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To Heaven and Back: A Doctor's Extraordinary Account of Her Death, Heaven, Angels, and Life Again: A True Story [Kindle Edition]

Mary C. Neal Md
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,572 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.99
Kindle Price: $7.99
You Save: $7.00 (47%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

A kayak accident during a South American adventure takes one woman to heaven — where she experienced God’s peace, joy, and angels — and back to life again.
 
 
In 1999 in the Los Rios region of southern Chile, orthopedic surgeon, devoted wife, and loving mother Dr. Mary Neal drowned in a kayak accident. While cascading down a waterfall, her kayak became pinned at the bottom and she was immediately and completely submerged. Despite the rescue efforts of her companions, Mary was underwater for too long, and as a result, died.
 
To Heaven and Back is Mary’s remarkable story of her life’s spiritual journey and what happened as she moved from life to death to eternal life, and back again. Detailing her feelings and surroundings in heaven, her communication with angels, and her deep sense of sadness when she realized it wasn’t her time, Mary shares the captivating experience of her modern-day miracle.
 
Mary’s life has been forever changed by her newfound understanding of her purpose on earth, her awareness of God, her closer relationship with Jesus, and her personal spiritual journey suddenly enhanced by a first-hand experience in heaven.  To Heaven and Back will reacquaint you with the hope, wonder, and promise of heaven, while enriching you own faith and walk with God.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Q&A with Mary C. Neal, M.D.

Mary C. Neal

Q. How did you feel when you died? Did you know what was happening?

A. I was acutely aware of everything that was happening. I knew that my efforts to exit the boat were not working, that I was out of air, and that I was too far from the riverbank for anyone to reach me. I knew that I would probably die. Having grown up with a fear of drowning, I was surprised to find my transition from life to death was seamless, peaceful, and beautiful. I felt quite wonderful.

Q. What was your faith life like before your death?

A. Before my near-death-experience, I believed in God and took my kids to Sunday school but was not particularly religious. Like many accomplished young adults, I felt like I was in control of my life and my future. Although I tried to be a "good" and "moral" person, my faith was not integrated into my daily life and the demands of work and family left little time to think about spirituality.

With my near-death-experience, the truth of God's promises and the reality of eternal life became a part of my every breath. I am in constant prayer and regardless of what I am doing, I try to reflect God's love and live for His glory. I try not to miss opportunities to uplift or encourage the spiritual life of others, and I live with gratitude and joy, knowing that I never face challenges alone.

Q. Why do you think you came back to life?

A. I certainly didn't want to return to Earth, but was given information about some of the work I had yet to complete and wasn't really given a choice. I was expected to share my experiences and my story with others, helping transform their faith into compete trust that God keeps His promises.

Q. Do you have any regrets about this experience?

A. I have not a hint of regret. In fact, my death and return to life is the greatest gift I have ever received, and I am continually grateful for having had this experience.

Q. How do you explain why this happened to you?

A. I have always been a private person, am not known to be a writer, and do not relish the attention of speaking. I have been asked this question many times. I do not know the answer, but I am a scientist by training, a skeptic by nature, and a very concrete, rational thinker. Perhaps, I was given this job because I have a developed a lifetime of credibility.

Q. How is your experience compared to others who've gone to heaven and come back to physical life?

A. I have not read many accounts of other people's experiences, but I have had many patients over the years tell me about their own near-death experiences. It seems that most stories, mine included, contain some consistent elements--that of an overwhelming sense of God's love and forgiveness, intense peace and beauty and no desire to return to Earth. Everyone recalls the details with precision and each person is profoundly affected by the experience. In these ways, my experience is quite similar.

Q. What do you want people to know about heaven?

A. God's unconditional love for each of us is intense, complete, and is reflected in all of Heaven. Before we return to Heaven, our real home, we have an incredible opportunity on Earth to face challenges that will help us learn, grow and to become more Christ-like in the fruits of our spirit. Our time is so short that we need to be about God's business every day.

