2009 Shows

(Original Air Date: 11/28/08) In the blink of an eye, your life can change. It doesn’t matter how much money or success you have, there is no guarantee of a tragedy-free life. Dr. Phil’s guests know this all too well -- they survived the unthinkable. Spencer was a high school football player who dreamed of playing college ball when an ordinary football game became his worst nightmare. See the play that nearly cost him his life. Now Spencer struggles to deal with his life-changing injury and the end of his dream. Then, Darren was a cameraman working the job of a lifetime: filming the 2008 Beijing Olympics. What began as a beautiful day visiting the Great Wall of China turned ugly in an instant when it began to rain and Darren was struck by lightning. Darren says he recognizes that he has a second chance at life, but doesn’t know how to make sense of it. And, see dramatic footage captured by a man capsized at sea during a powerful storm. Believing he would die, Dom recorded his ordeal with his waterproof video camera. See these amazing stories caught on tape and examine how you would cope with a life-changing event. Are you prepared to handle a crisis? Share your thoughts, join the discussion.

Find out what happened on the show.
Replied By: jam48073 on Aug 5, 2009, 12:33PM - In reply to dstcmoeller
Wow, I was thinking the same thing while I was watching this story! 
I mean the father didn't cry when he was talking about his son surviving--he only cried when he talked about him not playing football anymore.   Children definitely take their cues from the parents, and they should not be talking like this in front of him..."a death sentence"?  
They can still watch him grow up, walk, run, get married, have children, etc.  I'm so glad Dr. Phil gave them some perspective.
Replied By: dstcmoeller on Jul 29, 2009, 8:55PM - In reply to leanne113
Perfectly stated!!!
Replied By: dstcmoeller on Jul 29, 2009, 8:52PM
I am watching today's show with Spencer who broke his neck playing football and ended his future football aspirations.  While unfortunate, the devastation is completely out of line. The parents are devastated simply because their son will no longer play football....his father said that this news was "a death sentence".  ARE YOU KIDDING ME????  You people need to wake up and get some perspective here.  The majority of angst in the son is a reflection of the parents' disappointment that THEY lost THEIR glory....he feels like he let them down, because they made him feel that way.  Parents, you really need to Thank God that your son is ALIVE and WALKING!!  I mean, get real.  This is simply a MINOR bump in the road.  Whoopee.....so, he won't play college football.  My parents buried two sons (one 11 in 1990, and one 22 in 1997), both in tragic accidents.  They are a pillar of strength and exemplify SURVIVING true tragedy.  As a family, we have persevered as a direct result of their faith and attitude.  I pray that you change your attitude, or you truly will give your son a death sentence of shame and dishonor, that is completely unjustified.
Replied By: markandrew1 on Jul 29, 2009, 8:27PM
This isn't related to the topic but I had to ask somewhere!
I am watching from Australia and am not sure how far behind we are but todays episode was about this poor girl that went missing whilst on spring break in South Carolina.
Her name was Brittney "something" I can't remember the surname, she is 17.
Can anybody tell me if they found this girl?
I really hope so, her parents were understandably distraught!
Replied By: cingar1 on Jul 29, 2009, 7:36PM
As I sat here today watching this young man, dressed in his football jersey, my thoughts were that he has his whole life ahead of him.  We buried our 14  year old son in his football jersey just 2 short years ago.  Life does not have a set of promises, and we are living every parents worst fear: Losing a child!!

On a beautiful February day in 2007, what started as a fun day of family skiing, turned into tragedy  and tremendous loss.  While skiing on an intermediate ski slope with family and friends our son fell ,but got up and continued skiing for another 80 yards.  He then collapsed and never regained consciousness.   This was a day we had done so many times and  it never crossed our mind  anything like this could happen.  These were always  the freak stories you read about ,and only happeded to other people.  However, this time the other people were us.

When  a parent loses a child your world as you know it stops.  Life is forever changed, and your purposes are realligned.  We are fortunate that we left no words unsaid or stone unturned with our son.  He made phone calls to every single person in our family 30 minutes before his accident and always ended with "I Love You".  Life is fragile and it can change in a matter of seconds.

