter, how she survived a dangerous accident, her visit to Heaven and the inexplicable disappearance of the symptoms of her chronic disease.
Annabel Beam spent most of her childhood in and out of hospitals with a rare and incurable digestive disorder that prevented her from ever living a normal, healthy life. One sunny day when she was able to go outside and play with her sisters, she fell three stories headfirst inside an old, hollowed-out tree, a fall that may well have caused death or paralysis. Implausibly, she survived without a scratch. While unconscious inside the tree, with rescue workers struggling to get to her, she visited heaven. After being released from the hospital, she defied science and was inexplicably cured of her chronic ailment.
Girl Meets Jesus & Wakes Up Cured Of A Lifelong Illness
By Caroline Garnar
April 14, 2015
A nine-year-old girl who plummeted 30ft headfirst down the inside of a hollow tree claims she ‘went to heaven and sat in Jesus’s lap’ while unconscious after the fall.
Her mother, Christy Wilson Beam, 42, has spoken of her amazement after Annabel, now 12, escaped the horrifying accident unscathed — even waking miraculously cured of a devastating illness that had plagued her childhood.
For the first time in her life, she can eat solid food — and her mother thinks her brush with Jesus is the reason why.
In December, 2011, Annabel was playing outside the family’s Texas home with her sisters Abigail, now 14 and Adelynn, now ten, when she slipped and fell inside a hollowed-out cottonwood tree.
Mum Christy said: ‘She hit her head three times on the way down and this is consistent with the findings of an MRI scan.
‘With the facts in front of me now, I see it all with sickening clarity.
‘Sometimes at night, it replays in my head — a dark twist on Alice tumbling down the rabbit hole.’
An emergency fire crew managed to harness Annabel to safety and she was rushed to Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth in a helicopter.
Fearing the worst, medics prepped brain and spinal injury teams to stand by for Annabel’s arrival — but, incredibly, she survived without a scratch.
Doctors told her relieved parents: ‘I guess someone up there was looking out for her.’
‘The ER doc told us the one thing we weren’t expecting to hear,’ her mother said.
‘He said, “Other than a possibly concussion and some superficial bumps and bruises, she doesn’t appear to have been injured at all.”
‘[My husband] Kevin and I exchanged a look of pure astonishment.’
In the days following the accident, Annabel began to talk of religious visions she experienced while lying unconscious.
She told her parents: ‘I went to heaven when I was in that tree. I sat in Jesus’ lap.’
‘I saw in Anna’s eyes the conscious decision to confide in us,’ Christy said. ‘There was no drama, she wasn’t playing either.
‘This wasn’t like one of her long, spun-out recaps of a funny dream or movie she’d seen.
‘She’d been through enough real drama in her short life. She had no interest in melodrama.
‘[She described] some of what she’d experienced while inside the tree — how the gates of Heaven are made of gold, how Jesus told her it wasn’t time.’
Initially, Christy was concerned that Annabel was indicating a head injury, but MRI and CT scans revealed she had not sustained one.
Further tests also revealed Annabel had remarkably stopped displaying symptoms of pseudo-obstruction motility disorder, a rare incurable condition that had seen her in and out of hospital since 2008.
Doctors advised she could begin to come off the antibiotics she had been taking for years.
Instead of taking ten different types of medication throughout the day, she only needed three, and the painkillers that were prescribed ‘as and when she needed them’ were not required at all.
Previously, Annabel’s medication meant she had to have a liquid diet or stick to soft, bland food — but now, she can happily tuck into pizzas and McDonald’s happy meals.
The family have gone more than a year without a single visit to the doctor.
‘I can’t explain what happened to her physically while she was in that tree,’ said her father Kevin.
‘All I have to go on is the radiological data and the medical records from before and after.
‘The proof is in the pudding. She wasn’t well before and now she is.
‘All I know beyond that is that she believes she went to Heaven. And I believe her when she tells me she believes it.’
Annabel talked of seeing a ‘guardian angel’ as she came to.
The schoolgirl said: ‘I started to wake up in the tree and I could hear the firemen’s voices. And I saw an angel that looked very small, like a fairy.
‘And the God winked at me through the body of the angel and what He was saying to me was, ‘I’m going to leave you now and everything is going to be okay.
‘And then the angel stayed with me the entire time, shining a light so I could see. We didn’t talk. We just sat together peacefully.’
She also spoke of seeing Mimi, her great-grandmother who’d died in 2010 after surgery on a blocked intestine.
When asked what Jesus looked like, Annabel said: ‘He had a beautiful long white robe, dark skin and a big beard — kinda like Santa Claus, but not really.’
“Miracles From Heaven” – Film Review
By Sheri Linden
March 15, 2016
Jennifer Garner toplines a drama about family and faith that may actually be able to preach beyond the choir.
The inspirational memoir Miracles From Heaven transfers to the big screen as a wholesome, crowd-pleasing drama, one whose subject is faith and gratitude. The tone is frequently more searching than self-satisfied, and the harrowing medical crisis that drives the family story gives it the nonreligious urgency to preach beyond the choir. So too does Jennifer Garner’s down-to-earth lead performance as Christy Beam, a ferociously dedicated mom doing her best to keep it together in trying circumstances.
