Man Presumed Dead Wakes Up Weeks Later

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CARBON COUNTY, Pa. -- Justin Smith is a medical miracle.

The 26-year-old McAdoo, Pennsylvania man was thought to have frozen to death after leaving a bar and walking home about a year ago, according to WNEP.

Justin's dad found him the next day on the side of the road. "I looked over and there was Justin laying there,” Don Smith said. "He was blue. His face he was lifeless. I checked for a pulse. I checked for a heartbeat. There was nothing.”

The death investigation hit a snag when an ER doc refused to pronounce Justin dead. "No, not today," Dr. Gerald Coleman said.

Justin underwent two hours of CPR, even during a snowy ride to another hospital, where his blood was warmed up via machine.

The upside to freezing is that it keeps things fresh, preserving the brain and other organ functions. After Justin's blood warmed up, his heart started beating.

A few weeks later, he woke up. “It's like I woke up from a dream, but it wasn't a dream,” Justin said.

On Monday, Justin got the opportunity to thank everyone who helped him survive after spending nearly 12 hours out in the cold.

He's now back at Penn State working on a psychology degree while doctors say his story may change modern medicine for patients of hypothermia.