Mar 17, 2014|
Did a young boy really return from heaven? Do you believe in miracles? If you don’t, you might after you hear Angela’s conversation with Celeste Goodwin. She and her husband Billy experienced a parent’s worst nightmare with their son, Mathew, only to discover “a miracle” and heaven through a child’s eyes. Listen to Angela’s conversation about A Boy back from Heaven.
We're discussing the hot topics of the day with co-host of First Take, Todd Menesses.
Angela discusses the shooting in Lafayette and says farewell to WWL as she hands her timeslot off to Scoot.
What's trending in sports, news, and entertainment?
Angela talks with WWL-TV investigative reporter Katie Moore and Tulane law professor Tania Tetlow about the city's backlog of uninvestigated rape cases.
Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
Well do you believe in heaven. It's such a simple question. But there's not always a simple answer. But for once south Louisiana family there is no doubt. Matthew Goodwin was a four year old child fighting for his life in 2007. While in the hospital he literally started to fade away his parents his nurses were all around him. And he would return and later tell his mother and father when he experienced. Matthew says he went to heaven and was greeted by four angels. The story of Matthew Goodwin and this family is told in the book entitled. A boy back from heaven. And with us is the author and Matthew's mother Celeste -- I also have to say that Matthew helped write the book -- I excellently. So take us back it first of all it is as I told you when you walked -- I read every word it is a beautiful book. And I disclosed it and I just felt better. I think that's the word I just felt better but kinda take us back. She was a very healthy boy enjoying life. Being a kid he was absolutely there is no outward signs symptoms anything to make a suspect that. Eating was going -- -- -- he was just growing as a happy happy healthy four year old child. On he started preschool in September 2006. That was the first time he ever been any type of social setting school wise. And of course when he went he sort of catch all of the little community bugs you know we get this cold in this this bacterial infection in this don't want. Thinking you know he's immune system is gonna build finally into a little bit stronger will be able more resistant to it. And -- most of the fall he was sick often one with recurring ear infections and strep throat this went on -- Christmas holidays. So finally after the first of the year we were back to the pediatrician again and we discussed it with parentage and I'm concerned he's had all these rounds of antibiotics and she's that I agree. I think it's time we need to go to CE NT made you look at having some teams -- into his -- help the fluid drained. Now prevent him from having an ear infections latest console out. So we made the appointment it into the -- and he you know he's attitudes are really small in his ears but this is common you know we can fix this very easily is an outpatient surgical procedure. We do it on his all the time. Said the surgery was scheduled we had its pre op appointment for him to go and -- you know all of its physical examination done to clear him for surgery. And thinking you know we would go through -- having recover in a couple of days and he would be an error in this was first console sound and put. Tubes and here yes absolutely. And your husband was apprehensive he was I call him when he left -- the doctor's office and left the NT -- what was decided you know that he he agreed with pediatrician. And he says -- and just have a good feel about that witch hunt take me back and that's not the response I was expecting. Any -- just have a good feel comfortable. Why don't you have a good feel about you know it's not anything. Major. Surgery steal but it's not a major procedure he said I just for some reason this just doesn't sit right with me. And he said I can't put my finger -- the something's not right. And a feeling didn't waste and it was a mistake like that over the next couple of weeks as we have about two weeks before the surgery was scheduled. I'm taking Mac you and a week later and had his pre -- appointment down with a pediatrician. In Billy said just don't feel right -- they see any pain when you know with any things that maybe he shouldn't have this this that not everything looked fine and gave me the paper to bring back to the surgery center. And Matthew was not nervous -- he was justice. You know nonchalant about myself you know this is gonna happen and he was excited because that meant he got to -- taking antibiotics every time -- faction. -- would feel better so he does kind of looking forward to that. And then he knew that he would have a day of ice cream a popsicle right following surgery says that's always incentive for for your world. So it just it there was never any specific reasoning he suggests. -- gut feeling something's not right. So he goes in to the hospital. He isn't he -- he had the surgery it was done outpatient surgery centers and averaged. And supposedly everything went like clockwork -- -- then it took him a little longer recovery for them to