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Community Leader: Phoenix Bigler

Community Leader: Phoenix Bigler

Phoenix’s Remarkable Journey: From Near Death to Community Inspiration

Phoenix’s story is one of incredible resilience and unwavering faith. A St. Paul’s graduate as of May 18th, 2024, Phoenix’s journey to this milestone has been nothing short of extraordinary. On July 2nd, Phoenix suffered a cardiac arrest leading to a global anoxic brain injury after being without oxygen for up to an hour. Given the prognosis of severe impairment or even death, the odds were daunting. But against all expectations, Phoenix survived and continues to defy the grim statistics associated with such injuries. This journey is a testament to the power of faith and the human spirit.

Reflecting on this life-altering event, Phoenix’s perspective on life and leadership has profoundly changed. “I’m grateful for EVERYTHING, because I’m blessed to have anything,” Phoenix says. Before the accident, life was a series of motions, a path to a future taken for granted. Now, every step forward is a hard-won battle, a testament to resilience and determination. “When you have to fight for something, you appreciate it so much more.”

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One of the greatest challenges during Phoenix’s recovery has been the temporary loss of the ability to speak. “People don’t know I’m the same Phoenix—same intellect, wit, and overall personality. I’m all there, it is just slow getting out as my brain is in the process of reorganizing.” Despite this communication barrier, Phoenix’s spirit remains unbroken. With the aid of an iPad, Phoenix painstakingly formulates sentences, confident that God will eventually restore the ability to speak.

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