It was the summer of 1997, and Julie and Andy Kemp and their son, Landon, were on the way home from church. They had just attended a service as a family and were happy to be spending time together. But then, something completely unexpected happened. An ambulance that was heading back to its station went through an intersection and crashed into the Kemp’s car, causing mayhem.
Andy Kemp didn’t make it.
He died instantly in the crash. Julie said:
“I didn’t see what he was yelling at. I didn’t see the ambulance coming, but I remembered him yelling. That was the last thing I heard from him.”
Once the paramedics got there, they turned their attention to Julie. They were able to stabilize her after a bit of work. But they didn’t realize that Landon was still in the car. He had been behind the driver’s seat, which was where the ambulance had hit. There were doubtful that he was OK.
At first, the paramedics didn’t even see Landon’s body.
There was so much damage to the car that it was difficult to see anything on that side of the vehicle. In fact, they only knew that they had to search for the little boy once they saw one of his shoes. Then, they got to work in order to save him. When they finally found him, he was limp, he wasn’t breathing, and he was unresponsive.
They immediately airlifted Landon to Carolinas Medical Center in North Carolina, but he was in very serious condition. He had to be resuscitated a total of three times during that day. That means that he was shockingly near death. The doctors told Julie that there was an overwhelming chance that he wouldn’t survive at all. If he did, he would be like an 8-year-old baby. And because Julie was so desperate to have her son back, that’s what she prayed for.
Soon, the family held a funeral for Andy.
During the funeral, Julie just couldn’t believe the turn her life had taken. She started to question God. Why had he done this to her family? Why hadn’t he sent down angels to protect her? She was upset with God for letting something so terrible happen in her life.
But despite her pain, she kept praying for God to protect Landon and keep him alive.
And two weeks later, he woke up from his coma and opened his eyes. Miraculously, he hadn’t suffered any brain damage. He was going to be OK.
Julie was ecstatic that her son was awake and still functional, but she knew that she had to deliver the bad news about his father. It broke her heart to have to tell him what happened. She asked him, “Do you know where dad is at?”
His response shocked Julie.
“Yes, I know where he’s at. I saw him in heaven.”
Landon proceeded to tell his mother that on the day of the crash when he had to be resuscitated – almost like experiencing death – he went to heaven and saw his father among other people he knew who had died. These people included two people he said were his siblings. Although Julie had never told Landon about the situation, she had had two miscarriages before Landon was born. That’s who Landon thought he saw when he was in heaven.
The third time he had to be resuscitated, Landon said he met Jesus. Jesus told him that he still had work to do on Earth and that he had to go back to the world and be a good Christian. So now, Landon does just that.
Landon’s words restored Julie’s faith.
Whether you believe that God orchestrated all of this, you have to admit that Landon’s story is truly a miracle.
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