Episode 120: John Feal. What do you think when you hear the words First Responders? Do you think EMS, Fire or Police? This week I talk to another First Responder who is not in public safety and was a first responder who was at Ground Zero. On September, 12th 2001 John and his team were ordered to report to Ground Zero in order to aid in the cleanup and recovery mission following the terror attacks. Without hesitation and with a sense of pride in serving his country in a time of need, John and his team reported as ordered. Tragically, on John’s fifth day on site, he became the one that needed aide. While supervising his team a steel beam weight approximately 8,000 pounds came loose from the huge pile of debris, crushing John’s left foot. Jon Feal’s story is unbelievable and his story at Ground Zero has led him down a path that he never knew he was on. Subsequently, John went through years of surgeries and innumerable hours of therapy; as well as extensive stays in the hospital for follow up treatments. John quickly learned the multitude of bureaucratic horrors that come with being severely injured He experienced hurdle after hurdle with mounting medical bills and no income. Fed up with hearing the word ‘No’ from insurance companies, doctors, and elected officials, John decided that no American should be treated so egregiously, especially those that had come to this country’s aide in its greatest hour of need. Once out of the hospital John made it his mission to help alleviate the many obstacles he had endured e founded The FealGood Foundation (FGF). Through its grassroots fundraising, the FGF has raised and donated millions of dollars to individuals gravely affected by the aftermath of the September 11th attacks. Oh by the way when he is not pestering politicians, he found time to donate a kidney. We tell his story this week on the podcast.

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