A little girl who claims that she visited heaven and met Jesus during a harrowing accident three years ago has mysteriously recovered from the chronic illnesses that she suffered beforehand, according to her mother.
Christy Beam, who recounts her daughter's story in a new book titled, "Miracles From Heaven," told The Church Boys podcast this week that Annabelle, 12, suffered from chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction, a painful disorder that involves how food is processed, among other complications, before a bizarre incident unfolded in 2011 in which she was trapped for hours inside of a hollowed-out tree.
Beam — who said it was during this accident that her daughter claims to have met Jesus and visited heaven — explained how Annabelle and her sisters were playing on the family farm in Texas three years ago when chaos unfolded.
"Annabelle and her sisters — they all three are rough and tumble country tom boys," she said. "They were out doing what they love to do which is climb trees. They climbed up and were just sitting on a branch talking, and then the branch began to give way."
Attempting to scramble to safety, Annabelle ended up falling into a hole on the side of the tree, tumbling 30 feet head-first into the trunk. The family was unaware at the time that the cottonwood tree had hollowed out after a branch detached, creating the dangerous opening.
"I kept thinking she climbed and had gotten stuck and needed help getting down," Beam said of her first thoughts when her frantic daughters ran into the house to explain what happened.
Listen to the harrowing story below:
Subscribe to The Church Boys on iTunes
The reality, of course, was much more dire, as firefighters and rescue teams arrived at the house and spent hours trying to figure out a way to get Annabelle out of the tree. They eventually rigged up a series of pulleys and ropes that made the rescue possible.
As the 9-year-old girl remained stuck inside of the trunk, Beam said that she had a troubling thought running through her mind.
"Anna had told me a few weeks prior that she wanted to die and go to heaven and live with Jesus, where there is no more pain, because the pain was so severe from her disorders that she was just so tired of living that life," the mother recalled. "And I remember thinking, 'Don't you take her, God, don't you answer her prayer like this."
Despite her fears, Beam said she also had a feeling of confidence, as though everything would somehow be okay.
In the end, the ropes and pulleys were successfully employed to rescue Annabelle and, remarkably, she had no severe injuries, though she was kept over night at a local hospital to be observed.
It was the next day that Beam learned of the supposedly heavenly encounter that the child had while inside of the tree.
"The next day after they released her from the hospital … we were driving down the road … and she just turned to me out of the blue … and she just said, 'You know mommy, I went to heaven when I was in that tree,' and that's how it started," Beam said. "My very, very first thought was, 'Did you hit your head really hard? Was it just a dream … what is she talking about?'"
But Beam said there were a number of elements that caused her to begin taking her daughter's story more seriously. For one, Annabelle described seeing her great-grandmother, who she said looked much younger in heaven, and also described a purported encounter with Jesus.
"She said that she sat on Jesus' lap and that they talked and that he said that the firemen will get her out and when they do there will be nothing wrong with you," Beam recalled. "And [Jesus said], 'I'm going to send my guardian angel to light the tree and to stay with you."
Annabelle recalled asking Jesus if she could stay in heaven, as she felt no pain during the encounter, but she told her mother that he said that wasn't possible.
"He said, 'I know you want to stay Anna, but I have plans for you on Earth that you can't fulfill in heaven,'" Beam recalled.
It wasn't long after that encounter that Annabelle said that she was suddenly aware of the fact that she was back inside of the tree, but that there was a light source that she believed came from an angel — a light inside the deep, dark of the tree that helped her find the ropes and pulleys that the firefighters had rigged up.
All that aside, Beam said that the key moment that convinced her that Annabelle was telling the truth came when she said that she saw a little girl in heaven who God told her was her sister.
"I had had two miscarriages, and one of them had been the creation of life," Beam told TheBlaze, noting that the other pregnancy resulted in a blighted ovum, a situation in which a fertilized egg doesn't develop.
She once told her daughters that she had two miscarriages, but did not go into detail about the blighted ovum.
"When Anna was telling me about [heaven], she said, 'I saw a little girl in heaven, mommy, and she looked just like you … and [she] said, 'I know that face and I asked God who is that little girl and he said, 'Anna, that's your sister' and that did it for me,'" Beam said. "I just remember thinking there's no way for her to have known."
The cottonwood tree (Christy Beam)
Beam said that she remembered thinking at the time that, if Annabelle were lying, she would have said that she saw two children in heaven, but, instead, she said she only saw one. Considering that only one of the pregnancies progressed, she was floored.
"I thought at that moment, 'This is real, this happened,'" Beam said.
After the incident with the tree, Annabelle's illnesses cleared up and she went from taking 10 medications per day to taking none, according to her mother.
"Her life is different and everybody sees it," she said.
Beam said that she and her daughter believe that the story, which is captured in the book "Miracles From Heaven" and will be a feature film set to release in 2016, will change lives and people's personal relationships with God.