The real Annabel Beam, cured suddenly after five years of intestinal agonies — after falling 30 feet onto her head
Very moving true-life film using the excellent actresses Jennifer Garner and Kylie Rogers
…..showing the totally proven, real story of a Texas girl with a fatal, agonizing, painful and incurable intestinal disease who is being treated at Boston’s Harvard-affiliated Children’s Hospital.
Logos of the hospital and of Harvard
The Longwood Center is a part of Boston where the staff is directed by Harvard doctors. I taught American accent to many Japanese MD-PhDs doing research in these hospitals 1997-2003 whose accent in English was incomprehensible.
After five years of severe pain, the girl tells her mother she wants to die to escape the torment.
But the girl, played by Rogers, suddenly goes into complete “remission” – she is healed.
Many nice and fun scenes also occur, including an uproarious pillow fight, and a visit to the Boston Aquarium.
It is a loving family….
The real Annabel
The total healing happens right after she falls, in effect, headfirst three floors (while climbing a hollow tree) and hits her head….
This is one of the most heart-rending scenes I have EVER seen in the cinema, when a family that has undergone so much already, including also extreme financial stress (medical bills and flights for treatment to Boston), then experiences a final tragedy, and the mother understandably almost totally freaks out…. her child upside down inside this hollow, dead tree and silent as death itself after a 30-foot fall head-first.
As the hours drag on into evening, and a tv reporter looks at her in deep sympathy, she begins to panic more and more…
The wife/mother has already lost her faith completely that any kind of loving God exists… Great performance by actress Garner. This mother is truly at the very end of her tether, and having no faith in God, she feels incredibly alone in a barren universe.
But, incredibly, the little girl is not killed or paralyzed.
Instead, she has an NDE, a Near Death Experience. She leaves, and she SEES, her own body…. (a standard NDE experience)….
…..and a being like Jesus shows her an extremely beautiful place, like heaven …..
This scene recalls many accounts, where heaven — the temporary processing center for good people — is like earth, but more colorful and beautiful.
A butterfly-covered plant….
This is why Aryans make art: this is why a French poet said:
Between earthly lives, good people experience this.
…..and the Being of Light (this is how people of all races, religious and cultures who have had NDEdescribe him) says she is entirely healed, but must go back to living on earth with her (actually very loving but super-stressed-out) family.
And when her parents ask, she explains this to them.
She says “God” and she spoke telepathically but no words were necessary.
The mother flies back to Boston with Annabel to see Dr. Nurko, who confirms the child is totally healed, with no trace of disease. Asked how this could be, the Jew opines “maybe the blow to the head reset her nervous system.” LOL
At the end, the movie shows the actual family. This case is totally documented.
The real family, and they are not trailer park or some broke family full of drugs, booze and domestic violence looking to be famous overnight or make a quick buck off a movie deal. Dr Kevin Beam DVM is a successful veterinarian with Alvarado Veterinary Clinic in Alvarado, Texas, and yes, they did get ridiculed for coming forward. There absolutely are Born Again Brain-Deads who say all NDEs are either invented or they are of the Devil…..
Alvarado, Texas is southwest of Dallas
Dr. Beam, a 2000 graduate of the prestigious Texas A & M University
The actual mother, writer Christy Beam — she lost her faith, stopped going to church, especially resentful over some judgmental, self-righteous church ladies who said her tragedy-stricken family must have been sinful.
Annabel today, at the tree
This book by an engineer turned minister deals with the radical hostility of many Born-Agains toward NDEs. To say they are satanic is the worst thing a Christian can say against anyone or anything, and they say this.
This bestseller (also a movie) involves the subject himself, a Texas minister who died for 90 minutes. Sure enough, he was accused of making it all up, and that even if true, NDEs are of the Devil.
In fact, two key people involved in real life in the case are skeptical, anti-Christian Jews, one of them the doctor, Samuel Nurko, so this was no Born-Again plot to pretend the girl was deathly ill, as someone accuses them, or to push Jesus on people.Â In fact, the multiple tragedies — physical, emotional and financial — make the mother lose her faith completely.
