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90 Minutes In Heaven, A True Story of Life After Death

Updated on May 6, 2015

Don Piper's Journey To Heaven

Don kept his trip to heaven a secret for a year before sharing his story with a friend. Because he was suffering from depression, it took several more years before sharing his heavenly journey with the world. It was not until 2004 that his first Christian book, "90 Minutes in Heaven," was published and became a bestseller. Since then, he has written several Christian books.

The book is an excellent testimony of Don's miracle and blessings. While only two chapters describe his time in heaven, they illustrate it in vivid detail of what we can look forward to in the afterlife. The rest of the book recalls his accident, his long and painful recovery, his personal and family struggles, how the accident took his life on a new path and how he is using his heavenly journey to change lives.

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Why did he take so long before writing a book? He was perplexed and puzzled about God's purpose for his life. Was his journey to heaven to be kept private or shared? His mind must have been filled with questions. Should I share it? Will anyone believe me? Will they think I'm crazy? Was it just a dream? Did I really go to heaven? What would you have done? Think about it.

Did God allow this accident to happen for a reason? Only God knows. I do know this; Don is a walking, living, breathing miracle. Don suffered pain and depression but the power of God brought him through it. He is sharing his heavenly experience around the world and changing lives. His testimony has renewed many people's faith and belief about God, heaven, and life after death.

90 Minutes In Heaven Facts

In 2004 stayed on the New York Times best-seller list for 4 years.

Has sold over 5 million copies and is printed in 40 languages.

Published by Baker Publishing Group's Fleming Revell, is the landmark book that has led to a reawakening interest of Heaven.

The Car Accident and Prayer

Due to the severity of the car crash, the Jaws of Life was needed to pull Don's body out. Until then, Pastor Onerecker, determined to get in, crawled through the mangled trunk. He could only reach far enough to put his hand on Don's right shoulder. For 90 minutes, Onerecker was alternating between praying, singing hymns, and crying. He strongly felt God's guidance to pray against internal injuries and brain damage. Miraculously, while Onerecker was singing, "What A Friend We Have In Jesus," Don awoke singing the same song.

Suddenly, Pastor Onerecker was screaming, "The dead guy is alive." Since Don was already pronounced dead, the EMTs did not believe him.

Getting ambulances to the wreck was tricky. Because of the proximity of the accident, ambulances had to come from multiple locations. All but one ambulance had left the crash site.

Onerecker took immediate action by lying in front of the last ambulance and refusing to move. A reluctant EMT walked over to check the body. Don was breathing. The EMT screamed for help and started life-saving aid. Don shared that if that last ambulance had left, he would have quickly bled to death before any more help arrived.

One of Don's first and strongest memories, upon coming back to life, was the comfort of someone holding his right hand. Many months later, Don learned that no one could have reached his right hand. It was Jesus. In defiance to all medical explanations, Don had no internal or head injuries.

The Long and Painful Recovery

Don was hospitalized for 13 extremely painful months and only slept when he passed out from exhaustion. He endured 34 major surgeries. Some of these surgeries were new and experimental. Then he suffered years of painful therapy and rehabilitation. He spent a lot of time in a wheelchair before walking again. One of his legs had been several inches shorter than the other since 4-1/2 inches of his femur was gone. The bone in the shorter leg had been enticed to grow, using a Ilizarov frame (fixator). Don had the device on his left leg, arm and femur. The recovery process meant continuous, excruciating pain.

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Ilizarov Frame

Invented by a Siberian doctor named Ilizarov. The device forces the bone in the leg to grow while keeping the surrounding tissue intact. With missing bone pieces, they turn the screws in the device daily to stretch and break the new growth and force it to grow anew. Piano size wires go completely through the leg, from one side to the other side. Pencil-sized, stainless steel bars are used to stabilize the limb.

Emotional Recovery

Don went through an understandably long period of depression. There were many times he wanted to die, both for what he was going through, and because after seeing heaven, earth lost much of its meaning. Don kept questioning why God would allow him to see heaven and feel eternal bliss, only to send him back to suffer on earth.

Don was receiving many visitors at the hospital. Friends and family wanted to lend a helping hand anyway possible. However, Don presented an unfriendly demeanor to everyone by continuously turning down their kind gestures. Finally, a retired pastor friend calls him "a raging hypocrite." Those words penetrated deep into Don's heart. Don wept for a long time because he was taking his depression out on others. This forced him to change his attitude, started accepting the gifts of kindness from others and let the love of others fill his soul. Allowing others to help him started releasing his depression

Don did not tell anyone about his life after death experience for over a year. Finally, he confided to a close friend. It was then he was encouraged to share his journey with others. The idea of sharing his story made him feel uneasy. But his friend said he had to share his story.

The world is eager to hear about heaven. Now, Don has the opportunity to spread the good news. Heaven is real and, one day, all of us will get to go home to meet Jesus Christ and God.

