Two doctors who treated a 14-year-old boy thought to be dead after he spent 15 minutes under water believe they witnessed a “miracle” when he revived within a minute of his mother’s plea to God to save him.
“He was dead for 45 minutes,” said Dr. Kent Sutterer of SSM St. Joseph Hospital West in Lake Saint Louis, Missouri.
The doctor was referring to eighth-grader John Smith, who fell through the ice of Lake Saint Louise in St. Charles, Missouri, on Martin Luther King Day, reported KSDK-TV in St. Louis.
Sutterer performed CPR on Smith for 27 minutes with no success and finally called the boy’s mother to the emergency room to give her the bad news.
What happened next astounded everyone in the room.
“She started praying loudly,” Sutterer said of John’s mother, Joyce Smith.
“I don’t remember what all I said,” the mother recalled in an interview with KSDK. “But I remember, ‘Holy God, please send your Holy Spirit to save my son. I want my son, please save him.’
“And they hadn’t been getting a pulse at that time, so all of a sudden I heard them saying, ‘We got a pulse, we got a pulse.'”
Sutterer, according to the St. Louis station, said that only a minute or two after the mother began to pray, the boy’s heart started beating again.
In a letter, Sutterer wrote: “His heart was jump started by the Holy Spirit listening to the request of his praying mother.”
The physician who oversaw Smith’s recovery, Dr. Jeremy Garrett, confirmed Sutterer’s conclusion.
“It’s a bonafide miracle,” Garrett said.
KDSK reported Smith has experienced almost a complete recovery. The fact that his heart began beating again was remarkable itself, but Garrett noted it wasn’t clear at that point how much brain function he would have.
Garrett explained that because Smith’s body was under water for so long, his circulatory system went into shock, and acid built up in his bloodstream. But within less than two days, Smith began opening his eyes.
“After listening to what the paramedics and doctors said, I’m pretty surprised at the outcome,” the teen told KSDK.
One of many providential aspects of the ordeal was the fact Lake St. Louis Fire and Emergency crews had just practiced ice rescues the week before the accident.
“I know it doesn’t fit into our neat little box of today,” said John’s father, Brian Smith, “but again, you can’t refute the clinical evidence.”
John could return home by the end of the week, the TV station reported.
“I’m surprised I’m alive,” he said, “but it’s a real miracle that I’m alive, and I thank God I’m alive, and there’s a reason I’m alive.
“So I’m just going to kind of follow what God has in store for me throughout my life.”