In other words, this is not some BS propaganda film but it shows a proven miracle by some higher power.
In fact, the movie is not overly churchy, though it has some church scenes and a skilled and caring pastor is involved, and Jesus is barely mentioned. In fact, several “church-lady” types are shown as incredibly obnoxious and hostile.
It is an NDE movie, and one about how medical tragedy (a child suffering extreme agony from a fatal disease) can shake the faith of anyone, as in the 1990s besteseller, “When Bad Things Happen to Good People.”
Happy ending, however, though such miracles obviously are rare. Most kids with fatal illnesses do die, and it happens to a little girl next to Annabel.
LOL — Many Christians doubt NDEs or even imagine they are demonic, because none are reported in the Bible. Even AFTER their daughter is miraculously healed, even THEN, the parents are doubtful and exchange weirded-out glances as their daughter, totally healed, tells them she left her body, looked down and saw it, went into the afterlife after touching a white butterfly, and was healed by and had a spiritual talk with a loving, glowing being of light sporting a brown beard…..
Btw, many Muslims, Buddhists and atheists also meet this loving being, but for them he usually is not seen as Jesus.
As in the 1997 movie “Contact” with Jody Foster, this being takes a form that the dead, somewhat terrified human is comfortable with. (“Contact” is a movie that forms a bridge between aliens and religion. The kind, wise, firm aliens are really like angels. Jodie’s character recognizes that the being is not her father and he admits the father image is just to help her.)
Interview with, first another NDE woman, and (from 2:38 on) with Annabel Beam, reported for NBC by Maria Shriver: http://www.today.com/video/today/57201513
Meet the local doctor behind â€˜Miracles From Heavenâ€™
This is the excellent Mexican actor who played him: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenio_Derbez
Several years ago on a balmy winter day in Texas, 9-year-old Annabel Beam fell from a branch into the hollow body of an enormous cottonwood tree in her familyâ€™s cow pasture. She tumbled down 30 feet, landed on her head, and was trapped for hours before rescuers could reach her.
That Anna survived the fall unharmed is amazing. That she emerged from the tree free of the two rare, chronic diseases she suffered from is described by both her pastor and her doctor as a miracle.
For Annaâ€™s physician, Dr. Samuel Nurko, director of the Center for Motility and Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders at Bostonâ€™s Childrenâ€™s Hospital, the abrupt disappearance of Annaâ€™s intestinal disorders following a major trauma is an extreme example of a certain kind of medical event he witnesses on a regular basis â€” the kind for which there is no scientific explanation.
â€œI havenâ€™t seen it to this degree, but we do see patients who have experiences that can reset the body,â€ says Nurko. â€œItâ€™s like pressing control-alt-delete.â€
For Annaâ€™s family and their devout Christian community, there is no question that the girlâ€™s miraculous recovery was an act of God. While she was trapped in the tree, Anna told her parents, she met Jesus in heaven and he sent her back to earth with a guardian angel.
Her mother, Christy, wrote a memoir about it. â€œMiracles From Heaven,â€ a film based on the book, is in theaters now, and Nurko is having a Hollywood moment. He walked the red carpet at the filmâ€™s Chestnut Hill premiere with Jennifer Garner, who stars as Christy Beam. Heâ€™s had boldface shout-outs in glossy magazines. Heâ€™s watched himself played on the big screen by Mexican superstar Eugenio Derbez, right down to his signature Elmo tie.
â€œI loved the movie,â€ Nurko says. But he declines to address the Beamsâ€™ interpretation of Annaâ€™s sudden return to good health. â€œThat is their story to tell.â€
Prior to Annaâ€™s fall, mother and daughter traveled regularly from their home near Burleson, Texas, a rural suburb of Fort Worth, to Boston for treatment and monitoring at Childrenâ€™s Hospital. Anna had been sick since she was 4 with pseudo-obstruction motility disorder and antral hypomotility disorder, illnesses for which there is no cure. The nerves and muscles in her intestines didnâ€™t contract normally, and as a result food, fluid, and air werenâ€™t able to properly move through Annaâ€™s body. By the time she was 5 sheâ€™d had multiple surgeries for intestinal obstructions. Annaâ€™s diet was largely liquid, her drug intake copious, and she was in near-constant pain.
