A little boy who was close to death from a burst appendix recovered with tales of the wonders of heaven.
Colton Burpo told his preacher dad Todd that he saw angels and rainbows while unconscious on the operating table when he was only four-years-old.
His story has been turned into a film, Heaven is for Real, which has become a recent box office hit across America and is due to open in Britain and the Republic of Ireland in the coming weeks.
Cody’s dad said he began to believe the heavenly tales when his son recognised a photograph of a great-grandfather he had never met and talked about meeting a sister who had told him she had "died in their mother's tummy".
The family said they had had never discussed the baby his mother Sonja lost to a miscarriage a year before Colton's birth.
Todd went on to write about his experiences in a book called Heaven is for Real, which became a bestseller.
Now, 10 years after Colton's near death experience, it has been made into a film starring Greg Kinnear, who appeared in Little Miss Sunshine as Todd Burpo.
The movie was an instant hit in America when it opened last week, taking $22.5m in its first three days.
While critics have warned against taking Cody’s tales too literally Todd said, "It's not fiction at all, this is real and I want people to know that and be given hope".
Colton is now 14 and an aspiring musician.
While he likes the film, he says it hasn't captured the wonders he saw.
"They do a good job but they haven't experienced it like I have," he said. "Heaven is so much better than that."