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Lifetime Oath
Lifetime Oath

Episode · 11 months ago

Shot In The Head At Point Blank Range And Survived - Former Baltimore City Police Officer Gene Cassidy

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Gene Cassidy is a former Baltimore City Police Officer. He was patrolling Baltimore's Western District when he noticed a person he thought was wanted. Gene was shot in the head during the ensuing brawl. His life was spared, but he lost his sight completely, irreversibly, and permanently. 

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About a year ago I had the honor of speaking with a former Baltimore city police officer and his story. I had a lot of responses from it. It just it grabbed people and this was all my other podcast, Harford Kenny everyone, with rich Bennett. I wanted to do this one again for lifetime earth. This is about gene cassidy and if you ever heard about gene cassidy, like I said, former Baltimore city police officer. He was shot in the head point blank range and survived. This is his story. You're when it came to find a sponsor for lifetime oath, I wanted somebody that I knew cared about the veterans in the first responders, somebody that actually did a lot in the community, and I was able to find that exact person, Joe Ayler of t our heel construction group. I am happy to say they are the exclusive sponsor for lifetime. Ooth Tar heel construction group does basically anything exterior wise on your house, whether besiding, windows, roof, gutters. They take care of it all and the best thing about it is they look out for the veterans in the first responders. They're not one of these companies that say Oh, free root for your you know if you're a ve or and and all that. They that's a marketing employee. People do that because they wanted. They're taking advantage of a lot of the veterans and first responders. In my eyes, Tar heel doesn't do that. Yeah, if they find out your veteran, they're going to take care of you. They find out you're a first responder, they're going to take care of you. But guess what, even if you're not, they're still going to take care of you. They are the two thousand and Nineteen Harford Award winner for outstanding service to the community. They are gf master elite Roofer. They have the Harford canty living stamp of approval. They have won the Harvord candy living choice awards as well as the best of Harford. And when it comes to reviews, well, just look down good to our heel construction groupcom. Do a Google search on tar heel construction group reviews. You'll see how great people love them. Go to t our heel construction GROUPCOM or give them a call at four hundred and zero three, eight seven, zero two one. Again. That's four hundred and two, sixty eight seven, zero two one. Also, just when the legionary views, information or opinions expressed during lifetime move are sole e there's of the individuals involved and do not necessarily represent those of tar heel construction group or their employees. My name is rich Bennett and this is lifetime rooth. On this podcast you will hear from veterans, active military, their families, their spouses, firefighters, police officers, nurses, doctors, first responders, all these people that serve us. They served to protect us, they served to defend the constitution of the United States. These are people that have served on wartime. They have served throughout the different cities of the United States or at the world. They have served in peacetime. They have some incredible stories, whether sad. Some will make you man some will make you laugh. These are the people that have taken the lifetime. I have gene cassidy on the podcast with me today, former Baltimore city police officer. Correct, yes, I do want to say thank you for your service because, yeah, much very kind words. Well, it's maybe in a former marine we hear it all the time, but I believe police and firefighters do not hear it enough. And wait. Yeah, I definitely I want to thank you because, I mean, you know, you guys put it out there. So, but anyways, when welcome you to the podcast, Jean, and actually let's let's go back to the beginning. The police department, if you don't mind. How nowed you? Why did you decide to join the police department? Well, let's see, it was about I was at the age of nine actually, and I was walking up the street in New Jersey and the town called Oakland, which is in Bergen County in the northernmost portion...

