‘Breakthrough’ Recounts Missouri Boy’s Inexplicable Recovery From Drowning By Josh Shepherd for The Federalist
When 20th Century Fox released a preview for “Breakthrough” just before Christmas, it quickly went viral. The trailer for the faith-centered film, based on the true story of a boy who fell through a frozen lake, has now racked up more than 100 million views across all platforms.
On January 19, 2015, 14-year-old John Smith was trapped underwater for 15 minutes. First responders pulled him from the icy waters of Lake Sainte Louise in St. Charles, a northwestern suburb of St. Louis, Missouri.
he St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported a month later: “He wasn’t breathing, and paramedics and doctors performed CPR on him for 43 minutes without regaining a pulse.” Yet, after his mother prayed for him, doctors at St. Joseph Hospital West say Smith inexplicably regained consciousness.
“They never expected the heart monitor to respond,” says Joyce Smith in an interview. “The first doctor who treated John wrote in his medical records: Patient dead. Mother prayed. Patient came back to life.” A year later, after telling the story in an interview, the mother and son met Hollywood producer DeVon Franklin. He had never heard of such a medical miracle.
Following a string of recent faith-based hits including 2014’s “Heaven Is For Real,” which earned $91 million at the box office, Franklin threw himself into the project. Now his biopic “Breakthrough” starring Chrissy Metz (NBC’s “This Is Us”), Topher Grace (“Interstellar”), Dennis Haysbert (“24”), and Marcel Luiz is set to open nationwide on April 17, in advance of Easter.
The major motion picture raises weighty issues about faith and miracles difficult to tackle in a two-hour movie. No one questions that a family experienced considerable trauma in a medical crisis, but supernatural intervention? The team behind the film maintain that facts have been medically verified, and the story on-screen reflects accounts from multiple sources.