John O'Leary and Susan O'Leary Featured at 2017 Authors' Brunch
John O’Leary, in his book ON FIRE, relates the heart-wrenching story that began when, at age 9 in his family home in St. Louis, he accidentally set himself on fire! With severe burns on 98% of his body, John was given less than a 1% chance of survival. After spending five months in the hospital learning to walk again and figuring out how to use his hands again (his fingers had been amputated), John now had to deal with the reality of who he was. With his “unimaginable inner strength” and the help of the heroes who had stepped into his life—his family, the medical staff, and strangers—John not only survived but forged ahead to live life with zest and continues to help others do the same. Today, John O’Leary is married, has four children and is a writer and an international speaker.
Joe Buck of Fox Sports, and whose father, Jack, was instrumental in John’s recovery, said this about the book: “ON FIRE is an amazing reminder that we might not be able to choose the path we walk in life, but we can always choose the manner in which we walk it. It is fast paced, emotional and surprisingly funny.”
Susan and Denny O’Leary in their book, OVERWHELMING ODDS, recount the story of the mind-boggling challenges their family faced after the horrific accident of their son, John, in 1987. Accidentally “catching himself on fire” in their family home in a quiet St. Louis suburb, John suffered severe burns over most of his body and was given a 1% chance of survival.
Their book—in a diary format—covers 17 years of trials and tribulations of the healing process of both body and mind for them and John after the accident. It is sensitive, terse, to the point and inspirational, conveying the message that the indomitable human spirit will prevail!
According to John, the message he “heard” in his parent’s book made him realize and appreciate their strength and unconditional love for him. It radically inspired him to embrace and live life to the fullest and to inspire others with his story and guidance