...of the state, and I was walking up the street and I had seen a police car come, you know, whipping down the street. The officer jumped out and then grabbed opened up his trunk, grabbed some defibrillating tools or something of such, you know, and ran into the home and was taking care of the individual, think care of the person within the house, and I was really just, you know, stunt at the nobility of this person's attempting to save an individual's life. And from that point forward I had all designs on being a police officer. I'm glad you said that because with everything going on today, I know a lot of police departments are probably struggling to get cadets and everything, and I you know, just seeing that nine years old, you see in that and a police officer running into save somebody's life. That's that's amazing. So that was it, nine years old. Yes, what? What? What I was in? Joy what you said? Oakland, New Jersey. Yes, exactly. Well, actually, I was born in New York, in Storia queens and that's in New York and minutes later we quickly moved to New Jersey and I spent my formative years in New Jersey. At that point, I attended high school in New Jersey, of course, whereas I was, say, football player, I was defensive end and a fencer and I was on the Saber squad. Really, yes, HMM, yeah, wow, and from there I went to boos, searching the area, and what I chose was to go to your college of Pennsylvania. And when I was at your college, I was a shot put her on the track and field team. Wow, I was a fraternity member and Ay intermural director my fourth year. Now, what did you go to college for to major in? It was criminal justice. Criminal Justice, okay, yes, HMM. So I so you're going for God, For New York, to Jersey, to Pennsylvania? What? Oh, yeah, to the Maryland. Well, my junior year I had met a beautiful young lady named Patty and we began dating and then we've been married over thirty four years now. Wow, congratulations. Well, thank you very very much. Thirty four years. I take it she was from Maryland. Well, she's from she was from Pennsylvania also, but close enough to the metropolis, whereas we chose to move to Baltimore. Okay. So I take it after college that's when you looked into joining the police department. Yes, and tea, Yep. Okay, so you become a Baltimore you went right to bottomore city police department. Correct, correct, yes, I joined the Police Academy and in December twelve of one, nineteen eighty three, and you know, I was an academy member, of course, and I was a squad leader within the academy. All right, so you finished police a cad yes, you get onto the Baltimore City Police Department. Well, yeah, I was assigned to the western district, the western district, right. Wow. Well, actually that's a kind of an interesting situation because Baltimore City is ninety two square miles right, and at that point there was in nineteen s there was eight Hundredzero people living within the confines of that particular area, the western district. It's a sliver of you know, that ninety two square miles. Yet there was one hundred thousand people living within that three point two square mile area. Most of them were one hundred thousand. Wow. Yes, the row homes were filled, the streets were teeming as well as the corners were filled also. Unfortunately, it was a situation where the huge majority of people were poverty stricken, right. You know, it's very sad. Yeah, so it was crazy, I was gonna say. And the thing is, you living here, you hear about two different districts and how different they are. It's like being in different worlds, isn't it? In a way, yes, you're exactly right, because each of the districts have their own speed to court, so to speak, and you know so. Actually, as far as the the statistics went, within a three year time frame, there were five officers shot...

...within the western district. All five were on my shift, which had eighteen people on there. So, I mean it was very volatile and violent. Eight wait minute, so eighteen people per shift. Yes, for an area that had a hundred thousand people in it. Well, that's eighteen per shift, plus the operations units, plus, you know, all the the units that would follow up. Still doesn't seem like enough. Well, my post was eight blocks by four blocks. Oh, but I would put like thirty miles a night on the police vehicle, you know. Wow, you know, I would handle anywhere and just on average, you know, I don't know, twenty to thirty calls per eight hour shift. Holy Cow, I put thirty miles a night on the car, you know. And the reason is it's because I was backing up other officers, right, okay, we were all single person vehicles. Okay, you know. Oh, but so nobody. So not to not partner or not? No, wow, okay. So how long we actually in the western district? For four and a half years. Four and a half years, okay, and then, of course, then, I guess afterwards you went to a different district. Well, I went to education and training. Okay, yeah, so I said, how long were you actually with Baltimore City Police? Well, thirty two years total. Thirty two years. Wow, that's amazing and again I want to thank you for your service. They are so surely sorry, explain to everybody, Yo, what happened, because your story to me, you, like I said, you and I taught before. It's just it's amazing because after hearing your story, after what you told me, you're one that doesn't quit. M I don't know, you just keep going, but I'll let you go ahead and explain to everybody what having. Like I said, this is going to become a book. Who knows what it'll become. Well, it was interesting because, as I was making mentioned little earlier, both Patti and I, you know, we were dating and all and and we moved to to the Baltimore Area and obvious, in Baltimore, police officer, of course, and Patty was a CPA working with city corps, which is now, I think, city financial right. You know, she was obviously we were. We were going along fine, everything was beautiful. Then I had asked Patty to marry me and we happen to have gotten married on September six of one thousand nine hundred and eighty six, and from that point forward, about eleven months later, on August ten of one thousand nine hundred and eighty seven, we happened to have bought a beautiful home. It was a three Bedroom Cape Cod white in color, black shutters, detached, three car garage and it's sat right on an Acre and a half of proper defence Dan. It was a beautiful, beautiful home. And now, mind you, coming from North Jersey, I'm stand on the back porch and I would scan the terrain like a gentleman farmer, so to speak. You know, we measured it in North Jersey by feet, you know, versus here where they measure it by achory right. You know, you got sixty feet by eighty feet. That's a good sized piece of property in New Jersey, you know, in North Jersey especially. But at that point we were wed and we were going along fine. Everything was beautiful. Daddy was a CPA working good city corps. I was then, I guess you'd say, moved up to the rank of agent or push to that level, you know. Yeah, we were doing fine. And then and then on October twenty two of one thousand nine hundred and eighty seven, I was working in patrol, of course, and I was driving down south on Monroe Street. It was eleven o'clock at night. When, excuse me, when, you know, I took a right turn on Moser Street. Now, while driving along Moses Street, indirected patrol, of course, that being eyes open, ears open, you know, all factory nerves firing off. You don't mean the whole nine yards. I had seen an individual with whom I'd written a warrant for ten days earlier. Okay, walking along the north side of the street in the same area...

