After a night out with friends, Justin Smith of Pennsylvania, then 25, did not come home. It was cold and snowy that day in 2015, and his father found him lying on the ground unresponsive.
According to Dailymail, Justin was lying in a foot of snow with his eyes wide open and his body frozen.
When the paramedics arrived, Justin did not have a pulse, nor was he breathing. His father Don Smith was certain that his son had died in the freezing cold; he even called his wife and told her that Justin died.
“I held him and sobbed. ‘Justin don’t leave,’ he said. He was so cold, frozen. He was like a block of concrete,” he told Dailymail.
The medical staff picked up the faith where Justin’s father had lost it.
According to Dr. Gerald Coleman, the coroner was on the scene doing a death investigation, but he refused to give up on Justin.
“Our mind is supposed to run the show, not our hearts because if your heart runs the show, you can run into some problems. I just kind of threw that to the wind and said, ‘No, not today,'” said Coleman to AOL.com.
In the middle of a snowstorm, Justin was airlifted to Lehigh Valley Hospital where the team performed CPR for two hours. When he got to the hospital, the medical staff worked hard to warm up his frozen body.
“As I walked out the door they were working on Justin, and I kissed him on the forehead and said I loved him,” he told CBS News.
A miracle happened in 12 days.
“We knew we needed a big, big miracle,” Justin’s mom Sissy Smith said, and that is exactly what the family received. Justin’s body began to warm up and his heart started beating.
He spent almost three months at LVH-Cedar Crest and at Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital in Allentown before returning home. Justin explained to CBS News that his first memory was seeing his family.
Though he had a lot to overcome from being frozen, like his kidneys and lungs not working properly, and losing both his pinkies and all his toes, Justin is still considered a miracle.
“Things happen for a reason. This just kind of renewed the faith of why I do what I do every day,” added Coleman.
Justin explained to McCall that he is lucky. He’s back with his loved ones and doing the things that he loves.
As of last year, Smith was finishing his psychology degree via online classes. He was also improving his golf game, a challenge because of his lost fingers and toes.