John Smith drowned 15 minutes in freezing water


Impossible miracle, John Smith drowned for 15-minutes in icy water.

John Smith was five months old when his foster parents Brian and Joyce Smith, adopted him from Guatemala. They were Christian missionaries in Latin America who felt God wanted them to adopt him.

His parents loved him as their own, together with their three biological sons. John was your regular guy, simple, quiet, but inside was a fighter.

15-Minutes under freezing water

John loves sports, and in one afternoon, the boys decided to skate at the frozen St. Louise lake in Missouri. The ice cracked, and he sunk below the frigid, icy water. By the time paramedics arrived, John had submerged for more than 15 minutes. (NBC News)

“This is not a rescue operation, it’s a retrieval,” says one of the emergency response team. When they pulled him out of the freezing water, he wasn’t breathing; there was no heartbeat. Paramedics and doctors performed CPR on him for 43 minutes without getting a single pulse.

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Real-life story turned into Breakthrough Movie: John Smith & Marcel Ruiz Interview in 2019.

A breakthrough miracle

Everything was surreal when Joyce heard the news.  As she rushed to the hospital, she pleaded, “God, you gave him as a gift, you can’t take him away from me.” Although the doctors were pessimistic, death never crossed Joyce’s mind.

Say goodbye to John

“I was starting to give up,” said Dr. Kent Sutterer, John’s doctor at St. Joseph West Hospital. Later, he brought John’s mom inside the ICU and hinted she could say goodbye to her son.

However, Joyce Smith was never giving up. Despite seeing her beloved John cold and gray, she prayed aloud instead.

“Lord, Holy Spirit, just give me back my son!”, John’s mom pleaded. The nurse had been trying to get a heartbeat for 27 minutes and moments after Joyce prayed, John’s heart began to beat again. (St. Louise Dispatch)

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God still performs miracles!

Pastor Jason Noble of First Assembly Church St. Peters, Missouri, with other church members, arrived and continued to storm heavens with prayers. Afterward, Pastor Noble saw a vision of two angels in the room and lights over John’s head.

A vision of two angels in the room.

“What I believe is that God was putting his brain back together again, almost rewiring it,” the Pastor said. “I know that sounds strange, but as soon as it happened, his eyes opened, and he grabbed my hand. I knew at that point that God was going to pull him through”.

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John recalls the experience as something terrifying. The burning icy sensation was making things worse, but his concern was not dying, but the people around him who were also in danger. “Lord, I don’t want to die,” John pleaded to God, and his body shut down minutes after.

John Smith’s real-life experience turned into “Breakthrough” movie.

What science says that happened to John Smith

The amount of time John had been without a pulse combined with his blood’s pH level is way below the range his doctor had seen anyone survive. It’s just impossible. Dr. Sutterer thought John would die in a matter of hours or days.

Some reports downplayed the miracle because most people no longer believe in miracles. “I’ve never seen anyone survive after being without a pulse for more than 25 minutes,” his Doctor said. This story is God’s way of reminding us of His love, to those who believe.

During his interview at Fox News in January 2018, John Smith said he wants to be a minister. He felt God has a particular purpose in his life.

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  1. Loved the movie. Love the telling of God’s story. As an adoptee I would like to correct you on referring to Johns parents as “foster parents”. When adopted the child is legally and fully a child of the parents. The parents are THE parents. The child has the same last name and by all rights is the child of the parent. Foster parents are temporary guardians usually of children who are taken by the state.


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