PBS’ O’Brien says he’s OK after losing arm

  • By Frazier Moore Associated Press
  • Monday, March 10, 2014 12:23pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

NEW YORK — Three weeks after losing much of his left arm, science correspondent Miles O’Brien appeared on the “PBS NewsHour” to declare “I’ll be OK” and to announce he had tied his necktie Friday morning.

“It’s good to be here,” he told “NewsHour” co-host Judy Woodruff. “It’s good to be anywhere. It’s good to be alive.”

Looking healthy, even cheerful, in a dark suit and black tie, O’Brien noted that the life of a globe-trotting correspondent is risky in many obvious ways.

“But sometimes, it’s the heavy case filled with gear that you need to be careful of,” he said, referring to the Feb. 12 blow to his arm by a falling suitcase as he was wrapping up a solo reporting trip to the Philippines after being in Japan.

What began as a bruise became increasingly discolored and painful, he said. When he began to feel numbness in his hand, he sought medical attention on Feb. 14.

He was diagnosed with “acute compartment syndrome,” a condition where blocked blood flow in an enclosed space in the body can have life-threatening consequences.

Before his emergency surgery to relieve the pressure, O’Brien said he was warned that amputation was a possible outcome.

“When I woke up,” he recalled, “I thought I felt my arm. But unfortunately, things did not go for the best.” His arm had been amputated above the elbow.

His most successful coping device has been a renewed focus on work, he said.

Now he has singled out three priorities: to get back to riding his bike, piloting planes and shooting his own video, as before. He said his doctors told him, “No problem. We have attachments for all of that.”

More in Life

Artist Justin Hillgrove, creator of Imps and Monsters, in his studio. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Where the wild things are in Snohomish

Step into the studio of Imps and Monsters creator Justin Hillgrove for a Black Friday sale.

Meet Nellie, Thor, Raven, Lola, Jasper, Gunner and Bella

These six dogs are waiting for loving homes.

Did you know? Bats edition

Worthwhile Everett library reading and viewing about bats of the animal, sport and hero varieties.

Don’t forbid friendship with back-talking neighbor kid

Q: Our 8-year-old has suddenly developed a very sassy mouth. She picked… Continue reading

How birds stay alive in winter and what you can do to help

When the weather turns chilly, columnist Sharon Wootton’s thoughts turn to birds coping with cold.

Don’t get scammed: Think before you click on email links

An email that was supposedly from iTunes is a scam that targeted busy parents.

Sweden’s Glass Country sparkles like a hand-blown bauble

You can blame my Norwegian heritage, but I’m not so hot on… Continue reading

The pros’ snow: Lake Tahoe a big draw for skiers of all stripes

North Lake Tahoe is home to one of the largest concentrations of ski resorts in North America.

Teen idol David Cassidy remains in Florida hospital

The former pop star is dealing with multiple organ failure.

Most Read