When Julie Kemp, her husband Andy, and their 8-year-old son Landon were involved in a car crash on their way home from church in 1997, her husband was killed instantly. Her son Landon also died. Twice.
Landon was resuscitated by emergency responders and flown to the hospital but died two more times that day.
Miraculously, Landon was brought back to life by the doctors at the Carolinas Medical Center in North Carolina, but it was unlikely he would survive.
Julie explains what the doctors told her about her son: “They told me that if he lived, which did not look good, but that if he lived, that he would be like an 8-year-old baby. That he would not know how to walk or talk or to eat because of all the brain damage.” She added, “I was so desperate that that was okay. I would take that just to have him. He was all that I had.”
She further explained the hopelessness of the situation: “He’s hooked up to all kinds of machines to keep him alive. And there are no signs. There’s nothing good or bad. They see nothing happening. I kept praying that he would open his eyes.”
He spent two weeks in a coma and then woke…with no brain damage.
Landon’s mom knew she would have to tell him that his dad had died, saying, “He had scars on his face. And his head was just full of hurt. And I didn’t want to hurt him anymore. So I asked Landon, I said Landon, do you know where your dad is at? And he told me, ‘Yes, I know where he’s at. I saw him in heaven.’”
The boy also saw two children that Julie had miscarried in the years before Landon was born. Surprisingly, Landon was never told about these children.
She commented on how Landon described it: “He looked over to me and he says, ‘Oh mom, by the way, I forgot to tell you. I saw your other two kids.’ And I just looked at him because I wasn’t sure what he was talking about. But I had two miscarriages before Landon was born. And he saw them in heaven. We had never shared that with Landon. He did not know that we had lost two children before him.”
Even though he didn’t know about them in life, he somehow knew who they were, explaining, “I knew that they were my siblings even though no one had ever told me about them. Just being in Heaven, I guess you know—you know your own or you know who everyone is.”
Landon also recalls other details about his experience, noting, “I remember being able to see my dad and his friend Olan Palmer who had passed away less than a month before he did, also in a car accident, and Olan’s son Neil Palmer who had died on a 4-wheeler years before. And it was funny because I remember us all like standing in a square. Never one of us said a word to each other, but we were just all standing there.”
The experience gave Landon a greater mission, as he notes, “I know I’m doing it for Jesus. I know that He’s real. I know that angels are there. I know that there’s a heaven. I’ve seen Jesus. I know He’s there. He’s asked me to do this and this is what I’m doing.”