be able to candidates and say OK you can concede. The doctor came in and talk to this after the procedure was done and said you know it was as I expected nothing that came out of the ordinary. At the time we weren't told anything was an yes. Other than you know letting wake up when he's fully awake taking home. Giving his medications and the next day or two and -- he should be bounced around in a couple of days no problem. So we are kind of early with that and thought you know -- go -- have an afternoon of Reston unity just some light diet for the next couple days and we would be back on her feet. And that's not what happened we went com and we first black to -- he was great fine asking for -- morning to eat -- -- -- This is a great thing. And he went home to kidnap him when he woke up from his -- so I just don't feel good something's not right -- So he was a -- smearing when my husband had been saying for the week leading up to the surgery. -- what do you mean you don't you know and trying to comfort him explain -- he just had this surgery you haven't eaten your normal diet. You're on this medication you know that they gave you this morning anesthesia so does make you feel a little queasy. He -- and I just felt right something is not right and he's in the stomachs really hard and I think I'm gonna be sick. So that's gone on for about thirty minutes and naturally he started vomiting after. And when he first of vomiting it was bright red blood which concerned us because we were buried in 81 of the incisions that sir Anthony where they have remained just console. So called ENT that was on call explain to him what happened he says if it happens again you can go ahead bring an end to the ER. We want to make sure he doesn't dehydrate you gain some fluids and make sure that the incision is okay. And he commented again and it went from bright red blood to kind of dark replied which we rethink -- maybe. Was what he had ingested during the surgery that morning packets to be totally normal. But we went ahead writing in many ways that we headed to the art about 5 o'clock that afternoon. And as I'm on and I and that -- -- my husband stayed home with Connor is thank you we'll just go into some limits what behind a few hours no big deal. And that was is far from what was gonna happen is what actually did happen it was amazing. It was scary. It way is nerve racking because it's not something we ever used it you know this is a first timer child had been thicker -- any type of surgery so with all of you for -- We got to the hospital we are in the ER that afternoon day assessed in to try to get the vomiting to stop. Unsuccessfully. And they were giving medication to try to stop it. He was bombing probably at that point maybe every fifteen to twenty minutes and it just was non stop. Other didn't vomiting no real complaints there wasn't anything at that point you know filled matter in my head party nothing like that. And at the time that MacKey went into the ER at this particular emergency room did not do blood pressure's on children. That were that young unless they were trauma patient or something to lead and to believe that they ideas that your entry -- in during his stay in the -- it was never blood pressure taken. On it wasn't until finally they decided to admit him and put him on the floor we finally got answers about money and he had his first blood pressure taken. And when the nurse did the blood pressure initially. Her reaction as this machine must not work and this is not right there's no way this can be right. And I'm sitting across the -- and I'm looking at the machine and be in this night as I was I had no idea with the numbers meant that I was looking at. I'm grateful for that now because if I would have fully understood what I was looking at. I would -- and pay an arm and so it was you know being dumb at that point was really good thing she left she brings back another machine she repeats it it's the same green. The ceiling agency comes back at our time to bring the charge winners she brings a different machine they do that manually this time and they agree this is indeed what his blood pressure is you need to -- Hong Kong doctor. And his blood pressure at the time is a 195. Over 1350. My gosh even for an adult is scary. You know ensure that stroke level blood -- never mind this is a four year old and a 37 pound child. So they called the doctor he said monitoring really closely the next few hours this could still be anesthesia related in some cases sometimes they see children have a rise in blood pressure into all of that medication out of their system. And as a -- really close but if anything changes the course policy back. Well by 6 o'clock the next morning and you know I called my has been steel rightly think and we'll be home a few hours this is no big deal has blood pressure's going to be okay that this is this -- Tell him it's okay go ahead bring content to my mom's you can go to the shop yeah no problem whatsoever. And about fifteen minutes after Honda -- with him. Had one of the intensive -- sit on the for the -- -- -- you know we've watched him really closely over the last few hours. We need to put him in intensive care unit