Taylor’s Gift, by Todd and Tara Storch with Jennifer Schuchmann, is an emotional account of one family’s tragic loss—their journey of grief and how they found comfort and renewed hope when their thirteen-year-old daughter’s life was tragically cut short. It’s also an inspirational tale of organ donation which gave the gift of life to a cowboy, a nurse, a bike rider and a teenager whose lives were forever touched.
Their story begins as Todd prepares to video his children’s final run down a Vail, Colorado, ski slope. Todd thought he was “…experiencing the trip of a lifetime.” He could hardly wait to share the videos and pictures with his wife, Tara, and nine-year-old Peyton, who were having cocoa in the alpine village below.
Todd grabbed his poles and followed eleven-year-old Ryan and Taylor down the slope. With his flip camera in hand, he captured Ryan and Taylor’s fluid movements through the snow. When he saw Ryan pull off so Taylor could catch up, she shot past him, gaining momentum as she flew by. Todd could only watch helplessly as his precious daughter hit a pine tree head-on, and then propelled into a second tree.
Writer Jennifer Schuchmann captures the tragic loss and insurmountable pain with empathy as reader’s journey through the valley of death with the Storch family. From their overwhelming grief to funeral arrangements to difficult choices that led to a question they were unprepared to answer. “Would you be willing to donate Taylor’s organs?”
Their courageous story reminds us how fragile and precious life is and how our choices make memorable differences in the lives of others. Jennifer captures their story of suffering, coping and even inability to cope with honesty and raw vulnerability, page by page, often prompting tears.
Reading their life-changing account, (box of tissue required) reminded me of Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (NKJV)
The Storch family’s remarkable testimony and well-done account of God, hope and change, though at times hard to read, is captured in Todd and Tara’s quote, “The greatest gift we’ve received on this journey didn’t come from Taylor…It came from God. Her death is not the end of her story. God is sovereign, and he is still writing.”
When Todd and Tara learned that the state of Texas’ registered organ donors was only 2 percent, they co-founded Taylor’s Gift Foundation where they now work “…tirelessly to help families touched by organ donation.” To register as an organ donor: www.taylorsgift.org/register/
Taylor’s Gift by Todd and Tara Storch YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1Lrt3bUSZI BakerPublishingGroup
Mother Hears her Daughter’s Heart Beat One Last Time YouTube: Revival House www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZN8EMXDwJ1A
Taylor’s Gift, by Todd and Tara Storch w/Jennifer Schuchmann, Revell, 2013, 336 Pages, 978-0800721886, $19.99
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Taylor’s Gift: Courageous Story of Giving Life & Renewing Hope, by Todd and Tara Storch w/Jennifer Schuchmann
In March 2010, thirteen-year-old Taylor Storch’s life was tragically cut short by a skiing accident. With only a few minutes to consider their options, her grieving family made the life-changing decision to donate her organs.
Knowing Taylor’s caring spirit, they were sure this was what she would have wanted. Over the course of the next two years, Tara and Todd Storch connected with four of the five people who now live because of Taylor’s gift. And through these encounters, the Storch’s have discovered unexpected blessings that are changing countless lives.
Now Tara and Todd share their inspiring story, shining a light at the end of the tunnel for those enduring the suffering of losing a loved one. Through the stories of the donor recipients, readers will discover hope in the midst of pain. Honest with their struggles, the Storch’s show readers that life is a gift and our response to grief is a choice.
They also speak with a clear voice about the importance and the blessing of being an organ donor, telling the inspiring story of the creation of Taylor’s Gift Foundation and its goals to raise awareness of the need for organ donation, to re-gift life, renew health, and restore families. They are changing the conversation around the globe that organ donation is not about death–it’s about life! Foreword by Max Lucado.
‘Appointments with Heaven: The True Story of a Country Doctor’s Healing Encounters with the Hereafter’ by Reggie Anderson, Steven Curtis & Marybeth Chapman w/ Jennifer Schuchmann,
When Dr. Reggie Anderson is present at the bedside of a dying patient, something miraculous happens. Sometimes as he sits vigil and holds the patient’s hand . . . he can experience what they feel and see as they cross over. Because of these God-given glimpses of the afterlife—his “appointments with heaven”—Reggie knows beyond a doubt that we are closer to the next world than we think.
Join him as he shares remarkable stories from his life and practice, including the tragedy that nearly drove him away from faith forever. He reveals how what he’s seen, heard, and experienced has shaped what he believes about living and dying; how we can face the passing of our loved ones with the courage and confidence that we will see them again; and how we can each prepare for our own “appointment with heaven.”
Soul-stirring and hope-filled, Appointments with Heaven is a powerful journey into the questions at the very core of your being: Is there more to life than this? What is heaven like? And, most important: Do I believe it enough to let it change me?
Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife, by Eben Alexander
Examiner Review: ventwing.com/review/proof-of-heaven-a-neurosurgeon-s-journey-into-the-afterlife-by-eben-alexander
SCIENTIST’S CASE FOR THE AFTERLIFE
Thousands of people have had near-death experiences, but scientists have argued that they are impossible. Dr. Eben Alexander was one of those scientists. A highly trained neurosurgeon, Alexander knew that NDEs feel real, but are simply fantasies produced by brains under extreme stress.
