29 Aug 2016 Amber is ok! Positive trip to Alvarado Veterinary Clinic for our senior cat for ear infection, Miracles from Heaven (Annabel Beam story and 2016 movie)

Hi again, just wanted to let you know Amber is ok and tell you what was going on should you have a cat or know someone with a cat having a similar experience.  The gist of what was going on was for the past three weeks, Amber has had a goopy substance that dried dark brown coming out of her ears.  I was trying to treat the condition with an over the counter cleaning solution, a lot of hydrogen peroxide and Neosporin.   We weren’t sure if it was mites, an infection of some kind or something more serious.  She was shaking her head a lot and “flinging the stuff.”  Nothing like cleaning dried brown ear goop off of your walls….even grosser to do the actual cleaning!  Lots of ear swabs and cotton pads!

We decided enough was enough and  took her over to the Alvarado Vet Clinic here in town a bit ago and Dr. Kayla Kurtz took a look at her.  Apparently what I had been doing by cleaning her ear with cleaning solution and mostly hydrogen peroxide helped the diagnosis, she just needed a bit of extra help (antibiotic)!  Dr. Kurtz wasn’t sure if it was mites or something else as the ear looked clean despite some inflammation.  She decided it looked like a minor infection so they did a thorough cleaning of both ears and a antibiotic pack in both ears.  Dr. Kurtz said she didn’t like to use an oral antibiotic if she could help it, I think the success rate with cats is lower with orals (least that has been our experience!).  Amber isn’t real happy with us right now but I feel better and hopefully she will too!

I want to thank Dr. Kurtz and the folks at the clinic for restoring our faith in you today.  You took the least invasive approach as possible with my little old lady cat and I appreciate that.  The reason, and I told Dr. Kurtz this, that we had delayed bringing Amber in is was because of her age.  I was afraid to bring her into the vet because I was afraid of what the news would be because she is so old.  After cleaning her ears for three weeks and the “goop” not subsiding, we  knew we had to take her in.  She needed help we were incapable of giving to her and we didn’t want her in pain or suffering if such was the case.   We were prepared with our “answers” should it of been more serious….our prayers were answered and it wasn’t.  She’s just a little old lady indoor cat with an immune system that isn’t quite what it used to be!

In the waiting room I played with the fish in their huge aquarium.  One in particular, I think the eldest of them, loved my sparkly bracelets.

This book (which is also a movie I’ve discovered) was on the counter at the clinic; it looks inspirational but I can tell from nearly breaking down just watching the trailer that it might be better for me to read the book than watch the movie lol!  Tearjerker alert!



http://www.historyvshollywood.com/reelfaces/miracles-from-heaven/ – this is a “fact check” kind of thing regarding the real story versus what was in the movie.  I think it’s important to read and view things mindfully but to me the only thing that really matters is that Annabel got better – whatever and however it happened.  It’s her experience and was for her.  I won’t discount what her vision of heaven was in her experience….it’s her heaven.   Anytime you have a movie made about something like this exaggeration and dramatization is going to happen but it doesn’t detract from what it all means TO and FOR Annabel.   She’s a blessed little girl no matter what.

Miracles from Heaven (2016)

Starring Jennifer Garner, Martin Henderson, Queen Latifah, Kylie Rogers | based on the memoir ‘Miracles from Heaven‘ by Christy Beam

Jennifer Garner as Christy Beam
Jennifer Garner
Born: April 17, 1972
Houston, Texas, USA
Christy Wilson Beam
Christy Beam
Born: June 8, 1972
Birthplace: Abilene, Texas, USA
Kylie Rogers as Annabel Beam
Kylie Rogers
Born: February 18, 2004
Dallas, Texas, USA
Annabel Beam
Annabel Beam
Born: September 10, 2002
Birthplace: Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Martin Henderson as Kevin Beam
Martin Henderson
Born: October 8, 1974
Auckland, New Zealand
Kevin A. Beam
Kevin Beam
Born: April 11, 1972
Birthplace: Texas, USA
Brighton Sharbino as Abbie Beam
Brighton Sharbino
Born: August 19, 2002
Flower Mound, Texas, USA
Abbie Beam
Abbie Beam
Born: February 20, 2000
Birthplace: Bryan, Texas, USA
Courtney Fansler as Adelynn Beam
Courtney Fansler
Adelynn Beam
Adelynn Beam
Born: December 2, 2004
Birthplace: Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Queen Latifah as Angela Bradford
Queen Latifah (born Dana Elaine Owens)
Born: March 18, 1970
Newark, New Jersey, USA
Angela Cimino
Angela Cimino
Born: November 9, 1970
Birthplace: USA
Eugenio Derbez as Dr. Samuel Nurko
Eugenio Derbez
Born: September 2, 1962
Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Dr. Samuel Nurko
Dr. Samuel Nurko
Born: December 31, 1956
Birthplace: USA
John Carroll Lynch as Pastor Scott Sharman
John Carroll Lynch
Born: August 1, 1963
Boulder, Colorado, USA
Pastor Scott Sharman
Pastor Scott Sharman
Born: 1956
Birthplace: USA
I believe that I was cured because whenever I went to heaven, I asked Jesus if I could stay with him and he said, ‘No, Annabel. I have plans for you on Earth that you cannot fulfill in heaven,’ and he said, ‘Whenever I send you back, there will be nothing wrong with you.’ -Annabel Beam, Fox and Friends, April 2015

