Near-death experiences are an unexpectedly common phenomenon. For centuries, their occurrence and subsequent lessons have been recorded across the globe, from ancient Greece and Egypt to Buddhist and Zen philosophy in the Far East.
Their lessons are often life-changing but their occurrence remains a mystery. For one little boy in North Carolina, this is certainly the case.
(The true story of North Carolina resident Mrs. Julie Kemp and her family was first nationally reported on by CBN.)
The year was 1997, and Julie and her family were on their way home from church. The car carrying Julie, her husband Andy, and their 8-year-old son Landon, was crashed into by an ambulance driving in the opposite direction, resulting in a catastrophic accident.
Julie survived the crash but to this day, every time Julie recalls the accident, shivers are sent down her spine. She can still hear the scream of her husband Andy ringing in her ear. In the blink of an eye, she was separated from her partner forever.
“This was the last time I heard his voice,” Julie recalled through a sob.
Julie was only slightly injured so after her injuries were seen to, she witnessed rescuers trying to save her husband and son. Unfortunately, despite their efforts, they couldn’t save her husband, Andy.
Initially, the rescue team didn’t realize that young Landon was still missing in the wreckage. However, when they suddenly saw a child’s shoe laying on the ground they immediately jumped into action. It took them a long time to find him. The ambulance that crashed into them had reduced their car to a wreck and Landon was stuck in the back, hidden by the debris. When he was eventually found and pulled out from the wreckage, he had all but stopped breathing. Landon was immediately rushed to the hospital by helicopter. He was in an extraordinarily precarious state and his chances were, unfortunately, very slim.
Several hours after the accident, Julie recalled feeling like a thunderbolt had passed through her.
“My gut feels like its broken and it hurts so much that I am speechless,” she commented at the time.
At the hospital, Landon’s heart stopped beating and the doctors worked fast to promptly help him to recover his cardiopulmonary function. Despite their best efforts, he did not start to breathe, after multiple attempts it became clear that their efforts were futile. The team of doctors was exhausted and bitterly disappointed. However, an unexpected miracle came out of nowhere, just as they began to give up faith, his heart started to beat on its own.
During his time in a coma, Landon was dependent on a breath support device to survive and the doctors keep him closely monitored. However, they did so with realistic doubt of his recovery. They told Julie that if Landon regained consciousness, he could lose some functioning abilities due to serious damage to his brain.
“They told me that if he survived, he would be just like a child, unable to speak, and unable to eat or drink,” Julie recalled. “I was so desperate I was okay with that thought. I would take that just to have him. He was all that I had. But deep inside, I had a desperate feeling, as if falling into the deep sea with no hand reaching out to offer help.”
Julie sat alone in the hospital with a multitude of contradicting thoughts running through her mind… Should I give up, my son is in such a state? No! While there’s life, there’s hope. I lost Andy and I could not lose my only son.
“I just had to keep going and I had to be stronger,” Julie shared. “Throughout all of my life, I have never prayed to God so hard. In my mind, there was merely the wish that Landon would live again”
Over the next two weeks, Landon gradually recuperated and eventually woke up, to the great surprise of the doctors and nurses responsible for his care, but not least of all, to an astonished Julie.
“I know, I met my father in heaven”
Her immense joy was quickly followed by crippling anxiety. It was time for her to tell Landon that his father had passed away. She wondered how she could tell this earth-shattering news to her son? Ultimately, prepared for the worst, she said to Landon, “My dear, do you know where your father is?”
He replied, “I know where he is, I met him in Heaven”.
Julie’s mind became think like fog, she couldn’t understand what her son was saying or how to respond.
“I also saw my friend’s father, Mr. Olan Palmer, who died in a car accident one month ago, and a friend of yours, Neil, who passed away a long time ago. They both just stood there in silence,” Landon continued.
Landon continued as if he suddenly remembered something, “Mom, there is another thing I have not told you yet, I met my brother and my sister there”.
Julie was startled and a shiver ran down her spine as she stared at her son without knowing how to respond. Before Landon was born, she had two miscarriages, and this fact had never been told to her 8-year-old son.
Many years after the unexpected event, Landon can still remember his near-death experience and considers what he saw to have been real.
Although the accident occurred many years ago, Landon can still remember in vivid detail the people he met when he was in a coma. His belief is that what he saw was Heaven.
“Every time I was at the brink of life and death, I was taken to that place and saw completely different landscapes and people. By the third time I was taken up there, a great God looked at me and said that I had to come back to the mundane world in order to complete my mission,” Landon shared.
”Heaven is real and the angels truly exist. I have met them,” Landon added. “I also have come to believe that after death, people eventually enter a reincarnation cycle. I believe in the existence of angels and gods because I saw them myself”.
Julie fully supports her sons claims and completely believes his version of events. Although, every time she thinks of that terrible accident, she can not help but feel deeply mournful. This is what encouraged her to make their story known. If others can benefit from what they went through then their pain would not have been for nothing. The continued support from her friends and family strengthens her confidence in such a decision.
Julie finally said, “I would like this story to become an encouragement to people. In the face of adversity, never give up and always hold your faith. This is the message that I want to convey to all.”