To this family my thoughts are exactly as Dr. Phils--Count your blessings, cherish what you have, never give up, and move forward.  We honor our sons memory the way he would have insisted--positive and  one day at a time.  We live in a great community that supports the foundation we started in his name and supports underprividged youth education and sports.(www.bradenaboud.com)  We will see him again one day, but in the meantime we are making sure that many kids in this community have some of the same opportunities that he enjoyed  in his full but short life.   We encourage this family to move forward and "B"" Strong---He has a life ahead of him!!
Replied By: jean89 on Jul 29, 2009, 7:12PM
Today's show brought back some memories for me as well as others who wrote in.  But first, let me say how sorry i am those who hae LOST someone, whether a child, parent, etc., etc.  My heart goes out to you.  My experience happened at the end of 2005 and lasted until the end of January 2006.  It was like I was "here today and gone tomoorrow".  i suffer from chronic back pain and one night in early November I tried to open a window in our house for fresh air and I ruptured a disc in my back which then hit my syatic (sp?) nerve and the pain wen down my right leg and I screemed like in a horror movie.  To make a long story shorter, I could not move one inch and my husband was luckily home and somehow got me to bed.  I don't remember anything 5 minutes after that, but my husband said I was adament about waiting until the next morning to assess the situation on whether to go to the hospital or not.  Well, I was coherent for that first 5 minutes and woke up 40 days later from a coma and was released from the hospital 83 days later.  I had to learn how to walk again, and pretty mcuh learn everything over again.  But my point to the story is that when I woke up after the coma, I was SO SICK for the first 7-10 days I wanted to die myself.  I kept asking God why he didn't take me and leave someone else living instead, someone that wasn't such a mess as I was, someone that was a better person that I, and someone that really wanted to live, as I had tried suicide 3 times in the past.  So I totally UNDERSTAND where these thoughts are coming from.   In the moment, everything is so bad you can't think about anyone but your own self and it's hard to get out of that cacoon (sp?).  Oh, everyone told me God wanted me to live, but I just couldn't understand why he picked me instead of someone else.  I did die for 2 minutes and am told they revived me, as well as I had a 98 percent mortality rate the first 40 days.  They even told my husband it's time to call my family and have them come in.  I now understand more and want to reach out and help others.  That's what my calling is.  But the moral of the story is that I UNDERSTAND and in the MOMENT it's extremely hard to snap out of it and get positive and move on with life.  Again, God Bless to all of you who have suffered a lot more than me.  It's bringing me to tears and I will pray for all of you tonight.  Thanks for letting me get this off my chest, even though it's about 5 percent of all that happened.
Replied By: yellowbeanbug on Jul 29, 2009, 4:20PM
Dr. Phil -
I haven't had anything similar occur to me, but hearing the stories of these survivors is very inspiring.  Feels like I've had a wake-up call myself!  I'd like to take these feelings of inspiration to action.  Thank you for bringing these stories to me.
Replied By: doniadodd on Jul 29, 2009, 3:57PM
I really like the "I Surv ived" show.  I think all of these people are blessed by God. I've had my own traumatic event. 3 years ago, I was raped and almost murdered. I was strangled unconscious at least twice and raped. I came to terms with the fact that I was dying, but I lived literally by the grace of God. I always thought the attack itself would be the worst of it, but it's not. The nervous breakdown that I experienced the year after was the worst. I now suffer from PTSD. I think Dr Phil needs to do a show on PTSD. I think ii is so mis- understood. I can't work, although I want to, due to the panic attacks I experience around people and that certain people trigger flashbacks, etc. I have no income and since my mother died unexpectantly a year and a half ago I don't have any family to help me through this. A friend's mother took me in while I'm waiting for disability. I am in therapy and on meds. Every year I get a little better, but I know how hard it is to survive traumatic events.
Replied By: leanne113 on Jul 29, 2009, 3:57PM
Dear Dr. Phil,
I sm watching this show about the young man who broke his neck for the second time, and once again I am furious.  He broke his neck and will make a full recovery.  Where is the big tragedy?  The fact that he can no longer play a game?  In your words, Dr. Phil, ARE YOU KIDDING ME??  He can still walk,coach, dance, drive...  As a paraplegic, I am insulted by this family's attitude.  Obviously, they have never noticed the millions of people in this world living well with disfiguring burns, severed spinal cords,  brain injuries etc , who are grateful to BE alive.  This young man can no longer play football ?  Have him spend some time in the spinal unit of a rehab hospital.  Perhaps then he will learn what is important in life. 

Leanne Dow
Replied By: ryansgranny on Jul 29, 2009, 3:29PM - In reply to vilika
Spencer, this injury, I hope you have leanred by now, is not a death except for a death of expectations.  All of us suffer from that in varying degrees and as things go you were amazingly blessed to have overcome this with your life and good health.  You and your parents should be realizing that mistakes and accidents are just an opportunity to do better in the future and to develop new expecations for your life now that this has happened.  I suspect in time you will see that something far better is in store for your life.  You are charming, articulate, loyal and brave and those are qualities that can make for an amazing life.  I look forward to reading and hearing of your accomplishments in your future.  God bless.
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