Buried Alive

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For many months I've been following the story of Casey Johansen. He's a young husband and father of two.

Last summer, while working construction at the site of the old Civic Plaza in downtown Phoenix, Casey found himself in a desperate situation. The building collapsed -- right on top of him. He was pinned beneath 400 thousand pounds of rubble.

It's hard to imagine what this must be like. Casey was awake... talking, even joking with doctors and firefighters as they tried to remove the rubble... bit by bit. He couldn't feel his legs. He was in tremendous pain.

The hours passed slowly. Few people thought Casey Johansen would be able to survive.

But Casey shocked everyone with his tremendous will to live. In fact, the trauma surgeon who was at the scene believes Casey saved himself.

After he was finally pulled from what could have become a concrete grave, Casey was rushed to the hospital where he ended up having both of his legs amputated. Obviously, this was devastating. But Casey wanted to live.

I wonder how much our mental strength truly determines our outcome. For Casey Johansen, that certainly seems to be the case. Not to diminish any of the efforts of the Phoenix firefighters and trauma surgeons from Barrow Good Samaritan Medical Center. Their efforts were incredible. In fact, the main trauma surgeon on scene, Dr. Corey Detlefs, sprawled his body out on this massive pile of debris and stayed face to face with Casey all day long, as temperatures soared to nearly 110 degrees.

You can catch this incredible survival story tonight on Good Evening Arizona at 5:00. Or check it out on my archive page www.azfamily.com/video/careypena-browse.html.

I hope it inspires you as much as it has inspired me.