Questioning the Story:

What disorders did Annabel Beam suffer from?The Miracles from Heaven true story reveals that when Annabel Beam was five years old she was diagnosed with two rare life-threatening digestive disorders, pseudo-obstruction motility disorder and antral hypomotility disorder, which resulted in frequent hospital stays (FoxNews.com). The former is characterized by altered and inefficient contractions (peristalsis) of the muscles in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which help to move food content along. Instead of food content being passed efficiently, the intestines react as if there is a blockage, leading to inefficient absorption of nutrients. The latter, antral hypomotility disorder, is characterized by weak contractions in the antrum part of the stomach.

Anna Beam and actress Kylie Rogers
The real Anna Beam (left) had suffered from two rare digestive disorders. Actress Kylie Rogers (right) as Annabel Beam in the Miracles from Heaven movie.

Did they really take Annabel to Boston to see a gastroenterologist?

Yes. In search of help for Annabel’s digestive disorders, they made trips to both Austin and Boston to see specialists. Dr. Nurko (Eugenio Derbez) is based on real-life Boston doctor Samuel Nurko. Like in the movie, he was one of the few doctors in the country still allowed to prescribe Cisapride, which had been taken off the market due to certain side effects. The real Dr. Nurko has a cameo in the movie. When the journalist, Ben Wexler (Wayne Pére), asks Christy (Jennifer Garner) to step out into the hall to talk, the real Dr. Nurko can be seen walking passed them.

Did Kevin Beam run his own veterinary clinic?

No. Though he had dreams of a family business, Kevin Beam had been working as part of a team of doctors at the Alvarado Veterinary Clinic since around 2002. Despite the family being stressed financially, the movie exaggerates the weight on Kevin’s shoulders by adding the stress of trying to get a family business off the ground as medical-related bills are flooding in. In the book, Christy Beam says that Kevin’s partners at the clinic were very supportive when he had to miss work and readjust his schedule. Miracles from Heaven book

Did Christy and Annabel really go to Boston without an appointment?

No. Though Christy says that “it took several months and a lot of persistent prayer” to get Annabel an appointment to see Dr. Nurko, they already had an appointment with him when they embarked on their first trip to Boston. Fact-checking Miracles from Heaven revealed that Christy’s sister Angie, who is not shown in the movie, went with them on the trip. -Miracles from Heaven book

Did Christy and her daughter Annabel first meet Angela at a restaurant?

Yes. As we investigated the Miracles from Heaven true story, we discovered that Queen Latifah’s character, Angela Bradford, is based on a real-life woman named Angela Cimino, a single mom of three. Like in the Miracles from Heaven movie, they met Angela when Annabel accidentally knocked over a large glass of Sprite at the hotel restaurant. Their busy waiter dropped off a few cocktail napkins. Angela stepped in with a stack of paper towels. They got to talking and she offered to show them the city the following day. They became friends, and like in the movie, Angela helped them on future trips to Boston, including giving them a place to stay. In real life, Angela is white, not black.

Did an airline ticket agent really help Kevin Beam get tickets when his credit cards were declined?

Not exactly, but a similar act of kindness supposedly did occur in real life. On his way to the airport with daughters Abbie and Adelynn, Kevin Beam called each credit card company and tried to get them to extend his limit. Abbie handed him card after card until he finally found himself speaking with a customer rep who gave him a “tentative go-ahead.” She couldn’t raise the maximum but told him to try the card anyway. “You never know,” the rep told Kevin. “It might go through.” -Miracles from Heaven book

Annabel Beam in Hospital
The real Annabel Beam during one of her hospital stays for her digestive disorders prior to the accident.

Did Kevin Beam really sell his motorcycle to help pay for the travel and treatments for Annabel?

No. Though he did own a motorcycle, the real Kevin Beam sold his “tricked out” pickup truck to help pay for the hospital-related travel and treatments for Annabel. -Miracles from Heaven book

Is the journalist whose daughter has cancer based on a real person?

No, it doesn’t appear that Ben Wexler (Wayne Pére), the journalist who initially doesn’t believe in God, is based on a real person. In the movie, Ben’s daughter suffers from cancer and is a temporary roommate of Annabel. Ben sees how much pain Annabel is in, and after Annabel’s sudden recovery, he finds himself believing that she’s telling the truth. The character Ben and his daughter Haley do not appear in Christy Beam’s Miracles from Heaven book.

Did Annabel really fall headfirst into a hollow tree trunk?

