Son Freezes To Death After 10 Hours In Winter Storm, But When Dad Says Goodbye, He Feels A Pulse

by Ann-Sophie Kaemmerle
Native New Yorker, University of Virginia graduate, runner, and sometimes stand-up performer.

Surviving an extensive amount of time in temperatures hovering just below 0° seems nearly impossible for any human being, no matter how many layers we are wearing to protect ourselves from the bitter cold.

So when a 25-year-old man named Justin Smith was found laying on the ground by the side of the road after spending 10 hours in a winter storm, it was not likely that he would survive. Justin had decided to walk home in the storm, but he never made it there.

Paramedics who arrived on the scene had no reason to believe that he still had a chance for survival. His body was frozen solid, not unlike a block of ice, and there appeared to be no pulse. Justin’s devastated family arrived at the hospital, ready to say their goodbyes.

But one doctor had a plan: If there was even a remote chance that the son could be saved, he was willing to try. While a medical team performed CPR, a machine warmed and oxygenated Justin’s blood.

Finally, a miracle: There was a pulse. Now, all that remained to be seen was if all of his other organs would recover just as well from the ordeal.

12 days passed, and finally, the moment the Smith family had been waiting for happened — Justin opened his eyes!

Though Justin did not emerge unscathed (he lost both pinky fingers and all of his toes), after 11 months in recovery, he was able to enjoy life to the fullest once more!

Photo source: YouTube / CBS New York

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