On the way home from swim practice in 2004, 18-year-old Brian Boyle’s future changed in an instant when a dump truck plowed into his vehicle. He was airlifted to a shock-trauma hospital. He had lost 60 percent of his blood, his heart had moved across his chest, and his organs and pelvis were pulverized. He was given 36 blood transfusions, was placed in a medically-induced coma, and underwent 14 life-saving operations. Then, miraculously, Brian clawed his way back to the living. First blinking his eyelids, then squeezing a hand, then smiling, he gradually emerged from his locked-in state. The former swimmer and bodybuilder had lost one hundred pounds. After spending three years recovering, Brian completed the healing process when he crossed the finish line in the Hawaii Ironman triathlon. Since the completion of his recovery, he has worked very closely with the American Red Cross. In 2008, Men’s Health magazine named Boyle one of its 20 heroes. In 2009, he published his first book, Iron Heart, and he was presented the regional spokesperson of the year award from the American Red Cross for his contributions. In 2010, he graduated Cum Laude from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and also made his very first blood donation at the hospital that brought him back to life. In 2011, he received the Presidential Award for Excellence by the President of the American Red Cross, Gail McGovern. In 2012, he was honored at the White House in Washington D.C. and presented with the “Champion of Change” award for his volunteer work with the Red Cross on a national level. For the nearly 5 million people who receive blood transfusions every year, a blood donation can make the difference between life and death. Brian Boyle is living proof of this.

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