CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Interview with Pat Boone
Aired January 24, 2002 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, he asked for your prayers and got them. Did the power of prayer bring a miraculous recovery to Pat Boone's grandson? For the first time since his freak fall, we'll meet Ryan and see why some people are calling this a miracle. Also joining us, the man who asked for those prayers, singing legend Pat Boone, Ryan's mother and Pat Boone's daughter, Lindy Boone Michaelus (ph), Pat's daughter and Ryan's aunt, Debbie Boone. Debbie will also sing a special song at the end of the show. Ryan's Dave Owen and long-time friend of Pat Boone, Kenneth Copeland, co-founder and president of Kenneth Copeland Ministries.
Plus, in her first interview since the birth of her baby, Lisa Beamer, wife of Todd Beamer, hero of September 11's Flight 93 will tell us about the birth of Morgan Kay Beamer. All that next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Let's set this stage for you. An extraordinary show ahead tonight. On July 26, Pat Boone came on this program to talk about a terrible accident that had happened to his grandson Ryan. Watch a little portion of that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAT BOONE, SINGING LEGEND: Ryan fell through the skylight and hit a couple rails on the way down to the floor, almost four stories below. The paramedics picked him up. They were there in just a few minutes. My wife, Shirley, one of the buddies called my wife and she came in right behind the paramedics, they had just taken him into the ER. They didn't think he had a chance. Shirley said, I'm his grandmother, how is he? And one of them looked at her and said, don't get your hopes up. And it's been a fight, a nip and tuck struggle ever since.
KING: Where is he now? What hospital?
P. BOONE: UCLA. But he's confounded the doctors. They call him their miracle boy right now. He's still in a coma after five weeks. There he is now.
KING: Still in a coma. That's him.
P. BOONE: Yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: And that was July 26. He was filmed in a coma, very little hope for him coming out of that, right, Pat.
P. BOONE: Well, with the doctors, yes. Because looking at the medical probabilities, it didn't seem likely. But of course...
KING: And you asked that night for people around the world to pray.
P. BOONE: I sure did. And they have responded by the millions, by the millions. And we got a letter from President Bush and Laura. I guess they were watching that night, and they said we're praying.
KING: Before we show what happened yesterday when you and I went out to this rehab center, how many places has he been since UCLA?
P. BOONE: He's in his sixth facility. He's been in several, he had a problem, like a -- what do you call it, an incident of some type, I forget. But anyway, they had to take him to intensive care again. They said that was expected and he's recovered from that.
But he's in a skilled care facility now. And he's showing remarkable -- he's gone way beyond, way beyond what the doctors told us to expect.
KING: Now, he cannot speak.
P. BOONE: Can't speak yet.
KING: But he's out of the coma, right?
P. BOONE: He's out of his coma. We say he's recovering from coma, but, as you'll see, he does things now that people in comas just don't do.
KING: Was someone there when he came out?
P. BOONE: It was not an instant. It wasn't what we thought it might be. We thought it might be just, oh, hi. That hasn't happened.
KING: But his eyes were open...
P. BOONE: His eyes were open for a long time but not apparently seeing. But now gradually he's become more aware. It's been a process, it's been a process, a prayer process.
KING: We went there. We're going to talk a lot about prayer tonight. But we went there yesterday, Pat Boone and I yesterday morning and you'll seeing various clips of b-roll, as they call it, taken during the visit. But watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
P. BOONE: I want you to shake hands with Larry King. Give him your shake. Squeeze.
KING: Squeeze? I feel it.
P. BOONE: Slide. Slide. Hook those fingers. Get at that thumb. Feel that pressure?
KING: Oh, boy. Hey, hey, hey. Ooh!
P. BOONE: Give me a kiss, Ryan. You angel. You angel. Oh, what a workout you've been through. Wow. He's come so far, Larry.
KING: Boy, it's amazing from what we saw.
P. BOONE: Look at him.
KING: How you feel? Feel good?
P. BOONE: Do you know this guy? You've watched him so many hours in your life.
KING: I played for the Lakers. I was a point guard. I was good. He's a basketball fan, right?
P. BOONE: Oh, yes. He was most valuable player and captain of his team at Irvine High. Lindy, you ought to be in here. Are you?
LINDY BOONE, PAT BOONE'S DAUGHTER: I'm always in here.
P. BOONE: 6'4", he still holds the rebounding record. He pulled down more rebounds than any...
KING: He wanted to be an actor?
P. BOONE: Not really.
L. BOONE: A writer.
KING: He would be described as what, as coming out of a coma?
