The film ‘Miracles From Heaven‘, which debuts in theaters next week, is getting the heavy Hollywood promotional campaign. Stars of the film include Jennifer Garner and Queen Latifah so it isn’t a ‘straight to video’ movie. Looking at the real story the film is based on shows that once again a faith-based movie isn’t what it seems.
The movie is based on the book about Annabel Beam, a young Texas girl who had two incurable illnesses but then one day didn’t have them and the Doctors were stumped.
Doctors are at a loss to explain why 12-year-old Annabel Beam is the picture of health today.
She shouldn’t be. At age 5, Annabel was diagnosed with two rare life-threatening digestive disorders that blocked her intestines.
There is no cure for pseudo-obstruction motility disorder and antral hypomotility disorder.
For years, the Burleson girl’s life was defined by near-constant pain, endless hospital visits, invasive testing and marginally effective treatments. At one point, she told her mother she wished she would die so she could go to heaven, where there would be no more pain.
But three years ago, in December 2011, something remarkable happened.
Annabel fell headfirst 30 feet into a hollow cottonwood tree, where she was trapped for six hours. But she came away from the ordeal uninjured, telling a story about meeting Jesus in heaven, and she suddenly tested symptom-free.
So is it a “miracle”?
It was lucky for sure but not a miracle.
AHD is when the stomach is delayed or doesn’t empty after eating and PMD is when food fails to move through the intestine. The person having either of the illnesses have trouble getting nutritional support since eating can make them sick. Young Annabel Beam had both conditions.
One thing to take note of is PMD can be a secondary disorder. That means it can appear as a result of another illness. AHD has a neurological component which means the head trauma as result of her fall in 2011 could have corrected the AHD much like some people with head trauma could speak with a Foreign accent after recovery.
Although the girl’s doctor says he isn’t sure what happened, it is possible that when the AHD resolved itself the PMD went away.
The parents also think this is the more correct reasoning of how their daughter got well:
Have you ever been given a sound scientific explanation for what prompted her recovery?
They really don’t know. My husband, Kevin, is a veterinarian and very scientifically minded. He went over everything, but he couldn’t come up with anything concrete to explain it.
Annabel’s problems involved nerve damage. Her digestive system would not process solid food because her muscles would not fire synchronically, because the nerves could not give the message to the muscles.
Kevin was thinking, “Well, she did hit her head three times during the fall. Maybe it jostled something in her nervous system.” But the best that anyone can do is guess. All I know is she is asymptomatic, on zero medication and released from the care of a specialist.
Sometimes medical science and especially science of the brain is hard to explain when something goes away suddenly or shows up suddenly. That doesn’t mean god did it.
When scientists say “we don’t know” they aren’t saying we will never know only that there isn’t enough information to draw a complete conclusion.
The reason the family published the book was because the mother believed the girl when she said she saw heaven while unconscious from the fall.
These “I saw heaven, Mommy” stories don’t usually turn out to be the truth and from what we know from science no one has actually died and come back to life.
“Miracles From Heaven” is a faith-based movie targeted at evangelical Christians and other folks who believe in near death experiences. It plays loose with the medical science to manipulate the emotional reaction of viewers.
I think this film would be a better family film if the god talk was left out and it was an examination of unexplained medical science.
Sometimes stuff happens and we might not know why but we might in the future.