Customer Review

3,423 of 4,108 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Gonna get a lot of flak for my review, so here goes..., August 28, 2011
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This review is from: Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back (Paperback)
For those of you who are going to rant and chastise me for being judgmental, save it...

I, too, have had a terrifying experience where my child was extremely sick, doctors could not diagnose him for a couple of days, he went into the hospital, and when he was finally diagnosed was not expected to live. This is where my 'judgmentalism' comes from...

Thinking I was going to be buying a sweet little, uplifting tale that would resonate with me as I am a person of great faith and unfathomable love and thankfulness to God _ I came to a point in this book (about midway through Chapter 6) where I had to quit reading this book. The more I read (as written by the little boy's father) about the actions of these parents before actually seeking medical attention for their obviously sick child, the more judgmental I became. I don't like it when I find myself judging people, so the best thing for me to do was to delete the book from my Kindle and just forget about it. If I could ask for my money back, so that no money goes into the hands of people who acted so ignorantly, I would.

Here are a few examples of their behavior that just stupified me: When little Colton first became sick, before a trip, his mother took him to the doctor and the doctor wrote his illness off as a stomach flu. The parents prayed not that their sweet little 3 year old get better, but that he would get better enough not to interrupt a trip. (The trip was for a district church denomination meeting.) So, little Colton seems to be back to his old self the next day, so they go on their trip. While out on their trip, both of their children become sick one night and the parents believed there was a revisitation of the stomach flu. That's understandable. However, when the 6 year old daughter who only threw up a couple of times overnight and the 3 year old continues to vomit "hourly", without any sign of improvement whatsoever, do they check-out of the hotel and take him to the ER or head back home? Nope, they take him to the home of some friends (let's just give this virus to everybody we know) so the mother can take care of him while the father attends church with one of the friends. Ignorant, selfish call I think. But, we're all entitled to a dumb move now and then. So, I keep reading. Once church is over, the father and his friend come home to find the 3 year old still very sick and vomiting "profusely". The male friend the father went to church with that morning is concerned, thinking the symptoms might equal appendicitis. The father, whose experience as a pastor and garage door salesman make him an expert, decides that it's not appendicitis. Fine, anybody can be wrong. Keep reading... so dad decides it's not appendicitis and must still be the (contagious) stomach flu, therefore the family will just stay another night with their generous hosts - just in case they haven't made them sick yet, I guess. The following morning,after a night of the little boy STILL vomiting, the parents pack up to go home and their host, seeing the sick child cradled in his mother's arms, says that the little boy looks "pretty sick" and suggests that the parents take him straight away to the ER. Well, the parents reason that the 3 hours they would sit in an ER would be better spent driving home, so they head on home. They call ahead to their local doctor, make an afternoon appointment, and before heading out explain their reasoning to their host. The host "said he understood", but the father "could tell he was still worried". Okay, even now the friends of the parents are apparently thinking "what are you DOING?". Two hours into the drive, after the parents have had to stop and change clothing on an already fully potty trained child (!!!) whose began soiling himself and the child is by now "crying constantly" and they've had to stop "every 30 mintues" for him to throw up. So, they're still an hour or so from home, and they STILL DON'T STOP AT AN ER! I mean, come on people, it doesn't take a triple digit IQ to figure out at this point that 48 hours of hourly to half-hourly vomiting by a 3 year old can result in dehydration so severe that he could be having organ problems. Wait, the dad even says that 2 hours into this 3 hour trip home that they know he must be getting dehydrated (ya think?!?) and they STILL DIDN'T STOP. So, they get back to their hometown in 3 hours and, though earlier in the book Dear Old Dad says they called ahead for an appointment with family doc, when they get home you know what they do? They go to the ER. FINALLY! And when they get to the ER, the kid is so sick, they don't make the family wait the dreaded 3 hours that the parents had speculated about earlier, no, one look at the child and the ER staff immediately takes them back. Blood work is performed, Xrays are performed, and IVs are run. Results... the doctor doesn't know what's wrong with the child, but the Xray shows 3 masses in his stomach. While the IVs and antibiotics (antibiotics... they don't give those for stomach virus) are dripping, friends begin streaming in. One friend suggests that the parents should have the boy transported to Denver Children's (ya know, since doctors at Podunk Hospital don't know what's wrong). The parents dismissed this, instead deciding (I suppose) to let the Podunk docs google until they make a diagnosis. On day two, after the boy is STILL throwing up and only getting worse "faster", mother stays on at the hospital while Dad works and prays. Finally, on day 3 at Podunk, it dawns on the parents of little Colton (whose looking like death to his parents)that maybe they should take him to another hospital. Denver Children's? Noooo, that would be too far from the parents "base of support". ARE YOU KIDDING ME? WHAT ABOUT COLTON'S MEDICAL SUPPORT? This is where I quit reading. I know from the photo on the cover that little Colton survived and is doing well (he's obviously not 3 anymore). But I just, at this point, had formed such an unfavorable opinion of these parents selfishness or ignorance or both, that I just didn't want to read anymore. As a parent, I love to the point I would die for my kid. Sitting in an ER 3 hours from home is a far cry from death. Subjecting him to days of continual degradation of health and wellbeing so that I can be close to those who will pat my back and tell me it's all gonna be alright is not my idea of taking care of my child. I'm sorry if this feeling is offensive, but it's why I could not finish this book.
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Tracked by 37 customers

