It's never too late to transform your life, as filmmaker Jonas Elrod knows firsthand. In this new OWN series, Jonas provides an intimate, in-depth look at true stories of love, loss and redemption.
Dr. Mary Neal, an accomplished orthopedic spine surgeon, had a near-death experience and lived to tell her story of hope and purpose. She was forever changed after a kayaking incident where she drowned and was brought back to life. Mary was without oxygen for 24 minutes, during which time she reports to have visited heaven and to have received surprising messages about the future that she wasn't able to share until years later. She chronicled her experience in her memoir, To Heaven and Back: A Doctor's Extraordinary Account of Her Death, Heaven, Angels, and Life Again: A True Story. Filmmaker Jonas Elrod visits her at home in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to gain a deeper understanding of Mary's spiritual journey and how she has redefined her life.
Jen has battled obesity her whole life. However, after shedding almost 200 pounds through weight loss surgery, she still could not overcome feelings of inadequacy, fear and anxiety. Although she had hoped being much thinner would be the cure, Jen could not shake feeling alien in her own body. When filmmaker Jonas Elrod visits Jen in Utah, he gains a deeper understanding of her journey—and the healing process that must start from the inside.
Amanda Lindgren survived the horrific Aurora, Colorado, movie theater shooting in 2012. Her boyfriend, Alex Teves, was killed while heroically saving Amanda's life. She lives today with an immeasurable loss that has prevented her from moving forward. Filmmaker Jonas Elrod follows her deep shift that begins with taking control of her life again by honoring the love she lost and releasing some of the anguish of that traumatic event. Amanda bravely learns how to move forward while still carrying her love for Alex as a positive force. She shares her story to be an inspiration to others who have experienced loss.
Vince Young was a superstar NFL quarterback with a promising career. After leading his college football team to a national championship, Vince was faced with a choice on whether to leave school early to join the NFL. Knowing how much the money would help out his family, he chose to go pro, but he was sidelined after a few good seasons. At what should have been the height of his career, he has to come to the realization that he might not play again, and losing his identity as an athlete has hit him hard. Filmmaker Jonas Elrod visits Vince in Texas and follows his deep shift, which begins with going back to school and discovering a future that's bright with or without a career in professional sports.
Ester Nicholson, author of Soul Recovery: 12 Keys to Healing Dependence, lifted herself out of an abusive situation and a crippling drug addiction. She grew up being resented and abused by her mother, who called her a mistake. Drugs provided an escape from the battlefield of her home, and as she entered her teens, Ester turned to hard narcotics. When she became a teenage mother, she was terrified that this devastating cycle would continue with her own daughter. Filmmaker Jonas Elrod follows Ester's deep shift, which began with learning to love herself enough to lead a totally new life. Now she is 25 years sober and has become a motivational speaker.
Karen Perry, a pilot and flight attendant, was stricken with insurmountable grief after losing her three children in a plane crash in 2011. Filmmaker Jonas Elrod visits her in Arizona, where together they explore a path toward healing and embark on an emotional journey to climb Superstition Mountain, the site of the accident, to pay tribute to her children's memory.
TED Talk speaker and comedian Maysoon Zayid is a remarkable Palestinian-American woman living with cerebral palsy. Growing up in New Jersey with a loving family, she was never made to feel different. However, after making a name for herself as a comedian and television correspondent, she was shocked by the hateful comments she was receiving online. With humor, compassion and a persevering spirit, Maysoon has made it her mission to tackle issues of hate and discrimination by empowering and educating people about equality. Filmmaker Jonas Elrod follows the deep shift that led to her new outlook on life.
Award-winning singer/songwriter Alanis Morissette was catapulted to international fame at just 21 years of age with the release of her multiplatinum U.S. debut album, Jagged Little Pill. With unshakable feelings of anxiety, depression and loneliness, Alanis retreated from the public eye at the height of her career. A trip to India taught her the importance of meditation and self-awareness, and these spiritual lessons helped her remain grounded despite the roller-coaster ride of stardom. Determined to lead a life of service, she is now centered and strives to guide others to find their spiritual path.