A lot of people do a lot of complaining about little things, but there are other people who have transformed horrific life experiences into something positive. Tony O’Connor of Derby, VT, (and Florida in the winter) is one of the most inspirational people I know. As a teenager he lost three limbs but refused to lose hope. He went on to marry, have four children, children who have given him grandchildren. In the meantime, he found time for a long career as an Immigration’s officer, and to become a champion golfer and racket ball player. And if you want to know something about the Civil War, just ask Tony. In his retirement years, he is a motivational speaker and comedian – oftentimes he does both at the same time.
It was 50 years ago today (February 11) that his life changed forever giving us the Tony we know and love today. This is what Tony posted on his Facebook site commemorating the event, as he also looks back on his life.
Tony, you are a true inspiration!
“50 Years is a long time. 50 years ago I was just a kid. Heck my parents were kids. Yes 50 years ago today Feb. 11, 1967 at 2:30pm I came in contact with 11,000 volts of electricity. Not many people know the exact moment their lives changed. I do! I remember a pain that I cannot explain to you. I remember being pronounced dead in the ambulance. Only to be revived in the ER.
But today I will dwell on the good; as I have tried to do since losing both my legs and right arm. I remember thinking from the start, “I can feel sorry for myself or I can turn it into an asset”.
I had a second exact moment that changed my life; the moment I met “The Gigi”. Everything I have become in life is at her encouragement. No man ever had a better wife. Had I not been hurt, I never would have met her. That makes it worth it.
Lying in the hospital bed that first night I could not imagine that one day I would be a law enforcement officer for 28 years, raise four children, run for Governor of Vt., play racquetball & golf.
All in all it has been a pretty good run. Not without hardship but everyone gets their stacks of wacks!
You just got to get up again, time after time. One of the rewarding things in my life has been visiting new amputees. I tell them all the same thing “It ain’t that bad”. You can flow with it or you can try to swim against the current.
Jesus entered my life that day and has remained with me. At death’s door I didn’t see a light and I didn’t see myself floating BUT I felt the presence of my creator saying not yet. Now it is 50 years later and I am ready to meet him again. At 66, it can be any time now and that is fine with me. My children are all self-sufficient independent adults. What more can a person ask for? When my time comes, be assured I will continue to pray for them from the other side too.
Thanks to all who have helped in my 50 year recovery, I wouldn’t mind if you find a moment to say a prayer for me.
To watch one of Tony’s comedy routines click HERE