Then she fell into the tree. Nurko thinks that Anna had a near-death experience, although he says itâ€™s impossible to know for sure.
â€œIt was a major event in her inner self,â€ he says, â€œthatâ€™s the message. Itâ€™s been shown in many cases that your inner well-being, your faith, your attitude, your beliefs and experiences, your family interactions, they are all going to affect how you react to disease.â€
The parents (Dr. Beam, far left, and the woman between Jennifer Garner and Dr Nurko, the writer Christy Beam) are good-looking, professional white people. Annabel is in the middle, wearing glasses.
Nurko is describing the biopsychosocial model of medicine, known more colloquially as the mind-body connection. It is a driving principle of his practice, but despite growing evidence, Western medicine has been slow to embrace the notion that forces outside of the body may impact illness. Dr. Jeffrey Rediger, a practitioner at the nexus of medicine, psychiatry, and spirituality, is trying to change that.
â€œWeâ€™re groaning toward a larger understanding of the power of the mind,â€ says Rediger, who is medical director at the McLean Southeast Adult Psychiatric Program in Middleborough, an instructor at Harvard Medical School, and a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary. â€œWe canâ€™t think ourselves into health, but the pattern Iâ€™ve seen over and over again is that if a person can have a deep change in their psyche or their soul, whether it happens quickly or over 10 years in psychotherapy, the body responds. Itâ€™s an unmapped wilderness in our culture.â€
Spiritual experiences are an especially knotty problem for traditional science, Rediger says, rooted as it is in the assumption that thoughts and feelings must be excluded from the data in order to uncover objective reality. Regarding Anna Beamâ€™s â€œmiracle,â€ Rediger takes issue with the very definition of the word.
â€œI believe that miracles only contradict what we know of nature,â€ he says. â€œI believe that miracles are actually consistent with mental and spiritual laws, itâ€™s just that weâ€™re in the very early stages of mapping them in the West. Modern physics values consciousness, and this is very slowly revising science. As we continue to become more interested as a culture in the power and capacities of the mind, I suspect we will see more interest in researching such capacities.â€
Nurko, meanwhile, would like to see more interest in researching gastrointestinal disease, and itâ€™s his fervent hope that the publicity surrounding â€œMiracles From Heavenâ€ will increase awareness and funding for a range of disorders that he says affect 10 percent of all children.
He said the public is not inclined to get involved in gastrointestinal disorders.
â€œWhen you talk about poop and vomiting, people donâ€™t want to engage. Itâ€™s not stem cells. Cancer is sexier. These kids get forgotten.â€
Annaâ€™s story, however, is unforgettable. When she returned to Childrenâ€™s Hospital for the first time after her fall, she was asymptomatic. Completely normal. A pizza eater. Nurko saw no need to run even a single test. Asked how surprised he was by Annaâ€™s headlong return to good health, he says he is consistently surprised by diseases not doing what doctors expect them to do.
â€œWe think we know whatâ€™s going to happen, but nature has a way to play games with us,â€ says Nurko. â€œWe see miracles every day here in the hospital.â€
Joan Anderman is a freelance writer. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
…..Children’s Hospital article
Eight-year-old Annabel Beam was on a quest to find the perfect gift.Â During a 2010 trip from her Texas home to Boston Childrenâ€™s Hospital, she asked her Mom to stop at the airport gift shop before boarding the plane.
Annabel perused the aisles, examining each item in the hope of finding a token of appreciation for her gastroenterologist, Dr. Samuel Nurko, director of the Motility and Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders Center.
Annabel spotted a cuddly teddy bear wearing blue doctorsâ€™ scrubs. She reached for the bear, squeezed its arm, and a musical rendition of â€œDoctor, Doctor, give me the newsâ€¦â€ began to play.