About the Author

As seen on the Dr. Oz Show, Dr. Mary Neal is a board-certified orthopaedic spine surgeon who drowned while kayaking on a South American river. She experienced life after death. She went to heaven and back, conversed with angels, and experienced God's all-encompassing love. She was returned to Earth with some specific instructions for work she still needed to do. Her life has been one filled with the miracles and intervention of God. Her story gives reason to live by faith and is a story of hope. Dr. Neal was born and raised in Michigan and graduated from the University of Kentucky before attending the UCLA medical school. She completed her orthopaedic surgery training at the University of Southern California after which she lived in Sweden, Switzerland, and Los Angeles while undergoing 1 1/2 years of specialty training in spinal surgery before becoming the director of spine surgery at USC. Five year later, she left the University and moved to Jackson Hole, Wyoming with her husband and children.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2101 KB
  • Print Length: 242 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0307731715
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press; 1 edition (May 23, 2012)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0085CAIZ2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,081 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
864 of 914 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most of all true February 9, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
At the same time that Dr. Mary Neal was drowning in a river in Chile, her husband, Bill, appeared to me in a dream. Bill is an old friend of mine from high school. We had shared many adventures and confidences over the years, but neither he nor any other friend had ever stared at me in a dream and woke me up. I shook it off at the time, only to learn a few days or weeks later why I had seen him.

The story of her experiences from the drowning, through the repeated revivals and her ultimate survival are the events upon which this book is anchored. But the meat and meaning of it are in the unfolding of her life as guided and protected by her God. I'm obviously no disinterested party. Skeptics can be reassured by my report that if it came from Mary's pen, it will be the truth and the whole truth. I doubt, however, that her or anyone's personal account can penetrate fully into the modern psyche. That is, into those who think that they need proof of what we call God. As an account of a brush with the Hereafter, here have been many others similar to it, and they're well enough known to be used as shorthand in bad films.

What Mary and those like her have experienced are gifts from somewhere, given not just to them. She gives it back to us disguised as a simple offering. She doesn't baffle the reader with melodrama, hyperbole, fantasy, or excessive adjectives. She tells her story in a concise & detailed way, with a voice of eloquent and unadorned sincerity. In this way, it's easy to read and difficult to put down, vividly descriptive and completely convincing, humbling and inspiring.

Fortunately for us, she kept waking up in the middle of the night until she couldn't keep from writing it down for us. The reason to read this remarkable account is witness, which is one of the few ways that we have left to hack a little hole in our jungle of unbelief.
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250 of 273 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This book is a thoughtful memoir and spiritual journey by a remarkable woman. The author's medical training and experiences served, not to distance herself from a seemingly incomprehensible God who makes people suffer, but to draw her and her family closer to God by seeing His work in their lives.

Sometimes, I think it is much harder for people with a scientific turn of mind and training in the sciences and medicine to believe in God when all education is pretty much "it all happened by chance" and is indeed structured to teach that chance is the only reason things happen. Believe me, I went to school for 9 years after high school and all of that training was science and a lot was overlapping with the science that medical doctors study, because I studied biology, biochemistry and immunology. So I resonated with this book and Dr. Neal's journey--especially when she writes that "science and spirituality were assumed to be incompatible."

Interestingly, the description of drowning (the author nearly drowned in a river in Chile) is exactly what a friend of mine described to me had happened to him as a child. The patients who describe their spiritual experiences, rather than embarrass Dr. Neal, help her to see God is present and working in all of our lives. She keeps her eyes wide open and her faith becomes stronger, not weaker, in the face of many tragedies.