P. BOONE: Yes.
KING: Because obviously from the pictures we saw last time this is night and day.
P. BOONE: He's about to go to sleep, but he's not in a coma. And his...
KING: His eyes have excellent awareness.
P. BOONE: He's worn out now. But, yes, he's so alert, so aware.
L. BOONE: He understands when I ask him certain things, when he's in a very awake...
KING: Why is his head favoring left?
L. BOONE: It has to do with the injuries. He wasn't able to turn to the right at all for several months. And now he has really no problem doing it, but when he's tired, especially now, he'll definitely favor the left.
KING: Are you crediting prayer?
P. BOONE: Oh, Larry, I'm telling you.
KING: This is a marvelous facility. He's been in many facilities, right?
L. BOONE: This is his sixth spot.
KING: This is the last, then he goes home?
L. BOONE: That's the plan.
KING: To whose house?
L. BOONE: My house.
P. BOONE: He's very strong.
Give me a grip, man. Give me the slide, give me the thumb and then -- yes.
KING: That was his old hand shakes with his buddies.
P. BOONE: They worked that out.
KING: Now the right side is stronger than the left.
P. BOONE: The left side is not doing much, because he was hurt worse on the right side. But we see both arms and legs...
L. BOONE: Right side of his brain.
KING: Are doctors encouraged?
P. BOONE: Yes, they are. They will never give you a real -- they can't. It's guesswork, they can't tell you how far he's going to come but we're telling them, as Doug said, you're the medical team, we're the faith team. And we're working together. You can see he's come so far.
L. BOONE: We give him all the love medicine and that counts for a lot.
KING: Love counts.
P. BOONE: She and her mama, his grandmama have been at his bedside every day, all day for over seven months. He has a special -- Lindy, would you mind coming here, letting him kiss you. I want people to see the look on his face that he kisses his mom.
L. BOONE: Are you awake enough to give me one kiss before your nap? can I have a kiss? thank you, love. I love you. I love you.
KING: He wants to talk. He's close to talking. P. BOONE: He's so close to talking to us. He's just so close. I hope his first word is mom. I hope God will grant us that favor.
L. BOONE: There's times I come in, I ask him for a kiss and before I come in for a kiss, he'll just right at my face. He understands the word.
KING: As soon as he talks, he's back to normal. He's coming on.
L. BOONE: OK.
KING: That's a promise we'll keep.
Kenneth Copeland, how much of this is prayer, do you think?
KENNETH COPELAND, KENNETH COPELAND MINISTRIES: Well...
KING: You're going to take all the credit, aren't you?
COPELAND: I didn't have anything too do with it. I just prayed.
KING: You prayed. You were here.
COPELAND: But prayer is a spirit connection. God is a spirit. Jesus said when he was on the earth, what so everything you desire when you pray believe you receive it and you'll have it. He didn't say after you get it, then you can believe it. Anybody can do that.
KING: And this, do you balance medicine and prayer?
COPELAND: Oh, sure. But medicine really, Larry, is is a product of somebody's prayers. That's the way medicine came into the world.
KING: Dave, you're his pastor.
DAVE OWEN, PASTOR OF PAT'S GRANDSON: Yes.
KING: How did you feel about what you just saw?
OWEN: I took a team of people down there to pray for him and I was just absolutely astonished when I saw him. Compared to what we had seen just a short while before, it was miraculous. We sensed God's presence. We were excited, we were expectant. It's awesome.
KING: Your nephew, Debby. What do you think?
DEBBIE BOONE, PAT BOONE'S DAUGHTER: I am thrilled. I just saw that for the first time. I have been out of town and got a little cold so I haven't gone to visit him. It is so wonderful to see him. What impacts me as much or maybe more is my sister, because I have seen a strength...
D. BOONE: Yes. What she is is a testament of somebody who has embraced this time in letting God be present to her in his love. And I've watched her become so strong and so incredible. And to me it has changed my life watching what God has done in my sister that something that's unimaginable as a mother.
KING: If we didn't make it clear, Ryan fell through a skylight.
P. BOONE: About 40 feet.
KING: Forty feet, hit his head and was unconscious all that time.
P. BOONE: The paramedics thought he was dying or dead, because the shock, the trauma had knocked the breath and everything out of him.
KING: Lindy, did you ever give up faith? Truth.
L. BOONE: Oh, no. He is my son. I would never give up my faith that he would be well.
KING: There had to be hard days.