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Showing 61-70 of 536 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2011 9:00:57 AM PST
Well stated JL. My thoughts exactly.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2011 9:01:59 AM PST
Well stated JL. My thoughts exactly.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 24, 2011 7:27:54 AM PST
S. L. Berger says: really HATE Christians, don't you? Belief in the afterlife is based on FAITH...not evidence. The reason some people like to read these stories, is the good feeling it leaves them...what's wrong with that? My guess is you like to read about death...but tragic death. You seem very angry and sad. You will be in my prayers. God Bless you.

Posted on Dec 24, 2011 12:11:14 PM PST
I am a pediatric nurse with intensive care experience, who also had a son who was seriously ill with a difficult to pinpoint infection at four years of age. Your analysis may seem reasonable to someone with 20/20 hindsight, but I can assure you that, situations such as Colton's are often not as clear cut and easy to assess as you think. I am sorry that you missed the precious message of this book by choosing to stop reading due to your negative view of his parent's care of their child. And I hope that anyone who reads your negative review and is disinclined to read the book because of it will reconsider and recognize that your view is probably tainted due to your own experience with your child.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2011 3:50:09 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Dec 27, 2011 3:57:41 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2011 3:52:58 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Dec 27, 2011 3:57:50 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2011 7:52:58 PM PST
Just because YOU don't believe there is any proof of an afterlife, doesn't make it so, doesn't nullify the facts in the least. At least if you are going to be an ignorant Atheist, go and keep your doubting, self aggrandizing thoughts to yourself.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 28, 2011 1:06:59 AM PST
This is a logical fallacy; you can't prove a negative. In other words, you can't prove that god, or heaven, or hell do not exist. Rather, we can conclude that they don't because there is no substantial evidence proving their existence. If evidence that, as Duped in FL says, is available to all proves the existence of god, heaven, and hell, then I think you'll see us change our minds.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 29, 2011 4:08:46 AM PST
Flynnsreview says:
I will pray for you since you are misguided.

Posted on Dec 29, 2011 5:03:24 AM PST
Nursekrb says:
As a pediatric nurse I must say, the strongest criticism in the story should be pointed to the first MD.... who misdiagnosed a very ill child.
HOWEVER, as other readers have pointed out, your criticism is of parents in a horrible situation. The BOOK - is ALSO a story of their faith and their child's experience -which anyone would argue is quite extra-ordinary. It is a story that I'd let my teen aged nieces read.... as for small children - I'd share the children's version. It's a story of faith and love and hope...
Please don't call a book review - a critique - if you haven't actually read the book.

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