'The Miracle Man' Who Went to Heaven and Came Back (2023)

It was just after 4:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 15, 2007 when Darryl Perry died.

The former University of Florida fullback-turned-financial adviserand his wife,Nicky, had settled down to sleep around midnight after an otherwise normal day. Perry usually worked 16-hour days, Monday through Saturday. The father of three also coached his then-8-year-old son’s baseball team. A deeply spiritual man, Perry usually awoke around 4 a.m. to read the Bible and prayfor his wife and children before starting his day. Though the forty-year-old’s sudden cardiac death was a shock to his wife, family and friends, Perry knew it was coming.

Six months before, during his morning prayer time, he says God gave him a message. Alone in his room, Perry felt a hand touch his shoulder and a voice say,Son, you’re going to have to die on my behalf.

Shaken, Perry asked, “Who’s there? Is somebody in here?” He felt a calming presence and believed it was God. Unready to face the fate of death, he pushed the moment out of his mind and carried on with his day.

Things were going well for Perry, his wife and their three kids. They were happy. Life was good. He had never heard a message from God like this before. It couldn’t have been true.

Then, the Wednesday before his death, Perry heard the voice again.He had just dropped his two youngest children off at school.Son, it’s time, the voice said. This time, there was no denying what he’d heard. He sat in his truck in front of his children’s school and cried for 30 minutes, not wanting to leave them.

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Buthe made it through the day, and the night, and a whole week, as usual. Until the morning his wife awoke to the sound of his unusual snoring. Then, Nicky says, he was gasping for breath and foaming at the mouth before he stopped breathing.

“My spirit was in the air looking down on Nicky giving me mouth-to-mouth,” Perry tells Guideposts.org. “I watched the whole thing.”

There was no journey from his bedroom to Heaven that he can recall. The next thing he knew, he was just there, in a space of incredible brightness, warmth and indistinguishable colors.

“An angel God sent to receive me was named Gabriel,” Perry says. “He washuge.” The 6’2, 230 pound-Perry says Gabriel towered over him. With brown skin, a muscular frame, locs in his hairand an immeasurable wingspan, Gabriel never said a word to Perry and Perry never had any fear. When Gabriel pointed to his back, Perry climbed up to rest as Gabriel flew him through Heaven to see his loved ones who had passed on.

“I saw my uncle, my granddaddy, my wife’s grandmother,” Perry recalls. And then, he says, he saw God.

“God in Heaven is a bright light,” he says, as he was unable to make out any distinguishing features, only the presence of complete peace.

Perry began to celebrate, saying over and over to himself, “I made it! I made it in!”

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Discover new books from Guideposts with amazingstories of those who have visited heaven and returned


Back in the hospital, Perry’s body was hooked up to a life support machine. The neurologisttold Nicky that the only brain activity registering on the EEG machine was seizures, signs of dying brain cells. After an episode like Perry’s, she was told, irreparable brain damage and death happen within 4-6 minutes of the brain being without oxygen. It had taken paramedics 7 minutes to restore Perry’s heartbeat.

Perry’s body was transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center and he was placed in a chamber to induce hypothermia to prevent any more brain damage while Nicky prayed for a miracle.

The neurologist suggested she prepare herself to take her husband off life support. Instead, she sought the second opinion of Dr. Ira Goodman in Central Florida.


In the presence of God, Perry says, there is no fear, no anger, only peace. In the middle of his celebration, Perry says God spoke to him.

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“My people have forgotten my power,” he heard God say. “He said, ‘Son, go back.'” Perry couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He didn’t want to go back. He refused. He said, “No!”

Then, he says God pulled back the veil between Heaven and earth and let him see his family. They were smiling, frozen, like in a picture. The same peace he felt when he realized he was in Heaven remained as he accepted returning to his body on earth.


For days, Dr. Goodman would examine Perry, give him commands to obey and nothing would register. Perry would lie still in his bed, with no sound or movement beyond the whirring of machines. On March 27, day 11of Perry’s comatose state, Dr. Goodman came into his room, giving the same basic commands.“Open youreyes,” Dr. Goodman told Perry. That day, Perryopened them.

Dr. Goodman had warned Nicky that even if Perry ever regained consciousness and could breathe on his own, he would be severely impaired, have no memory of himself or his family. He would never walkor speak again, he warned.

But when Perry opened his eyes, one of his nurses, named Missy,rushed to his side and asked him “Can you hear me?” Perry seemed to nodhis head. “I’m Missy. Can you say Missy?” She asked him and he mouthed the word Missy. By this time, Nicky had rushed in from the hallway and was on the other side of Perry, holding his hand. “Who is that beautiful woman standing on the other side of you?” Missy asked and Perry turned his head and saw his wife. “I love you,” he mouthed to her.

His doctors still have no explanation for his recovery, other than the nickname they gave him: “The Miracle Man.” For Perry, his return to earth is less of a mystery.

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God’s words to him in Heaven, stick in the back of his mind: “My people have forgotten My power.” When asked why he thinks God sent him back he says, “Just talking to you [is] why I’m here.”

