ST. CHARLES, Mo. — A Missouri teen who was dead for 45 minutes after an accident on Lake Sainte Louise is now alive and well thanks to the power of God and the prayers of his mother, according to the doctor who witnessed his miraculous resuscitation.
John Smith, 14, was playing with two other friends on the lake two weeks ago when they fell through the ice. By the time rescuers arrived, one of the boys had almost climbed out the water and the second was hanging on to a chunk of ice, but Smith couldn’t be found. It took 15 minutes for paramedics to locate him.
Smith was transported to St. Joseph Hospital, where CPR was performed for nearly half an hour on the teen without success. Doctors weren’t sure how long they should keep trying; he had been clinically dead for 45 minutes and had an internal temperature of 88 degrees.
Dr. Ken Sutterer, a Christian whose daughter attends the same Christian school as Smith, called Smith’s mother, Joyce, into the room to break the news.
But Smith didn’t take no for an answer.
“She started praying loudly,” Sutterer told local television station KDSK.
“I don’t remember what all I said,” Joyce Smith said. “But I remember, ‘Holy God, please send your Holy Spirit to save my son. I want my son, please save him.'”
But it was within a matter of minutes following her prayer that a miracle happened.
“[A]ll of a sudden I heard them saying, ‘We got a pulse; we got a pulse,'” Smith recalled.
Sutterer was so amazed by the situation that he wrote a letter to process what he had just witnessed.
“His heart was jump started by the Holy Spirit listening to the request of his praying mother,” he wrote.
Smith was airlifted to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center for further treatment, but concerns still remained over how much brain function he would have since he had gone without oxygen for so long. Amazingly, he suffered no brain damage and within 48 hours, Smith opened his eyes and responded perfectly to questions from doctors.
“It’s a bonafide miracle,” said Dr. Jeremy Garrett, who tested Smith’s brain function.
On Wednesday, following a time of rehabilitation in the hospital, Smith went home.
“I don’t remember much about it to be honest,” he told reporters. “Hearing what the doctors and the paramedics said, I’m pretty surprised at the outcome.”
“I’m surprised I’m alive, but it’s a real miracle that I’m alive, and I thank God I’m alive,” Smith continued. “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.”