In what is perhaps the most inspirational story of the year, Pittsburgh man Tom Welsh spent over two hours trapped in his winter coat before cutting himself out with a pair of nail clippers. The incident occurred in late November, when Welsh got home from a night of drinking alone in a neighborhood bar and tried to remove his coat. Unfortunately, the zipper had broken. “I tried pulling it from like thirty different angles, but it wouldn’t budge. I really started to panic at that point,” recalls Welsh. “Stupidly enough, I hadn’t told anybody what I was doing or even that I was planning to wear my winter coat that night.”

For the next two hours, Welsh paced around his kitchen sweating profusely due to his coat’s fur lining and becoming increasingly delirious. About to give up hope, Welsh had a vivid hallucination of his father calling him a dumbass and telling him to get his shit together. “I think some sort of primitive survival instinct kicked in. I took the nail clippers from my pocket and started clipping away frantically at the coat.” Seven minutes later, finally free, Welsh collapsed on his kitchen floor, where his roommate found him the next morning surrounded by a puddle of his own urine.

Today, Welsh keeps the cut coat in a frame above his bed as a reminder of what could have been. He has been invited to give motivational speeches throughout the U.S. and even in Canada. “I try to show people that even though they might view me as some sort of superhuman, I’m just an ordinary guy. Anybody could have done what I did.” Warner Brothers has already begun work on a feature film starring James Franco that will bring Welsh’s story to the big screen, giving viewers the courage to conquer adversity and follow their dreams.

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