What nearly dying taught Kevin Colleran, a 34-year-old former Facebook exec, about life

Kevin colleran hospital selfieKevin Colleran/FacebookKevin Colleran took this selfie when he woke up in the hospital. With his sense of humour in tact, he captioned it: ‘Big Day!’

Kevin Colleran has accomplished a lot in 34 years.

He graduated from Babson College and joined Facebook as one of the company’s first ten employees. While there, he made built a great ad sales team, made a lot of money, married his wife Erica and made a lot of friends.

But a few months ago, Colleran almost lost everything.

On February 27, Colleran was crossing the snow-filled streets of Boston to pick up breakfast. He saw a truck make a left hand turn and thought: I’m about to get run over.

Colleran did get hit, but he walked away from the scene seemingly unharmed. Two hours later, he began to vomit and was rushed to the hospital. CT scans revealed that the former Facebook executive had severe internal bleeding in his brain. If he hadn’t admitted himself to the hospital, he would have become brain dead or died within a few hours.

The first thing Colleran did when he woke up was take a selfie. With his sense of humour still in tact, he wrote the caption, “Big Day,” and posted it to Facebook. Then he turned to his doctors and said, “Hey guys, is this a bad time to mention that I don’t have health insurance?”

Kevin colleran brain bleed scanKevin Colleran/FacebookKevin Colleran’s CT scans showed severe brain bleeding after his accident, which would have resulted in his death if he hadn’t been rushed to the hospital.

The next thing Colleran did was reflect on his life. Colleran realised something significant, which he shared with Babson’s 2015 graduates in a commencement speech Saturday morning.

“I woke up from surgery and saw my wife and family by my side,” Colleran said. “Immediately, I took a selfie (and put it on Facebook, of course), happy to be alive and happier to share my story with all of my friends. Because, as I think about it, there is NOTHING I would change.”

Colleran realised that feeling, having no regrets, is the best possible measure of success in life.

“Now, I would not wish any of you to EVER get hit by a bus,” Colleran told the graduates. “But I do hope that you live your life in a way that leaves you without regrets. Build your career and develop friendships and relationships in a way that — when you DO have a reason to look back on it all — there’s nothing you would change.”

Kevin colleran babson graduationKevin Colleran/FacebookKevin Colleran was the commencement speaker at Babson College for the class of 2015. He also received an Honorary Doctorate Degree.

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