“They said I would never talk, never know my family,” Perry says, 10 years after that early prognosis. “Well, I have proven them all wrong. I’m riding a bicycle. I walk every day andmy memory is off the charts.” Nothing but God’s power could bring all this to pass, he says.

Still, Perry continues to be in recovery. After his cardiac episode, he was diagnosed with cerebral hypoxia, a chronic brain illness caused when he lost oxygen to his brain. Perry has learned that being a walking, talking miracle doesn’t always mean total healing or frustration-free days.

“I have accepted the fact that I am always under a spotlight. People are always watching me,” he says of life after death.“It gets hard sometimes. It’s like I feel like I have to be perfect all the time.”

Perry takes his moments of frustration out on a punching bag he uses for therapy. Some days, he cries. Though his life will never be what it once was, Perry has no anger about returning in an alteredstate or about having to leave the most peaceful, beautiful place he’s ever experienced.

“I can’t be angry. I always ask God, ‘What would You have me do?’ I’m here because He sent me back for Him. But I will say, be careful what you ask God!” He says with a laugh.

Though thecharismatic motivational speaker now has a slower, slurred speech, his message is as strong as ever.

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“I’m not a quitter. I will never quit,” he says.“As long as God gives me breath, I’m in the game.”


What happened to the boy who came back from heaven? ›

Alex, who recently turned 21, now lives with his mother. He was valedictorian of his high school, but he has been a quadriplegic since the accident and requires full-time care. Kevin and Beth divorced last year, and Beth says she has no idea what happened to the money Kevin earned from the book.

Who went to heaven and came back in the Bible? ›

There are actually two other persons that were taken up to heaven body and soul. They were Enoch and Elijah.

Where did Jesus go between his death and resurrection? ›

Based on the wording in 1 Peter, there's an argument that Jesus spent the weekend between His death and Resurrection in Hell preaching to the souls who were already there, giving them a chance at the forgiveness available through His sacrifice not previously available before His death.

What are the 4 types of miracles in the Bible? ›

The majority are faith healings, exorcisms, resurrections, and control over nature.

Who was the man in the Bible that went to heaven without dying? ›

Sacred Scripture teaches that Enoch and Elijah were assumed into heaven while still alive and not experiencing physical death.

Why did Enoch get taken to heaven? ›

In the Sefer Hekalot, Rabbi Ishmael is described as having visited the Seventh Heaven, where he met Enoch, who claims that earth had, in his time, been corrupted by the demons Shammazai, and Azazel, and so Enoch was taken to Heaven to prove that God was not cruel.

How was Melchizedek born? ›

Melchizedek[xiii] was born from Sothonim's corpse. When Nir and Noah came in to bury Sothonim they saw the child sitting beside the corpse with "his clothing on him." According to the story they were terrified because the child was fully developed physically. The child spoke with his lips and he blessed the Lord.

What did Enoch see in heaven? ›

In the seventh heaven, Enoch, now guided by Gabriel, is allowed to enter and sees the Lord on his throne face to face but only from a distance. This is where the legions of God's angels live in beautiful light.

What is the longest someone has died and came back to life? ›

A 65-year-old man in Malaysia regained vital signs two-and-a-half hours after doctors at Seberang Jaya Hospital, Penang, pronounced him dead.

How many days did Jesus stayed on earth after his resurrection? ›

DEAR N.G.: The Bible clearly states that after His resurrection Jesus repeatedly appeared to His disciples over a period of 40 days, and then miraculously ascended into the presence of God.

Where did Jesus go in the missing years? ›

New Testament gap

Christian tradition suggests that Jesus simply lived in Galilee during that period. Modern scholarship holds that there is little historical information to determine what happened during those years.

What did Jesus do 3 days after he was crucified? ›

He returned after his resurrection and showed himself and taught the people. Two, he preached to the spirits in prison. On the third day, an angel came and rolled away the stone that closed the tomb. While walking in the garden that morning, my wife and I could easily visualize the stone that was placed there.

What is the greatest miracle according to the Bible? ›

Matthew 28:5 & 6, “And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”

What are the 7 miracles of God? ›

The seven signs are:
  • Changing water into wine at Cana John 2:1-11.
  • Healing of the official's son John 4: 46-54.
  • Healing the paralytic at Bethesda in John 5:1-15.
  • Feeding the 5000 in John 6:5-14.
  • Jesus walking on water in John 6:16-24.
  • Healing the man blind from birth in John 9:1-7.
  • The raising of Lazarus in John 11:1-45.
May 5, 2019

When God performs a miracle? ›

Often, a miracle doesn't prevent suffering or tragedy at all. God performs miracles for two basic reasons: to strengthen faith and to accomplish good. Often, miracles manifest God's power to His children or teach a spiritual principle.

Who died without sin in the Bible? ›

Later rabbinic traditions name him as one of four ancient Israelites who died without sin, the other three being Benjamin, Jesse and Amram. The throne eventually passed to his younger half brother, Solomon. Chileab is known as Daluyah (Ancient Greek: Δαλουιὰ, Dalouià) in 2 Samuel in the Septuagint.

