'The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven' is a dual memoir penned by Kevin Malarkey and his son Alex. In 2004, when Alex was only six, Kevin and Alex were in a terrible car accident. While Kevin escaped with only relatively minor, non-lingering injuries, Alex's condition was serious. Alex suffered an internal decapitation - his skull became detached from his spinal cord. In medical terms, this is not compatible with life. Alex should have died, yet thanks to the persistent prayers of the paramedics, bystanders and Alex's family, Alex lived.
He was in a coma and never expected to come out. Even if he did awaken from his coma, doctors told Kevin and Alex's mother, Beth, that Alex would have severe brain damage and never again be the same boy they knew. They were told he would never be able to speak or even to swallow food on his own. Remarkably, none of this was true. Alex emerged from a coma with his personality fully intact. He relearned how to speak and to eat. Alex and his family never lost hope and have faith that one day Alex will even walk again.
If this wasn't remarkable enough, though, there is more to Alex's amazing story. As soon as he regained speech, Alex began telling his mother and father about what really happened when his body was so badly injured in the accident: Jesus took Alex's spirit to heaven. Ever wondered what heaven is really like? Alex knows. He's talked to Jesus and God the father, though he wasn't able to see God's face. Seeing angels became routine for Alex, even when his spirit and body were reunited. The struggle of Alex and his family to adapt to his painful new circumstances, Kevin came to realize, was a new battle in the age-old war between good and evil in the unseen spirit world.
Was Alex telling the truth, or did he simply have a very active imagination? Kevin Malarkey gives the various reasons why he doesn't think so. The Malarkeys are evangelical Christians, but they had never been the type of charismatic Christians who expected to have this personal type of supernatural experience. Even though Alex was only six when he had this experience, his description of heaven is completely consistent with the Bible.
Alex Malarkey is a humble survivor. Though he's shown incredible strength and resilience, he takes none of the credit. He gives God all the glory. He is truly a child readers will never forget.