One Sunday morning in 1997, Julie Kemp, her husband Andy and their eight-year-old son, Landon, were driving home from church when their car was struck by an ambulance at an intersection. Unfortunately, Andy died instantly, but the first responders were able to resuscitate and stabilize Julie.
But what they failed to realize was that there was a third passenger in the car with life-threatening injuries.
"They couldn't see his [Landon] body because of the damage that was done to the driver's side of the car and Landon was sitting behind his dad," Julie told CBN. "When they pulled Landon out from the back of the car, he was not breathing. And they all started working on him right away to bring him back."
The mother and son pair were transported to Carolina Medical Center where Landon was eventually resuscitated, but his heart stopped twice, meaning he died two more times that day.
Landon was brought back to life each time, but doctors told Julie that they had little hope that her son would survive after suffering such a massive head trauma.
Julie, who had been planning her husband's funeral, recalled feeling defeated and abandoned by God, but she did not give up hope or kept praying.
"He's hooked up to all kinds of machines to keep him alive," said Julie. "And there are no signs. There's nothing good or bad. They see nothing happening. I kept praying that he would open his eyes."
It took two weeks, but Landon finally opened his eyes, and to everyone's utter surprise, he did not sustain any damage to his brain. However, nothing came as a shock more than what Landon told his mother after she asked him if he knew where his father was.
"I asked Landon, do you know where your dad is? And he replied, "˜Yes, I know where he is. I saw him in heaven,'" Julie said.
Landon then proceeded to tell his mother more about his amazing experience in the afterlife.
Landon told his mother that he saw his deceased father and his friend Olan Palmer, who also died in a car accident a few months before, as well as Olan's son, Neil.
He described his miraculous encounter in great detail, recalling that "never one of us said a word to each other, but we were just all standing there."
However, it was what Landon told his mother next that is forever ingrained in her mind.
"He looked over to me and he says, "˜Oh mom, by the way, I forgot to tell you. I saw your other two kids,'" recalled Julie.
She was confused at first, but then she started to put the pieces together, and realized that the children Landon referred to were the babies she lost in miscarriages.
"We had never shared that with Landon," Julie admitted. "He did not know that we had lost two children before him."
As for Landon, he said he knew right away that the two kids were his siblings even though he was never told anything about them. He added, "Just being in Heaven, I guess you know"”you know your own or you know who everyone is."
In addition to seeing his deceased family members, Landon said he met Jesus when he died, and was given a mission.
"It was almost as if like a preview of a movie to where you only get to see certain bits and pieces of things," he explained. "Jesus came to me and told me that I have to go back to earth and be a good Christian and tell others about Him."
Landon kept that promise, and even today, 28-year-old Landon and Julie continue to share their story and message with everyone, including those who have suffered a loss and are in need of hope.
"It is a huge blessing that I get to watch my child tell others about Jesus," Julie admitted. "He is always willing to let others know that there is a heaven. Cause he's been there."
Have you or anyone you know been through a similar experience? Let us know!