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Ted Coburn’s Testimony

posted Nov 8, 2018, 10:30 AM by Website Director   [ updated Nov 8, 2018, 11:07 AM ]
What happened during that Oct. 8, 2001 flight made news around the globe.
Ted Coburn became the world’s latest face of fear.

Ted,Chicago Sun.Times
Learn what happened that day and more importantly find out how Ted is doing today. Here is just a brief sampling of a much larger article found at the Chicago Sun Times

ByRobert Herguth
@RobertHerguth | email

At the time of the 9/11 attacks, Edward A. “Ted” Coburn was a 31-year-old field support engineer for a division of Rockwell Automation.

He programmed machines used in manufacturing, helping clients like Budweiser, Intel and Campbell Soup “get what they want” from the equipment.

Coburn got that “job of my dreams” after graduating from Purdue University with near-perfect grades.

But the workload and travel were grueling. He was away so much he says Fresno, California, where he lived, wasn’t home as much as it was where he “worked out of.”

On Sept. 11, 2001, Coburn was working from his apartment on a rare day “there was no pressing thing” at work.

He found himself glued to his TV and the images of planes slamming into the World Trade Center, the towers collapsing.

The attacks seemed to flip a switch inside Coburn. Over the following weeks, his mental health spiraled. His father, alarmed, decided to fly him to Chicago, then head to Indiana to get treatment near family there.

What happened during their Oct. 8, 2001, flight made news around the globe. Ted Coburn became the world’s latest face of fear.

But he was no terrorist. Suffering from delusions that one of the pilots and some passengers were intent on downing the jetliner, Coburn charged into the cockpit — still possible then before their doors were reinforced in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.

But Coburn was quickly subdued. As fighter jets scrambled to escort the aircraft to O’Hare Airport — a British tabloid headline proclaimed “Fighter escort in cockpit drama.”

Coburn was arrested. But, after 20 months in federal prisons and hospitals, he was acquitted of criminal charges because of mental illness, which Coburn by then had discovered included bipolar disorder.

Now 48 and living in Indiana, Coburn has spent the past 15 years rebuilding his life and trying to help others who, like him, deal with mental illness.

“I clearly see that millions of Americans with mental illnesses struggle to get the kindness and compassion that other illnesses, such as cancer, bring,” says Coburn.

In a series of interviews, he spoke with the Chicago Sun-Times to try to combat the “stigma” surrounding mental illness, which he says “holds many people back from getting the help they need.”

Please watch both videos and read the whole article, and see how much of a difference getting help for your loved ones can make