L. BOONE: I was distraught. I've cried probably every day these seven months. But, no, my hope is in the lord.
KING: We'll a break and we'll be back. We'll be including your phone calls on this remarkable story. And I was there and it's remarkable. Elton John tomorrow night. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
I'm now at the Care Meridian and I'm returning Ryan from physical exercise to his room. He'll be here until February and then he gets to live in a regular family house. They do wonderful work here. I guess I turn left because if I turn right, I hit the window.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: The amazing story Ryan Michaelis on his way to recovery -- oh, it's Corbin, is his name -- your name is Michaelis second marriage,right?
L. BOONE: Yes.
KING: So, Corbin is his dad's. It's Ryan Corbin.
Dave, your his pastor. Was Ryan a believer? Is Ryan a believer?
DAVE OWEN, PASTOR OF PAT'S GRANDSON'S CHURCH: Absolutely. A committed believer. In church week after week. Loved the Lord.
KING: If he weren't, would it make a difference, Kenneth, if people were praying for him?
COPELAND: No, I don't think so at this point. Of course it's always an advantage. But he's not in a position to believe for himself. So the people around him are interceding for him, and that combination of prayer is as powerful, particularly when his parents are involved -- he's like a seven-month-old baby.
He was physically and mentally reduced almost to zero because he almost died. Now God is bringing him back just like watching a little seven-month-old baby, he's doing all these wonderful things and his mama prays for him every day. I think it's the greatest thing I ever saw.
KING: By the way, this facility in Silverado, there is only five, six patients there. All with head injuries, and there are a lot of these facilities around the country. They do a lot of wonderful work.
When they told you about the x-rays and look at the brain, didn't they make it appear to that he wasn't going to come out of this?
P. BOONE: Yes.
KING: So, when they look at it now, what happened. Medically, you're saying prayer had power. What does he look like now that's different than three, four months ago?
P. BOONE: A, they said they didn't have any hope he would ever get off his ventilator, or trachiostomy. And therefore, he would probably lie in a bed and be a vegetable. The told us that about a couple weeks...
KING: He's lost 60 pounds.
P. BOONE: He's lost 60 pounds from 210. They sort of intimated to us that we might give some thought to a time when we would want to withdraw support, because lying there in a ventilator in a vegetable state wouldn't be much of an existence. And that's was when Doug made his statement: You're the medical team, we're the faith team, let's work together. And I know a question must be in so many people's minds, if God's so powerful, why didn't he do it like that?
KING: Why didn't he?
P. BOONE: Well, because God's not a short order cook. You don't just say I want like a little of this, a little of that OK, coming right up. No. God is a father. We're created in his image. And when something like this happens, he puts his arm around us and says, OK, we got a problem, don't we. What can you do about it?
Let's see what you can do, son or daughter, and then I'll show you what to do and then when you've run out of your abilities, I'll kick in, but let's do this together. And not just you, but friends, family, people across this television network, through CNN, through you. Millions. He's involving millions of people. That's why I feel that I'm so confident he's going to... KING: People were praying for him all over the world.
P. BOONE: All over the world, and though he's not all the way back yet and it is a process, we can tell, he's trying from within. He's cognitive enough now that he understands certain words. And when Lindy or others give him a command and Lindy offers him something to eat. He opens his mouth, she says, "lick your lips, son." And he licks his lips.
KING: Wait a minute. I saw pictures, you took him to McDonald's.
P. BOONE: Yes.
KING: Tell me how that happened. Tell me about that.
L. BOONE: Well, his speech therapist and activities director volunteered and said would you like to take him on an outing. I said, do you think he's ready? They said, yes. He's fine. So, we put him for the first time in a van and we took him to a park.
KING: There he is at McDonald's.
L. BOONE: We went to McDonald's and he ate so well there.
P. BOONE: He is eating french fries with ketchup there.
L. BOONE: I thought he might be too distracted by everything going on.
P. BOONE: Bite of cheeseburger. Big Mac.
L. BOONE: He drank Coke, he ate half of a hot fudge Sunday.
P. BOONE: You talk about a happy meal. Yes!
KING: That had to be thrilling to just be there for that.
L. BOONE: I had to walk over to a mother who was there watching her child and I just said to her, I just need to tell you, you're watching a miracle. Because she was looking at him like he was, you know...
P. BOONE: Just a regular guy.
KING: When this happened, Debby, I know how believing you are, but here's your nephew. He's fallen through a skylight, and you have to feed him through a tube and he can't -- he is in a -- you didn't doubt your faith? You didn't say, why?
