Cody grew up in southern Indiana and discovered his Christian calling at a very early age, delving into clown ministry by the age of six and becoming an expert juggler. He began speaking and performing at his local church, eventually branching out to other churches in the area. As Cody grew, his clown and juggling ministry grew beyond church services to include libraries, schools, fairs, hospitals, and nursing homes. During this time, he received several awards for his outstanding performances as a juggler and clown. Though he was presented with many opportunities to take his entertainment career in other directions, he knew that his true calling lay in inspirational work.
Cody earned his pastoral credentials in Rockford, IL, while acting as the Children’s Pastor at his hometown church. During this time, his opportunities to speak took him to churches, camps, retreats, and circus events all over the United States.
In April of 2013, Cody traveled on a mission trip to Cuba, performing his clown and juggling act and teaching his ministry techniques to other Christian leaders in the country. It was a turning point for Cody, as he experienced a shift in his own ministry and knew instinctively that his time as a children’s pastor was coming to an end. Sadly, it was not to be the only turning point in Cody’s young life.
Upon his return to the USA, Cody experienced a devastating tragedy: he was in his car, stopped at a red light when suddenly, a large truck behind him failed to stop. The resulting accident left Cody trapped inside a flaming vehicle – a crash so severe that bystanders and first responders alike assumed a fatality. The coroner was arriving on the scene when, miraculously, one of the paramedics saw Cody’s hand move and immediately leaped into action, rushing to extinguish the flames and release a still conscious, yet gravely burned and broken Cody from the vehicle.
Cody was airlifted to safety, ending up in a burn unit in Indianapolis where he was to spend the next three weeks in a coma and on life support. He had suffered 2nd, 3rd and 4th-degree burns to his face and to 40% of his entire body, resulting in extensive scarring, broken vertebrae, and many torn ligaments. Countless blood transfusions and many other life-saving emergency treatments later, his oxygen levels were low and his body very weak. Doctors did not hold out much hope of his survival.
During these difficult times, his family encouraged others to pray for him. The prayers spread rapidly across the globe as thousands prayed for Cody’s survival.
Throughout this devastating ordeal, neither Cody nor his family backed down from their faith in God. They emerged with a brighter perspective on life, against all odds. Despite his challenges, Cody’s sense of humor remains strong, and he often shares how laughter became such an important part of his healing process even when all hope seemed lost.
Cody continues to travel the world sharing his message of hope and inspiration, inspiring with his vision of Helping People Live Free from the Bonds of Scars™.
February of 2018 will see the release of Cody’s first book: Scar Release: Breaking Free of Yesterday’s Troubles, a literary vehicle for his inspiration and message.
“We shouldn’t allow the troubles of this life to keep us bound in defeat and bitterness, but rise above tragedies not only as a survivor but as someone who thrives in life.”
In 2016, with much gratitude, and with the intention of sharing God’s love, Cody founded The Cody Byrns Foundation for Burn Survivors. The foundation provides emotional and spiritual support for those in recovery, as well as financial assistance for reconstructive surgeries. The foundation will work alongside some of the nations’ top board-certified plastic and burn surgeons out of “The Richard M. Fairbanks Burn Center” in Indianapolis.
Recently, the story of Cody Byrns was featured by the Indianapolis Business Journal, read his story here.