My name is Brian Boyle, and I am living
proof that miracles happen.
A month after I graduated high school in 2004,
I was coming home
from swim practice and was
involved in a near fatal car accident
with a dump
truck. The impact of the crash violently ripped my
heart across my chest, shattering my ribs/clavicle/pelvis,
collapsing my lungs, causing damage to every single organ,
failure of my kidneys and liver, removal of spleen and
gallbladder, resulting in the loss of 60% of my blood,
severe nerve damage to my left shoulder, and leaving me in a coma where I was
on life support for over two months at Prince Georges Hospital
Center in Cheverly, MD.
I don't have a memory of the accident, or the few days before
the day of the accident. The first thing that I remember after
the collision, which is still so vivid in my mind even today, is
being in this very large white tube. In this tube was a boy
sitting to my left, and many other boys and girls on my right
side (I use the term "boys and girls" because they appeared to
be my age.) I didn't know why I was there or how I even
got there in the first place. The more I sat there, the more I
was able to visualize my surroundings. The boy to my left had a
cell phone, and he asked me if I needed him to call anyone for
me. I told him "yes, can you call my parents and tell them that
I love them." The next thing that I remember is waking up in a
hospital bed, chemically paralyzed and hooked up to all these
machines. Through all the buzzes and beeps going off from the
medical equipment that was saving my life at that instant, I
could hear my mom and dad telling me in between dramatic pauses
of crying hysterically that I was going to be okay. Only moments
before I believe I was waiting in line to meet my final
judgment, but it must have not been my time. Moments later, I
had come back to life. This was just the beginning of my
I died eight times while I was in the intensive care unit and
even when I woke up from my coma, I couldn't talk or
communicate. No one knew for sure if I would leave my room in a
wheelchair or a body bag. As far as the future, it didn't exist.
Walking was never going to happen again due to all the extreme
injuries and because of the shattered pelvis. The thought of
swimming was just that, only a thought. Just like my body, my
dreams were shattered. But, I didn't give up because I knew that
God had a plan for me.
After spending two months in a coma, 14 operations, 36 blood
transfusions, 13 plasma treatments, I lost a total of 100 pounds
and had to go to a rehabilitation center in Baltimore. I had to
learn how to talk, eat, walk, shower, and live independently
again. After that agonizing experience, I had to go to
outpatient therapy in Waldorf, MD. After spending a few months
in a wheelchair, I took baby steps to walk on my own. It was a
miracle that I could walk again, but I wanted to prove the
doctors wrong and not only walk, but run. After I accomplished
that, I wanted to get back in the pool again. After a few lung
tests, I was able to go in the pool a little bit each week.
Before the accident I had three goals: to go to college, swim on
the team, and compete in an ironman triathlon one day. After a
few months of swimming a few laps here and there with my
training partner and good buddy, Sam Fleming, I decided that I
was not going to let my injuries stop me from living my dream.
Six months after that I began my freshman year at St. Mary's
College of Maryland - and became a proud member of the swim team.
It's very easy to go through and list these facts and make it
look like everything just seemed to easily fall in it's own
perfect little place, but the truth of the matter is that it
didn't. It wasn't easy, not then, and not now. The pain and the
agony was real and it existed all the way through - in the good
times and the very bad.
It was not an easy situation to be laying
in a bed, staring at the ceiling, knowing that your life is over
while you're looking at a priest give you the last rights. I
thought to myself over and over, why did this happen to me. I
was always a good kid, received good grades in school, and went
to church. Why would something as horrific as this happen to me?
Why would God allow this? I went on and on for days asking why?
And, then it hit me. All that thinking and pondering on the
what-if scenarios and the questionable doubt only stirred up
another question - why was I saved? I didn't have anymore
questions after that. I finally understood my purpose in life.
With the 50 year life expectancy I was given from the doctors, I
am now just trying to live each day to the fullest and motivate
and hopefully inspire other people in their lives and faith.
Some people say I am like 'Lazarus' because God brought me back
to life. All I know is that I want to take full advantage of the
precious time we are given.
My story is about the recovery and the comeback, but I want to
make it much more than that. I want to make a positive impact on
the world. I want to motivate and hopefully inspire other people
through my endeavors to never give up on their dreams and to
never stop believing in their faith in God no matter how bad a
situation may appear.
Update: Brian recently completed the Steelhead 70.3 half-ironman race
in Michigan and was also given the inspirational athlete media
slot to compete in the 2007 Ford Ironman World Championship
where his story appeared on NBC's 'Ironman' show as the