Over the last few months I’ve been making my way through the Pure Fit Radio archives, and on one of the episodes they did an interview with Bryan Boyle.
It sounded like an interesting story that he had, so I picked up his book, Iron Heart: The True Story of How I Came Back From the Dead.
I just tore through it. He has a great story and you can’t help but be inspired when you listen to it or read about.
Bryan was a weight lifter and a competitive swimmer when he graduated from high school. He was driving home from swim practice, and his Camaro just got completely smashed by a dump truck.
There was very little left to it, and there was very little left to him. Every organ in his body was damaged. Hi heart was moved to the other side of his chest. His lungs were both collapsed. His spleen had to be removed. His liver was punctured, and he wound up being put into a chemically induced coma for 2 months.
When he woke up, which is where the story of the book starts, he has no idea where he is and he cannot move. He can’t even blink his eyes. He’s listening to all the doctors around him talking about how he’ll be lucky to live, and how if he does live, he’ll probably be a vegetable for the rest of his life.
The story follows his progress through the hospital. First, starting to blink, and then being able to move his fingers, and eventually until he was able to talk again.
Everytime he was given a new challege, they would say “Well, you’ll never be able to walk again” or “You’ll never be an athlete again.”
He just went through physical therapy. He started walking again. He started body building again, and he even became a personal trainer. And then he eventually got back in the pool. He went to college and swam for Saint Mary’s.
One day, he was watching a special on the IronMan Triathlon and he thought, “Well, let’s see what it takes to get into that.” Completing an IronMan had been one of his childhood dreams, so he got in touch with the producers, told him his story, and promptly forgot about it.
About 2 months later, he heard back from them saying, “If you can prove to us that you are able to finish, then we’ll get you one of the media spots in the race.” And basically what he had to do was finish a half Iron Man about 2 weeks later. All he had to do was finish and he would have his spot. And in total, he had about 6 weeks to go from back to being a body builder and a personal trainer to having to get to the starting line for his first Iron Man.
All he wanted was to finish that Iron Man in 17 hours, which was the cut off. And he was able to do it. He finished in about 14 hours.
It’s just a very inspirational story. I highly recommend you pick up a copy of the book and take a read. And if you take a look at this video and news documentary, it will show you what exactly he went through and give you an idea of what the book is all about:
You can find a copy of the book at your local library or at Amazon.