Joe DiMeo was on his way home from working the night shift at his job in Clark, New Jersey, two years ago when he fell asleep at the wheel and his car rolled over and burst into flames.
The explosion left DiMeo, now 22, with third-degree burns over 80 percent of his body.
DiMeo had 20 reconstructive surgeries, to the point where his plastic surgeon told him there was nothing more he could do to help DiMeo regain functionality.
DiMeo then sought a last shot at help from Eduardo D. Rodriguez, MD, DDS, chair of the Hansjörg Wyss Department of Plastic Surgery at NYU Langone Health.
“A lot of his body was severely burned, and if it wasn’t burned, it was scarred from removing skin to cover those burns with skin grafts,” Dr. Rodriguez tells ABC News. “So physically, he was severely compromised, but his spirit was very strong and with great hope to not want to live this way for the rest of his life.”
Watch the segment from ABC News.