Yes. In December 2011, Annabel Beam fell 30 feet headfirst down into the rotted-out trunk of a cottonwood tree. Several hours passed before emergency personnel were able to harness Annabel to safety. -FoxNews.com

Exactly how long was the real Annabel Beam stuck in the tree?

“She was in the tree about five hours,” says her mom, Christy Beam (FoxNews.com). Unlike the movie, emergency personnel convinced Annabel to tie her own harness and she was conscious when they hoisted her out of the tree (Kens5.com).

Was she stuck upside down the whole time she was in the tree?

No. In fact-checking Miracles from Heaven, we learned that Annabel was not upside down the entire time. “She at one point was able to right herself,” says mother Christy. “So, she was in a fetal position for the majority of the time.” -FoxNews.com

The Beam Family
The real Beam family in 2015 in front of the tree that changed their lives. From left to right: dad Kevin, Adelynn, Annabel, mom Christy, and Abbie.

Was Annabel injured during the fall?

No. Luckily, despite supposedly being knocked unconscious during the fall, she survived without injury. As a precaution, she was life-flighted to the hospital. -FoxNews.com

Did the symptoms of her digestive disorders really disappear after the fall?

Yes. In researching the Miracles from Heaven true story, we learned that according to Annabel’s mother, Christy Beam, her daughter’s symptoms miraculously vanished after the fall. Prior to the accident, Annabel had been in “severe chronic pain all the time” for a significant portion of her childhood. -FoxNews.com

Did Annabel’s digestive disorders cause her so much pain that she told her mom she wanted to die?

According to Annabel’s mom Christy, this is true. At one point, Annabel told her that she wanted to die and live in heaven with Jesus. “She was just in severe chronic pain all the time,” says Christy. “Her belly was greatly distended all the time. Eating and drinking was a challenge.” -FoxNews.com

Christy Beam and Jennifer Garner
The real Christy Beam (left) says that her daughter told her she wanted to die and go live with Jesus in heaven. Jennifer Garner (right) portrays Christy Beam in the Miracles from Heaven movie.

Did the real Annabel Beam claim to see her grandma in heaven?

Yes. “Whenever I fell, I saw heaven and it was really bright,” Annabel said, “and I saw my MeeMee who had died a couple years back. And that’s how I knew I was in heaven. She looked a little bit younger than she had whenever I last saw her.” -FoxNews.com

What does Annabel say that Jesus looked like?

“Well, he had like a brown beard and brown hair and a long white robe,” Annabel told Fox and Friends during a 2015 interview, roughly four years after the fall.

Did Jesus tell Annabel that he was going to cure her?

According to Annabel, during her visit to heaven, she asked Jesus if she could stay with him so that she could escape the pain she was in. She said that Jesus responded by saying, “No, Annabel, I have plans for you on Earth that you cannot fulfill in heaven … Whenever I send you back, there will be nothing wrong with you.” -FoxNews.com

Was Annabel really symptom free after the accident?

While fact-checking Miracles from Heaven, we learned that according to Christy Beam, Annabel’s mom, her daughter has not been hospitalized for her digestive disorders since before the fall, and she no longer exhibits the associated symptoms. During a 2015 interview on Fox and Friends, Christy said that her daughter was currently taking no medications.

Christy Beam, Annabel Beam and Jennifer Garner
The real Christy Beam (left) and daughter Annabel Beam (center) pose with actress Jennifer Garner (right). Courtesy Christy Beam.

What do the doctors say about Annabel’s miraculous recovery?

“They just say that she’s asymptomatic,” says Annabel Beam’s mom Christy. “They’ve released us from the care of a pediatric gastroenterologist, specialist. … They say that they don’t know, but that she shows no more symptoms and she is on zero medications today.” -FoxNews.com

Is it possible that Annabel Beam’s story is a hoax?

Yes. Supposed true stories about people visiting heaven have increased in popularity in recent years. Though there is often no real way to prove them true or false, a few have turned into cash cows for their subjects. With the case of the Beam family and Miracles from Heaven, one could conclude that financial worries led the family to fabricate the story, but there is currently no way to prove that assertion. Is it possible that Annabel was knocked unconscious during the fall and had a dream? Should we simply dismiss Annabel’s sudden recovery and explain it as the mesmerized doctor suggested in the movie, that bumping her head might have knocked things into place with regard to her nervous system? Or is that in itself a miracle?

Other stories of trips to heaven include Heaven is for Real, the story of a toddler’s visit to heaven. The book was on The New York Times’ best-seller list for 59 weeks and the film adaptation earned $91 million in the U.S. alone. The family in that story also struggled financially before the book was published. Another successful book, The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven, was revealed to be a hoax when its young subject disavowed the story and stated that his visit to heaven was a fabrication. The boy, Alex Malarkey, had been left a quadriplegic after a severe traffic accident. His father, Kevin Malarkey, helped to author the story and capitalized on his son’s injury.