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At Impact Alexandria at the Lake Geneva Christian Center Tuesday, John O’Leary talked about his childhood recovery from life-threatening burns and the lessons he learned along the way. On the overhead screen is an image of his skin doctor. (Echo Press photo by Al Edenloff)

Burn victim: Each one of us can change the world

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People can change.

Nine-year-old John O’Leary, lying in a hospital bed after severe burns scorched 100 percent of his body, saw his father change when he walked into the room to see him.


John expected his dad to be very angry and upset with him for starting a fire that burned the family’s home.

Instead, his father, who motivated others through fear, changed before his eyes.

“I love you,” he told John, who was given less than a 1 percent chance of surviving.

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Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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