Two-Time Oscar Winner Stars in True Story of KY ‘Miracle Baby’
A snowfall was predicted on the evening of January 16th, 1994, but it wasn't enough--as far as I was concerned--to cancel dinner plans with friends in Rockport. But after the meal and a movie in their living room, I learned I would have to spend the night.
That snowfall wasn't supposed to amount to much but eventually turned into 16 inches. My car looked like an igloo. And seeing as how I would have to drive up a hill to get home, I was stuck there. Little did any of us affected by the storm KNOW what was unfolding in Louisville.
Michelle Schmitt -- Kentucky's 'Miracle Snow Baby'
On the morning of January 17th that year, the family of 3-year-old Michelle Schmitt finally got the news they'd been waiting for--a liver donor had been found for the toddler. Their prayers had been answered. However, they had to get little Michelle to Omaha NE in the aftermath of this massive snowstorm. Do you remember it?
The child's grandmother immediately turned to Sharon Stevens, a hairdresser and family friend who'd been raising a lot of money for the family's medical expenses. Stevens went to work, securing a private jet to take the Schmitt family to Omaha AND contacting a local radio station to get the word out.
But getting to the airport was another matter. With a state-of-emergency declaration imminent and road closures abounding, hope was dwindling. But then, reinforcements began showing up--one with a tractor and a plow; Sharon Stevens' hard work was paying off.
Michelle Schmitt and her family DID make it to Omaha, and the transplant surgery was a success. Sadly, while she got an extra 27 years on this planet, Michelle has since passed away, but her inspirational story--one her family hopes will ignite or reinvigorate public awareness about organ donation--will live on via the big screen.
Film Adaptation of Michelle Schmitt's Story Due in February
Two-time Best Actress Oscar winner Hilary Swank stars as Sharon Stevens and, last March, explained to The Today Show some personal reasons that were part of why she was drawn to the story of Michelle Schmitt. Ordinary Angels--originally slated for an October 2023 release--will hit theaters on Friday, February 23rd, 2024.
A private screening, attended by members of Michelle's family, was held last week in Louisville.