It’s been more than two years since Joe Dimeo could smile.
In July 2018, Dimeo, 20 at the time, fell asleep at the wheel of his car on Route 22 in New Jersey. He lost control, and the car hit the curb, flipping over before bursting into flames.
A passerby pulled him out of the car before it exploded, but Dimeo still suffered third-degree burns over nearly 80% of his body. The damage was so severe that, though Dimeo survived, he was left without eyelids, ears and much of his fingers. He also had severe scarring on his face and neck that limited his range of motion. The scars even partially covered his eyes.
His independence had been taken from him in an instant.