Stabbing Victim Overcomes Extreme Obstacles

By: Jared Cerullo Email
By: Jared Cerullo Email

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Friday, May 21, 2010

A Wichita man who nearly died after a stabbing more than a decade ago is now trying to prove anyone can overcome huge obstacles. He's taking on challengers in feats of strength and proving he has the muscles to match his determination.

Chris Brannan was 20 years-old when he was stabbed during a fight in August of 1997. He was actually pronounced dead that night. He shouldn't even be here, but he is and here is his story.

"I just do it because it's personal for me," Brannan said as he curled 25 pounds with his right hand.

Before he was injured, Brannan was an energetic athlete who loved sports. On an August night in 1997, Brannan was in the wrong place at the wrong time. A fight broke out at a party in the upscale Vickridge neighborhood of Northeast Wichita. Brannan was stabbed in the chest. A 7-inch knife punctured his lung and pierced his heart.

Through more than 15 months of recovery and rehab, Brannan is alive today. Today, he challenges people to lift more weight than him for longer periods of time. Nobody has beaten him yet.

"Before I got hurt, I loved to compete," Brannan said. "I was a real good athlete and all that. It was just something I was pretty good at and I wanted to try taking people on."

Now 33 years-old, he's overcome amazing odds. He wants to show you that there's no cap on handicap.

"The birth of my son is probably the best thing that's happened to me," he said. "On top of that, just me progressing and getting better and better. I guess I inspire people or something. That's pretty cool, too."

Chris's brain has never fully recovered from being without oxygen for more than 20 minutes as he nearly bled to death that August night almost 13 years ago. He only has use of his right side.

"Anybody who's complaining about their day, I ask them to spend 24 hours with him and see if their day is as bad as his day," said Stan Brannan, Chris's father. "He's unbelievably positive given his limitations."

An inspiration, he is. During one challenge, Chris did more than 900 curling reps, lasting more than three hours.

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