June 27, 2014

HW Day 6: John O’Brien

**John will be taking part in the 5:30 PM workout!!**


John O’Brien – I’m a retired Captain of the United States Marine Corps. I was a fighter pilot in the AV-8B Harrier jump-jet from 1992 through 1993. On September 22, 1993 I was involved in a serious crash in the Harrier during a routine training mission just outside Cherry Point, NC. As a result of 3rd degree burns over 36% of my body and burn infections, it was necessary for doctors to amputate above the left elbow and below the left knee. I spent three months in the burn center at Brook Army Medical Center (BAMC) in San Antonio, TX. Upon release from BAMC in December of 1993, I was transferred to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C. I spent roughly six months at Walter Reed for prosthetic fit outs and rehabilitation. From a personal perspective, becoming an amputee has changed my life for the better. Through the daily process of improvising, adapting and overcoming, I become a stronger person and those challenges that once seemed monumental now become a regular habit of daily living. This is probably the hardest thing to convey to new amputees. I never see myself as having a disability. I only see myself as having ability. I may do it a different way, however, I work to figure it out and adapt to how it can work for me and make me more able bodied. That’s rewarding in itself.


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