...as I was driving now. Obviously, if I was to stop the car immediately, get out and yell over that Light Bar. Excuse me, sir, come here for a moment, Mr Fraser, I believe that there's a warrant out for you. Guess what would have happened? Yeah, the rates would have been on right. See, know what I mean? Yeah, as I rolled up to the next corner, which was Appleton Street, I turned up Appleton Street, I pulled off to the right, immediately jumped out of the car and I strode to the intersection. Now, that was a tactical advantage. I was attempting to, you know, deploy per se right because if in fact he was to walk straight across Appleton Street, I got him. If he was to turn up Appleton Street, I got him again. parenthetically, he did live within within that block ten twenty six north Appleton Street. Okay, so he turned the corner and I said Hey, PAL Camaro, I want to talk to you. So obviously that was not a suggestion, you know. Right. I attempted to place them against the wall, and that is what was done at that time frame. That was how I was straight and taught, as was everybody, you know. And as I attempted to put him against the wall, he fired back and violently struck me in the chest with his elbow and ripped my radio off. She so, okay. Now, at that point I knew it was go time. Okay, immediately I leaped into the fight of flight response, whereas he simultaneously turned with a handgun. Right, I grabbed his forearm. Okay, I gripped his forum. I was hopefully ripping it off, but I couldn't. You know what I mean, right, I had the forearm in hand and his pistol was still able to be turned. Oh, you know what I mean. Yeah, so, at that time he fired three shots at me. So one ricochet off at the alley wall. The second shot with my ear was to my right shoulder, my right ear to my right shoulder because I was attempting to avoid the blast from that handgun. Okay, yeah, and you can only imagine the fire as he pulled that trigger, exploding out, and that bullet sailed directly into my cheek. God, it bore through my brain, cracked my skull and almost exited my head, but due to the elasticity of the skin, it stayed within. Wow, at that point the blood fired very dramatically with this, with a sense of trajectory, splashing against the wall. Okay, the second shot was rammed directly against my temple she's and it's that point that he, his monster, pulled that trigger. He clicked the back of my left high and thus evering my left optic nerve. The first shot severed my right optic nerve. Again, the blood, same situation. It came out with a ferocity the wall and cascaded to the ground. I then sat down. I had my right leg underneath my left leg. It would be very similar to doing like a sit up with your legs up right, but my right leg was tucked under my left leg. My right hand was in the back. After getting shot two times in the head at point blank range, my head was extremely bloodied and there were no facial features discernible to the swelling as to what went down. My brilliant white shirt, of course, was Crimson in color and I sat within a six foot circle of my own blood. Oh my God. Now the neighbors, thank God, the neighbors, the and everybody went ahead and saved my life in different sections, do you know what I mean? Yeah, including the living legacy. But the neighbors looked out and what they had said. You know, they had heard the gun shots, they smelled the cordite over the corner and they saw the carnage of me sitting there again, you know, saturate in the white shirt. And Yeah, it was very I'm sure that it was dramatic for everybody who looked out. Please tell me they caught this guy. They eventually did. Yes, good, I got an ass just because it's going to bug out of me. You said he had a warrant out for his arrest, right, yes, what was the warrant for your lads, Warran? Sure I can. Yeah, HMM, yeah, it was executed. Okay, Hey, I was for an assault and what had...