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Don Shares His Heavenly Experience

As Don appeared outside the gates of heaven, he felt unimaginable joy, excitement and happiness. A crowd of people he knew on earth were greeting him. Everyone had an influence in Don becoming a Christian or encouraged his growth and faith as a believer. There was no sense of time passing which made everything ageless. He felt powerful embraces. His senses were extremely elevated. He saw indescribable colors and beauty. He missed nothing on earth. Anything negative or worrisome was erased from his consciousness. Perfect love emanated from everyone. When you meet someone in heaven, you immediately know everything about them. As he was approaching the gate, the beaming luminosity, iridescence and radiance increased.

Don's most powerful memory was what seemed like a symphony in heaven. He heard the magnified sounds of angel wings constantly swooshing overhead followed by unending praise music. The orchestra sounds were flowing through his body. Hundreds of vocal and instrumental songs were harmoniously sung. On earth this would clash, but in heaven, every sound, voice and instrument blended together in perfect harmony. The music filled his ears with pure euphoria. There were no sad songs of Jesus sacrifice or death, only songs praising our eternal King.

Don saw an amazing endless gate that faded out of sight in all directions. The entrance was small compared to the massive gate. The Bible refers to the gates of pearl, but it was not made of pearls, it was pearlescent in color. Looking inside the gate, he could see the city streets were paved in gold. Everything was beaming brightly. Don is not sure if he was floating, he just knows he was moving around. He paused at the gate and had become part of the choir. He was home and ready to meet Jesus. Then, as quickly as he arrived at the gates of heaven, he was returned to earth.

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Don Piper Ministries

He started Don Piper Ministries in 2007. Revenues go to help over 40 ministries. Don has been called "The Minister of Hope." He is a very popular, dynamic speaker who is in great demand. He spends his time speaking in the United States and around the world about the wonders of heaven. He has led revival meetings and seminars. He talks about answered prayers, miracles in his life, overcoming tragedy, and accepting pain and loss.

Don is a walking miracle. It is amazing he can even stand up and walk after what happened to him. God definitely had a plan for his life.

Author Eva Piper

In 2013, Don Piper's wife published a book entitled, "A Walk Through The Dark." Her book talks about how her husband's heavenly visitation renewed her faith and beliefs. Eva speaks of her once shallow Christian life before her husband's accident. After hearing about the wonders of heaven, she soon realized she had been living a superficial spiritual life. Now that her faith is renewed, she enjoys an honest and close relationship with God.

Eva's book is a caregiver's guide. She speaks of her frustration with her husband's disappointment of returning to earth. He spent many long nights beside the hospital bed crying, "Why God, why?" She discusses how she gave Don the hope to move on, explaining that God must have a plan for his life and He did.

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Author and Pastor Don Piper

I had the privilege of seeing Don Piper at church in 2007. He was speaking two nights in a row and I attended both evenings. After listening to Don speak and watching his way with people, he appeared to be a very good natured, friendly and humble person. Later the first evening, I purchased his book and got his autograph. He signed my book, "See you at the gate. Don Piper." His book has inspired my life and many others.

I remember Don stating that it was hard, even today, to speak about his life after death experience. His journey to heaven was so very personal that it was difficult to share and explain it to others. There are just no earthly words to properly explain many of the wonders of heaven. For instance, he saw amazing, glorious colors that do not exist in our world. How do you describe a non-existent color, sounds that cannot be duplicated, and a vibrancy that has no parallel? Don yearns to experience that again and expressed his desire to return through humor "If you ever again hear that I have been in a horrible accident, please, do not pray for me; just let me go to heaven."

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Definition of Miracle

An effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause. Such an effect or event manifesting or considered as a work of God. A wonder; marvel. A wonderful or surpassing example of some quality.

Definition of Blessing

The act or words of a person who blesses. A special favor, mercy, or benefit. A favor or gift bestowed by God, thereby bringing happiness. The invoking of God's favor upon a person. Praise; devotion; worship and grace said before a meal.

Reaching Out and Helping Others

The EMT's at Don's accident announced him dead at the scene. A pastor shows up and prays over a stranger for no internal injuries. Ninety minutes later, Don wakes up. THAT IS A MIRACLE.

After several years of depression and recovery, Don is sharing his story with everyone. Don has helped many people who suffered his same condition, to overcome their depression by explaining the long and short term trials they will face. Don told stories where the injured party cursed at him until they found out he had suffered the same fate. The person's pain became Don's pain and then there was a connection. In many cases, it is easier to relate to a person's problems, if you have gone though it yourself. THAT IS A BLESSING.


Don is still in complete amazement that he has touched and blessed to so many lives just by sharing his experience about heaven. His testimony, for believers, has brought back excitement about the afterlife. As for skeptics, his story has them contemplating about God, heaven and the afterlife. Don is giving the world reassurance that spending eternity with God in heaven is a place of exceptional and indescribable joy that one day we will all experience for ourselves.

Do You Believe Don Piper Went To Heaven?

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Don Piper Video

90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death and Life
90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death and Life

September 1, 2004

by Don Piper and Cecil Murphey

Paperback - $10.69

208 pages

90 Minutes in Heaven: My True Story (A Special Edition for Young Readers)
90 Minutes in Heaven: My True Story (A Special Edition for Young Readers)

Nov 1, 2009

by Don Piper and Cecil Murphey

Paperback - $8.57

160 pages


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