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Marine Beats The Odds On His Way To Complete Recovery In Never-Ending Quest

April 18, 2016

  • Marine Bryan Carpenter shocks doctors with miraculous recovery after being hit with IED

  • Inspires others by leading by example in typical Marine fashion

  • Bryan has published a book detailing his recovery

Lance Cpl. Bryan Carpenter is an author, mixed martial artist, motivational speaker, veteran of the Iraq war and, most importantly, an American hero and inspiration to anyone thats ever has had to fight against the odds.


Carpenter had his life changed forever while on deployment in Fallujah, Iraq in 2006. He and his unit were hit with a roadside bomb while on night patrol. As the driver of the vehicle, Bryan received the brunt of the attack and suffered the most severe injuries. He suffered a shattered pelvis, traumatic brain injury, a six-unit blood transfusion and an emergency tracheotomy that nicked an artery. This left Bryan in a state that many doubted he would ever fully recover from. The 20-year-old Marine blacked out immediately and slipped into a two-week coma. When he awoke he was told by doctors that he would never walk again.

Bryan told American Military News:

“The coma felt like I was asleep for the night and woke up the next day. I woke up and had not one ounce of pain, the only thing on my mind was asking myself ‘why in the world my parents were here and why is the doctor screaming at me?’ The doctor then put me back in a Medically Induced coma. I was in a coma for a total of 2 ½ weeks. The second and final time I woke up from my coma I do not remember at all, because my TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) was too severe.”

Carpenter was not willing to accept the hand that was dealt to him. He embarked on a journey to return his body to tip-top physical shape and prove those doctors wrong.

Bryan’s body was extremely weak. After his accident he was bound to a wheelchair and was a shadow of his former self, weighing in at only 120 pounds. Luckily for Bryan, what he lacked in physical strength he made up for in mental fortitude and determination. Bryan spoke with American Military News about his recovery and what motivated him:

“Determination. It was determination to be able to do the things in life that I love so much, and to be ‘normal’ again. I was disgusted looking at myself weighing 120 lbs. Strapped into a forearm walker. helping throughout the process was my support system of friends and family that has grown since day one. They would not let me fail, and being a Marine, I didn’t want to fail them. If I needed them, they would always be there to encourage me to keep pushing forward and keep striving. Seeing the joy and happiness that myself and my recovery would bring people, and the way I inspired people is the best motivation for me to be better at it and keep helping anyone and everyone, every chance I got.”

The now 30-year-old resident of Wadsworth, Ohio has come a long way. His dedication to physical therapy and refusal to miss a day at the gym has caused Carpenter to nearly double in weight from when he started. Bryan has packed on approximately 110 pounds of lean American muscle and can not only walk, but can be seen strutting into the gym on a daily basis, ready to crush his daily workout. His trips to the gym aren’t only for his own personal gain. He spends a lot of time at the gym working as a trainer and MMA coach, inspiring others to attain their goals by being a walking-talking success story. Despite having his childhood dreams of having a long and illustrious military career snatched away from him in the blink of an eye he strives to remain positive and inspire others. Whether it be through his actions in the gym, or through the stories and values he shares as a motivational speaker and writer.

Bryan has made phenomenal progress with his physical recovery but has not yet fully recovered from the incident. Like many other veterans he struggles with PTSD. The cognitive struggles he faces have even prevented him from returning to military service. He will not let them prevent him from reaching his new goal of inspiring anyone he crosses paths with. He is currently focused on spreading positivity, and makes it a daily goal. He told American Military News:

“Today, I dedicate my life to the gym (my ‘self- conducted’ physical therapy) I also am very dedicated to helping others with fitness, dieting, or helping out with any injury or disability. And of course, I have dedicated my life to getting my story out to the world. I have slowed down on bouncing/security jobs and MMA training to focus strictly on my book and my story. I want others to know that just because they may be hurt, or disabled you can still reach your dreams, and do not have to limit yourself with the right mindset.”

Bryan’s “can-do” attitude isn’t limited to his physical recovery and he refuses to let his PTSD limit what he can accomplish. His road to mental recovery has been littered with obstacles which he has repeatedly overcome. This positive attitude has led him from one once-in-a-lifetime experience to the next. He was selected to throw out the 2012 opening pitch for the Cleveland Indians, went to the Fire Academy to become a licensed fireman, and even acted as Grand Marshall in a hometown parade.

Most notably, Bryan has written a book “Never Ending Battle After Iraq
A Marine’s Road To Recovery“. It’s a story that chronicles his experience in Iraq and the readjustment period after his return. It allows you to take a walk in his shoes and see first-hand how he achieved his goals after losing nearly everything. Writing this book has allowed Bryan to realize a new dream of his, to help anyone in anyway he can.

“I strive every day to help others with fitness and health and making everyone smile. I am an inspirational speaker and love making a difference in anyone’s life.”

Have you or someone you loved been affected by a life changing event like Bryan’s? Share your stories in the comment section below so that, like Bryan, you can inspire others to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals.