Miles O'Brien Tells Story That Led to Amputated Arm

Journalist tells the story of how a simple bruise led to the loss of his arm.
3:00 | 03/08/14

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Transcript for Miles O'Brien Tells Story That Led to Amputated Arm
Now though to the veteran TV reporter who became news himself. It's miles o'brien opening up now about the injury that cost him part of his arm and the silver lining that he's now finding. ABC's Linzie Janis is here with more. Reporter: Good morning. This is incredible. It happened just three weeks ago but miles o'brien already back on pbs sharing his story about what was a bruise became an emergency that could have killed him. Award winning journalist miles o'brien is speaking out for the first time since a freak accident cost him his left arm. It's not something I would wish on anybody. Reporter: He had just finished filming a story on Japan's infamous Fukushima nuclear plant and was on his next assignment in the Philippines tweeting a photo of himself getting a haircut in Manila. A case carrying heavy camera equipment fell on his arm. It hurt but he didn't even consider medal attention until days later telling pbs "News hour" host about the moment he realized he was in trouble. It began as a bruise and it just got a lot worse after about a day or so and the pain got worse. Reporter: He says doctors knew immediately what they were dealing with. Acute compartment syndrome. I had literally had to wiki it with my phone. Muscles and veins don't expand. If there's inflammation that causes swelling inside the pressure builds and there's no place for the blood to go. Reporter: When an emergency operation went bad doctors say the only option was partial amputation. They told me going in this fingers don't go well you'll lose your armth he screed the excruciating aftermath. The pain when you lose a limb is in what's absent. I feel my hand in a way more acutely than when I had it. Clenched up like in a vice and at times it can be painful. Reporter: And what got him Lew. Winston Churchill said if you're going through hell, just keep going. 'He trying to figure out how to do the other things that he loves, Dan and bianna, when he was in rehab he asked how am I going to fly a plane again or ride a bike. He a pilot. They said don't worry, we have attachments for all of that and part of the reason is because sadly all the soldiers coming back from the wars, technology has moved a lot. He is a great reporter and we wish him the best and hope he continues. Very brave. I can't believe that just happened three weeks ago. He has a great attitude about it.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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