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By Ben Kesslen
The Kentucky doctor forcibly took a plane from United Airlines in a viral incident that gave rise to his first interview since the episode of 2017, detailing what he said was the first time he had been there. lasting impact on one's physical and mental health.
Dr. David Dao spoke to ABC News and said after watching the video for the first time, "I just cried."
In the video, Dao refused to leave the United Flight in excess and the officers of the Chicago Aviation Department dragged him out of the plane. Passengers on the Chicago-Louisville, Kentucky flight saw a bloody Dao being violently removed from his seat.
Dao, an American of Vietnamese descent, told ABC News that after being hit head-on against the low ceiling of the plane, the rest of the meeting was unclear. "After that, to be honest, I do not know what happened," he said.
The next thing he knew, Dao said, was at the hospital, with a major concussion, missing teeth and a broken nose. Dao told ABC News that his recovery was "horrible", claiming that he had to relearn how to walk and that he was under preventive supervision.
Prior to the incident, Dao said that he had run more than 20 marathons. Now he has trouble running three miles and has problems with balance and concentration.
Despite this painful and traumatic ordeal, Dao said he did not regret not leaving his seat because it had led United to review his policy. Dao said the incident was "positive".
"Everything happens with a reason," he said.
Dao settled with United Airlines in 2017 for an unknown amount.
After the incident, United Airlines initially qualified Dao as "disruptive and belligerent". The airline then reversed its route. In April 2017, Chief Executive Officer Oscar Munoz told NBC News that Dao's withdrawal was a "failure of the system as a whole".
"We have broken public trust and it is a serious violation, and we are deeply sorry," Munoz said in 2017.