Last February, Don Smith found his son, Justin, frozen in a snow bank for at least 10 hours in a blistering snowstorm. For the first time since the incident— and Justin’s recovery— the family and doctors shared their story.
Justin, 25, had fallen while walking home in a snowstorm in McAdoo, Pa., and his father went searching when he didn’t return home.
"I put the car in park and I just ran to him and I started shaking his head. And I said, ‘No, you can't leave me. You can't leave me,’" Don told Fox29.
Justin was taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital Cedar Crest, where doctors said they could not pronounce him dead while he was frozen, so they focused on warming him up, inside and out, and shocking his heart.
"Next thing, I know I'm waking up in Cedar Crest Hospital. Family was all around me. I was shocked," Justin told Fox29. "I knew my pinkies were gone; it could have been a lot worse. They went the extra effort and I can't thank them enough."
According to Dr. James Wu of the Lehigh Valley Health Network, Justin is completely normal, though he did lose his toes and his pinky fingers. He’s now returned to pursuing his psychology degree.