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Choosing Peace Instead of Sorrow (ep. 154)

Officer Mike and Sarah Flamion

John O’Leary welcomes Officer Mike Flamion and his wife Sarah to the Live Inspired Podcast, showing us that in the midst of the storm, you can choose to dance.

Officer Mike Flamion was a nine-year law enforcement veteran when a routine traffic stop changed the trajectory of his life forever.

Through their unwavering love, hope and spirit, Mike and his wife Sarah share how they’ve embraced a new normal + find joy and adventure in every day.

Today’s conversation will show you that in the midst of the storm, you can choose to dance.

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  • July 8, 2016: While making a traffic stop, Mike was shot from behind leaving him paralyzed.
  • Mike miraculously survived thanks to the quick thinking of others immediately after the incident.
  • There weren’t any lonely nights: Prayer, family, friends and the support from law enforcement gave the Flamion’s comfort.
  • Gary Sinise Foundation:
    • St. Louis businessman Jim Shubert is on the Board of Directors at the Gary Sinise Foundation. After Jim’s wife learned of the incident, he jumped at the chance to help the Flamions.
    • In 2017, the Gary Sinise Foundation built the Flamions a state-of-the-art smart home that provides Mike some independence.
    • On Live Inspired Podcast ep. 128, Gary Sinise shares about his support for those who sacrifice on our behalf. Listen to ep. 128 here.
  • Physically, Mike still suffers from nerve pain and emotionally it bothers him to rely so much on Sarah, but he has hopes that one day he will be able to dance with Sarah again.
  • Although things have changed, what attracted them to each other hasn’t: their personalities and sense of humor are still intact.
  • The Flamions continue to live life to the fullest by sharing their story to remind other’s in similar situations that just because you were hurt, doesn’t mean you have to stop doing things (they just returned from a trip to Florida!).
    • Sarah feels they owe it those who supported to know how thankful they are. It’s their support and those foundations have made their lives easier and they want them to know about how thankful they are.
  • Backstoppers: an organization that provides needed financial assistance to the spouses and dependent children of all first responders who lose their lives or suffer a catastrophic injury in the line of duty in 18 counties in Missouri and Illinois. To learn more or donate, visit their website.
  • What’s the best thing that has come out of the “upside down” moment?
    • Sarah: We were moving into a dark time for law enforcement. After this happened, and the community showed such great support, it showed the officers they were appreciated.
    • Mike: Pushed me to see how mentally strong I was to deal with it. It made me realize that I can still go on.

Live Inspired Podcast guest Janine Shepard was an Olympic-bound skier before her life-altering accident. Like Mike, Janine too has found a deeper purpose and learned to embrace new possibilities. Meet Janine + hear her story on ep. 53.

Live Inspired Podcast guest Christine Caine is a survivor of both sexual abuse and cancer. At 32, she found out she was adopted. She shares how she let go of her history to step into her destiny. Listen to Christine on ep. 82.


1. What is the best book you’ve ever read? Sarah: Since Mike’s injury Why Forgive by Johann Christoph Arnold.

2. What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as a child that you wish you still exhibited today? Sarah: In general, faith and trust come easy to kids. Mike: As a kid, it was easy to hold someone close to you. When you work in law enforcement it’s hard to break that barrier.

3. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be? Mike: Engagement picture or the cross we bought on vacation.

4. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be? Mike: A military member that has passed away and tell them how much I appreciate what they’ve done.

5. What is the best advice you’ve ever received? Sarah: My cousin Shelly, shared a lot of marriage and relationship advice like the importance of communication and how loving each other will get us through life’s tough times.

6. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self? Mike: Have fun. Enjoy life because things change.

7. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read? Sarah: They kept pushing forward. Mike: Look at us now. We’re still having fun.


Did you enjoy today’s episode? Subscribe, rate + review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts!

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1 reply on “Choosing Peace Instead of Sorrow (ep. 154)”

Just finished the podcast with Mike and Sarah. I live in Ballwin and was working from home on that day. I remember hearing about what happened – so I “knew” this story. After this podcast, I now have a different lens to view their story. It is one of hope, resilience and so much courage. They redefined their future and kept the best of their past – which was their love and enjoyment of each other.

Thank you for reminding all of us to “keep pushing forward” in our lives.

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