The 2021 Hallmark Movies & Mysteries film, “A Godwink Christmas: Miracle of Love,” is based on Joy and Eric Fellman’s true story. Read on to learn all about their real-life story upon which the movie is based.
This article will have spoilers based on the true story of Joy and Eric Fellman.
The fourth “Godwink” movie was inspired by the true love story of Joy and Eric Fellman, which was written into a book by SQuire Rushnell and Louise DuArt.
Fellman Was Crushed by a Vehicle & His Liver Ruptured
In an interview with Beliefnet, Rushnell shared how the story unfolded. He said that Fellman was a college student at the time, working a summer job where he drove a machine that sprayed weeds down a railroad track in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The machine broke down and he climbed down to try to fix it. But the cable holding the parking brake snapped, according to an NBC Today video, and Fellman was crushed. (Note: The Beliefnet story and a different YouTube video share that the doctors were in Milwaukee and Fellman was in Omaha.)
Shortly after they got him to the hospital, his liver burst. This is typically fatal.
“While Eric was at work, two Oshkosh doctors attending a medical conference in Madison, Wisconsin, debated about whether they should take in an extra lecture about an obscure medical procedure or just go back early,” Rushnell told NBC Today. “Their decision was the God wink that saved Eric’s life.”
But the two doctors were already back in town after their conference and they were able to use what they just learned to save Fellman’s life.
“In seconds, Dr. Louis Graber (and Isom) deftly followed [the] newly learned instructions, and Eric’s liver was repaired! Is that a godwink or what?” Rushnell told Beliefnet.
When all this happened, Eric was just months away from marrying Joy, Rushnell told NBC Today. But they only had to delay the wedding two weeks. His arm was in a sling and his jaw was wired shut when they got married.
This September, they celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary.
After the accident, Eric worked at the National Prayer Breakfast, Rushnell shared on Beliefnet. He also led a ministry in Fort Worth, Texas, according to a 2017 video.
Fellman’s LinkedIn notes that he is currently self-employed and the President of Ascent in Fort Worth, Texas. He was the senior associate for the National Prayer Breakfast for 24 years, was the COO of Bible League International, the President of the Peale Division of Guideposts, and the director of Moody Monthly Magazine.
In a recommendation written for him on LinkedIn, one colleague wrote: “Eric has a great desire to reflect Christ in his personal and professional life and is committed to building God’s Kingdom. For many, many years he has had a strong reputation for partnership and effective ministry. He is a great brother in the Lord and I consider him to be a friend.”
All the Godwink Movies Are Based on True Stories
All of the “Godwink” movies are based on true stories, and the fourth movie is no exception. The movies are inspired by books written by SQuire Rushnell and Louise DuArt. Rushnell and DuArt shared an announcement about their new movie on Facebook in late September.
DuArt said about the fourth movie: “It’s based on a true story. It’s a beautiful story.”
Similarly, the 2018 “A Godwink Christmas” movie was also based on a true story about Gery and Paula Conover. The 2019 movie, “A Godwink Christmas: Meant for Love,” was also based on a true story. The 2020 movie, “Second Chance, First Love” was also based on a true story.