One of the most terrifying things a parent can experience is not knowing what to do to help their sick child to get better. Normally, you can just get a doctor’s help, but what would you do if the doctors didn’t know what to do either?
Just weeks before Christmas in 1982, a 7-year-old Philadelphia Boy was diagnosed with something so deadly, that his doctors said there was no way he’d survive. But what happened days later left the boy’s parents’ and his doctors speechless…
Three weeks before Christmas in 1982, the McGivern family from Northeast Philadelphia was getting ready for the holiday season like most other families in the area. However, mom Nancy McGivern put everything on hold when her son came home sick from school one Thursday afternoon.
When Nancy saw the small, itchy spots that covered her son’s body, she knew immediately that he had chicken pox. Nancy sent 7-year-old Chucky straight to bed so that he could get better as soon as possible. However, that’s the opposite of what actually happened…
Nancy did everything to help Chucky, but he only got more and more sick. On Friday, Chucky was way worse than the day before, which made Nancy nervous. But when he passed out on Saturday, Nancy knew something was very wrong and called the doctor again.
Nancy rushed her little boy to the Rolling Hill Hospital and doctors confirmed that Chucky did have chicken pox. However, none of the doctors could figure out what else was making him so sick, so they transferred him to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in the hopes that doctors there would be able to figure out what was wrong…
The doctors at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia discovered Chucky was also suffering from Reye’s Syndrome, which is an extremely rare, degenerative condition that can affect the nervous system, liver, kidneys, and brain.
Chance Of Survival
By the time doctors had discovered what was wrong, there was already pressure on Chucky’s brain and he had slipped into a coma. Chucky’s doctor explained to Nancy and her husband, Chuck McGivern, that their son’s chance of survival was extremely small because the Reye’s Syndrome was so advanced…
“But there is a chance?” Chuck asked after the doctor said there was a slim chance Chucky would make it. Doctors explained that even if Chucky did wake up, he’d have severe brain damage for the rest of his life. The couple still had a little hope, but they felt more hopeless than ever when they laid eyes on their little boy for the first time since doctors had taken him to try and stop the disease from getting worse.
Nancy and Chuck found their son, who was normally so full of energy, lying cold and lifeless in a hospital bed. A tube in his leg went to his liver and another went to his kidneys. There were even more tubes in his nose and down his throat. His heart was being monitored by a machine and there was a bolt in Chucky’s skull to relieve the pressure on his brain…
The only thing worse for Nancy and Chuck than seeing their little boy dying before their eyes, was not being able to do anything to help him. Even though the family hadn’t been to church in years, Nancy and Chuck began praying constantly and going to church as much as they could when they weren’t by Chucky’s side…
During one visit with family, a relative gave Nancy some religious medals, one of which was for St. John Neumann, the fourth bishop of Philadelphia. Nancy put the three medals on a safety pin and then pinned them on Chucky’s pillowcase for good luck…
Preparing For The End
But all the prayers didn’t seem to be helping. Chucky’s lungs collapsed and his kidneys were failing. Nancy and Chuck didn’t want their son to be kept alive by a machine so started preparing for the worst by signing papers to donate Chucky’s organs once he died.
The family checked on Chucky every 15 minutes and doctors and nurses were almost always with him. But as the end neared, Nancy and Chuck moved into the hospital so they could spend as much time with their son as possible. Shortly after moving in, however, they began noticing something very strange…
As the family sat in the waiting room, Chuck noticed a little boy wearing an old plaid jacket with messy hair and black glasses. He wondered what the boy was doing all alone in the hospital so late at night but didn’t say anything. At the same time, Nancy thought she was going crazy when she found the medal of St. John Neumann was facing down, which meant someone had taken the medals off the safety pin and flipped just one. And every time she fixed it and walked out of the room, she came back to find the exact same medal face down.
Nancy and Chuck weren’t the only ones that noticed some bizarre occurrences. While doctors were working on Chucky, they noticed a boy standing in the doorway. “I came to visit Chucky,” he said when they asked him what he was doing. The boy was the same one Chuck had seen in the waiting room, however, he disappeared and security failed to find anyone after searching the entire building…
Meanwhile, Chucky’s condition was only getting worse. When he developed pneumonia, Rev. Robert Roncase was called to the church to administer the last rites of the church to Chucky, since doctors announced his death was fast approaching. But then doctors saw something that was impossible.
The Impossible Happens
Less than an hour after receiving his last rites, Chucky started to move. At first, it was just small twitches in his fingers and toes. Then, Chucky’s hand reached up to the bolt in his head. By 8 p.m., he was nodding yes and no to questions from the doctors and his family…
Soon after that, Chucky was off life support and was sitting up in bed. As his voice came back, he told his parents about several dreams that he kept having. One of which, included a boy that eerily matched the description of the mystery boy that Chuck and the doctors had seen.
Witnessed A Miralce
Exactly a week after the 7-year-old was admitted to the hospital, Chucky was fully healed and was released from the hospital. Doctors have no explanation for how Chucky came out of a vegetative state with no brain damage, but his parents know they had witnessed a true miracle…
The family couldn’t get the mystery boy out of their heads, but were too ecstatic to have their son back to worry about it. A week after leaving the hospital, however, they discovered something that sent chills down their spines. While visiting the shrine of St. John Neumann, Chucky was shocked when he saw a photo of the saint as a boy. “That was my best friend in my dream,” he said.
Chuck and Nancy already knew their son had made a miraculous recovery. But after the unbelievable moment at the shrine, they knew that a higher power was responsible for saving Chucky, who went on to lead a normal and healthy life.