On a snowy winter night, eight-year-old Justin Roe made a phone call. \u201cFeel good, Dad. I love you, Dad,\u201d he said. \u201cI hope that I\u2019ll see you soon. Then we will go fishing and ride dirt bikes.\u201d\nBut there was no one listening on the other end. Justin\u2019s father, Josh, was unconscious in the ER. He had sustained a traumatic brain injury, and his life hung in the balance. All Justin could do was leave a voicemail for his dad and hope he would wake up to hear it.\nHours before Justin\u2019s call, Josh was with some friends and decided to go get a bite to eat. But only a few hundred yards from the restaurant, the car he was riding in was broadsided by a bread truck. The car was destroyed and pieces of it lay scattered across the road. Within minutes, paramedics arrived at the scene and extracted Josh from the car. Josh had no response to light, sound, or touch. A helicopter was immediately called to transport Josh to the UPMC Presbyterian trauma center, where a team of trauma experts was ready to do everything possible to save the young father\u2019s life.\nBecause of the significant amount of force Josh\u2019s head sustained in the accident, he had a severe traumatic brain injury. His brain was beginning to shut down. Doctors informed his family that his situation was extremely critical, and Justin was afraid that his time with his father had been cut short. \u201cI thought I would never get to see my dad again,\u201d he said.\nThen, a UPMC neurosurgeon recommended Josh as the first patient in a clinical trial. The innovative new treatment would involve cooling Josh\u2019s brain to help minimize damage, reduce swelling, and promote healing so Josh could have a better chance of survival.\nThis process, used for only the most serious cases of traumatic brain injury, involves a full-body cooling suit that chills the brain to the point of hypothermia. It works by sending a constant flow of water over the body, while a thin hydrogel coating ensures constant contact with the skin.\nWith his brain cooled to 91.4 degrees Fahrenheit, several degrees below the 95 degree mark that indicates hypothermia, Josh\u2019s brain swelling began to stabilize. His team of doctors were able to control the pressure inside his head, creating the right set of circumstances to maximize his recovery.\nBecause of this trial, Justin\u2019s dad beat the odds and survived.\nAfter two weeks, doctors decided Josh\u2019s brain was healthy enough to take him out of the medically-induced coma. Josh remained in intensive care until he gained enough strength to be transferred to the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute\u2019s brain injury unit. At this point, Josh couldn\u2019t walk, feed himself, or use the left side of his body, and he had to fight to recover the little things that most people take for granted each day.\nJosh had a long road to recovery, but he knew he had to survive for his son. \u201cI started pushing myself because I wanted to get back to where I was,\u201d he said. \u201cI couldn\u2019t give up on things. I knew that I had to continue to do the things that I did before the accident, so that I could retrain my brain to do them again.\u201d\nSeveral years later, Josh Roe is near full recovery, and Justin is happy to have his father back at his side. \u201cIt\u2019s nothing I ever imagined,\u201d said Justin.\nFor more inspiring stories like Josh\u2019s and to learn more about discoveries made in the field, please visit the UPMC Department of Neurosurgery website or call 1-877-986-9862 to make an appointment.