As Heaven Is For Real continues its popularity, a North Carolina man says he also died temporarily and went to Heaven when he was 8, meeting Jesus and siblings he didn't know he had, according to a report Thursday, July 24.
Landon Whitley, of Charlotte, N.C., was in the backseat of his parents’car in October 1997 when it was hit by an out-of-service ambulance. Landon’s father was killed. Landon was also pronounced dead at the scene. However, he was brought back to life and rushed to the hospital.
On the way to Carolinas Medical Center, Landon passed a second time. Finally, at the hospital, doctors confirmed Landon Whitley had died.
Whitley says he left his body and walked the golden streets of Heaven. He met Jesus, saw his father and talked to angels. He said he also interacted with two people he learned were his unborn siblings.
“My mom had two miscarriages before me that I had never known about, never heard about,”Landon said in a Fox News report. “I was able to see them.”
Whitley said his visit to Heaven was short and soon found himself present as doctors put his head, face and nose back together with hundreds of sutures and more than 20 metal plates.
Although he's still blind in his left eye, the procedures were successful. Landon's physical wounds have all but healed. He and mother Julie Kemp, however, still tend to emotional scars.
In her book, Faith Has Its Reasons, Kemp talks about the accident, her son’s experience with the afterlife and how she and Landon continue to grieve the loss of a husband and father.
“These days I can thank God for giving me the strength to get through it,” Kemp, who escaped life-threatening injures, explained. “I didn’t see the strength when I was going through it – I saw the challenges and the hurt.”
Like Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent’s Heaven Is For Real, Whitley’s story has not been without its skeptics. Even Christians pass it off as a tall tale and for good reason. Over the years, countless books have been written about near-death experiences and temporary trips to Heaven. Most are far-fetched. Some are straight-up lies.
Now that there’s a movie, those who have been through similar experience say the concept of being temporarily dead is now a little easier to put into perspective.
Casey Reed, of Grand Rapids, Mich., says he also died three times and, like Whitely, found himself in what he calls another dimension, one as lucid and real as anything he knows here.
“You are fully conscious– full awareness of what is and or has happened and fully capable of interacting with others: beings, species, souls, etc., on the opposite side of our third- dimensional world,” Reed said via Facebook. “You are in a state of consciousness in the afterlife.”
Scoffers claim near-death experiences (NDEs) are not trips to the afterlife at all. For decades, scientists have been trying to connect normal brain activity and the perception of an illuminated heavenly realm during a NDE.
According to a University of Michigan study called “Surge of Neurophysiological Coherence and Connectivity in the Dying Brain,” near-death experiences are likely caused by the presence of Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a naturally occurring psychedelic compound present when the brain begins the dying process.
Experts say DMT could explain why people who have near-death experiences report seeing bright lights and interactions with people from their past. Claims of meeting Jesus and unborn siblings---well, they have yet to be linked to such compounds.
What do you think?