Annabelâ€™s grin spread from ear to ear. â€œI want to give this to Dr. Nurko, Mommy,â€ said Annabel.
The teddy bear symbolized the kindness and hope Nurko shared with Annabel while sheÂ managed the rare and chronic gastrointestinal conditionÂ pseudo-obstruction. And it remains a symbol of the long-lasting bond between Nurko and his young patient.
â€œIt was a very touching moment,â€ Nurko says of the day he received theÂ teddy bear. â€œI keep the bear in my office, and he watches over me.â€
This was one of many trips to Boston Childrenâ€™s to treatÂ Annabelâ€™s chronic and often debilitating condition.
The road to Boston Childrenâ€™s
When Annabel was 4, she had bouts of distended (swollen) stomachÂ andÂ difficulty eating, and she experienced intense stomach cramping and pain. â€œ[Annabelâ€™s] pain was almost always at a level 10, and on a good day, she was at a level eight,â€ recalls Annabelâ€™s Mom Christy Beam. â€œShe would live in a fetal position on the sofa with a heating pad on her stomach.â€
Annabel was seen by several local doctors and underwent an array of tests including blood work, CT scans and X-rays. She was diagnosed with a variety of illnesses ranging from a lactose intolerance to reflux.
â€œI always felt bad, and my stomach always hurt,â€ Annabel recalls. â€œI remember going out to a restaurant; I would take one bite and would be done because the pain would be so overwhelming.â€
By the time she was 5, Annabel had a full-intestinal obstruction that required surgery. Nine days after the surgery, sheÂ re-obstructed and required a second surgery.
Time for a second opinion
â€œAfter the second surgery, Annabel never got better,â€ Mom recalls. â€œSo we pursued every doctor in Texas who could possibly figure out what was wrong with her.â€
Christy says she can pinpoint the momentÂ the decision was madeÂ to bring Annabel to Boston Childrenâ€™s. â€œI had a doctor tell me that if her daughter was as sick as Annabel â€” Â and if she had the same problems â€” Â she would have her in the hands of Dr. Sam Nurko,â€ Christy recalls.
In 2009, Christy, Annabel and her auntÂ traveled to Boston Childrenâ€™s for an appointment with Nurko. â€œAnnabel was in a lot of pain when she came to see me,â€ Nurko recalls. â€œShe had a lot of difficulty tolerating her feedings, was vomiting and had abdominal distention.â€
Annabel with distended stomach â€” a symptom of pseudo-obstruction
Mom says Annabel and Nurko instantly connected. â€œAnnabel trusted him,â€ Christy says. â€œHe was sweet and funny, and he made her giggle.â€
Following a comprehensive examination andÂ Antroduodenal ManometryÂ Â â€” a diagnostic test performed in only a few places around the world â€” Â Annabel was diagnosed with pseudo-obstruction. TheÂ intestinal disorder is caused by nerve or muscle problems that prevent the intestines from contracting normally to move food, fluid and air through the intestines.Â â€œThis is a disease where the nerves of the intestines and the muscles donâ€™t work well, and things donâ€™tÂ move,â€ Nurko explains.
There is no known cure for pseudo-obstruction. However, patients with intestinal pseudo-obstruction often require nutritional support to prevent malnutrition and weight loss. Medication may also be required to treat and prevent further complications caused by lack of movement of the stomach and intestinal contents.
Annabel required nutritional assistance in the form of nasogastric tube (NG) tube. SheÂ began treatment with Cisapride, aÂ medication designed to increase motility in the gastrointestinal tract and only prescribed in a few centers throughout the U.S.Â Annabelâ€™s medication regimen called for her and her family to return to Boston Childrenâ€™s every six to eight weeks for treatment.
Pseudo-obstruction treatment goal
Annabel visiting the Freedom Trail
The goal of treatment, Nurko says, was to prevent complications, stabilize Annabelâ€™s condition, treat her symptoms, improve her quality of life and get her active and functioning again.
