Quoting the book’s webpage:
When Joyce Smith’s 14-year-old son fell through an icy Missouri lake one winter morning, she and her family had seemingly lost everything. At the hospital, John lay lifeless for more than 60 minutes. They asked themselves, How could God do this to us? But Joyce was not ready to give up on her son. She mustered all her faith and strength and cried out to God in a loud voice to save her son.
Immediately, her son’s heart miraculously started beating, again.
In the coming days, her son would defy every expert, every case history, and every scientific prediction. Sixteen days after falling through the ice and being clinically dead for an hour, John Smith walked out of the hospital under his own power, completely healed.
According to Wikipedia's plot summary of the movie:
After John is transferred and placed in a medically-induced coma, Garrett warns his parents that he has little hope for John's recovery, and that if he were to pull through, he would likely live in a persistent vegetative state.
I looked at the Wikipedia article about hypothermia and its lead states:
One of the lowest documented body temperatures from which someone with accidental hypothermia has survived is 13.0 °C (55.4 °F) in a near-drowning of a 7-year-old girl in Sweden. Survival after more than six hours of CPR has been described.
The paragraph about prognosis elaborates:
Survival with good function also occasionally occurs even after the need for hours of CPR. Children who have near-drowning accidents in water near 0 °C (32 °F) can occasionally be revived, even over an hour after losing consciousness.
It would therefore seem that revival from severe hypothermia may be possible even after the initial prolonged lack of response to treatment. Despite this, the book's webpage still maintains this particular case is, for some reasons, unique:
“We have spent the last two years searching around the world to see if there is another case like John’s and we have found one that has some of the same characteristics. John is the only person we can find who has survived and come back 100 percent in the world that we know of.”
―Dr. Jeremy Garrett, Cardinal Glennon PICU Doctor Area expert on drowning and Hypothermia
All of this, I believe, warrants me to ask:
- Was this case indeed unique, ie are there no registered analogous cases of revival and healing?
- Was this revival and healing inexplicable by contemporary science? Would most experts predict the boy would not survive and even if he survived he would not fully recover?