Morris E. Goodman on Larry King Live

The following is from a transcript of Morris Goodman’s interview on CNN’s Larry King Live, originally aired October 27, 2006:

KING: The book is “The Miracle Man”. The author is Morris Goodman, an extraordinary story. He’s known as the miracle man because Morris survived a plane crash that left him unable to speak, eat, or move. He overcame those injuries, and he said would keep him on a respirator for the rest of his life. He walked out of the hospital.

What happened? This was a single engine plane?

MORRIS GOODMAN, SURVIVED PLANE CRASH: Single engine plane, 1981, March 10. I took off for a pleasure flight. Never knew that it would change my life the way it did.

KING: Going from where to where?

GOODMAN: I was just flying around the area, just had flown the plane the day before…

KING: Where?

GOODMAN: In Chesapeake Bay, Cape Charles.

KING: What happened?

GOODMAN: I hit some power lines and crashed. And my neck was broken at the first and second cervical vertebrae. My spinal cord was crushed.

I mean, to put this in perspective, Christopher Reeves broke his neck at C2. I broke my neck at C1 and 2. My diaphragm was destroyed. I couldn’t breathe. My larynx was forced — crushed. I couldn’t speak. My swallowing reflex was destroyed. I couldn’t eat or drink. My bladder and kidneys were destroyed.

Everything in my body was destroyed. It felt as if I broke every bone and muscle in my body. Said I’d never do nothing again.

KING: How did you live?

GOODMAN: Well, you know, determination and the power of almighty God. At the time I wasn’t a believer, but later on I became a very strong believer.

KING: We’re seeing the picture of the crash. It’s on the front cover of your book, as well, by the way. Do you remember the crash? Do you remember hearing…

GOODMAN: I remember very well. I remember the ground coming up. I don’t remember anything for four days.

The first thing I remember, I woke up. There was a clock at the foot of my bed. And I can’t describe how bad I hurt. You can’t put it in words. And I couldn’t think of trying to hold on for a week or a month or even a day. All I could think of was trying to hang on for a minute. So I said, my goal was to hang on for one minute, Morris.

And I remember that secondhand, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick. You can’t imagine how long a minute can be. After one minute, I said, “OK, Morris, you made it one. Now let’s go for two.” That’s the way I functioned.

KING: Walked out of the hospital how soon after?

GOODMAN: Eight months. I was hooked to a machine for eight months. All I could do was blink my eyes, once for yes and twice for no.

KING: How did the doctors explain it?

GOODMAN: Well, the doctors have no explanation. They said that I’d be a vegetable all my life. The most they offered my family was that I might, emphasize the word might, one day sit in a wheelchair and blink my eyes.

But you know, Larry, it wasn’t what they thought. It didn’t matter what they thought. What really was important was what I thought. KING: Yes, that’s the power of positive thinking.

GOODMAN: That’s the power. No question.

KING: You thought yourself better?

GOODMAN: Well, that and a lot of work. A lot of work.

KING: But you made yourself better. You had faith.

GOODMAN: Yes. The doctors don’t know today how I function. Like I don’t breathe with my diaphragm. It’s destroyed. I taught myself to breathe with my stomach. They said it had never been done before.

I can’t swallow food. My swallowing reflex doesn’t work, but I think every time I eat, and think my food down.

KING: How do you get food? How do you get nourishment?

GOODMAN: I get it when I’m hungry.

KING: You say you can’t swallow.

GOODMAN: No. I swallow. I think my food down.

KING: You’re not supposed to swallow.

GOODMAN: Yes. I don’t involuntarily swallow, yes.

KING: You think your food down.

GOODMAN: I think my food down. That’s what I do.

KING: What do you do for a living?

GOODMAN: I go around the world speaking. I speak for companies all over the world. I’ve got 101 Fortune 500 company clients, got 43 multi-level clients. I just came back from Australia. I was there for three weeks speaking to 11 companies there. So that’s what I do for a living.

KING: Do you still fly? Fly your own plane?

GOODMAN: Well, I fly commercially. One day I would like to. My wife said she’s not going to fly with me. She won’t even get in a car with me.

KING: But you want to fly again?

GOODMAN: I would like to fly, yes.

KING: Are you nervous when you’re a passenger?

GOODMAN: No. I figure the chance of another crash is now one in a million. So lightning doesn’t strike in the same place twice. I had a lady sitting by me on the plane, boy, that was all white knuckles and nerves. I said, “Ma’am.” I said, “You don’t have to be nervous.” I said, “The chance of having another crash is now one in a million.”

She said, “I don’t think I should be on the plane with you.”

KING: You are an amazing story. How do you explain it to yourself?

GOODMAN: Well, you know, I don’t try and explain it to myself. I just accept what happened. But I know that people can do things that other people think are impossible to do if you think you can do them.

KING: Is that that old concept of what you think you can do you can do?

GOODMAN: Yes. I believe that man becomes what he thinks about.

KING: They ought to do a movie about this, huh?

GOODMAN: They ought to do a movie. And you know, that’s my dream and goal, to have a major motion picture done about my life. I’ve been struggling with this for so long. I’m getting close now, but I don’t have the right connection yet.

But my story is a story that would touch so many people.

KING: It sure would.

GOODMAN: It’s a story of hope and inspiration and courage.

KING: Good luck to you, Morris.

GOODMAN: Thank you.

KING: An amazing story.

The book, “The Miracle Man”, the guest Morris Goodman.

© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.

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