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Chase O’Byrne’s story is one of a miraculous recovery from a coma that he contributes to a never give up attitude and the continuous support of family and friends.  The 21-year-old college student had a fluke accident that left him with a brain injury that was so severe,  the doctor who performed emergency surgery on Chase, informed his family that he would not survive the night. Chase fought through three major surgeries, as doctors removed two skull plates to make room for his swelling brain. Chase’s father Tim insists that his son and the family, would have never made it through the tragedy without prayers, and positive energy from family and friends.

Life Before the Accident:

Chase was a dedicated athlete, playing football, lacrosse, basketball and baseball in high school.  He attended the University of San Diego and was an exceptional  4.0 student and in the top of his class, along with playing lacrosse.  Life was very typical for Chase, going to school, thinking about his future and a career, etc.

The Accident: detail of the accident.

During his summer break from college, Chase was spending the weekend in Oregon, visiting a friend who was attending  Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. Late in the night, Chase was found at the bottom of a set of stairs that led to the basement. He was unconscious, bleeding out of his ears and having trouble breathing.  No one saw the fall, so it is not known  how long he had been lying there unconscious. Chase’s friends immediately called 911 and then called Chase’s father, Tim. Chase was rushed to the hospital and into surgery. The fall resulted in life-threatening swelling of the brain. The doctors informed Chase’s family that the surgery did not go well and they did not expect him to make it through the night. 

How did the family stay positive and empowered in the belief Chase would come out of a coma even when doctors said there was no hope.

Chase’s family and friends stayed empowered and positive through a collective team effort. Chase’s friends held a near twenty-four hour vigil in the cafeteria.  Family and friends showed up and supported each other through prayer and sending out positive energy to Chase. The medical staff joined in. They showed support by giving up their vacation time to make sure Chase was taken care of in the ICU. The family created wristbands and  t-shirts  with ‘team chase,’ printed on them to constantly remind us of how everyone was  showing support. Friends spent their time sitting in the ICU waiting room to support our family. We could not have done it without everyone.

Chase’s recovery – how did he stayed positive and empowered though the rehab process.

Chase eventually came out of the coma. He was very confused and uncertain as to what happened. The family stayed with him around the clock and  took on his recovery together, as a team effort. We were very fortunate to be able to take the time off work and commit ourselves to go through the lengthy rehab process.

What techniques did Chase use to stay positive, motivated and focused to make a full recovery during rehab?

Chase has always been a high achiever. He was a top athlete and student. He used the focus he learned in athletics, goal setting and the power of prayer and meditation to stay focused. We measured goals hourly, daily and monthly.

What is Chase currently doing today. (marriage, job, and future plans).

Chase was married last summer to his college girl friend, who is a nurse at University of Oregon medical center (OHSU). He finished his masters and is teaching Jr. High Math in Portland, Oregon. He plans to continue teaching . We are committed as a family to help others that find themselves in a seemingly impossible situation.

What positive/empowering message would Chase say to people going though something similar to what he went though? (what did Chase and the family learn through this experience)

From the family perspective, perseverance, focused thought and energy, belief in miracles and never giving up is what propels people through incredible times. When a crisis hits, gather all of the  family and friends together to help get through impossible situations. 

Listen to our interview with Chase O’Byrne on Empowering Radio!

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