Miracles from Heaven

“Miracles from Heaven” is the true story of a young family in Texas who have a 10 year old daughter, Annabel, who contracts an incurable bowel disease, making it difficult for her to eat, constantly bloated, and in pain most of the time.  The young girl’s mother fights hard to get the best medical care for her daughter and through sheer determination obtains an appointment with the leading specialist.  Unfortunately, the treatment from this renowned authority is unable to help Annabel.  The best he can do is make her life more comfortable.  The chances of an early death are high.  There seems to be no hope for Annabel.  One day, when Annabel is playing with her two sisters she decides to climb a tree, something she loves to do but hasn’t done for a long time because of her illness.  Thirty feet up in this tree, along with her older sister, a branch gives way and Annabel falls inside the large hollowed out trunk all the way to the bottom.  After a rescue that takes several hours, Annabel is flown to the hospital in a helicopter breathing but unconscious.  The emergency doctor who treats Annabel is shocked to discover no bruising, no broken bones and no concussion from the thirty foot fall.  In the days that follow the accident, Annabel’s bowel disease goes into remission – she miraculously gets better.  After being examined by the leading specialist she is pronounced cured of her incurable disease.

Seeing children in pain is hard for me and this movie is essentially two hours of a sweet young girl in agony.  Personally I would have rather seen the illness and recovery dealt with early in the story leaving the rest of the film to develop the reasons why some will believe this is a miracle and some will not.  For me, that’s the more interesting story – and less painful to watch.

Nevertheless, I did enjoy the movie.  The payoff is worth the trip for the most part.  This is a well-made film with quality acting, directing, and overall production.  For those inclined to discount the miracle of Annabel’s recovery as nothing more than an unexplained remission of symptoms; the film offers a final speech by Annabel’s mother, who makes the case that whenever we experience acts of love from strangers we are experiencing a miracle from God.

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