Chris O’Brien’s Fight Against Paralysis and Future Plans

Chris O'Brien's motto in life is "StaySteadyStuntin" which means to stay awesome.

Chris O’Brien’s motto in life is “StaySteadyStuntin” which means to stay awesome.

Editor’s Note: In high school, Chris O’Brien of Trumbull, Connecticut, was one of the best swimmers in the county. After graduation, he joined the swim team at College of Charleston in South Carolina and quickly climbed the ranks his freshman year. When he wasn’t studying, he was in the pool training. He never would have believed that his love for swimming would almost cost him his life. Part 5 of a 5 part series.

“When I left Gaylord, I started a therapy program at an outpatient rehab facility,” Chris O’Brien explains. Fortunately, the rehab facility was only a few miles from his home and he was able to drive to rehab three times a day. “Right now I’ve gotten strong enough in my shoulders to be able to push a wheelchair by myself, and I’ve been regaining some strength in my triceps, but that’s still a work in progress,” O’Brien reports. “I’ve also regained a little bit of movement in my legs, groin and hips. When I told the doctor that I wanted to walk again he just said ‘Okay.’ He never said I wouldn’t be able to. He believes I should try everything I can to get as strong as I can, as quickly as I can.”

That’s the program that O’Brien is following right now. His accident happened a year ago, and he believes in the next 8-10 months he can recover full function. O’Brien emphasizes, “I really believe that in the next year, I’ll be back on my feet and back in the swimming pool, training to compete on my college team. I haven’t considered the possibility that I won’t succeed and I’ve never given myself the ‘If I fail’ option. I’m going full-throttle toward recovery. I’m taking time off to go to Atlanta’s Shepherd Center, which is known for helping people regain their function and even to walk. I want to be able to get back in the swimming pool and start training again. I may not be able to compete at the Division 1 level, but I know I’ll be competing at some level.”

Chris is currently making strides at the Shepherd Center.

Chris is currently making strides at the Shepherd Center.

To learn more about Chris O’Brien and to receive updates on his progress, visit his Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ChrisOBriensDeterminationPage?ref=ts.

About the Author: For the last 12 years, John E. Phillips of Vestavia, Alabama, has been a professional blogger for major companies, corporations and tourism associations throughout the nation. During his 24 years as Outdoor Editor for “The Birmingham Post-Herald” newspaper, he published more than 7,000 newspaper columns and sold more than 100,000 of his photos to newspapers, magazines and internet sites. He also hosted a radio show that was syndicated at 27 radio stations; created, wrote and sold a syndicated newspaper column that ran in 38 newspapers for more than a decade; and wrote and sold more than 30 books. Learn more at http://www.nighthawkpublications.com

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