A man who was ‘frozen to death’ and then brought back to life has been labeled a ‘medical miracle’.
Justin Smith was walking home from a bar in February last year when sub-zero temperatures left him unconscious.
According to the Express, the 25-year-old student wasn’t discovered until the next morning when his father found his ‘lifeless’ body on the roadside.
His father Don Smith told ABC:
He was blue in his face, he was lifeless. I checked for a pulse, I checked for a heartbeat, there was nothing.
He called paramedics but they weren’t able to detect any signs of life in Justin who had been in the snow for approximately 12 hours.
He was rushed to the Lehigh Valley Hospital in Hazleton, Pennsylvania but his condition was so severe that a doctor wasn’t able to take an accurate temperature reading as his body was so cold.
However, Dr Gerald Coleman, an emergency medicine physician, believed there was still hope for Justin.
Writing on the hospital website, Dr Coleman said:
You’re not dead until you’re warm and dead. Something inside me said I need to give this person a chance.
The doctor instructed paramedics to begin CPR – something which they carried on for two hours. He was then attached to an Extra-corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine to warm his blood and supply it with oxygen.
After 90-minutes of treatment, doctors were astounded to see his heart begin miraculously beating on its own, however, they were still concerned about brain damage and severe frostbite.
A month later, Justin woke up having lost his toes and two fingers to frostbite but, amazingly, with no damage to his brain.
A year on and Justin has made a near complete recovery. He told ABC:
This is amazing, it’s something I’ve never heard of and I can’t thank everyone enough. It was like I woke up from a dream but it wasn’t a dream.
Unbelievable work from everyone involved. Best of luck Justin.