Justin Smith is perhaps the only person in history to survive hypothermia so extreme that he was literally frozen solid after falling unconscious in a snow bank while walking home in subzero temperatures. His ordeal began around 9:30 p.m. on February 20th.

Smith and his family traveled to Salisbury Township Monday to thank the doctors and nurses at LVHN who saved his life. His father, Don Smith, wept as he described finding his son in the snow on the morning of February 21st. I remember holding him. He was so cold, he was frozen. He was like a block of concrete.

It was a 2-mile hike that Smith had made countless times, he said, to avoid drinking and driving. Smith does not recall slipping and hitting his head, but doctors believe that’s what happened as he walked along Tresckow Road. He landed face up in a snow bank, eyes open, staring at the sky.