A little girl claims she went to heaven after she fell from a tree and was cured of chronic sickness when she returned, according to a book released this week.
Four years after the incident, Miracles From Heaven: A Little Girl, Her Journey to Heaven, and Her Amazing Story of Healing tells her story. Sony is working on a film adaptation, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Annabel Beam's childhood was plagued by antral hypomotility and pseudo-obstruction motility disorders, her mother, Christy Beam, told Fox News. These incurable ailments, forms of gastroparesis, meant her intestinal muscles didn't work properly, causing her pain and extreme bloating after eating.
Beam said a suffering Annabel once told her she wanted to die and go to heaven rather than live in pain.
That all changed in 2011, after Annabel fell 30 feet from a tree and landed upside-down inside the hollowed-out trunk of a cottonwood.
Annabel claims that, in the five hours that firefighters worked to rescue her, she went to heaven and met Jesus.
"Whenever I fell, I saw heaven, and it was really bright, and I saw my MeeMee who had died a couple years back," Annabel, now 12, told the hosts on Fox News.
Since then, her mother says, Annabel hasn't suffered any gastrointestinal distress.
"I believe that I was cured because whenever I went to heaven I asked Jesus if I could stay with him and he said, 'No Annabel, I have plans for you on Earth,'" Annabel told the hosts. He promised to cure her so she could better carry out his work, she said.
She said Jesus has a brown beard, brown hair and a white robe, which corresponds to conventional depictions of Jesus.
Doctors haven't found an explanation for Annabel's sudden improvement. "They say that they don't know, that she shows no more symptoms," Beam said.
Stories of visits to heaven have exploded in popularity in recent years. Heaven Is For Real, a 2010 book based on a toddler's near-death experience, spent 59 weeks on The New York Times' best-seller list. The film adaptation of that book grossed $91 million domestically.
Another popular book in the genre, The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven, was revealed as a hoax when its young author confessed to fabricating his stories.