Then, Dr. Alexander’s own brain was attacked by a rare illness. The part of the brain that controls thought and emotion—and in essence makes us human—shut down completely. For seven days he lay in a coma. When his doctors considered stopping treatment, Alexander’s eyes popped open. He had come back.
Alexander’s recovery is a medical miracle. But the real miracle of his story lies elsewhere. While his body lay in coma, Alexander journeyed beyond this world and encountered an angelic being who guided him into the deepest realms of super-physical existence. There he met, and spoke with, the Divine source of the universe itself.
Alexander’s story is not a fantasy. Before he underwent his journey, he could not reconcile his knowledge of neuroscience with any belief in heaven, God, or the soul. Today Alexander is a doctor who believes that true health can be achieved only when we realize that God and the soul are real and that death is not the end of personal existence but only a transition.
This story would be remarkable no matter who it happened to. That it happened to Dr. Alexander makes it revolutionary. No scientist or person of faith will be able to ignore it. Reading it will change your life.
Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back, by Todd Burpo w/ Lynn Vincent
Examiner Review: ventwing.com/review/heaven-is-for-real-by-todd-burpo-with-lynn-vincent
A young boy emerges from life-saving surgery with remarkable stories of his visit to heaven.
Heaven Is for Real is the true story of the four-year old son of a small town Nebraska pastor who during emergency surgery slips from consciousness and enters heaven. He survives and begins talking about being able to look down and see the doctor operating and his dad praying in the waiting room. The family didn’t know what to believe but soon the evidence was clear.
Colton said he met his miscarried sister, whom no one had told him about, and his great grandfather who died 30 years before Colton was born, then shared impossible-to-know details about each. He describes the horse that only Jesus could ride, about how “reaaally big” God and his chair are, and how the Holy Spirit “shoots down power” from heaven to help us.
Told by the father, but often in Colton’s own words, the disarmingly simple message is heaven is a real place, Jesus really loves children, and be ready, there is a coming last battle.
To Heaven and Back, by Mary C. Neal M.D.
Examiner Review: ventwing.com/review/to-heaven-and-back-a-doctor-s-extraordinary-true-story-by-mary-c-neal-m-d-1
A kayak accident during a South American adventure takes one woman to heaven — where she experienced God’s peace, joy, and angels — and back to life again.
In 1999 in the Los Rios region of southern Chile, orthopedic surgeon, devoted wife, and loving mother Dr. Mary Neal drowned in a kayak accident. While cascading down a waterfall, her kayak became pinned at the bottom and she was immediately and completely submerged. Despite the rescue efforts of her companions, Mary was underwater for too long, and as a result, died.
To Heaven and Back is Mary’s remarkable story of her life’s spiritual journey and what happened as she moved from life to death to eternal life, and back again. Detailing her feelings and surroundings in heaven, her communication with angels, and her deep sense of sadness when she realized it wasn’t her time, Mary shares the captivating experience of her modern-day miracle.
Mary’s life has been forever changed by her new found understanding of her purpose on earth, her awareness of God, her closer relationship with Jesus, and her personal spiritual journey suddenly enhanced by a first-hand experience in heaven. To Heaven and Back will reacquaint you with the hope, wonder, and promise of heaven, while enriching you own faith and walk with God.
90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death and Life, by Don Piper w/Cecil Murphey
As he is driving home from a minister’s conference, Baptist minister Don Piper collides with a semi-truck that crosses into his lane. He is pronounced dead at the scene. For the next 90 minutes, Piper experiences heaven where he is greeted by those who had influenced him spiritually. He hears beautiful music and feels true peace.
Back on earth, a passing minister who had also been at the conference is led to pray for Don even though he knows the man is dead. Piper miraculously comes back to life and the bliss of heaven is replaced by a long and painful recovery.
For years Piper kept his heavenly experience to himself. Finally, however, friends and family convinced him to share his remarkable story.
My Journey to Heaven: What I Saw and How It Changed My Life Paperback by Marvin J. Besteman w/ Lorilee Craker
On April 28, 2006, as he lay in his hospital bed in Ann Arbor, Michigan, visions of celestial beauty were the last thing on Marv Besteman’s mind. He had just had surgery to remove a rare pancreatic tumor. It was after visiting hours and his family had left for the day. Alone and racked with pain, Marv tossed and turned, wanting more than anything else to simply sleep and escape the misery and discomfort for a while. The retired banker, father, and grandfather had no idea he was about to get a short reprieve in the form of an experience he never could have imagined.
In My Journey to Heaven, Marv Bestman shares the story of his experience of heaven with astounding detail. Readers will hear of his encounters with angels who accompanied him to the gate, his conversation (argument, really) with St. Peter, and his recognition of friends and family members who touched his life. His story offers peace, comfort, and encouragement to those who have lost loved ones and gives security and solace to those who are grieving, dying, or wonders about the afterlife. Marv believed God sent him back to earth to fulfill this mission of comfort and reminds readers that God has work for each of us to do before he calls us to be with him in heaven. Secure in his belief that his book was the fulfillment of his own mission, Marv returned to heaven in January 2012.