He tells a personal and emotional story of his fight back from near death after a horrific automobile accident. He lost sixty percent of his blood, his heart had moved across his chest, and his organs and pelvis were pulverized. Brian had to be brought back to life eight times on the operating table.
He focuses on his experience as a patient who, while in a two-month long medically-induced coma, was unable to move or talk to anyone around him, yet he was able to hear, see and feel pain. If he lived, doctors predicted he might not be able to walk again, and certainly not swim. Then, miraculously, Brian clawed his way back to the living. First blinking his eyelids, then squeezing a hand, then smiling, he gradually emerged from his locked-in state and went on to make a full recovery, which involved swimming on his college team and crossing the finish line in the 2007 Hawaii Ironman.
After the recovery was complete, his inspirational message spread throughout the nation. He has traveled the country and given over one hundred keynote presentations at annual meetings for a variety of corporations, universities, medical and nursing schools, athletic conferences, state hospital associations under the American Hospital Association, real estate and financial groups, and at dozens of healthcare leadership conventions.
Brian’s story is about transforming a tragedy into a triumph, but it’s also about the universal ability that we all have to set goals and accomplish them. When a challenge is presented to us, we do our best to overcome whatever the situation is, and as a result, we learn something about ourselves through the process that makes us stronger.
“We all have our own experiences in life that have made us who we are. Everyday we all face our own moments of adversity, both large and small, and we are tested, and we do the best we can with what we have. But just like anything else, there will always be obstacles out there, and it’s how we go about facing these obstacles that will make the difference. Life is really what you choose to make of it, the more you sacrifice and put in, the more you’ll get in return. And in order to achieve great things, you must be willing to take big risks depending on what the task is. All you have is the present moment, and I find it’s very important to focus on what you do have rather than what you do not. The path we’re on right now might be different tomorrow or next week, but it’s about how we take that first step that matters most when things begin to change direction. And yes this can relate to overcoming extreme tragedy, but it’s also relevant to every factor of our lifestyles as well. Setting goals, pursuing dreams, accomplishing various tasks. No matter what life throws at you, you have the strength and character to overcome it, and with the right attitude you can achieve anything you set your mind to.”
Brian’s story about catastrophe, survival, and transcending all odds has been well documented and continues to be an inspiration to others.