has blood pressure's not going to counter going up and this is not normal they're something else that that's wrong. And my question is you know what can -- be I mean immediately and get scared what is. What can cause a child I have high blood pressure and they're telling me things like brain tumors heart defects problems with the kidneys problems at the end of current system which. These are serious means this is not something you can just that they -- only hears anything -- for top -- being taken. And now you're telling me this completely opposite of where. We're thinking within 24 hours out from the surgery. Now or an icu in Baton Rouge and is there for a while. Continuing. With. Very high blood pressure and did they ever control the vomiting -- -- continuing. But that is well the vomiting continued. The medications they tried they are unable to getting to completely stop vomiting. Blood pressures were so erratic and where we had the first -- in at one nanny fine for 135. We restarted his thesis dialing numbers 220 to thirty to forty we've seen high as high as -- sixty over 160 in his chart. So I mean super -- dangerous blood pressure which the vomiting more than likely was coming from these very high erratic what pressures. And without really know what the cause of hypertension wise it is very hard for them to find the exact combination of medication to treat it because different blood pressure medications treat different things. So it was it was kind of you know trial -- -- to try to see if they can determine what was happening there -- you know. A whole battery studies ever ordered from the time locked into the PIC what we need to assess as quickly as possible. If this is boring is at the heart is that his kidneys so that they can -- you know working understanding of how to treat. And it was just day after day. -- no hitters you know they were trying and they were looking at me and I give them that and his doctor that he had in the icu there. And and it's amazing I don't think he ever slapped on -- ever went home that's his dedication he has to its patient so you're getting ready. To transfer him to Children's Hospital in New Orleans. And your family is around your friend who was -- nurses around and he said that Matthew. Had had a small procedure done for the transferring and. Everything has gone great that he was looking better. Yes everything -- -- that we're about seven days into this whole ordeal now and after all the studies were done it was finally determined that there was indeed something with his kidneys. And specifically what they could narrow it down initially they thought maybe one the -- the kidneys -- enlarged but not reeling on why. And at the time -- -- -- pediatric neurologist in that underage. So it was discussed and decided they consulted with an -- for -- group Children's Hospital here in New Orleans they agreed to take -- was the patient. On the range as her place for him to be transferred from that coverage to -- more balanced they sent on commoners with ambulance to kind of pick him up. The day transfer was it was kind of an exciting day for us because after seven days a net -- -- finally felt like we have something to look forward to you know we were getting a little bit closer to some answers some something diagnostic to help us get treatment. And it was it was kind of a good day we were looking yes Ian Peterson optimism here now. And they did the procedure to -- -- central line and because of blood pressure and so high he had bland numerous Chinese over the course of the past week and it was just it's heart foreign for them to find -- -- that he can keep an IV and -- but a central line -- this will eliminate all the poking and prodding me a little bit easier for him. They had to reposition the arterial line where they were in constant blood pressure readings from inside the artery law. And so if the data tempered that and that procedure went right they came and taught us it's a problem at all taking care he's rating down. We were allowed back into the rain has been a spare myself my best friend prisoners who also works at the same hospital. So we get back into the brand. And after just a couple of minutes he wakes up you know he's he's -- again he looked better than he had looked an entire week. There is beautiful green eyes were breathing air he -- with us and he was excited talk about his Amy Ellis writing his daddy was gonna ride with in. So you know there is something there -- that he was excited about this is something different than what we've had for the last week or Stan. And you know chitchat while they're working in the -- and getting him transferred from them the permanent monitors to his temper and monitors an ambulance. And then just like that his eyes rolled back in his head and he was out and it wasn't just. As -- eyes because I'm a little tired it was eyes rolled back unconscious. To the point that it took all of us that back and we were very concerned looking man -- No there's some gentle probing at first come after you can get out tomorrow and it's time to wake up. And there's nothing there was nothing coming from him was his breathing he was breathing. But you can see it