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Movie brings local miracle to worldwide audiences

When a St. Charles teen fell through the ice on Lake Sainte Louise in Lake Saint Louis on Jan. 19, 2015, no one expected him to survive.

Official movie poster

John Smith slid under the icy water while hanging out with friends. He stayed underwater for 15 minutes. When paramedics pulled him to safety, he had no pulse. He remained without a pulse, even as paramedics and doctors performed CPR for 43 minutes.

Doctors held out no hope but John Smith’s mother, Joyce, never doubted that God would save her son.

When she was called into his hospital room to say goodbye, she cried out, “Lord, Holy Spirit, just give me back my son!” Moments later, John’s heart began to beat.

Joyce’s faith and the miracle of her son’s recovery is now being shown around the world in hushed movie theaters.

“Breakthrough” opened in theaters on Easter weekend and has been receiving rave reviews ever since.

Produced by “Miracles from Heaven” director DeVon Franklin and adapted for the screen by Grant Nieporte [“Seven Pounds”], “Breakthrough” is derived from a book that was co-written by Joyce, “The Impossible: The Miraculous Story of a Mother’s Faith and Her Child’s Resurrection.”

John, who will graduate from Christian High next month, has been quoted in interviews as saying he doesn’t know why God chose him.

“This is simply God giving me a story to share with others,” he has said. But he’s quick to add that right now, he’s focused on his last few weeks of school and graduation – normal teenage things.

“Franklin put it better than anybody,” Smith has said. “He said, ‘Stay humble and stay hungry.’”

It’s advice he follows up with one simple statement. “I’m a St. Louis kid,” John said.

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