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Sep 25, 2019

Emily Harman, the host of Onward Podcast, interviews Kyle Cozad, a Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy and Emily’s U.S. Naval Academy class mate. Rear Admiral Cozad’s life changed in March 2018 when he fell and injured his spinal cord. Despite surgery to correct the injury, he lost all feeling below his waist and was told he would be a paraplegic for life. In this interview, Kyle shares how he moved onward and exceeded his doctor’s expectations. 


Episode Highlights: 

  • Emily Harman introduces Kyle Cozad. 
  • How did Kyle injure his spine?
  • Kyle describes his thoughts and feelings after learning the severity of his injury. 
  • How was he able to get back to work? 
  • Did Kyle always have such a positive attitude?  
  • How hard was it to get readjusted to his position as the Chief of Naval Education and Training?
  • As someone who sees the good in everything, what good did Kyle see in his situation?  
  • How has Kyle’s thinking changed when he sees others in a wheelchair?
  • Kyle discusses how setting priorities helped his recovery.  
  • Kyle discusses the importance of the caregiver in situations such as his.  
  • How can we be more open-minded about helping people with physical injuries?


3 Key Points:

  1. Kyle recovered with the help of his faith in God, his belief that good will come out of anything, and having a sense of purpose for his life.  
  2. Kyle made physical therapy a priority and set goals for himself as he recovered.
  3. Don’t let anyone tell you what you can’t do.


Tweetable Quotes:

  • “The first moment of real optimism I had was all of a sudden I could flex my thigh muscles and I had some movement.” – Kyle Cozad
  • I can either lay in bed and feel sorry for myself and dwell on the, you know woe is me, why me? I’m a successful Naval officer. I’ve served for 34 years. It should have been somebody else. Or, come to terms with, I’m here for a reason.” – Kyle Cozad
  • “I committed to myself and to my wife that the most important thing we had going forward was I need to be religious about my physical therapy. I need to do my exercises at home.”– Kyle Cozad


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