over. As the second were starting to tick by that there is definite changes he was beginning -- change colors you know his collar we're starting to just -- or shout from him and I wouldn't say it was anything. Immediately super quick but you could just see every second -- -- it that sounds so fast that when you're watching your child laid there. There -- seconds felt like. Centuries and we're just watching him -- to come on Matthews and there is urgency to can't build in reverend because. The panic is is getting there he's not waking up he needs to -- And his godmother my friend she that there should come and let's wake up and there is just a change you can see that the color is gone he has breeding did start to slow down and you could just see that everything it's not going to directions the Penn State -- ran down got the doctor. And she can finish assesses him and her responses you know he had a really long week in this is hard and -- And they just kind of gave it a few minutes to watch and let's see what happens there is no immediate need for resuscitation that they saw that they could seated there were some changes happening she went out -- a phone call TP -- into war islands. And I can hear her outside the ran talking to the other doctor insane that this it's gonna make -- on averages there's been a change in his status were watching -- now we don't know if you know what's going on -- but we'll update you. As things progress and I just. I didn't what to do there is just there is feeling at. I don't know where to turn what to do what to say you just feel so helpless because you want with every fiber you've been for him to wake up. And my friends she was that they had this bad and she stepped back and she pushed me forward my husband was on the opposite that -- -- you get listing him. And tell him everything that you want him to man -- -- me now. And I looked at her with you know two semis trepidation what -- -- she thank you -- tell him in his year and everything you wanted to hear. And it was it was immediate it was forceful you need to go -- depth and has been and we just got on one side and everything we can -- Lockheed you know we're so proud Q you're such a seaports yet. That you not done yet you know at this. You need to wake up come on you need to get back with us we love you so much we know you're tired but you know we're gonna help you just as much reassurance we can get him. And this goes on and it was noted in his chart of about five to seven minutes period of unexplained and consciousness. Very lethargic and then his eyes pop open. We're talking to Celeste Goodwin whose son Matthew four years old goes into a catastrophic medical. A situation. And is about to be transferred to New Orleans Children's Hospital. When in fact he loses consciousness since as you were saying it was five to seven minutes of unexplained medically and explain what happens. They do transfer him to not Children's Hospital where he is beautifully taken care and I -- kind of moving this forward because. First of all you discover what the issues are -- and one and we go there first. Yes when he was transferred we were brought to Children's Hospital in the probability group jumped on it immediately and within six hours we had a diagnosis every artery stinnett says. Which enabled them to be able to know how to properly treat a blood pressure get it controlled and proceeding get a game plan to be able to try to get some corrective measures in place. We -- a hospital for about two more weeks we were sent Tom a couple weeks after that after that he had a Bellini angioplasty procedure to open -- blocked artery. Which was included by 99% this was what accounted for of the extreme blood pressure's -- So that was successful in the sense that it bought us some time for him to grow get a little bit older before we knew that he would need more invasive surgery at some point on the -- so we we came out of this you know a whole different thing normally we had. Left the hospital with a renewed sense you know -- a faith renewed sense that feeling the last and just know on that we had this great kid that has -- second chance to be able to move forward. And when that came home he was as though we had the weight of the world shelters and it was very heart from my husband and I try to understand. You know we knew that he was trying to emotionally deal with everything that happened to him being sick in the hospital for a month that's taxing anyone should especially child. And -- try to understand just how real life with different we now have daily blood pressure readings medications changes in our diet all of these things we have to do to keep him healthy. And we just kinda -- that maybe it was just the national cited what he needed to -- to work through. And this went on for a couple weeks and then it wins -- missed a month to where you know it's him like there was something there he needed to talents that just. Never -- you know the weight of the world is there and finally one night. After we had -- -- to that my husband was getting ready for dad. I went to LA Connor and his dad and Nike to military and to get Matthew. He turned the TV off and he sit on the couch