Trumbull athlete, paralyzed in accident, tells his story

Going from a Division 1 college athlete to quadriplegic in the blink of an eye is tragic. Chris O’Brien’s response to it has been nothing short of inspiring, according to Madison Middle School teacher and author Meg McGovern.

McGovern, who has known the O’Brien family for 20 years, recently completed work on the book We’re Good, which chronicles O’Brien’s life before and after July 27, 2011. On that day he dove into the ocean, struck a sandbar, and was instantly paralyzed from the neck down. Both McGovern and O’Brien will be featured in an author talk at the Trumbull Library next Thursday from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Call the library to register.

“I was told I’d never use my arms again,” O’Brien said. “I can use my arms a bit. I was told I’d never feel my legs or move them again. I can feel them, and I am beginning to have muscle movement. I was told that I’d never walk again. But I will walk again in this lifetime.”

O’Brien will graduate from Harvard with a degree in government this summer.

McGovern said O’Brien’s relentlessly positive attitude is what makes his story inspiring.

“That’s where the title comes from,” she said. “It’s something he says a lot. When his family and friends were coming to grips with his accident, he just one day said, ‘We’re good,’ and that attitude stayed with them.”