Boy Catches Fire, Defies Death: 27 Years Later He Inspires Tampa Bay Burn Victim and Community How to Truly Live

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A Tampa Bay boy was tragically burned; a Tampa woman invites internationally acclaimed inspirational speaker and burn survivor John O'Leary to inspire the young boy and his community on September 29, 2014 at 7:00 PM at Bayshore Baptist Church.

John O'Leary was not expected to survive a house fire when he was nine-years-old; today he travels the world inspiring others to truly live.

“Everyone has or knows someone who has something they are going through—whether it is physical, emotional or spiritual. Those are the people who will benefit from hearing John.” Wallace says, “When I heard John for the first time, it change my life."

On September 29, 2014 internationally acclaimed inspirational speaker and burn survivor John O’Leary will be in Tampa to inspire seven-year-old resident Alex Reyes. Reyes was tragically and accidentally burned with hot grease on April 26, 2014, according to his parents Javier Reyes and Yaima Rodriguez. Arrangements to have O’Leary speak with Reyes and publicly at an event to inspire the Tampa Bay community were made by fellow resident Sandi Wallace.

“I heard of Alex’s accident and was immediately reminded of the time I heard John O’Leary speak two years ago,” Wallace says, “and how he inspired me through his story of overcoming his devastating childhood burn through hope, prayer and the power of all the people who cared for him during his journey.”

O’Leary was given only 1% chance to survive the night when he was burned on 100% of his body in a house fire as a nine-year-old boy. O’Leary overcame the overwhelming odds, survived months of hospitalization, years of rehabilitation, numerous surgeries and the amputation of all his fingers. Today, he travels the world to speak with clients like Lego, Southwest Airlines, Verizon Wireless and community groups to inspire people to navigate their adversity, ignite their possibility and change their world.

“More than anything, I wanted to find a way to have John come to Tampa so that the Reyes family could hear his inspirational message of hope as they continue to heal,” Wallace says.

Wallace, along with her church Bayshore Baptist Church, arranged for O'Leary to speak at an event that is free to the public so Alex, his family and as many people as possible in the Tampa Bay area and surrounding communities could hear his inspirational message.

“Everyone has or knows someone who has ‘something’ they are going through—whether it is physical, emotional or spiritual. Those are the people who will benefit from hearing John.” Wallace says, “When I heard John for the first time two years ago, it changed my life. I learned to remember every day that I am bigger than any trouble I have and that I can impact the world starting right here in Tampa,” Wallace said.

O’Leary will be sharing his internationally acclaimed keynote The Power of One on Monday, September 29, 2014 at 7:00 PM. The event is free of charge and open to the public and will be held at Bayshore Baptist Church, located on South MacDill Avenue at Morrison (3111 W. Morrison Avenue, Tampa, FL 33629.) For more information, call 813-253-3411 or email ministrysupport(at)bayshorebaptistchurch(dot)com.

O’Leary is an internationally acclaimed speaker and empowers up to 100,000 people at more than 150 events each year to take back their lives, ignite their possibility and change their world. Find out more at http://www.risingabove.com

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Abby Richter
Rising Above
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