...happened was he was a twenty four year old person who was in the midst of slapping a seventeen year old girl and Italy gentleman stepped out and started to you know, you know, pleaded with him to stop. Well, the twenty four year old went over and exchange words with this gentleman and began punching him in the head several, several times, you know, right, and he had a ring on and that ring sliced into the right eye of person and unfortunately it blinded him in one eye. So, you know, I was looking for him, right, but here this guy heat. So he had a warrant out for his arrest for assault. Now he's being gearge, I, I would hope, for attempt at murder and everything. Yes, he was, which if he would have just came up and listen to you, things would have been a lot different for you and him, because he wouldn't have had so many charges against you. Right, I'm sorry, but, and I know you can't answer this, but why is it these people don't think that way? I don't know. It's just you and I talked about this before. If a police officer tells you to come and talk to him, if he tells you to stop, do it. If you don't, you're going to make things worse. And well, yeah, that just gives me for choices, for choices all over the place. Yeah, judgment calls. And then what had happened was, well, actually, one of the gentleman who was holding me up at one point, and this was on seen, jumped up and took off running. He ran across the street and right to the station House Lot, where he had scanned the area, jumped into his personal car and driven away, heading north to pick up my wife, Patti God and Patty and I had only been married thirteen months. HMM. And as he made that left, he as he was heading toward obviously my home, our home, he took a left and went and picked up another friend of mine and as they were driving across, Bob was explaining the situation to our my other friend, corey, mm. And not on not once, not twice, but three separate occasions, he happened to have vomited. You know, Dude too, obviously the seriousness of what he was hearing. Yeah, you know, basically, you know, shot in the head two times. You know, at that point like grain, yes, yes, and then what had happened was corey pulled into Korey and Bob pulled into our driveway, jumped out, slammed the doors and took off up the stairs and was rapping on the door. Corey was well, he had to woken Patty and she made a way out to the door and when she had seen that it was corey, she took her left hand, put it on that Doorknob, turned it to the right, opened the door with a smile on her face and said Hey, corey, jeans at work. Then Corey immediately, you know, with a stern kind of look, said Patty, get dressed, Jean's been shot. God, something else we house never wants to hear, right, you bet, only only married for thirteen months, yes, and she was Patty was twenty six and I was twenty seven. And then Patty took a step back and was processing, you know, yeah, everything that was just told to her, and then corey repeated it. They then jumped into the car three and it took off down route eighty three like a laser, you know. Yeah, on the scene what had happened was it spoke with a firefighter about twenty years later, okay, and I said to him, I said what is he you remember most about that that evening? Hmm, he said to me he said. Gene, I remember two things. Number One, as you were loaded onto the Gurney, while we were taking you back to put you in the back of the ambulance, he said you were talking. Wow, he found that really remarkable. Now, granted, I was not solving equals, MC swear right, but you know, I was talking and he found that remarkable. And then when I was loaded in the back of the ambulance, they were officers on both sides, western district officers, pounding on the side saying go, go, get moving right, you know, but first I got to stabilize you. Then they...