Churchy but not too churchy, with only a couple of outright mentions of Jesus and just a soupçon of condescension toward those who Don’t Believe, this is, in some ways, basic New Age-friendly self-help delivered through a high-stakes narrative. Opening midweek to get a jump on Easter break family audiences (though the story’s medical aspects might be disturbing to young children), the Columbia release looks primed for a celebratory box-office bow, much like its producing team’s previous faith-based release, Heaven Is for Real.
Working with a better script (by Randy Brown) than she had for The 33, director Patricia Riggen taps into the same sense of spiritual wonder that characterized some of the earlier movie’s more potent moments. But in this case, she and her regular d.p. (and husband), Checco Varese, cast the visions of awe in a pastel palette that reflects a child’s point of view. There’s the awe-tinged light of an aquarium, perfect cumulus clouds and storybook trees, one of which will figure prominently in the story. Most effective, there’s the partly animated climactic sequence that expresses a young girl’s experience of heaven.
That girl is Anna Beam, a wise-beyond-her-years 10-year-old Texan who’s exceptionally well played by Kylie Rogers. As her parents, Garner and Martin Henderson have the down-home, all-American air of a former homecoming king and queen who are devoted to their three girls. Kevin has just opened a veterinary clinic, leaving them financially strapped and Christy stressed about it, while he only shrugs his sturdy trust-in-God shoulders. He’s a rock, and a somewhat blank one. What he calls his faith others would classify as what-me-worry nonchalance, and it’s easy to understand why Christy loses her faith for a while, especially after Anna, their middle daughter, becomes desperately ill.
But Christy never loses her sense of purpose or tenacity. She refuses to accept glib diagnoses of lactose intolerance and acid reflux for Anna, who’s in constant pain, her stomach distended. Pushing for real answers, she gets them, and they’re devastating: Anna has a rare and incurable intestinal disorder that makes it impossible to digest food.
Set against the fluorescent chill of emergency rooms, Garner’s fury is a force of nature but never over the top. Riggen and Varese signal the terror of the situation through shots of empty hospital corridors — a harsh contrast to the warmth of the Beams’ white clapboard house. (In both cases, David R. Sandefur’s production design is effectively low-key.) Refusing to sit patiently on the months-long waiting list of Dr. Nurko (Eugenio Derbez), a leading specialist at Boston Children’s Hospital, Christy flies cross-country with Anna, where the kindness of strangers — and an experimental drug — offer hope.
Brown (Trouble With the Curve) provides obvious comic relief in the aptly named Angela (Queen Latifah), a Boston waitress who takes Christy and Anna under her wing. Latifah’s unfussy turn as the spunky good Samaritan almost saves her scenes from being cloying, though her presence in the story feels truncated, some of it sliced and diced into an unfortunate and mildly cheesy montage.
The screenplay is at its weakest in the Boston sequences, and Riggen has a tendency to push too hard. A hospital pillow fight is an especially unconvincing stab at laughter-through-the-tears. Lovely at first but quickly overstated is Anna’s communion with a Monet canvas at a Boston museum, a moment abetted by Carlo Siliotto’s swelling score, which is more effective in its darker, suspenseful passages than when it’s plucking heartstrings. Derbez is, by contrast, successful at conveying Nurko’s combination of serious physician and performing clown for his young patients.
With Christy and Anna’s regular follow-up trips to Boston, the story sidelines Kevin, 13-year-old athlete Abbie (Brighton Sharbino) and Taylor Swift-adoring 6-year-old Adelynn (Courtney Fansler). The movie is essentially concerned with the relationship between Christy and Anna, whose special bond is signaled in their first scene together. Though Rogers must deliver some of the screenplay’s smuggest and most cringeworthy lines, her performance is emotionally compelling. And it’s hard to imagine another Hollywood star who would be as persuasive as Texas native Garner is in this change-of-pace role.
That Christy’s spiritual well-being rests on her return to church is one of the key places where the film’s potentially broad appeal narrows — even if that church features lively rock numbers (performed by Christian band Third Day) and a relatively nonjudgmental pastor (John Carroll Lynch). Beam and the filmmakers interpret Anna’s sudden recovery, when it arrives, as proof of God, and they emphasize the inadequacy of science to explain. Among those who trust reason over faith, they’re not likely to change any minds, but they could touch a few hearts.
Production companies: Columbia Pictures presents in association with Affirm Films a Roth Films/T.D. Jakes/Franklin Entertainment production
Cast: Jennifer Garner, Kylie Rogers, Martin Henderson, John Carroll Lynch, Eugenio Derbez, Queen Latifah, Brighton Sharbino, Courtney Fansler, Kelly Collins Lintz, Bruce Altman, Hannah Alligood
Director: Patricia Riggen
Screenwriter: Randy Brown, based on the book by Christy Beam
Producers: Joe Roth, T.D. Jakes, DeVon Franklin
Executive producers: Matthew Hirsch, Derrick Williams, Zack Roth
Director of photography: Checco Varese
Production designer: David R. Sandefur
Costume designer: Mary Jane Fort
Editor: Emma E. Hickox
Composer: Carlo Siliotto
Casting: Sheila Jaffe, Justine Hempe
Rated PG, 109 minutes