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Child's Near-Death Experience in Nebraska
February 18, 2011 6:31 AM   Subscribe

After a near-death experience, boy claims Heaven is a real place.

On a family trip to Colorado, 3-year-old Colton Burpo complained of stomach pains. He was misdiagnosed and taken back home, and it turns out his appendix had ruptured 5 days previously. He survived two surgeries, and recovered. Four months later, the then-4-year-old Colton told his parents about fantastic visions of Heaven and communicating with deceased relatives, similar to other documented NDEs.

Over the years, Colton's "visions became more believable. He described Jesus, and he even talked about Armageddon and how God told him his father would fight in the final battle. Although [Colton's father] Todd was a pastor, he says he never talked detail like this with his preschool aged son. "

The family wrote a book about it.
posted by rodmandirect (33 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: NDEs are like NDEs but one newsy link and a book link is a bit thin for a post on a touchy topic here. -- jessamyn



 
Colton Burpo complained of stomach pains

If you want us to believe this story is real, you can't put obvious joke names in it.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:34 AM on February 18, 2011


Although [Colton's father] Todd was a pastor, he says he never talked detail like this with his preschool aged son.

Sure, maybe not with him. But around him? Hmm.
posted by lydhre at 6:35 AM on February 18, 2011


So what did he say? Is it a place that nothing ever happens?
posted by Dr Dracator at 6:35 AM on February 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


So this is Local News Morning on Metafilter, huh?
posted by item at 6:35 AM on February 18, 2011


Did they include an addendum listing the drugs given to the toddler during his ordeal or... wait, the dad's a pastor.
posted by jsavimbi at 6:36 AM on February 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hah. That's cute. A three year old is wrong about something.
posted by dortmunder at 6:37 AM on February 18, 2011 [10 favorites]


Heaven is a real place pro-life propaganda tool.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 6:38 AM on February 18, 2011


My parents never taught me to use a New England accent. Yet I have one. You can't explain that.
posted by Plutor at 6:38 AM on February 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


Weird that this is resurfacing... I remember seeing someone link this same exact "story" elsewhere back in November of last year.
posted by the other side at 6:38 AM on February 18, 2011


I bet he also thinks Santa is real!
posted by ghharr at 6:38 AM on February 18, 2011


Anesthesia is God!
posted by fairmettle at 6:39 AM on February 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I bet he also thinks Satan is real!
posted by unSane at 6:39 AM on February 18, 2011


I was under the impression that heaven is a place on earth.
posted by Bromius at 6:39 AM on February 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


I bet he also thinks Satan is real!

Probably also a virgin.
posted by fuq at 6:41 AM on February 18, 2011


Satan's not a virgin. Shows what you know.
posted by item at 6:41 AM on February 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Given that God seems intent on keeping everybody in a state of deliberate vagueness over whether he exists or not, allowing someone to return from the brink of death with memories of talking to people in Heaven seems to me to be a tad clumsy, unless he's setting the kid up to be a prophet I suppose.

Thus, I don't believe a word of it. The kid probably picked it up from the ambient chatter.
posted by mathw at 6:42 AM on February 18, 2011


Kids are dumb, we all know where Heaven is
posted by The Whelk at 6:42 AM on February 18, 2011


Did they include an addendum listing the drugs given to the toddler during his ordeal...

Dad, is this real life?”
posted by ericb at 6:43 AM on February 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was under the impression that heaven is a place on earth.

I agree. Here's corroboration from Belinda Carlisle, the future Mrs. Haddock circa 1988.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 6:44 AM on February 18, 2011


I suppose his young age is supposed to be evidence that he couldn't have been fed information on what an NDE is supposed to be like.

BS. Three year olds know a LOT and in particular a religiously-raised 3 year old is going to know a lot about heaven.

But even without that, this story proves nothing. An NDE can be a real experience, with light and visions of dead relatives without ACTUALLY being dead relatives. When you have a dream about a monster, no one doubts the dream was real but also no one believes the monster was.
posted by DU at 6:44 AM on February 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Erm, here. Sorry Belinda baby.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 6:44 AM on February 18, 2011


When my daughter was three, she believed that Barney The Dinosaur was real...so it MUST be true!
posted by briank at 6:45 AM on February 18, 2011


My parents never taught me to use a New England accent. Yet I have one. You can't explain that.

Words come in, words go out. You can't explain that.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 6:47 AM on February 18, 2011


Wait wait wait...Belinda Carlisle told me that heaven was a place on earth. Did she lie?
posted by spicynuts at 6:47 AM on February 18, 2011


You know, the mind is a funny place. It's conceivable that seconds before death, as your mind dies, you lose the ability to perceive time. You know how you can have a dream that seems like it lasts for hours when you were only asleep for seconds? Imagine that but on a massively expanded scale. One second before death, you mind has 100 years of memories. You might perceive your last moment alive as lasting years.

But that doesn't change the fact that after that second is over, you are dead, your brain is dead, and you are gone.
posted by Pastabagel at 6:47 AM on February 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I currently work for Satan, and I can assure you, heaven is where he and all his demons live (here on Earth).
posted by whimsicalnymph at 6:47 AM on February 18, 2011


Well, that crushed my cynical disregard for traditional theism. See you in church next Sunday!
posted by MasonDixon at 6:47 AM on February 18, 2011


Ah crap. Someone put me in time out.
posted by spicynuts at 6:47 AM on February 18, 2011


So the only "substantive" link is to a story on the website of a local Fox Affiliate? Really? *Golf Clap*
posted by The Bellman at 6:47 AM on February 18, 2011


it's mighty convenient for this 3 year old to latch onto an exactly particular theology about the nature of heaven, god and the end times to discover
posted by the mad poster! at 6:47 AM on February 18, 2011


500,000 copies of the book have been printed and there are now talks of a movie.

Wow, the lead was really buried there...
posted by gagglezoomer at 6:48 AM on February 18, 2011


All they're after is attention.
posted by jimmythefish at 6:48 AM on February 18, 2011


Incredibly convenient. Impossibly convenient.

Why don't NDEs happen to three year old children of atheists?
posted by Han Tzu at 6:49 AM on February 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


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