How many people went to heaven with God? ›

Revelation 7:4 says, “I heard the number of those who had been marked with the seal, 144,000 from every tribe of Israel.” Verses 5-8 relate that they were sealed, 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel, giving the total number of 144,000 persons.

Who died without being born? ›

His life is described in further detail in extra-biblical religious texts such as the Book of Enoch, Slavonic Enoch, and the Book of Moses.
ChildrenLamech and other sons and daughters
ParentEnoch (father)
5 more rows

What was God's promise to Enoch? ›

The Lord promised Enoch that He would never again flood the earth. The Lord also promised that He would “call upon the children of Noah,” which means that He would invite them to accept the gospel. The Lord also taught Enoch that those who build their lives upon the Savior would never fall.

Why did Elijah get taken to heaven? ›

No one could be resurrected until Christ came forth from the tomb. So Elijah, in order to perform his special mission, needed to be translated. Translation means to be changed in a way that your body is no longer subject to sickness, death, or physical pain.

How did Elijah get to heaven? ›

As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elisha saw this and cried out, "My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!" And Elisha saw him no more.

Who was mother or father of Melchizedek? ›

The Second Book of Enoch (also called "Slavonic Enoch") is apparently a Jewish sectarian work of the 1st century AD. The last section of the work, the Exaltation of Melchizedek, tells how Melchizedek was born of a virgin, Sofonim (or Sopanima), the wife of Nir, a brother of Noah.

Who was Melchizedek mother and father in the Bible? ›

The author of Heb 7:3 affirms of Melchizedek: "He is without father or mother or genealogy; he has neither beginning of days nor end of life . . . he continues a priest forever." Scholars argue that the author draws on Gen 14:17-20, which introduces Melchizedek without the customary identification of his clan or ...

What was special about Melchizedek? ›

Why was Melchizedek important? Melchizedek, who appears in the Old Testament, is important in biblical tradition because he was both king and priest, connected with Jerusalem, and revered by Abraham, who paid a tithe to him.

Which angel guards the gates of heaven? ›

Hadraniel (or Hadrianiel among other variant spellings), whose name means "majesty [or greatness] of God", is an angel in Jewish Angelology assigned as gatekeeper at the second gate in heaven.

Why is the Book of Enoch rejected? ›

The Book of Enoch was considered as scripture in the Epistle of Barnabas (4:3) and by many of the early Church Fathers, such as Athenagoras, Clement of Alexandria, Irenaeus and Tertullian, who wrote c. 200 that the Book of Enoch had been rejected by the Jews because it contained prophecies pertaining to Christ.

How many heavens are there? ›

In religious or mythological cosmology, the seven heavens refer to seven levels or divisions of the Heavens. The concept, also found in the ancient Mesopotamian religions, can be found in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; a similar concept is also found in some other religions such as Hinduism.

How long is the brain active after death? ›

An unexpected discovery made by an international team, examining the results of an EEG on an elderly patient, who died suddenly of a heart attack while the test was in progress.

Which organ lasts the longest after death? ›

Without the necessary oxygen supply, the organs stop functioning right.
  • Liver - 24 hours.
  • Pancreas - 24 hours.
  • Kidney - 72 hours.
  • Cornea - 14 days.
  • Bones - 5 years.
  • Skin - 5 year.
  • Heart Valves - 10 years.

What happens 30 minutes after death? ›

As the blood pools, patches appear on the skin within 30 minutes of death. About two to four hours postmortem, these patches join up, creating large dark purplish areas towards the bottom of the body and lightening the skin elsewhere. This may be less apparent on darker skin. This process is called livor mortis.

What happened to Colton Burpo? ›

Later, the doctor reported that Colton had a ruptured appendix, was “not in good shape,” and would require surgery immediately. Eight-year-old Akiane Kramarik's Prince of Peace, 2003. On the wings of criminally incompetent medical care, then, young Colton Burpo flew to heaven.

What happened to Alex Malarkey? ›

On November 14, 2004, six-year old Alex Malarkey and his father Kevin were involved in a car accident on a highway near Rushsylvania, Ohio. He suffered various injuries in the accident, including a severe spinal injury, severe neck injuries, and brain trauma, was left a quadriplegic, and was in a coma for two months.

Why did Adam get kicked out of heaven? ›

“And then,” says Genesis, “the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked” (Genesis 3:7). For this transgression, they were evicted from Paradise. Devoid of their earlier childlike innocence, Adam and Eve became aware of their nakedness.

What happened to the husband in the way up to heaven? ›

The story closes with Mrs Foster waiting for the arrival of the lift repair man. (The implication is that Mrs Foster deliberately left her husband to die trapped in the broken elevator.)


1. Woman Meets Jesus Face to Face in Heaven
(The 700 Club)
2. The Miracle Maker (Full Christian Movie)
(The Church History Channel)
3. "Experience the Breathtaking Beauty of Dubai's Miracle Garden- A True Heaven on Earth!"
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4. 'I Died:' Women Share What Their Near-Death Experiences Were Like
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5. Million Little Miracles | Elevation Worship & Maverick City
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6. God Will Give You A Miracle In 2 Minutes After Praying This Powerful Miracle Prayer
(Beyond Grace)
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