justice -- righteous he can be and he says mom have to talk to. Which with. A little bit different we've never been that kind of matter of fact he's you know he said we it this is serious we need to talk about -- -- I wanna remind everybody he's four. So when he turned the TV off so he knew that we would have. -- divided full attention. And he says I have to tell you something that you have to promise not to get -- And sabathia there's nothing you can count me that I possibly make me mad achieving leaders that that -- such a good kid anyway. And he said when I was in the hospital for angels came to get me. And I stopped him right there and I said hold on just a sack. -- -- -- trying to attack and ran to the pack unpack my husband because I didn't know what was fixing to come next but this is something I knew was a family. Discussion. And at home has been -- can sit down Ellison to Matthew don't -- saying to set. And instinctively he knew just sit there the poker face until the -- in a repeat to me what you -- you repeat daddy what you said to me and he sent. When I was in the hospital or angels came to get me. And it just -- the backs that we we just stack for a minute and gave him you know every opportunity to expound on how he felt he wanted to. And he went through the most beautiful profound story. These four angels two men into women McCain to get him and tell him it was time to go with them. And he said I can't go with you my mom and African need me. I can't go because I haven't asked them and they gave him every assurance -- your parents now it's okay you can -- with us. And he said mom I just also say please don't get mad because I went on he -- but I just felt like it was okay. He said. We just started blocking he said it was so beautiful and he proceeds to use these very descriptive. Words that so amazing for four year old -- was just so pure and so in sent. And he says it was just why it was beautiful he said I know they were angels because they had these beautiful wrote someone. And we just sat there amazed. By this this recollection that he was sharing with us -- -- he had wind. And he's describing and the whole time has been our thinking and we know when it happened and we were on the other -- watching what's physically happening to -- behind me. We knew that this is the day that he was trained expert in Moreland and he had that period unexplained and consciousness. And when he gets in the story. You can just feel like that -- just come off of his shoulders at that point this is what has been concerning to him. And he says he had not told his parents he had not and he was so scared he felt like he was carrying something with him that news that he needed to get it now. And then the last thing he passes he said does this mean that I die. And I mean as a parent how are you ever prepared to answer that question there there's nothing in the parenting manuals that that. Tell you how to how to go down that road. And you know the only thing that I can -- with Matthew I don't have cancer god is the only one that he answer one day you'll have the opportunity to ask him. But obviously that's just wasn't the time -- what -- did you have a very religious household not extremely I would not say overly were not extremely religious -- people on. We believe in god you know we pray we know that our fate is there we we know it's turned to god when we have times of trial we get our things we need to. I think that the previous couple of months had definitely deepened our faith and and pushed my 'cause I'm more towards. God and making sure that we can be had that they hear that balance and that foundation. But before that I wouldn't say overly -- like us that had just sort of pre school that year he wasn't about this preschool. But they were four years old they were just getting into the basics the children's picture Bible so I mean there was nothing really in depth that they had gone through to disguise. -- deep things you know with the basic Bible stories that there was market at a mean even you know these type of things. So there is nothing really they had kind of pushed him in that direction this far -- it. This this statement and this story that he was telling us. Was coming from somewhere so much deeper than one we had ever exposed him to you it was just prefer -- We're hearing the story of Matthew four years old essentially. Dies. And then a month later tells his parents what he saw. In that period of time and the parents are standing by is -- seeing something happening to him. And that they are losing him. But he comes back and he is now healthy and he tells his parents that. When he was in the hospital that four angels came and were taking him away and he. That said Mike I have to permission from my parents but no it's okay. And then something turns them around and he comes back. Who ultimately were those angels. Wind heat first shared the story with that he had no idea who the four people where he knew it was two men into women. And after he shared his experience with us we just kind of left open dialogue with him to talk about it at will we didn't really we didn't really. Stay on top that it was just that things if he wanted