Real Name: Charles "Chucky" McGivern
Case: Medical Miracle
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Date: December 1982
Details: In December 1982, seven-year-old Chucky McGivern came home from school with the chicken pox. Three days later, he suddenly lost consciousness and was taken to the hospital. His brain was dangerously swollen. He was diagnosed with Reye's syndrome and his parents were told that he might not survive. They were told that if he lived, he would probably have severe brain damage.
His parents moved into the hospital to be closer to him. Other family members soon joined them. His mother's cousin Jerry gave her a medal of St. John Neumann, the patron saint of vocations. Jerry had the medal in his pocket when he was in a serious car crash. She put the medal near his head, hoping it would help save him. His family began going to church more often and prayed regularly, hoping for a miracle.
Despite their prayers, Chucky's condition seemed to worsen. At one point, his mother overheard one of the nurses saying that the was not going to make it. Soon after, his mother noticed the St. John Neumann medal somehow kept being flipped over. That evening, she found that an unknown person had taped a picture of the saint on the door of his room.
The next day, his father had an odd encounter in the hospital's waiting room. A mysterious small boy was there, who was also seen by several doctors and nurses. At one point, he entered the hospital room, asking to see Chucky. He vanished before the doctors could talk to him. Later that day, a priest came to administer the last rites for him. However, he felt that, instead of dying, Chucky would reverse courses, get better, and live through the disease.
Less than an hour later, Chucky regained consciousness. Soon, he was off life support and sitting up in bed. After he was conscious, he told his parents that, in several dreams, he had seen the same boy that his father, the doctors, and nurses had seen. A few days before Christmas, he was released from the hospital.
He and his parents later went to the shrine of St. John Neumann, and there he saw a picture of Neumann as a boy. When Chucky saw the picture, he was certain that St. John Neumann was the boy that he saw in the hospital. The family now believes that Neumann came to help save Chucky's life. Over decades later, he is still alive and well, perhaps due to the spirit of St. John Neumann.
Extra Notes: The case first aired on the December 23, 1992 episode.
- Another Miracle on 34th Street
- Chucky McGivern is alive today, some believe, because he was visited by a saint