...take off and with the blue lights in front and the red lights coming right behind it, that was the ambulance. We took off on the eighteen blocks to shock trauma. Wow. Now at shock trauma they privately had given me, you know, man, four percent chance of survival. Four percent, yeah, but all you need is one right. Yeah, well, true. No, no, exactly. Yes. So when Patti arrived at the at truck trauma, Patty and of course the people riding with Patty right across that that sensor and the metallic doors opened and it's patty turned and looked down that hallway. She saw a gauntlet of an informal gauntlet of officers right, some standing, some whispering, a couple people kneeling. You know, who knows, they could have been thinking about their own mortality. Yeah, and there's also that red stripe that splits the whole way, the symmetric cuss and that red stripe pleads directly to shock trauma. Now, when you're heading too shock trauma, there's a lot of damage, a lot of despair and sometimes death. Yeah, but you have to look at it from the from the obverse to that, and that was this. You're ready. How about success? Yeah, how about hope, have a life, you know what I mean? Yeah, that is a positive things about exactly your one hundred percent correct. And as they were making their way down the hole quickly, you could hear in the background, you know, the the nurse yelling the wife is here, the wife is here. So as Patty turn that corner and looked at the family area, is the waiting room, I guess you know, she had seen a collection of individuals who were command staff, and the highest ranking command staff in Baltimore City is the individual who will talk with the spouse of the loved one. That type of thing. So of course the others filed out and left one individual to chat with my wife, Patti, and he asked the question. He said, Mrs Cassidy, you know what happened to your husband? And of course my wife said no, and my wife is a very, very professional, smart, Sharp, intelligent, witty person, shrouded with compassion, right, you know. And so he began to express his theory. But then who trumps the deputy commissioner? The doctor. The doctor was talking with Patty and he said this, and this is a line that I will remember for the rest of my life. He said, Mrs Cassidy, if your husband does survive, he may be a vegetable. Wow, now, just imagine this at twenty six year old CPA work input city corps. She doesn't have to hear that stuff now and more or less a newison. Yeah, that's exactly right, one hundred percent's. And then the person who trumps the doctor was a priest who came in and basically said this that, Mrs Cassidy, if you'd like a reaching his last rights. So God, Oh my, I said, can and need to breathe, you know. Yeah, and I was out. Well, the I was on the operating table for eight hours. Both of my eye orbits were broken, the left cheek was broken. The bullets went sailed through my brain and it's kind of interesting the way which they shaved my head open, being up like a walnut from ear to ear. Right pulled one bullet out, but they were unable to get the second bullet. So so both bullets are still in there. No one bullets out and one bullet is LEN's dormant with my brain today. Oh, okay, wow, wow, yeah, it's pretty crazy. And the thing I mean I'm saying, I mean everything did you've gone through, which is crazy. But I can't help but think of the thoughts that were going through your voice's head, especially after the doctor comes out and says one thing and then the priest. It's like, how can a woman so young only been married thirteen months? She had it. I can't, I can't imagine. I can't imagine. That's exactly right. You're...

...a hundred percent correct. Wodding is an absolute rock. Wow, so thirteen months and you guys been married for thirty four years now. Right, right, yes, that is awesome, spectacular. You have, Jane. I can honestly say you have a fantastic wife. She is totally God send. With your aunt, a percent corrects without a doubt. Yes, there's no doubt about it. So you always consider ourselves this. You ready now. Granted, you're a former marine, but I call us the delt force, me and Patty. Do you know what I mean? You gotta come on, but you will be limping back. Don't think of personal but you know what it is, and I say that metaphorically to by the way. But yeah, and then as it was cooking along, you know, they were still investigating this at this point, right, okay, and they hit a stall. Well, this is before Christmas, and Patty realized that she was pregnant with our first baby. Wow. So it's kind of interesting because, you know, I was, I was it elated. Yeah, I was absolutely just so happy. So your home at this point then? Now not, you're still in the hospital. Yeah, I'm not sure on that one. I don't know that Kain't wow, but it was interesting because I was in the hospital only for well, I was mechanically paralyzed for two weeks. Right, okay, and the he the way that you know, I probably did not look all the greatest. I had a similar like a swimmer's cap just to keep it, you know. Yeah, just steralyzed my head, and so from some one, and also too, I had two huge, gigantic black eyes. I went from two hundred and fifteen pounds down to a hundred and sixty file ones. Yes, and it wasn't because the hospital food was bad, I think. Also is I think believe that every cell in my body was attempting to heal the injury in which I had sustained. Yeah, you know. And then it was funny because there was a nurse, I believe, person was off to my right, and I'll never forget this, and she said, she goes hot boy Jean Life's are real bear. And then I just looked at her and I said, yeah, it's a real bear right. But but that was the first words that I had spoken after shot. Wow, she ran out excited, very, very, you know, really very, very excited. She went ahead. I wasn't expecting you to respond. No, wow, I don't know you. Yeah, but yeah, and and they call down, of course, Patty and our friends, you know, see people once they had heard of the news. You know that Friends of mine in New Jersey, of course, Pennsylvania, where I went to college. You know, people who were in were with me in college, would move to certain areas and so forth. Then it came out of Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, right, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. You know what I mean? Yeah, because it is newsworthy the heck, you know. Yeah, so they came down and I kind of call this the pebble in the pond kind of theory, where, you know, you have a glass like pond, okay, right, and the Rock, or the pebble, so to speak. I call myself more along the lines of a broken, cracked brick who might be faded a little, you know, coming sailing down, hitting that pond. And that first wave is the most the most dramatic all waves, you say, and that would include my wife, my mother, you know, my family. Yeah, the loved ones. You to see what I'm saying? That first way. Yeah, and that second wave could be officers who know who I am and I know who they are, and that's very you know, that's it's like a brother, very emotional, you know, and clicking it out onto the citizens really, you know, even to the citizens who are just sitting there and they s an oh my God, this is terrible. You know that type of thing, you know. So, yeah, it was really a gods crazy time. Wow. But then it was funny because one thing...

