Anthony Bennett is the Miracle Man. Why? He was resuscitated 12 times and lives to tell the story.
Speaking at our Club-Wide Online Meetup, Anthony talked us through…
- Surviving 12 resuscitations and being given a 10% survival rate
- The impact of self-challenge – saying yes when it is easier to say no
- The power of positive mental attitude
- Showing resilience through adversity
Thank you to EY Breakthrough Incentives for sponsoring the meetup!
The story begins in 2006..
Anthony went on the biggest school trip of his life. Him and three school friends to Disneyland Paris. On the third day he started to feel different. He couldn’t make sense of what people were saying; hearing words but not digesting them.
Naturally he thought it might be dehydration so drank more water. But the feeling kept coming and going. He just tried to act normal.
On the way back from the school trip, the coach driver suddenly stopped and ran out to be sick. A different driver took over and they carried on. He thought none of it.
Anthony got home and had the biggest headache of his life. But, with parents like his, there was no way he wasn’t going to school the next day.
He was first in class. Only three others joined him though. Everyone was off sick. Including the teacher.
Anthony got sent home from school. The next day he woke up and felt even worse. He remembers crawling downstairs and wasn’t able to speak. Anything his mind could think of would come out wrong.
The first thing his mum thought? “Oh my god my son is on drugs”. He wasn’t.
She noticed he was finding it hard to breathe.
Anthony was rushed to hospital
That was when they realised the severity.
The results of an x-ray came back saying he was deteriorating fast, his lungs were completely infected and the only chance of survival was if they could find a special life support machine.
In 2006, only 4 hospitals in the UK had one.
Luckily for him, Great Ormond Street Hospital had the last available machine. That’s where he spent the next 7 weeks of his life.
He was diagnosed with Strep Pneumonia, Influenza, Staphylococcus and Sepsis. All at the same time.
Anthony was given a 10% chance to survive.
On top of all that, his heart stopped 12 times in hospital. In his own words: “I shouldn’t be alive”.
Anthony started showing small signs of improvement. He needed a tracheostomy. They needed him to cough the three lumps on his lung out a small tube inserted in his neck.
During one of the exercises, one of the lumps was slightly bigger than the tube. It cut off his breathing tube
Remembering laying down looking a the ceiling, he thought to himself “I’m tired. I’ve got no more to give. I guess I wanted to die.”
But he had one thought that changed everything: “If I was to die, I would never, ever, get the opportunity to hear another Eminem album”.
They managed to suck out the lump. Anthony survived.
He had to relearn the basics: how to breathe, sit, stand and walk unaided. He got addicted to progress. The more he pushed himself, the more he broke free and became himself again.
That mentality has stuck with him. Always pushing himself that little bit more.
His life changed when he left the hospital.
Anthony now pays attention to the small details in life. Allowing his body to feel the different emotions in the journey through life.
When arriving home, the realisation that he almost didn’t exist anymore hit.
Doctors. Nurses. Cleaners. Family. All these people that saved his life. No matter how big or small their role was.
He then started Anthony Inspires
A journey that has taken him to schools, colleges, universities, conferences, corporate events and in 2005, he was invited to Australia to speak in front of his biggest audience. Sharing a stage with the Dalai Lama in the process.
All because he chose to say the word ‘yes’, when he wanted to say ‘no’.
Where do you get your motivation from?
Friends? Colleagues? Family? YouTube videos?
Anthony took us for a journey inside his head.
He has two voices: The Dreamer and The Puller-Backer.
The Dreamer voice came to him wondering what it’d be like to run a half marathon. The Puller-Backer responded: “your lungs are quite bad, it’s probably quite dangerous.”
He listened to the former.
Anthony realised he needed to start eating healthy, exercising and running in order to achieve his goal.
Halfway through the marathon the Puller-Backer came to him again. “We’re out of breath. We haven’t trained enough. Lets stop running and train really hard to come back next year. Go home”.
He listened to the Dreamer. The one telling him to carry on and finish it.
Anthony finished the race.
That overwhelming feeling of crossing the finish line made him realise what had happened in his head: he started to believe in himself more. The Puller-Backer got smaller
Club-Wide Online Meetups combine a structured yet informal format, offer an authentic networking experience and include inspirational and motivational guest speakers. Check out what we’ve got coming up via the link below.