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Kevin Malarkey was reluctant to write a book about his son Alex’s survival from a horrific car crash and the child’s supernatural experiences that ensued.
“I went to God and I asked Him,” Kevin said. “I wanted Him to say no.”
But with God’s blessing, in 2010, nearly six years after the accident, Kevin authored “The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven.” He shares Alex’s story, from seeing angels save his Dad to being in Heaven talking to Jesus.
Kevin will share their story during a National Day of Prayer program at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Kenton High School gym. It is open to the public.
Their story began on a rural Logan County Road on Nov. 14, 2004, when their Honda Civic was struck on the passenger side by another vehicle. It was the side where then 6-year-old Alex was seated.
Kevin ended up 50 feet from the car in a ditch, without any injuries. Alex, however, was still in the car, critically injured and paralyzed.
For two months, Alex was in a coma. When he regained consciousness, at first he could only communicate “yes” or “no” by how he moved his mouth, Kevin said.
It was during this time that Kevin first sensed something special was taking place with his son.
“I couldn’t figure out why he was smiling and looking over me,” Kevin said.
“I asked him if there was an angel in the room and he said no. I asked him if there were two angels and he said no. I asked him if there were five angels and he said no,” Kevin related. “Finally I asked him, ‘Is the room full of angels?’ and he said yes.”
Kevin dispelled the notion that he put the idea of angels into his son’s head. “It was my 50th or 60th question” after Alex came out of the coma, he said.
When Alex was able to talk, things about the accident came up in normal conversation, Kevin said.
Alex told his Dad that immediately after the crash he saw five angels carry his Dad out of the car and place him in the ditch. Alex said it was the same five angels who were with him in the car and accompanied him to Heaven.
“I’m 6-2, 200 pounds … how did I get out of the Civic with no other explanation?” Kevin asked. “How did I not get hurt? I was ejected 50 feet. I have no better explanation.”
Kevin said, “I don’t know the words to begin to describe how I felt when he said he saw me carried away by angels.”
Still, Kevin said, seven years of education at Ohio State University to become a therapist and counselor had made him “more of an analyzer” so he tried to discount Alex’s story about angels and Heaven.
One day Alex remembered about watching his Dad leave the accident scene in an ambulance.
“I was trying to disprove what he said. I said, ‘I’ve got you now,’” Kevin said.
Kevin said Alex had been taken away in a helicopter before he was put in the ambulance so there’s no way his son could have seen that.
“I didn’t’ watch from the helicopter, I watched from Heaven,” the boy told his Dad.
“I bet you’re not as skeptical as I was. I thought he had brain damage,” Kevin said. “But when he started recounting everything that happened on earth … he didn’t get it from me because I was unconscious.”
To those who think he wrote the book to profit off the family’s tragedy, Kevin said, “I didn’t want to write a book. I didn’t see any reason people would want to know about it.”
He added, “We were in survival mode for two to three years. We had moved to the area (near Huntsville) six weeks before the accident.”
He said many people didn’t know much about his family, only about the accident. “I just didn’t want to be the tragedy … someone that people made casseroles for.”
But it was when Alex was becoming the first child to receive the “Christopher Reeve surgery” to allow him to breathe without a ventilator that Kevin shared his story with a reporter from The Associated Press.
The reporter told Kevin he should write a book based on the boy’s medical situation alone.
With God’s support, the book project took off. A friend in Kevin’s small Bible class said he knew of a book agent who would be willing to represent Kevin and “everything happened from there.”
Today the book is in 17 languages and has been read by close to one million people. It was on the New York Times Best Seller list for two years.
“I don’t care whether people buy the book, I just want them to hear the story. It’s hard to hear the story and be the same,” Kevin said.
As for Alex, now 14, he will go to high school next year. He has been home schooled and Kevin said, “I’m proud of him. For all he’s endured to be on schedule (for schooling) is unbelievable.”
Kevin added, “To say he’s inspirational is an understatement.”
By TIM THOMAS