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Accident victim pushes message of understanding

November 25, 2012
By ANDREW POTTER - Staff Writer ( , Times-Republican

When Henry Seiler came out of a six-week coma at the age of 11, he had a fight ahead of him to work his mind and body back to some type of normalcy.

The Marshalltown boy also had a fight he didn't expect - one against bullying through name-calling.

Seiler, now 48, lives in Albion and wants people to know that bullying can have a negative impact on the lives of others.

Article Photos

Henry Seiler stands in his Albion home recently. He is still dealing with the impact of a horrific motorcycle accident he suffered as a kid in 1975.

"Just think how you would react if someone is doing that to you," Seiler said of bullying. "Just because someone is different they aren't really that different, they are just readjusting."

The year was 1975 and Seiler was a passenger on a motorcycle when the driver lost control and threw both of them at the Iowa Veterans Home complex. Seiler wasn't expected to live and spent six weeks in a coma. He made it out and has been overcoming physical challenges for decades.

His right side can't get any stronger and his left hand will have tremors. "I can't move too quick because that activates the tremors," Seiler said. "You've got to think all this stuff through before you do it."

Seiler wants to deliver his anti-bullying message and story of overcoming odds to more people in the community. Seiler works part-time as a custodian in Marshalltown schools and occasionally will address students about the importance of treating others with respect.

"I want to reach out to people," Seiler said. "I'm looking to do more in the community."

He also wants to tell the public it's hard to be prepared for a tragedy, but people should know that their life is not always a straight path. At the age of 11, he was a phenomenal wrestler who was on track for big things in the sport.

"You can't be prepared for tragedy, but you have to have awareness to it," Seiler said. "Just don't expect because you're on this path that it's going to continue."

Seiler published a book about his life story in 2008 titled "Henry Dared to Live," which is available at



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