Miles O'Brien and Francesco Clark Talk Defeating The Limits - Fearless Like Me (E3)
Opening a door, unpacking a knapsack, or preparing a hot drink before you start your day are tasks you complete without thinking during a typical day at school or work. Now imagine waking up tomorrow and suddenly facing those same tasks for the first time without one of your arms or the use of your legs. How would you manage? In this episode of Fearless Like Me, Francesco speaks with Miles O'Brien, a veteran journalist who was suddenly forced to face this type of new reality after a seemingly minor mishap on a photo shoot.
Miles is the science correspondent for PBS NewsHour, a producer and director for the PBS science documentary series NOVA, and a correspondent for the PBS documentary series FRONTLINE. For nearly seventeen of his thirty-two years in the news business, he worked for CNN as the science, environment and aerospace space correspondent and the anchor of various programs. A general aviation pilot and a man with lofty aspirations, Miles secured a deal with NASA to become the first journalist to fly on the space shuttle.
When a heavy camera equipment case fell on his forearm during an assignment, Miles was bruised but not overly concerned. When it didn't heal normally and he went for further testing, he received a diagnosis of Acute Compartment Syndrome which necessitated the emergency amputation of his left arm above the elbow. In a flash, all that he knew was suddenly altered and his once certain future was clouded.
Miles had seen people face challenges and overcome them, including his sister who battled Stage 4 Breast Cancer and lived a fulfilling life. When he returned to his on air position, he asked his executive producer how she wanted to handle his new "look". "She said, just be you, be Miles", he recalled. "Could you ask for a better response? I'm not going to mask or hide it, I'm going to let people see me as who I am."
That was a critical early step for Miles to accept his new reality. Another was keeping a positive attitude about what he is able to do while avoiding the trap of dwelling on the 'what if?' scenarios of his accident. A thought Miles keeps top of mind is: "You can spend your life thinking about what you've lost, or what you have."
Watch as Francesco explores this transformation with him, and learn how he is overcoming the stigma of being different and living with limitations, something they both know a great deal about.
Learn more at: https://www.facebook.com/francesco.clark
Follow Miles on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/MilesOBrienPage/
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