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Reporter Miles O'Brien calls losing arm 'mindboggling'

Reporter Miles O'Brien Calls Losing Arm Mindboggling
Reporting can be incredibly dangerous work. That was certainly the case for former CNN correspondent and longtime science and technology reporter Miles O'Brien.

'O'Brien says he was packing up his TV gear two weeks ago, when a heavy case fell on his forearm, causing it to swell up immediately.'

It happened while he was on assignment in Asia. Two days after what initially appeared to be a minor injury, O'Brien had to have emergency surgery that involved amputating his arm.

Doctors said he had acute compartment syndrome - which is essentially an increase in pressure that causes the blood to stop flowing to a certain part of the body.

O'Brien appeared on the "TODAY" show to talk about the incident. He says when it first happened, he didn't think much of it.

'When I think of all the risky things I've done in my life, jumping out of airplanes, flying airplanes, scuba diving, the fact that a heavy equipment case could take my arm off is mindboggling.'

But he says doctors ended up making a life-or-death decision.

'I lost blood pressure during the surgery due to the complications. The doctor made a real-time call and amputated my arm just above the elbow. He later told me it all boiled down to a choice ... between a life and a limb.'

O'Brien didn't return home after the incident. Instead, he immediately went back to work, reporting on the anniversary of the Japanese earthquake.

'I just dove right into work and it turned out to be a pretty good tonic for me.'

O'Brien is currently in rehabilitation. He plans to get a prosthetic attachment so he can get back to riding his bike, flying planes and shooting his own video.

Join the discussion

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louisabt March 12 2014 at 7:19 AM

Wow, sorry to hear that Miles! Have a speedy recovery, and by the way, I miss your talks on CNN!

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2 replies
camitl louisabt March 12 2014 at 8:47 AM

Dear Miles,

Just want you to know we miss you here in Boston. Remember on Thanksgiving in the late 80's you were at our home interviewing us about my Dad, who was lost, you are an amazing and compassionate person. Looking forward to seeing you again on TV. Camille Langeleh from Reading,Ma

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LewTag louisabt March 12 2014 at 12:08 PM

how can you talk about recovery from loss of an arm????>...do you expect it to grow back????

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nick723 March 12 2014 at 10:50 AM


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c0rthecorruptor March 12 2014 at 10:32 AM

so sorry ...This is why me must be thankful everyday !!!

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dbrianpritchett March 12 2014 at 9:00 AM

God speed Miles..We have faith in you..

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jillrev March 12 2014 at 5:36 PM

Holy ****! Best Wishes,Miles.

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ron March 12 2014 at 11:11 AM

looks like the man loves his work ;good for him !

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muffin March 12 2014 at 12:00 PM

Whether you like/dislike a person is not the point here. The story is about a man who is overcoming a serious health issue. Why can people not support another person in a time of need. Yes, you are entitled to not like his reporting. However, you should have more compassion when discussing something of this nature. As for the comment about lawyers, dems. liberals . . . . ., now is not the time for those kinds of insensitive comments. I do not know the reported nor have I seen his work. However, I applaud him for his perseverance.

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Bobby March 12 2014 at 9:04 AM

Miles O'Brien was always my hero on CNN because he always covered the shuttle and other space launches from Cape Canaveral and other locations of merit. His intelligence made this astronomy and astrophysics nut a big fan, and when he left CNN (and I didn't know where to), I was actually quite sad. But this freak accident and his determination to tally-ho on only makes me respect him all the more. Miles, you are one hell of an inspiration to this pseudo-paraplegic and bedbound man, and I only admire you even more than ever. Outstanding!

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1 reply
Sonja Bobby March 12 2014 at 2:20 PM

Well said.
sincerly sonja wolff

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Sonja March 12 2014 at 2:07 PM

I like MilesO Brien, good nature when I saw him while back On CNN.

He is a tough cookie. hang in you be oright.
like the German GI young Tenager said 1944 with his three buddys protecting german Intress from outsider invating Germany, while Hitler was ready to check out , since loosing the war. one of guy said to one who stood his ground, after his tqo friends said lets go home, germany lost the war and russia came in ?
all this guy said never give up and never surrender and that what the boy didt.
mext day, those two checked on his friend and he was laying dead in a weat or cornfied killed by the Russion Enemy, more like he shot back.RIP little guy.
am german was born 1945 december after the war.
Peace sincerely sonja wolff.

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pdbliz March 12 2014 at 9:57 AM

I have never liked Miles or his sister,,,,,,,,,But,,I am sorry for his loss of arm,!!!!!!

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2 replies
Tutu pdbliz March 12 2014 at 10:10 AM

How well do you personally know them, how long have you known them? What did either of them do to you that you don't like them? Did they steal your bike, pants you or oh wait you just really do not know either of them, but you wanted to see your post here.......stupid jerk is what comes to mind when I read your post.

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1 reply
pdbliz Tutu March 12 2014 at 10:15 AM

May God bless you,!!!!!!!! MAY GOD BLESS YOU.!!!!!!!

Let me ask you....Do you know him ,,have you ever talked to him,??? MAY GOD BLESS YOU.!!!!

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Sonja pdbliz March 12 2014 at 2:16 PM

More likely Miles wont loose any sleep about that, on top he doesn; t look for any pitty, so save your hostilly for other stuff, even better shot that mouth of yours up.
nobody cares if you dont see eye to eye with him.
psyou know the saying , being spiteful could turn around and bite you in your butt.
I wont jugde you, god will do that.

sincerly sonja wolff

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aol~~ 1209600


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