to talk with -- into. But we -- so caught up in the dated days staff that's keeping. His health his physical health taking care of working on the healing -- the hospitalization. So we just kind of left it at an and he talk about it you know he would ask questions or you know he would say something about it he would have -- -- Usually it was always. You know I was with a smile it was a fondness when he -- back -- what he would experience something that was a really really unique. Something really -- And about two weeks after he shared it with this one day I decided you know we we finally got into -- quote unquote normal pattern home. We were trying to get back into over Tina have you been in -- house for amnesty here we just built the house before MacKey gets sick. I had no pictures of anybody I've never fame members and not get some pictures. And meaning you. My children and our parents and grandparents and things like -- And I thought back immediately took a picture of my grandparents that I was a little brought Ollie swap it was taken them on their fiftieth wedding anniversary they receding in their front yard in Kentucky. And I always love that picture my grandfather is giving my grandmother kiss on the cheek and I just thought it was always just a really neat picture. Not one -- -- ever had displayed it was actually on an old slide. So we he's had -- will slide projectors and I'm in Manhattan -- I wanna go dig that. So I dug through the baby's pictures and I had that scattered around my office Iran next -- an appearance. And I got out -- -- -- -- -- the pictured as an egg hunt and skiing and aunts and and that this where you went pictures. So ice and it and I pray not just a quick five by seven copy and I just laid it up on a bookshop in office think -- on grab a quick frame and Iran to the store later. No big deal. And you know it's kind of start to -- the afternoon. And Matt you're hearing -- them all so here comes -- little feet into the office and he didn't play in front with -- their claim their cars. He was just kind of command to check on in just gave me huge pockets -- -- Allah you just for no reason just because. That's what it felt like he needed to do. And touched my heart -- yourself amazing. Says he said I'm gonna get this plan now when he was gonna -- back to him and he turned to walk out and when he did he stopped dead in his tracks when he looked up on my -- And his eyes got huge and he reached and he grabbed the picture and he said what do you do with this picture. Very serious very uncharacteristic for him and his little hands and -- shaking hands that -- what do you mean he said. Why you had this picture who are these people. As the madness my grandparents incidents mom wants money that. And he's in he just didn't understand it he said that is not your grandparents why do you know and how do you happen. Thanks to these parents went to pictures dependent in the house psychotic lost printed it out. And he honest with the almost near tears in his eyes and he said mom that's not your grandparents that these are two and he took that came to get me through this with the lady that took my hand. She's the want to talk to me and I just that Hairston from the back of my neck. And by this point his hands from shaking because he just could not process. Why I had a picture of these two people that he had walked with when he thought he was going to happen and I think Matthew I didn't -- And they they're they're -- you know I never never seen a picture he had never seen a picture there is not in our house. And -- come on pictures writer and albums -- and slide slide boxes. So it was -- anything that had ever been displayed publicly but is just one I had held -- was a child that I knew was -- love that picture. And he just could not believe that I actually had physical. -- a through these two people -- -- -- not mean you really now and he said -- these two the angels. He says I can't believe you -- -- -- at the line never met my grandfather he passed away before I was born. I -- -- arraignment on a sports -- I always wondered. What she would've thought of my children and how proud she would have -- I've always wanted to and wished. That she could have known them and -- mean how all of us have grown up in our lives changed in Lofton. Then I just knew she knows she's with us every day she is exactly what we're doing. Something happened to -- it there's no question and and you all now believe in heaven two -- and I think ending of this book and I wish we had another hour to talk about the ending of this book is written by Matthew. And in essence what he's saying in -- -- now eleven years old he will never feared death. That is something that is one of the most profound statement he's ever sat. And he never says that wind uneasiness are nervousness it is just win with certainty. And he'll think -- we'll never feared death he said I wanna live to the hundred he said that I will never theory because I know where I'm going and I know what it looks like it's beautiful thank you for a beautiful story thank you. Thank you so much for sharing this in -- and I actually changes we've done our job absolutely. Everybody have a good day.