...that I was so deeply terrified to do was to touch my eyes. Yeah, it's bandage, is no problem. If there's no bandages, it's a huge problem. Yeah, yeah, what had happened was we had traveled about fifty plus blocks yeast to the Wilmore I clinic, which is the best hostel in the world bar none. Yes, okay, I went to the best hospital in the world shock trauma, bar none, the absolute best, wilmore I clinic, again, the the best. And it was interesting because that's teaching hospital also. Yea. And what had happened? You know, students would come and glanced into my eyes and so forth and move on and you know. And the one person came and the individual said this agent cassidy, there's nothing that we can do until technology improves. MMM, and he stepped away and I looked at Patti and I said don't worry, honey, wait till the doctor comes, and Patty, through her choked up voice, said Gene, that was Dr Oh God, and it was a trail of tears driving back to shock trauma. Wow, you know. Yeah, so then we had to you know, to some deep soul searching. Yeah, I made mention a little earlier about my wife. You know, it's pregnant. Well, getting back to what I was discussing a little bit earlier, I had said that, you know, it was was kind of stalling at a point. You know, those detectives were fighting for myself and Patty right to too. Now that fighting for three wow, and that, you know, everybody motivated even deeper. Yeah, but in February we decided upon having our lives returned to a sense of normalcy. Okay, okay, it sounds very simple, doesn't it? It's like an amendment. Yeah, okay, having our lives returned to a sense of normalcy. Now it's easy to understand, it's easy to read. Sometimes it's a little complex, but the mission can be accomplished. You say, you know, yeah, because it's a new normal for you now then a sense. Yeah, exactly right. Wow, you know, because then, you know, you have to realize I was nine years old when I was thinking and considering doing this job. I went to college to learn how to do the job and, you know, of working in a very, very busy, busy, busy district, you know, in Baltimore. And Yeah, so it would literally ripped the way from me, the opportunity to be out there as a police officer. Obviously could never be done again, right, you say, working in patrol. You know. So then what we decided to do, and I say we, Patty, and I we decided to do was reinvent the approach. You say. Yeah, so I returned back to college and earned another undergraduate degree, undergraduate degree, and that was in education. Okay, focusing on US history and psychology. I get a minor in psychology. Nice. Yeah, that I was reassigned to the education and training section and I told him myriad of classes. Yeah, they had a lot of fun. It was great. Yeah, so that's good too, because it's you're the police department didn't give up on you and they could have easily said well, no, you have to take disability retire, but no. Yeah. Well, they gave me the opportunity to do that and I said now, I don't want to do that. It's you know, I was only twenty seven years old. Yeah, you say, yeah, I mean we get back. I would have contributed, I would to do what I have to do. I want to lead a normal life. I wanted to just go about doing what I would normally be doing. Yeah, you see, another most important thing is this.

Well, a couple of considerations. I will not let this traumatic injury define me. Right, you understand? Yeah, yeah, I just start. Refused to. You know. Another most important facts this. You're ready. I will not let the person who tempted to murder me. When exactly? I was just thinking of that before you said. HMM. Yes, and you know, we have had, you know, we have had a fantastic life. Yeah, you know what we've had. Of course, our daughter Lauren was born June twenty three, one thousand nine hundred and eighty eight. Our Son Kevin was born on September, first of one thousand nine hundred and ninety one. So two kids, yes, yes, Right, oh, yeah, you better believe it. Yes, and what was it was interesting was this. You know, we went to all the dance recitals, we were to the musicals, we went to, you know, Kevin's wrestling matches, and I thought Kevin how to play, you know, football. That's all. I told him how to play basketball. Now, grant that I'm not the highest scorer in the world now, nor by the best defender. But I understand how to stand you. Don't mean I understand the technique, I understand the game, you know, same with football too. You say, that's one thing. Like I said, you know, you just have to continue forward. Yeah, because what has happened has happened, okay, and what that is is this. It is a thought which goes through your mind. Right, and the one thing that I have found is this is the human mind. The human mind is the strongest muscle in the body. It can either, you know, have you shoot to the stars, or it can absolutely cripple you. Yeah, again, it's a matter of a choice that you make. Yeah, you say you're right. You're a hundred percent correct there. Yeah, we we've also gotten season tickets that are ravens, you know, all that sit since their inception. Wow. So, yeah, it's fantastic. It's a wonderful, wonderful time. We've gone to all the home games, basically, and we even gone to other games. You know, we've gone into the belly of the beast, and that would be Pittsburgh, of course. You know, gone up and visited of course, up in New Jersey. You know, the metal lands. Right, and you know I'm very familiar with the metal lands, of the fifteen minutes away from the metal lands, you say. So that's of no, no problems. But of course, if I want to go to a football game, I can't drive, so what I do is I jump into a bus that takes me there. Right, you know what I mean. And there's many ways in which you can operate and work and certain you know, certain things that you wish to accomplish. Yeah, you can. You know, you can either go over the wall, around the wall, underneath the wall or blow a hole in a wall. It's okay, you know, but we can accomplish what has to has to be real to me, you know. Yeah, it was. It was. It was great. I see it because it's when you and I talked the other day. You're a hundred percent blind. Correct. Yes, so, and I told you about your you know, my friend who is in the lies club say, you know, he went blind. So did you actually have to go to school to learn how to be blind? I know it sounds crazy, but I would. I never heard of now a friend told me that. Now I reached that pretty quick, but I was just amazing. You're two things. When you're blind, somebody with sit doesn't even think of all. I think it's just a manner at a way of approaching a situation. Yeah, wow, I mean, yeah, you know, you don't have site. Okay, that's no problem, but you can hear, you can think, you can you still have your pastist, smell, feel, yeah, everything. Yes, exactly, you know. Yeah, one of the greatest things was this. You know, at one point my daughter and I now I am, I'm a Notre Dame Fan. Okay, okay, since about huh? That's allowed? Yes, since birth. You don't mean from New Jersey, so you know, Irish Catholic. So that's how that goes. And we were fortunate enough to go, Lauren and I to Notre Dame. We set the teen rows on the fifty yard line to watch a football games. Absolutely...