D. BOONE: You know, I struggle with fear every day of my life, Larry. And something like this that becomes life and death makes you really reckon with, what do I believe in. And more than ever in my life what happened to Ryan made me come face to face with what do I really believe. And that is a good thing, you know. I mean, the good that comes, the redemption that comes out of something that's so tragic, seemingly, when people look to God instead of get bitter and angry. And so for me, yes, I've had doubts, but I go to God and I know God and I know that he's good and there's a trust that's deeper than my fear when I go to that place where I know how to find God and my spirit.
KING: But doubt doesn't want make you want to turn away from it?
D. BOONE: No, you know what? Doubt helps you your faith increase. Don't be afraid of your doubts. Address them, look at them and find out what's true.
KING: Do pastors doubt, Dave?
OWEN: Absolutely. We're just normal people that have a calling to do a different kind of job.
KING: So on bad days, when you doubt, your doubt doesn't take you away from praying, right?
OWEN: No, it takes me to praying. It's the confronting of the doubts that Debby said. It's going to the Bible, where, that's where the inspiration for faith comes, is to go to the scriptures, to read them. It inspires faith. I go there, I'm reminded of who I am, who God is, and I'm reminded that I can go to him with anything at any time under any circumstances.
KING: How about the pain, Kenneth? How do you deal with pain of something? You're praying but you're in pain.
COPELAND: Well, pain, the inner pain that comes from something like this has to be dealt with, of course. But let's stop and think a minute. Now, what if Ryan had fallen instead of down through his house, say he had fallen out in a boat, fallen in the water.
I don't have time to stop and think about the pain or who's going to hurt. I've got to get in there and get him out. And so the spiritual charge that it takes and particularly with a pastor, this is a pastor's heart because this is where his anointing and commission is, when something happens to your family or something happens to your child or to a close friend, you don't stop to think about the doubts.
You just jump in with everything you have, all the faith you have all the bible you can get your hands on and you go in there and you believe when you pray and you don't let go. You just stay, and you don't ever change. We'll think about all of this later, but right now we have to stay hooked up to God.
KING: And Lindy, you don't say, why me?
L. BOONE: No, no. That doesn't cross my mind. Because everywhere you look, you can't watch your show or live in this world without seeing that there are troubles and people have them. And I've been very, very blessed in my life not to encounter many. This is a big one.
But can I tell you what means so much to me. Jesus said, "I have told you these things so that in me, you may have perfect peace and confidence. In the world, you have tribulations and trials -- you're going to have them -- and distress and frustration, but be of good cheer, take courage, be confident, certain and undaunted for I have overcome the world." I get a lot of strength from stuff like that.
KING: But even he on the cross said...
P. BOONE: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
KING: Isn't that the opposite of that statement?
P. BOONE: No, because there was a purpose in it. That's why he came. And God and he had agreed ahead of time. There's no way to save fallen humanity except for you, son. Are you willing? Are you willing? You're God, like me, but are you willing to give your life for humanity.
KING: Do you see God in Ryan?
P. BOONE: Oh, yes. He asked him to dwell in him. And mystically, but in a very real way, God has made his dwelling in Ryan, which gave me great hope because I said, Lord, I'm not asking you to reach down from heaven to heal Ryan as I have for many other people. I'm asking you to rise up in him. Rise up in this place you've lived in 20 years. You know him better than anybody.
KING: We'll be right back with more. By the way, he's at the Care Meridian Facility in Silverado, California. And that's where Ryan is. Ryan Corbin is the name.
And you're watching LARRY KING LIVE. And the newest member of the CNN family, by the way, Connie Chung, will be aboard on Monday night. We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are looking right here. One, two, three. All right.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good work, Ryan. You did it!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good job, baby.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
P. BOONE: Yes, Jesus loves me. The bible tells me so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: That was you singing to young Ryan.
P. BOONE: Yes, on a TV special on another network, yes. He was singing with me.
KING: We don't do shows like that.
P. BOONE: Was he about four then, or three?
L. BOONE: Oh, I think he was younger.
P. BOONE: Younger than that.
KING: Let's take a call in on this proceeding. Akron, Ohio, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Larry. Thank you for taking my call. First of all, I'd like to ask for prayers for my aunt who was just diagnosed on Monday with lung cancer.
My question is how do you not give up hope in your daily life, even if you're spiritual? I mean, just getting through life every day, how do you not give up hope?
KING: Kenneth, you want to start?
COPELAND: The first thing it takes is a decision on your own part. You go to the bible. You go to God's word that covers your situation and then you believe it. And from that point on, you keep that word on your mind. You keep it going in your eyes. You keep it going in your ears. You keep it coming out your mouth. Instead of listening to your own mental thoughts, you speak what God has already said in his word and you say it as though God spoke it to you personally.
