Blind and deaf Afghanistan army vet Aaron Hale is ready to take on the challenge of running the Boston Marathon next month. Hale was a bomb disposal technician who lost his sight when caught in a roadside bomb explosion while on duty. He later lost his hearing due to a bout of meningitis.
The former sergeant’s doctor is impressed not only that he can run a marathon, but says that it’s incredible he can even walk. Dr. Nicholas DeFlumeri attributes Hale’s willpower and persistence working to achieve running goals as the reason his body isn’t degenerating further. He told the media:
“He’s one story that needs to be shared. Not only is it essentially miraculous what function he has now, but it’s miraculous of his spirit. It’s miraculous the power of the mind over the human body. If he didn’t fixate on these goals, like fixating on this marathon, I don’t think he would be where he is as far as function goes. I don’t even think he’d be able to walk.”
The Daily Caller reports:
Hale first enlisted in the Navy in 2001 before transitioning over to the Army in 2007, at which point he joined the Explosive Ordinance Disposal team and found himself deployed to Afghanistan.
While in Afghanistan in 2011, Hale received a call to diffuse a roadside bomb, which he did successfully. But he soon discovered a second bomb in the surrounding area. Before he had a chance to diffuse it, the bomb detonated. The shrapnel from improvised explosive device immediately blinded him.
While Hale initially struggled emotionally with his new disabilities, he has stated that his family and his new exercise goals helped him to avoid a “downward spiral.”
“He has the spirit of champion,” DeFlumeri said. “This guy is an inspiration.”