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Lessons in Overcoming from a Former Navy SEAL

Author Patrick Bisher shares how he became a Navy SEAL despite a crippling childhood condition and devastating accident. Read Transcript

- Only a small percentage of Navy recruits

make it to SEAL training.

Only a fraction of thosewho make it to training

are able to finish it.

Patrick Bisher is one of the few

deemed physically andmentally tough enough

to earn his Trident.

Not bad for a guy whom doctors said

would never be able to walk.

- [Narrator] Patrick Bisherwas born with a severe bone

disease and spent a portion ofhis childhood in leg braces.

When doctors said hewould never walk again,

Patrick proved them wrong.

That same determinationcarried him through

the grueling Navy SEALBUD/S Training in 2006

but a parachute accidentnearly crippled him

leaving Patrick's career in jeopardy.

In his book, No Surrender,

Patrick shares why he never gave up

even in his darkest hour

and offers life lessons to help those

fighting battles of their own.

- Well, Patrick Bisher is here with us now

and we welcome you to the 700 club.

- Thank you for having me.

- You were the kind ofkid, I'm not gonna lie,

as a mother, I'm reading that book going

holy cow you have to tie this guy down.


- Yeah

- You were into stuff fromthe time you were little

really, there was somethingin you that just made you

wanna do the daring and the dangerous.

- Yeah, yeah.

- [Terry] At what point,then, did you find out

that you have this issue withyour hips, with your bones

because you didn't know it for a while.

- Right, and I didn't haveit, I didn't develop it

until I was about nine years old

and then that's when my parents noticed

that I was limping alongand trying to be normal.

- And, I mean, even thenit was a while before

doctors figured out what to do about it.

I mean, that must havebeen very frustrating

to you as a nine year oldwho had this inner thing

that just wanted to jump offof tall buildings. (laughs)

- [Patrick] Right.

- [Terry] What was that like for you?

Because you had leg braces,

I mean, it changed everything in your life

as they started to treat you.- It did.

It did.

So, I just, I didn't know what I had

until the doctors toldme but I had so much pain

and it was so difficult to

try and do all the thingsthat I used to be able to do

and to be just told thatyou can't do them anymore.

- Yeah.- It's tough for a kid.

- Well, and it wasn't just notbeing able to do the things

you've always done.

I mean, the treatmentsjust seemed never ending.

It was like one thing on top of another

and then you'd get tothe end of a procedure

or a surgery and they'd saywell it didn't really go as well

as we thought it was going to.

I mean, how did you handle that as a kid,

and how did your parentshelp you move through that?

- [Patrick] I just tried to stay positive.

I really tried to focus on the shortest

goal possible that I could try to reach

and, if you let negativity into your mind

and into your heart, thenthat's all that will come out.

So, I was blessed to haveparents that told me that

I could do to thingsinstead of limiting me

and telling me that I shouldn't try.

- Well, the other aspect ofthat, of course, is your peers.

I mean, a lot was impactedby the braces that

you had to wear were heavy and encumbering

and going to school had to be

just as painful as the disease itself.

How did you handle howkids responded to you?

- It's tough, because kidsaren't politically correct.

- Heck no.(laughs)

- [Patrick] So kids, kids tell the truth

and often at times it hurts,

and so being made fun of

and being bullied as a kid

really hardened me and hardened my spirit

and so that helped me later on in life

but it helped me grow up really fast also.

And it just, it was

God building me

and working me

and trying to figure out, it was

- In you kind of.

- It was in me to go through this process

and God used that to helpme become who I am today.

- Did you have faith in your life as a kid

when you were going through all of this?

- I grew up in the church.

My dad was an elder at the church.

My parents were veryinvolved in the church

but I didn't have a deepand meaningful relationship

with God and didn't havea Christ centered life

because I was dealingwith all of my issues

and my pain physically.- Were you angry with God?

- I was angry with Godand I talk about that,

and I express that to people throughout.

- So how did you work with that?

I mean, here you are, you got these issues

that are recurring andthat are leaving you

having to contend with allthis as you're growing up

and I think anybody

at that stage of life going through that

would say "God where are you?"

How did you get to theplace where you just let God

do what he was doing in your life

and you decided tolearn something from it.

- Well, I had to hit rock bottom first.

I was so prideful in my accomplishments

and what I was doing that

I idolized myself,

I became my own idol,

I became the superman that I thought I was

and God had to humble me

in order for me to be saved.

And so- That happens to a lot of us.


- [Patrick] Well, I hit rock bottom

when I had that parachute accident

and I could no longer go

and be the person whoI thought I should be

and God really put it on my heart

and said "No. You are a warrior

but you're a spiritual warrior"

and he uses me now in thatworld instead of physical.

- I'm gonna ask you to back track a second

so people can get the picture of this.

You actually decide togo into the military,

and to become a SEAL.

I mean, that's that same qualityI see in your book in you

when you were a kid.

What made you think you could do that

after all you had beenthrough, because it's grueling.

- [Patrick] Just the peopletelling me that I couldn't.


They said that youcan't walk, so I walked.

They said that you can't run, so I ran.

They said that you can't playsports, so I played sports.

And then, what is the ultimate goal?

What is the biggest challenge?

And for me, I wanted toserve at some capacity

and I wanted to be a helpful person

and I wanted to serve in the military

because I thought I am a warrior

and I need to help othersthat can't help themselves

and defend this nation

and it drove me to see

what the biggest challenge was

and at that time, nobodyreally knew what SEAL's were

and then I found out thatit's a grueling program

and hardly anybody can make it through.

I said that's it.

That's my next challenge.

- (chuckles) Yeah that's for me.

Well then the SEAL's BUD/S training.

I mean, that is

even more grueling.

So you make it through that

and then you jump out of an airplane,

parachute out of an airplane,

he didn't just jump he parachuted (laughs)

out of the airplane.

But you had an accident that put an end

to everything that you had worked for.

I mean, first of all, you could have died.

But second, sometimesit's almost harder to live

and have to contend withthe aftermath of that.

How did you handle that?

- Well the injury was

something that I thought

I could overcome becauseI had already overcame

so many other obstacles

and that was finally the one

that limited me,

I could not even walk.- Even you.

- Right.

My hip actually had locked up

and I had to push it with my arms

just for it to move

and that was very traumatic,

very hard to overcome.

- But you walked out here today

for this interview- Yes I did.

- And you've written abook called No Surrender

Faith, Family and Finding Your Way.

What do you want the take away

of those who read your book to be?

- I would like others to beable to read and then apply

the lessons that I learned through my time

and overcoming adversitythat it's not about me

trying to preach to people

or tell people how to live their life

but to see the lessons that I have learned

and to gain that wisdom

so that they don't have togo through that themselves.

- May it be so.

It's an amazing story.

You're an amazing guy- Thank you.

- Yeah, unbelievable.

You can get even more of PatrickBisher's story in his book.

It's called No Surrender: Faith,Family and Finding Your Way

It's available nationwidewhere books are sold.

Thank you for being with us.

- Thank you so much for having me.

- What an amazing story.


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