â€œDr. Nurko didnâ€™t say it was all rainbows and butterflies,â€ says Christy. â€œBut he showed concern about the seriousness of Annabelâ€™s illness, and he was committed to doing everything he could to give her the best quality of life.â€
Annabel and her family traveled to Boston Childrenâ€™s for nearly three years. She says she found relief from her chronic condition, enjoyed her time with Dr. Nurko and wasÂ able visit several Boston attractions during their stay.
â€œI remember looking forward to going to Boston,â€ Annabel recalls. â€œWe did the Freedom Trail and the New England Aquarium, and it was always a lot of fun.â€
Taking the next steps
In 2012, a Boston Childrenâ€™s fellow â€” a motility specialist trained and affiliated with Nurko and the Center for Motility â€” Â began treating Annabel in Austin, Texas.
While in Texas, 10-year-old Annabel had a life-changing experience â€” an experience Christy chronicled in her faith-based memoir, â€œMiracles from Heaven.â€
The story recounts how a near-death accident changed the course of Annabelâ€™s life. The motion picture, â€œMiracles from Heavenâ€ starring actress Jennifer Garner is scheduled for release March 16.
Dr. Samuel Nurko with â€œMiracles from Heavenâ€ actress Jennifer Garner holding Annabelâ€™s bear during a visit to Boston Childrenâ€™s
Today, Annabel says she is feeling like a normal kid. She is extremely grateful for Nurkoâ€™s expertise and compassion and happy to see her teddy bear has made a new friend.
â€œI always looked forward to going to Boston Childrenâ€™s,â€ Annabel says. â€œAnd I am very glad I was cared for by Dr. Nurko.â€
I feel very sorry for people who believe there is no life after death, or just one.
For the first deluded group, death is terrifying.
For the second, the one-life doctrine means God is very unfair. He gives some a good upbringing and life, great looks and wealth (think John F. Kennedy)Â and others are born to a heroin junkie mom.
I am reading a NYT bestselling book now, Hillbilly Elegy, by a young Appalachian man who escaped the white poverty, violence, drugs and alcoholism of his Scotch-Irish people and went to Yale.
When tragedy strikes, or they go off to war (high unemployment drives them into the service) and are seriously wounded, their Christianity goes right out the window. The proof? They start drinking heavily or doing drugs. They cannot explain tragedy, just numb the pain.
Christianity does NOT explain tragedies well, and there is a scene in “Miracles from Heaven” where the mother, played by Garner, meets with the pastor and demands to know why her God-fearing, sweet little daughter is in agony. the pastor admits HE DOES NOT KNOW.
This is why this book by a rabbi from the mid-1990s — his own little daughter had died after a terrible disease — became a bestseller:
Now reincarnation explains sooo many mysteries of life, as automaker and reincarnation advocate Henry Ford realized:
Happiness comes from from good karma and unhappiness from bad karma.
A good person may have had a great childhood, and be surrounded by other good people, and conform to his surroundings, but tragedy strikes anyway.
In previous lives they did not lift a finger for someone suffering. they wer too busy. Or there was another excuse. Or rationalization.
Now THEY are the one suffering.
With regard to greater social ills:
Generations of earthly whites have stood there with stupid cow and pig eyes when heroic leaders arose — Queen Isabella, Martin Luther, Ford, Hitler, Pelley and Lindbergh to warn them about the Jews.
They reincarnate for centuries and do nothing.
Now their chickens have come home to roost.
We krushed the Krauts. USA-USA-USA!
Here, Mister Soviet, have half of Europe!
It is pig-headed selfishness and cowardice that have brought the earthly white race to misery.
Pollution, vaccines and poisoned food make kids sick by the millions.
The Jews did it, and we did nothing about the Jews.
We cursed the warners.
The ways of karma are righteous and fair.
A cute little girl today, who had near-perfect parents, could have been an uncaring, unfeeling bastard in another life.
Should we let her just suffer now?
NO! It is not helping the suffering that ruined her karma in the first place!
It is by suffering, and then by the act of being helped by an unselfish person, that a selfish person learns the beauty of compassion.
Fireman goes head-first down 30 feet of hollow tree to bring Annabel up