Miles O'Brien on working after losing an arm

After losing his left arm, journalist Miles O'Brien worried about how he'd work again. He wrote about his experience and news organizations' reactions for New York on Thursday.

At the PBS NewsHour, where I am treated like family, they were just as accepting and supportive as my own children. When I asked if I should shoot and edit around my disability, my boss told me, “No one cares. Just be your smart, engaging self.”

And then came a call from the old girlfriend who had ditched me: CNN. We had been in a committed relationship for 17 years when she dumped me in December 2008. It was a bitter breakup, but I had moved on. Now she was obsessed with the missing Malaysian airliner, and I am a pilot and aviation geek. I was the right guy—once again.

They wanted me on the air as fast as possible. No one gave a damn that I could count only to five on my fingers. I called it my “Vindication Tour.” It would’ve been sweet enough even if I still had two hands. But for a newly minted amputee unsure of my future, it was the best medicine imaginable.


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