Life, by definition, comes with struggle. How we embrace this struggle defines us; it is forms our character.
Brian Boyle is an example for all of us. He is testament to the cliché, “ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.”
Last October, Brian fulfilled his dream of competing in a triathlon (a 2.4 mile ocean swim, followed by a 112 mile bicycle ride, ending with a 26.2 mile marathon). A triathlon is a grueling test of endurance, physicality and motivation for even the greatest athletes. For Brian it took a little more; it took coming back from the dead – literally. Eight times.
On July 6, 2004, one month after graduating from high school, Brian’s 1994 Chevy Camaro was hit by a dump truck on the driver’s side door. The impact of the crash demolished the car; it took the Jaws of Life to pry Brian out. His heart was knocked across his chest and he lost 60 percent of his blood. He suffered a broken clavicle, ribs and pelvis, and severe nerve damage to his left shoulder. Almost all the bones in his body were broken. Doctors were also worried about the possibility of brain damage.
Brian actually died eight times before doctors resuscitated him. Due to the extreme trauma he suffered, doctors chose to put Brian in a chemically induced coma. On life support for two months, he lost 100 pounds. His parents stood over his bed and wept; he was told he might never walk again. He endured paralysis, pneumonia, infections, seizures, CAT scans, MRIs and excruciating pain.
But although Brian’s heart was pushed aside, it never lost its electric spark – his strength came from within. Three years later Brian competed in the triathlon in Hawaii.
“This is like a dream come true for me,” Brian said. “To be competing in the biggest triathlon event in the world is an awesome experience and I am so grateful for the people who made this possible.”
Brian, we are grateful to you for your story. You have given so many of us perspective and inspiration. You physical strength comes in as a close second to your human resolve and perseverance. Thank you for being a beacon of light for human kind. It’s beauty in its purest form.
Thanks to Ellen for sharing Brian’s story.