Pastor Don Piper died January 18, 1989, when a semi-tractor truck crushed his car. Declared dead by the first rescue workers to arrive on the scene, Don’s body lay under a tarp for the next 90 minutes. Don’s soul, meanwhile, was experiencing love, joy, and life like he’d never known before.
Don was in Heaven. When another pastor’s prayers helped bring Don back to life, he became a living miracle. Yet this is one miracle Don wished never happened. Heaven’s bliss was replaced with excruciating pain and emotional turmoil. With the support and prayers of his beloved wife Eva, their three kids, and friends near and far, Don clung to his faith in God and fought to regain a semblance of his previous life. The Piper family’s incredible true story of perseverance and faith in the midst of the challenges of life—and death—will bring hope and encouragement to all who see this film.
“90 Minutes in Heaven” is a factual account of a tragic auto accident involving Pastor Don Piper, when he was hit head-on by a semi truck. Don was pronounced dead at the scene by a First Responder, and a tarp was placed over his car while they cleared the scene and waited for the medical examiner to arrive. Some 90 minutes later, another pastor was in line waiting for the blocked roadway to clear. He felt motivated to go to the wreckage and pray for the unknown driver. He climbed in the car and began to sing, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” He was shocked to hear the supposed deceased driver join him in singing the hymn.
Revealing these details is not a spoiler. They are widely recounted in Don’s book by the same name, which sold more than 6 million copies worldwide. The bulk of the film takes place after the accident, as Don (portrayed by Hayden Christensen) wrestles with the damage to his body and his broken spirit. His wife, Eva (Kate Bosworth), has to endure the long periods of Don’s deep depression and hopelessness. Many family members and members of their church, along with several close pastor friends, support her.
After a year of multiple surgeries, physical and emotional therapies, Don finally reveals the true source of his depression. He spent the 90 minutes he was deceased in Heaven, where many friends and family members who had been deceased for a long time greeted him. He hesitated to share his experience, out of fear that no one would believe him. On the contrary, his testimony has impacted millions of lives as he has shared his story through speaking engagements, writing his book, and now with the added reach of this stirring film.
The story will move even the hardest of hearts, as viewers hear Don describe what he saw in Heaven, and why he was disappointed and even angry with God for sending him back. The message is clear, there’s no place like home…especially if Heaven is your ultimate home. Several vivid scenes show blood and a man in agonizing pain. We’re pleased to award “90 Days in Heaven” the Dove Faith Friendly Seal for audiences over age 12.