KING: So, Debby, you're giving yourself up in a sense?
D. BOONE: Yes. Well, the word says that...
KING: You're not letting the intellect around you work? You see the despair. You know the despair.
D. BOONE: Right. You don't look at your circumstances. You look at the one who has all the cards and that's God. He's holding all the cards. He's got the power. And things may look awfully bleak, and I get discouraged and I know that the word says his strength is perfected in my weakness. Fear and worry are my weakness.
So I give them to God and I say, help me, I'm really discouraged today. I feel hopeless today. Please give me the trust and faith that I need to keep going and do what you want me to do.
KING: But, Lindy, you don't dismiss doctors and medication and work, right? There may be God, but somebody's got to do something on the ground?
L. BOONE: Right. Right. I still feel a need to be in his room. I haven't left him to go about my life because...
KING: Are you there every day?
L. BOONE: Oh, yes. Yes. I got sick one day and I didn't want to expose him to germs, so I stayed away. But, yes. I still want to do my part. I want the doctors to do their part and I think it is a team effort.
KING: But when the realism hits you as when he was in the coma, when he had those things attached to his head and that terrible look, and you have to face that, and the caller said what gives you hope, when you have in front of you, the fact.
L. BOONE: Well, I know the great physician that gives me hope that he raised people from the dead. He healed all manner of sicknesses and I know that he still does that today. I know people die every day too, but I look to him and say, please, Lord, this is my son and I...
KING: But there are other sons who do die.
L. BOONE: That's true.
KING: How do you explain that, Pat?
P. BOONE: That's really a tough one, and maybe the other guys want to take a crack at it. But I was thinking about how crisis and we know we'll be talking to Lisa soon -- Beamer -- crisis and tragedy draws people together like nothing else does. When everything else is going great, people are not as interested in other people. But as Ken said a while ago, when those planes went into the tower, when Ryan fell, tens, thousands, scores, hundreds of people, millions of people are energized to care about each other. People rush to the blood banks. And so good comes from these things, and talk about hope.
KING: Is he good coming from Ryan's fall?
P. BOONE: Good -- oh, yes, oh, so much good. One thing, if I might mention it, is we were addressing the blood shortages and the organ donor shortages before this happened. In fact, the day before Ryan fell, I was at UCLA 100 yards from where they brought him, giving blood with Shirley Jones, Charlton Heston, Casey Kasem and others because we knew that the blood shortages were reaching crisis proportions.
The next day, Ryan was 100 yards away, receiving 36 pints of blood. And they told us it could have been Moses, Heston's blood, or mine, or Shirley Jones' blood that was helping save my grandson's life within 24 hours. So we're working with Tommy Thompson. As a result, greatly spurred on by what happened to Ryan and 9/11, working with HHS to try to solve the blood shortages and the donor shortages forever with a simple e-mail directory. Let people go on usblooddonors.org, give their blood types, be willing to donate blood if they are asked, and are they willing to donate body parts once they are through with them.
KING: Do we know, Dave, the age-old answer to the question why good things happen -- and by the way, and Ryan is just 25 years old now -- why good things happen -- why bad things happen to good people?
OWEN: I wish there was an easy answer to that because it would make my job an easy one.
KING: A rabbi wrote a great book on it.
OWEN: Absolutely. I read the book and I thought that he had some very insightful things to say. But, again, I think we live in the real world. And according to the scriptures, it is a fallen world. It is a world where some awful things happen to people. But we have a message of good news to bring to people, even good people that have had bad things happen to them, we've got a message to bring to them that is meant to inspire hope in them. ' We can inspire hope. And that's what we're doing right now. This program is inspiring hope in people. People are listening and watching this program and they are thinking maybe for me, maybe it can be different. If it can work for him, it can work for me.
KING: Danger, Ken Copeland, of false hope.
COPELAND: No, I don't think so, unless you don't have any idea where to put the hope. The hope is in God. It's not in...
KING: All prayers aren't answered and all hope doesn't come true and people do die.
COPELAND: Well, why quit? You're going to die anyway. Everybody's going to die. The thing to do is with hope and faith in God, you have some intermediate control on where you go after you die, what happens between now and when I die, and the bible gives you all the things you can do to lengthen your days here on the earth and live them in prosperity.
So there's decisions to be made, Larry, before the disasters come. How am I going to act if this happens to my family? What am I going to do if, God forbid, if Ryan had died? Now, I know this family. They would have been as strong and as powerful and as straightforward had that young lad gone on to heaven to be home with the Lord.
