The Woman Who Willed a Miracle (1983) ABC Afterschool Specials


The true story of May Lemke and her son Leslie. May is a middle-aged nurse and mother of grown children, who, along with her husband, agrees to take in an abandoned baby boy with mental and physical handicaps. Leslie is blind and brain-damaged, but May patiently teaches him how to eat, walk, and talk. Leslie shows an interest in music, but it isn’t until he is a teenager that his special ability reveals itself.

Director: Sharron Miller.
Writer: Arthur Heinemann.
Stars: Cloris Leachman, M. Emmet Walsh, Leif Green, Rosemary Murphy, Fran Bennett, James Noble, Bruce French, Kirk Cameron.


Note: Quality is poor for this one but sort of watchable, this episode seems to be one of rarest and hardest to find of the ABC Afterschool series, if anyone has a better quality copy or any other rare episodes from this series please email me, I’d like to upload as many as possible as it seems very few were ever released on DVD and I think it’s worth preserving. Thank you. Enjoy!

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  1. harold
    October 9, 2021

    I am moved by this.Thanks for sharing

  2. Anne Louise
    June 11, 2022

    Had me balling my eyes out. May was incredible. Never give up!!! God rest her special soul.

  3. waldo funck
    August 12, 2022

    With this movie God gave me a message several years before the last of my children was born. It was a preview of what would await me in the future and how I should take on my little one and the enormous challenge just like May Lemke. I thank God for this film.

  4. Ronald Graveline
    October 2, 2022

    I have a VHS copy of this…. was my mom’s favorite movie…. I did not know it was an ABC Afterschool Special. Basically, this could be a 480p version, maybe can try 720p. I have no VCR or special video card.

    Any help in digitalizing this jem would be welcomed

    • Jon W.
      October 2, 2022

      Hi Ronald.
      Unfortunately without a VCR I don’t think it’s possible to digitize it, is your VHS copy of it in good condition? (for example no mold or humidity on the tape). If you are willing to ship it I can see if a friend can digitize it for us, then would send it back to you. This copy I uploaded is the only one I’ve been able to find online, I upscaled it to 720p but the source file was already very poor probably because the digitization was made using subpar equipment, it has a lot of pixelation and very low detail. I’d love to be able to upgrade with a good looking VHSRip of it, it’s a very moving and beautiful story, plus I love Cloris Leachman! She was amazing. We can continue this exchange via email if you want, my email is
      Thank you for the help, Ronald 🙂

      All the best,

  5. Karen
    January 12, 2023

    I remember watching this 40 years ago and have never forgotten it. This is not just a story, it is the truth of how faith, hope and love creates miracles. Thank you for making rewatching this film possible. I will continue to share this with others, as the world needs more faith, hope and love.

  6. Catherine Sears
    February 22, 2024

    It would be interesting to know if Leslie remembers anything about his early childhood. I hope he remembers the love.

  7. Eddie Lusk
    March 22, 2024

    We all need more stories like this. I hope that one day I can get a DVD copy or even a digital copy.

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