When faced with a tragic event that nearly takes your life, there are often scars left behind. In this edition of Healthy Living, YNN's Marcie Fraser has more on the story of an Army Sergeant with both emotional and physical scars.
"I actually laid on my back and looked up in the sky and I didn't feel any pain. I accepted the fact that I was going to die right there and then," remembered Sergeant Rick Yarosh.
On patrol in Iraq, Yarosh's vehicle exploded when it ran over an IED. Covered in flames, he somehow was able to jump to the ground.
"I couldn't see anything because my face was on fire, I knew I had to get to the ground and I jumped off the Bradley and when I landed, I broke my leg because I couldn't brace myself for the fall because I didn't know where the ground was," said Yarosh.
He rolled into a nearby canal, which put the fire out but the bacteria filled canal caused infections which led to most of his hands being amputated. His nose and ears were burned off, and the lower part of his right leg was amputated. After a year recovering, he had to come to terms with his challenges.
Yarosh said, "When I was in the hospital for so long it became the normal thing to see the four white walls every single day and I didn't now if I was going to see anything else. I went through a lot of depression and anxiety."
Yarosh knew he had to make a choice.
"I believe happiness is a choice and I'd rather be happy, but I got to the point when I finally got out that I realized there was a world out there waiting for me and I could do whatever the heck I wanted to do and nobody is going to tell me anymore what I had to do," noted Yarosh.
And he did do what he wanted to do. Now, he's a motivational speaker and talks to people about overcoming adversity.
"One of my biggest points is being proud of yourself and making your self happy," he said. "Everybody deals with frustration I deal with frustration but I only let myself feel frustrated for a moment I cant let it take over my whole day or every day would be frustration and I don't want it to be that way."
His message is clear.
Yarosh added, "You don't know what you can get through until you don't have a choice but to get through it."