KING: But they'd have been down and depressed.
COPELAND: I don't think so. Not this group.
P. BOONE: We'd have been, as Lindy said, distraught. There's pain in separation. But I think -- we talked about this once before -- we would know where he is. We would know he's more alive than he's ever been and that we're going to see him again.
KING: So you're crying for yourself?
P. BOONE: We're crying because of what he's going through. You see your child hurt, your grandchild, your friend and you hurt. Larry, about why horrible thins happen to good people. What we don't realize but the bible makes plain is that we have been at war ever since there's been a world and humanity. The bible makes it plain. God has his adversaries. You think 9/11 was a shock and it was. What about the shock in heaven when Lucifer, the light bearer they called the anointed cherub, led a revolt in heaven and a third of the angels, the bible says, were cast down.
Guess where they came? They came here. And they have been waging war. We're in the middle of this war. The war against terrorism was going on before we knew it. They were planning their attacks. For years, they were training. They were getting all the materials together, strategies, all that and Osama bin Laden, whoever, were planning all these things. We were at war but we didn't recognize that we were at war.
We are all human beings at war with God's enemies and God's adversaries and we're walking through a mine field and terrible things do happen to people because of that.
KING: We'll be right back with more. When we come back, we'll talk on the phone with Lisa Beamer, her exclusive first interview since giving birth to Morgan Kay Beamer on January 9. And then we will come back to our panel and more of your phone calls. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So chocolate we think is the winner? All right. I'm going to have him hold it. Might get a little messy. Ryan, look. It's my favorite. Chocolate and chocolate. Take a bite. There you go. There you go. Good job. That's pretty good.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Speaking of coming through tragedy, we're going to pause from this subject for a moment and go by phone to New Jersey, where Lisa Beamer is standing by. This is her exclusive first interview since the birth of her baby, Morgan Kay Beamer, on January 9. Her husband, Todd, of course, one of the heroes of September 11 Flight 93.
How are you, Lisa, and how is Morgan Kay?
LISA BEAMER, HUSBAND KILLED IN 9/11 ATTACKS: We're doing well. Morgan's great. She's a happy little baby, so far, so hopefully that is indicative of things to come for us.
KING: Completely healthy?
BEAMER: She is. She's little. She was seven pounds when she was born. She's a little less than that now. But she's a healthy girl. She went to the doctor for the first time. And we're just looking forward to seeing her grow.
KING: How did the birth go?
BEAMER: It went unbelievably well. My first two boys were born relatively quickly and she was born very quickly. So that's nice for the recovery.
KING: I wonder what it was like for you, loss of husband, all the attention you've gotten, was there a feeling about Todd being in the hospital? Was there his presence? What did you feel?
BEAMER: I had actually asked his older sister to be with me at the birth. If there's anybody who kind of reminds me of Todd's personality, it his sister, Melissa. And that was a good thing for me to have her there and just her quiet sense of peace and strength that would be similar to what he would have given me at that time.
And, Morgan, like I said, was born really quickly so that was kind of a blessing, too. There wasn't a whole lot of time to, you know, be emotional and that sort of thing. And so all of a sudden, here we have this beautiful baby girl. And as soon as, you know, I saw her, she looked so much like Todd and, you know, obviously it was a very bittersweet moment, but I'd say probably more sweet than bitter.
KING: How are her brothers taking it?
BEAMER: They're very excited. They are four and two so she's a new toy for them. But they seem to know that she's special and she need a little extra tender loving care and they like to fight over who gets to hold her and that sort of thing. And after a few minutes, they'll go back and wrestle amongst themselves. But they're excited. And when David heard it was a girl, he said, that's good, we needed a girl. And I think he's right.
KING: What's been the public reaction?
BEAMER: Oh, it's just a continuation of everything that our family has received since September, as far as just an outpouring of people's best hopes and good wishes for our future and, you know, just their love. And it's been additional encouragement to see all that in the last few weeks since Morgan's been born.
KING: And as you know, in lieu of baby gifts, we have joined the fight to ask for donations to a foundation or a children's charity. There's the Todd W. Beamer Foundation, set up to assist children who lost parents. The foundation's Internet address is www.beamerfoundation.org. And it should be mentioned that Lisa's family does not receive any assistance from that fund, right?
BEAMER: That's correct.