If you yourself are asking "Who is God, what is He, is there a God and how do I form a relationship with God?" this book could be an inspiring starting point. It is gripping, the stories are real-life and huge.
Read more ›
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212 of 233 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Leap of Faith December 27, 2011
By hoytann
Format:Paperback
In our analytical, data driven world, we are lulled into the belief that we know it all, or at least we can research what we don't know. That eliminates the leap of faith it takes to take part in many of the most rewarding experiences in life. If we spent time analyzing all the possible problems associated with experiences like having and raising children, getting married, moving to a new town and starting a career, most of us would stay in bed. Mary Neal has shown us that there is so much in our world that we can't actually see, but must take a leap of faith and believe. Her story is told in such a way that we are drawn in and vicariously experience all that she went through. After finishing the book, it's impossible not to continue to mentally revisit her experiences, and notice all that is holy in our own lives. This book shows you that faith comes in many forms, and can be strengthened through our interactions with those in our lives. It is hard to put this book down once you start it.
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80 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonder-full June 1, 2012
Format:Paperback
While reading Dr Neal's book I kept coming back to that line from Hamlet: "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." This book isn't a cozy read - parts are downright excruciating to hear and difficult to imagine. It can't be easy for her to tell it, except for a strange grace she was given. I imagine that folks who read it to with an eye to validating a firmly-held dogmatic religious or agnostic position will be irritated. She isn't proselytizing or apologizing - she is simply relaying the facts of her own strange tale with an almost unadorned precision. In thinking about it, that's precisely the power of this book - Dr Neal is a hard person to dismiss. She doesn't seem fanciful or eccentric or disenfranchised or neurotic or a religious fanatic or needy or any of the traits I had expected. Her voice rings out unusually clear and fresh, cool and concise. It's because of this, even more than her impressive resume, that I find her credible.

The actual tale is emotionally moving, occasionally disturbing, spiritually and intellectually challenging. At the end of it I find myself with a sense of wonder that life is more beautiful than we can conceive, that there is more going on than anyone can imagine, that the Creator is impossible to wrap into a tidy, presentable box, because our ideas about Him are too cramped and small. Ultimately I am left with an ever-growing hope we can live fearlessly, that we will see our loved ones again, that they are near and that all is well, here and there. GREAT READ!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars To Heaven and Back
This is an incredible story with an amazing ending. I had just visited Chile and kayaked the rapids so could relate to her adventure. Read more
Published 17 hours ago by mkslo
4.0 out of 5 stars Good destination account - Little light on Salvation doctrine but OK
I read a lot of these. This is a good one. Some have a lot of character\family history, this is one of those. History is OK as it builds story but sometimes can be a bit much. Read more
Published 1 day ago by PurchasednVA
5.0 out of 5 stars Very believable.
Interesting book and very skillfully detailed. The book gives hope even to those that believe we are only to live, suffer and then die. To a Christian Dr. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Lupe Thompson
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
I was a bit disappointed with this book. I was thinking it would tell about her experience in heaven, but was mostly about her life before the accident and after. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Wiltid
5.0 out of 5 stars This is great.
Very affirming and encouraging. It will help you to stay focused on the task at hand; trusting God in a godless world.
Published 3 days ago by Thom Vars
1.0 out of 5 stars One has to have a point of reference to determine it's validity...
My husband purchased this book to give to his brother who had recently undergone heart surgery and having himself “died” momentarily. Read more
Published 5 days ago by learn2read121
5.0 out of 5 stars a must read for every Christan
I wouldn't have thought of reading this book until I had the opportunity to hear Dr Neal give a live talk at the Petroleum Club of Lafayette, La. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Charles R. Sawyer
5.0 out of 5 stars inspiring read
Excellent book, read it over Easter break and it was a perfect time for me, I was in need of hope and reassurance!
Published 6 days ago by R. Duck
5.0 out of 5 stars Resonated with me
I can identify many parts of this story from personal experience. I really enjoyed this book because I can relate to it. Read more
Published 6 days ago by J. Borchardt
4.0 out of 5 stars A book that will get you thinking
I really liked this book. If you are a doubter, this will make a believer out of you. The author is a doctor who was somewhat of a doubter himself. He tells his story well. Read more
Published 7 days ago by A happy Rhode Islander
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