...great, you know. But then the other situation was both Kevin and I chose to fly down to the Super Bowl where we had defeated the San Francisco for Ers, and now the day where, yeah, member one, and that is when, all of a sudden the lights went out in the stadium. So it was going on five minutes and ten minutes. I'm looking to Kevin. I said, Kevin, listen, I think coach Arbo's going to call me down there. I'm the only one who can play in these conditions. And Kevin said, okay, have fun, you know, but one of the thing too, is you have to add a little humor. Yes, you know what I mean. You just you gotta just, you know, you know, break everything down to, you know, a reasonable time here were reasonable situation. Yeah, you know what I mean. We have that have that positive outlook on things, which is good. Well, and I keeps that keeps that keeps a lot of people going, and I've always said that your positivity will keep you going. Negativity is going to bring you down. And you're a hundred percent correct. And let me put it to you like this, you know, just to augment what you've just made mention. You know, when you think in a positive way, positive things will exactly if you think negatively, negative things are going you happen. Yeah, okay, you know, I always consider it, as much as this goes, if you're standing on top of a snow filled mountain and you got a snowball full of negativity and you roll it down that hill bigger and bigger, going to turn into an avalanche and negativity. But on the obverse, think of it like this. You get a snowball with positivity, you toss it down that snow filled mountain and guess what it's? It's just nothing but an avalanche and positivity, right, Yep, and spread in their sly spread into others, which is a good thing. Well, yeah, yes, yes, and then, you know, and fortunately you know, we were cooking along. Everything was fine, no problems. And then what had happened was when I was operated upon, initially with that eight hour stint, initially, when I'm shot, they had given me tainted blood. In one thousand nine hundred and eighty seven. They did not check for hepatitis. And all right, fortunately I had acquired hepatitis. Oh God, it no matter how much you know, I chose not to. You know, I chose the lead a reasonably healthy lifestyle, right, I mean, whereas you know, I would eat eighty five percent healthy. You know what I mean? If I saw up a strom me sandwich sitting there, I would dive our that. You know, you got to. Yeah, it's exactly right. Yes, indeed, we don't want it sitting there alone. It was food, right, you're a hundred percent grect. I was exercising, lifting weights a lot, you know, that type of thing. I was going to ask if you if you put the weight back on, because you said, yeah, that weight, that's good. Oh, yeah, Oh, absolutely. I went up to, yeah, two hundred and twenty pounds right, you know, because, as I said, I was lifting, I was eating, like I said, eighty five percent. Well, and all this, and then, unfortunately, as time it driven on, I started to routine fluid. Oh Yeah, and what that meant was, you know, my liver was starting to shut down. That good, not terrible, not good. Wow. And what year is that that they discover your Habita? You see that boy? Two thousand something like that. Yeah, wow, okay, so it's a I mean year for definitely years later, twenty five, twenty five years later in a bullpark. Yeah, yeah, we can. Yeah, but no matter how much you lift, number how much you eat. Well, you know, you can't. You know, you can't just wish that away now, you know. But actually, you know, when you're getting back to the other situation regarding lifting and all, you know, when I was I was forty eight years old, I happened to have bench pressed three hundred and twenty pounds. Now, is that the most now? Right? Is it the least now? But let me put it to you like this. If, in fact, you say that you can't, you won't. Won't. If you say you can, Huh, you might possibly do. Yeah, do you know what I mean? And I just sat there.

I said to myself, right, well, go for it. That's it, simple as that. One thing that's most important is to always have hope. Yes, if you have hope, you can get through anything. Hope and faith. Right, absolutely, Yes, Yep, both of those. Amazing. How Lot it goes together. Hoope, faith and positivity. It's wonderful. You know it. Look how much better it makes everybody if they have these three things. You're a hundred percent right. And then, unfortunately, you know, as I begin to retain fluid, you know, I went to the doctor and for all in tents of purposes. You know, it was the liver. Was the issue, right, you know? God, yeah, I gained two hundred weight, two hundred and forty pounds. I didn't lift anything, you know what I mean? Wow, very a yeah, it was not there. It was the retention of all the fluids. You know what I mean? Yeah, but I was in the hospital. They were at one point. I just happened to remember this is they were, you know, tapping my abdomen, so to speak. Yeah, and they gotten seven, was it seven leaders of fluid out? WHOA? So, yeah, it was. It was this, you know, you know, rough time, but you see, you got to always look down at the horizon. Yeah, look a way to that horizon and think about what do you want to do with your life, how you want to live your life, the whole nine yards. Right, you say, if you look at that next step, it might be a little hard, but if you look down at the horizon, that is where you know you will find what it is your attempting to gain. Yeah, wow, you say, amazing. You with me. And then again, many many, many, many parts fed into this, you know, second shot at living. Do you know what I mean? Yeah, living, legacy, of course, the doctors, of course, you know. And they had replaced my lover. It was supposed to be a six to twelve hour operation, but I got out in five and a half. Wow. I would like to make one quick point, and that is, at all times, the will to survive, the will to stay alive, the will to thrive. Those are three of the most important things that I think can consider. Another point is that person may have stolen my sight, yet not by vision. If you have any interests of being a guest on lifetime move, just email me at rich Bennett. It's our Seh Bee and and Ett at Dan bencom. Dan Been Is, Delta Alpha, November, Bravo, Echo, novembercom and yeah, we'll be sure to say let me get you on. This is a monthly podcast where you are looking for people that are either active military veterans, first responders, doctors, nurses, family members of spouses. Everybody's got a story and we want to hear about it. So please, please, please, please. I can't ask good enough. Get in touch with me. We'll go ahead and get it scheduled. Doesn't matter whether you're here in the states or in another country. We have the ability set it up to where we can still record. So again, just email me, rich Bennett at Dan bencom.

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