Now, I know you know we have got a whole panel here talking about what appears to be a miraculous on the road to recovery of young Ryan. I know you have been watching and listening. Pat Boone might want to have something to say to you, Lisa. P. BOONE: Oh, my. Wow. What is there that you can say? Your husband and you are heroes and the world loves you. You asked, Larry, how good things come from terrible incidents, and you just gave an example of this foundation and the good that is coming about.
But, Lisa, you know better than we that Todd lives in you. He lives in those kids. He's more alive now than he's ever been. He did not cease to exist. We don't talk about Todd Beamer in past tense. He's moved upstairs, that's all. He's moved upstairs. On the day that he stood before God and his presence, there were some other people, those terrorists who also stood before God with expectation of commendation for having taken many unsuspecting innocent lives. I don't know what God has done with them. I know what he has done with Todd. He has said, well done, good, faithful servant.
KING: Your faith has never shook, right?
BEAMER: No, it hasn't. It's just -- you know, I think Pat had said earlier that, you know, God is not a short order cook. And I like that statement because some people would say in a time like this, you know, God turned his back or God wasn't there. And that's certainly not true. You know, sometimes things happen that make us think that, you know, a good loving God isn't in control here, but the fact that we do live in a world where people have choices and are allowed to make choices impacts us at all different times.
And certainly God doesn't walk away from us in our despair but only looks at that as an opportunity to draw us closer to him. That's what I've felt through this whole experience.
KING: Lisa, you're an amazing woman. Thank you. Much love to Mary Kay and the boys. Good life, Lisa. We will be in touch -- I said...
BEAMER: Morgan Kay.
KING: Mary Kay. I'm thinking of cosmetics.
BEAMER: That's all right. She is beautiful.
KING: She is. We'll be back with our panel and more of your phone calls. Don't go away.
KING: Ryan's going to be on this show someday.
L. BOONE: He is.
KING: He's going to get movie offers, too. Our panel is Pat Boone, whose 25-year-old grandson Ryan Corbin is the subject of the majority of this program. Lindy Boone Michaelis, who is Ryan's mother and Pat Boone's daughter. Debby Boone, Ryan's aunt, Pat's daughter and Lindey's sister.
David Owen. Dave is Ryan's pastor in the Malibu Vineyard, and Kenneth Copeland, the famed co-founder and president of Kenneth Copeland ministeries, a long time friend of Pat Boone.
Let's take another call, Tulsa, hello.
CALLER: Yes, I love when you have this panel on, and rejoice in Ryan's victories, and have been praying for him as well as the 9-11 victims. And my question is concerning not giving up after recently receiving an answer after 35 years of standing on God's promises, is it more of a situation not giving up to tragedy but rather giving ourselves up to God because his word is true and alive and living?
KING: Is it hard to give yourself up, Kenneth?
COPELAND: Not after you make the decision to do it.
KING: Took a while for you to make it.
COPELAND: Yes, it did. And it was a foolish thing to do. I put my life at risk because I ran from God instead of running to him. But I thought from what in my own foolishness, I thought that life with all these churchy people and all this faith stuff and all of that was going to be dull and boring. How terribly, terribly wrong I really was. This is the most exciting thing on the face of this earth, is to watch things like we're watching here.
P. BOONE: That's right.
COPELAND: And I wouldn't trade any part of my life for just an opportunity to get to see a kid like Ryan come on strong. It's just nothing like it.
KING: Do you agree, Debby, that if Ryan had passed away, as stated by Kenneth, your faith would have been just as strong? Can you actually say that?
D. BOONE: Yes. I mean, there would be a lot of tears and there would be, you know, an ongoing hurt that daily you'd have to ask God to heal that broken place in our hearts that there would be if we lost someone we loved so much as Ryan.
But because of the hope that we have that it's not over, that we will see him again, you know, not just here on this earth, which I believe, but had he passed away we would know, it's not the end and Ryan is in the best place he could ever be, in the arms of the father. That's where I want to be, you know. So, yes, my faith wouldn't go away.
KING: Dave, is one of the hardest jobs a pastor has counseling victims, people in despair?
OWEN: Sometimes. But I think we've really got the equipment at hand to really help people. We've been given the equipment to help them look beyond their circumstances to understand who God is, that he really cares about their lives day by day. You have to teach people to live their lives a day at a time. We have the equipment to give them hope.
KING: You felt that -- when you walked into the hospital the first time and saw Ryan, you felt that?
OWEN: No question. The first thing that I felt was the presence of God and that is the thing that inspires in me the capacity to believe something's happening here. So I've just been expecting to see this young guy come walking out. It's coming.
KING: Let's go what he goes through. He goes through speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, right? Every day, Lindy?
