Colton Burpo’s account of visiting heaven when he nearly died of a burst appendix at the age of 4 is the subject of the book “Heaven Is for Real,” and an illustrated edition for children, “Heaven Is for Real for Kids.” Now aged 12, the son of Nebraska pastor Todd Burpo recounted sitting in Jesus' lap, meeting John the Baptist and his own departed great-grandfather, and having angels sing to him during his near-death experience.
- Hundreds Attend Girl's Birthday Party After Her Mom's Facebook Appeal Goes Viral
- S.O.S.: We Can't Stop Obsessing Over These Rihanna-Themed Cupcakes
- Survivor's Joe Anglim: I Fought with Everything I Had
- Bobby Flay's Rep Responds to Allegations That the Chef Cheated with His Assistant
- Sean Penn Shares A Snow Cone With Charlize Theron's Son in Adorable Family Outing (PHOTOS)
Colton also described watching his parents in the hospital during his several surgeries, as well as meeting a sister in heaven, which astonished his parents, who had never told him that his mother, Sonja, had suffered a miscarriage two years before Colton was born. Soon after his father began sharing Colton’s story from the pulpit of his Imperial, Neb., church, a publisher became interested. Now “Heaven Is for Real” has spent 52 straight weeks on the New York Times best-seller list.
Read an excerpt from ‘Heaven Is for Real’
Skeptics have questioned Colton’s account, attributing the vivid details of his description to his religious upbringing. But others believe that the boy really did have a glimpse of the hereafter.
Appearing on TODAY Tuesday with his parents, Colton stuck firmly to his account and told Savannah Guthrie that the details have not faded in the eight years since his near-death experience: “The things I remember most are my family members and Jesus,” he said.Video: ‘Heaven is for Real,’ for kids (on this page)
His father supports Colton’s story as well. “We questioned our son at first,” Todd Burpo told Guthrie. “But as parents, everyone can tell when their 4-year-old is telling the truth.”
Do you believe Colton Burpo really visited heaven and returned from death’s door to tell about it?
© 2012 MSNBC Interactive. Reprints