BOSTON (CBS) – Brian Boyle had it all. He was a young, handsome athlete about to start college in 2004.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Rod Fritz reports.
But in a split second, on July 6, 2004, his life was turned upside down.
Boyle was 18 years old and on his way home from swim practice when he got into a horrific car accident just one month after graduating high school in Maryland.
A speeding dump truck hit Boyle on his driver’s side door, and the injuries were catastrophic.
Related: Boston Marathon Guide
“Heart was ripped across the chest. Pretty much every major organ was damaged. Shattered ribs, shattered pelvis, broken left clavicle, major nerve damage on my left shoulder and blood loss of 60%,” said Boyle.
Boyle died eight different times before waking up from a two-month-long coma.
“For those two months that I was in the coma, I had to pretty much be brought back to life around eight times, and that was during my surgeries. I had 14 major operations. I had 36 blood transfusions and 13 plasma treatments,” said Boyle.
Boyle has a 12-inch scar right down the middle of his chest with three sets of staples, a scar across his heart, and scars for drainage tubes and IVs.
“I’m like the bionic man,” said Boyle.
Soon after the accident, Boyle said his college swim coaches from St. Mary’s paid him an inspirational visit.
“The college swim coaches (said), and I can barely sit upright in a wheelchair at this point, and they’re saying, ‘Brian, we want you back on the team next year. We’re gonna do everything we can. You have the whole team behind ya.’ They brought these shirts and all these cards, the get well cards and so forth,” said Boyle. “It gave me the most hope to realize that my life wasn’t over yet.”
Since the accident, Boyle has run three iron man triathlons and eight marathons. He’s running his first Boston Marathon later this month.
“Boston is the biggest marathon in the world. It’s the most historic race, and for me, to go into the race with the Red Cross, it means the world to me.
This will be Boyle’s first marathon in two years because of a running injury.