Sean Stephenson, the self-help author, therapist, and motivational speaker died on Wednesday, August 28, due to complications after suffering a head injury. He died at the age of 40.
His wife Mindie Kniss announced his death on Instagram yesterday.
“There are no words to describe the depth of sadness we feel today. Last night, my husband Sean Stephenson transitioned from a body filled with complications from Osteogenesis Imperfecta to a place where his energy will not be contained,” she wrote. “He suffered a head injury and did not make it through the emergency surgery.”
Who was Sean Stephenson?
Sean Stephenson was born on May 5, 1979. He was born with a condition called osteogenesis imperfecta. The condition causes sufferers to have fragile bones that break very easily.
Stephenson suffered extensive bone fractures during birth. Doctors at the Chicago Children’s Hospital thought he would die soon after birth, but he managed to survive. However, the condition severely affected his quality of life during childhood. He lived in constant pain and experienced stunted growth.
Stephens stood only 2 feet 8 inches tall as an adult, living life in a wheelchair. His condition meant he continued to be susceptible to bone fractures throughout his life. Thus, even a minor accident could have led to the head injury that caused his death.
By the time he was 18 years old, Stephenson had suffered more than 200 fractures in all parts of his body. He once fell from his wheelchair while walking his dog and fractured his skull.
However, Stephenson found strength despite his disability. He was already giving motivational speeches at the age of 17. He met motivational speaker Tony Robbins in 1998 at the age of 19. Robbins mentored him.
Stephenson attended DePaul University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 2001. He worked as an intern for President Bill Clinton and Congressman Bill Lipinski of Illinois.
In 2001, he published his first book, How You(th) Can Succeed!: Transforming Dreams into Reality for Young Adults.
He started his career as a motivational speaker after graduating from college. He trained to become a certified therapist after he realized he needed expert knowledge and skills to help people who came to him for advice.
He trained as a hypnotherapist at Bennett/Stellar University and Kona University.
In 2009, he published his second self-help book, Get Off Your “But”: How to End Self-Sabotage and Stand Up for Yourself. In the book, he tried to encourage others through his personal story.
In 2009, The Biography Channel aired a TV documentary about Stephenson titled Three Foot Giant in 2009.
Stephenson and Mindie Kniss married on September 14, 2012. Kniss is also a motivational speaker. They met in 2009 after a mutual friend introduced them.
Sean proposed to Mindie in May 2011, during an event in California.
Sending comfort and condolences to the loved ones of Sean Stephenson. He was such an inspiration to so many, and to me personally as well. <3 pic.twitter.com/DGC54dnkuh
— Joseph Gordon-Levitt (@hitRECordJoe) August 30, 2019
What is osteogenesis imperfecta?
Osteogenesis imperfecta is a rare condition that causes the sufferer to have fragile bones that break very easily. This condition is sometimes called “brittle bone disease,” caused by a mutation in the genes.
It can affect males and females of all races. Around 25,000-50,000 people suffer from the condition in the U.S.
There is no known cure for osteogenesis imperfecta. Patients require careful support care and specialist medical supervision.