L. BOONE: He gets two therapies a day, so they kind of skip a day, every other day, physical.
KING: Now, speech -- he's not talking yet?
L. BOONE: Mostly they're getting on -- they're working on getting him to eat.
KING: We saw him do that pretty good.
L. BOONE: It's really important to advance him gradually on different foods. That's what speeck therapy is doing.
P. BOONE: They've actually herd his voice.
COPELAND: He's said ouch a couple times.
L. BOONE: When he's getting stretched, that motivates him to speak.
P. BOONE: Which I like. I'm glad he does.
KING: And they use the basketball to relax hands, right?
P. BOONE: And he's getting more flexible.
KING: He has very demanding therapies, too. They stand him up, as I watched yesterday.
P. BOONE: We may see that. Right now he is on his stomache.
L. BOONE: He's very tight and very stiff. This is very normal for brain injury. They just pull all your limbs in, and hold a tightness.
KING: He's paralyzed from his waist down?
P. BOONE: Not paralyzed, he's just...
KING: Because it is not spinal? P. BOONE: We see his legs move. There was no spinal injury that we know of. And get this, talk about miraculous, he fell 40 feet, hit two railings, hit a concrete floor. He fractured his skull, brok his jaw in four places. The spleen was ruptured, internal bleeding. But not one rib, not one tooth, not one finger, not one kneecap, not one leg or hip. I mean, how does a guy get battered like that and not have more actual broken bones? Not a broken tooth. Not a chipped tooth. So God, we know, limited the damage.
KING: Ottawa, Canada. Hello.
CALLER: Hi. I wanted to ask the panel what they feel is the most important inspirational message that they can give to people whose families are going through physical trauma.
KING: Debby, what would you say?
D. BOONE: Well, again, it always...
KING: No. 1.
D. BOONE: No. 1 is get on your face and go to God. That's all I know to do. I'm so grateful that I was raised in this family where I know the word and it comes to me when I have needs. I know what the word says.
KING: If it is a nonbeliever, then you can't give them advice, huh?
D. BOONE: Well, no, because God takes you right where you're at. If you go to God and say I need you, God knows what you need and he'll meet you right there and he'll take you step at a time in the right direction.
KING: What would you say, Dave?
OWEN: I would say that it's very important for people to understand that the God that we're presenting is is a God that loves us with a depth that is beyond understanding. And if we can bring people into a clear understanding of who that God is, it's not difficult for them to trust him in difficult circumstances.
P. BOONE: May I offer you one insight there. I hope it's an insight. Wrestling is a very popular thing we know. I'm not a big wrestling fan, but I've watched tag team wrestling. And the rules say that when a guy's getting beat, really getting beat up and he's helpless, if he can just somehow wiggle over to the ropes and if he can just touch the finger of his partner, his partner is legally allowed to come over the ropes and beat up on the guy that's beating up on you.
That's a pretty good image, I think, for the person who's looking for hope. Get over and touch God somehow and invite him into this. He's bigger than your opponent. He's bigger than the crisis.
KING: We have about a minuted and a half. What would you say, Lindy?
L. BOONE: I will just like to reference a book that I was given by my sister and I would recommend it to anybody going through something as traumatic as what we've been through and that's called "Hind Feet on High Places."
KING: Give it to me again.
L. BOONE: "Hind Feet on High Places" by Hannah Hurnard. I would recommend that to anybody that's going through...
KING: We have one minute exactly. What would you say, Kenneth?
COPELAND: I would surround myself as much as possible with tapes, books, the bible, testimonies of people like Ryan that have been delivered, set free. Everything I can do to affect the atmosphere around me and protect my faith until the victory comes.
KING: Thank you all very much. We wish best wishes to Ryan, who I know is with his grandmother watching tonight out at Care Meridian in Silverado. Tonight we're going to close with a very special star attraction. Debby Boone is going to sing our close for us tonight. Thanks to the panel. We'll be right back with Debbie. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two, three. Over there, Ryan. All right, Ryan.
Good for you. You did it. Good job.
Here it goes.
Thank you. Thank you, Ryan. You did it again. Hey, good work.
He's paying so much attention to everything that goes on around, which is very good. It shows a lot of awareness. So he's easily distracted.
KING: I think we know what Debby is going to sing, don't we? But we're going to dedicate it to Ryan and all the Ryans who are coming through and suffering tonight and trying to get better. Debby Boone closes it out. Go, baby.
D. BOONE: Thank you.
(D. BOONE SINGS "YOU LIGHT UP MY LIFE")
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