Had he served in another, earlier conflict, Bryan Anderson might not have survived the injuries he sustained on Oct. 23, 2005, while serving with the Army in Baghdad, Iraq. But thanks to modern medicine, the Improvised Explosive Device that destroyed Bryan's Humvee did not end his life. It did, however, cause life-changing injuries, resulting in the amputation of both of his legs and his left hand.
Before his injuries, Bryan's friends and family knew him as someone who was quick to laugh and make others laugh, and willing to try just about anything if it looked like it might be a good time. Bryan, a suburban Chicago native, was determined to resume his fun-loving ways and, following his 13-month rehab stay at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C., he quickly found he could enjoy activities including rock climbing, snowboarding, and whitewater rafting.
When prosthetic limbs are impractical or impossible, Bryan relies on his Quantum 6000Z Power Chair and Litestream Manual Wheelchair to keep him in the thick of things. For someone like Bryan, a power wheelchair has to meet very demanding expectations, and Bryan says his Z is up to the daunting task.
"I love the chair, it's been great for me," said Bryan, who demands a lot of his power chair, and doesn't want to have to spend a lot of time worrying about it. On that note, the Z delivers. "I don't really have to give a lot of thought to what it can do or where it can go," Bryan said. "I just go." His Litestream, meanwhile, gives Bryan the comfort and reliable performance he needs, with a lightweight folding X-frame.
Bryan is becoming very well known, with his story appearing in his hometown papers the Chicago Sun Times and Chicago Tribune, as well as a July 2006 article in the Los Angeles Times, and a January 2007 appearance on the cover of Esquire magazine, along with a feature story inside the magazine entitled, "What I've Learned."
He has aspirations of becoming a actor/stuntman in Hollywood, using his physical condition as an asset, rather than a liability and the publicity he has received has helped him make progress in that direction. Bryan has appeared in the HBO Documentary, Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq, and in a CSI:NY episode titled, DOA for a Day. He completed an interview with MTV News, ‘Choose or Lose Street Team and has appeared on episodes of ‘All My Children.’ He also appears in the critically acclaimed film, The Wrestler, starring Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei.
Bryan is the National Spokesman for Quantum Rehab, a division of Pride Mobility Corp., and travels the country making numerous personal appearances while delivering his message of perseverance and determination in major rehab facilities. In addition, he is a spokesman for USA Cares, a non-profit organization based in Radcliff, KY that is focused on assisting post 911 veterans in times of need.
Bryan seems unaffected by all the attention and focused on maximizing his abilities. "I'm always looking forward. I want to get out and accomplish things and make a name for myself that way," he said, adding that he has no regrets about the path his life has taken. "There's really no point in regretting things. I'm just making the most of life, and hopefully learning from my mistakes, but not regretting anything."
Bryan Anderson is a paid spokesman for Quantum Rehab