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Miles O'Brien Speaks Candidly On Today Show About Amputation
New York, NY, March 2014

After an intense few weeks of recovery, Miles O'Brien conducted his first live TV interview since having an emergency amputation of his left arm. O'Brien spoke to Today's Savannah Guthrie about the freak accident that caused it while on assignment in Asia, and the harrowing decision that doctors had to make in order to save O'Brien's life.

While working on a piece about Fukushima Daiichi's nuclear plant problems, O'Brien suffered what appeared to be a minor injury when being hit with his camera gear; this injury, however caused a condition known as acute compartment syndrome, and ultimately led to a visit to a local hospital and subsequent surgery that would claim O'Brien's arm.

"When I think of all the risky things I’ve done in my life — jumping out of airplanes, flying little airplanes, scuba diving — the fact that a heavy equipment case could take my arm is mind-boggling," said O'Brien.

The PBS correspondent and former CNN anchor did not let the loss of a limb hold him back from completing his story on Fukushima however; O'Brien remained in Asia, recovering from the surgery, pouring his energy into his coverage of Fukushima in time for the 3rd year anniversary of the earthquake which caused the rupture of the plant. 

"It's an ongoing crisis there. I think we all think it’s kind of over there, but every day, hundreds of thousands of gallons of water get contaminated at that site ... and some of it is leaking into the Pacific Ocean," he said. "The whole world needs to pay attention to this and help the Japanese as they try to clean that mess up."

Showing his strength in more ways than one, O'Brien was inspirational, gracious and in good spirits, despite such odds. 

Full Today Show Interview Video

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