Jordan Holgerson says she’s lucky to be alive, but will be recovering from her injuries for several months.
VANCOUVER — “I could have died.” That’s what 16-year old Jordan Holgerson had to say Thursday afternoon from PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, where she’s recovering from injuries sustained after she was pushed from the Moulton Falls Bridge on Tuesday.
“I’m in a lot of pain without medication,” the Kalama High School student says. “I have five broken ribs, there’s air bubbles in my chest.”
She also suffered a punctured lung, along with severe bruising and welts all over her stomach and legs.
Flanked by her friends Macey Tucker and Taylor Lavigne, and sister Kaytlin, with her mom Ganelle looking on, Jordan said the moments between when she was shoved, and when she landed violently in the water 60-feet below are still kind of a blur.
“In the air I was trying to push myself forward, so I could be straight up and down, so that my feet hit first,” she says, “but that didn’t really work.”
Jordan says she thinks she might have blacked out during the fall, but woke up after hitting the water. She realized she couldn’t breathe, and tried getting back to the surface. Earlier she had said someone helped pull her out of the water, but on Thursday, due to an active investigation by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, Holgerson wouldn’t answer questions about who she was with, or what happened before or after she was pushed.
In a video of the incident that quickly went viral on social media and websites around the world, someone can be heard counting down. Jordan hesitates, and a male friend says “well she’s saying no.” A woman standing behind Holgerson appears exasperated, before unexpectedly shoving the teen from the bridge. People gasp as a very audible thud is heard when Jordan hits the river below..”
“You know, going up to a sixty-foot-high bridge… don’t climb up there,” Jordan said on Thursday.
Holgerson’s mom, on Wednesday, had said the woman who pushed her daughter is an adult, was friends with the teen, and had apologized. On Thursday, they declined to confirm any of that, but Holgerson did go so far as to say that she would be choosing her friends more wisely from now on.
There is at least one sign at Moulton Falls Bridge warning that jumping is illegal, and yet people do it every day during the Summer. Holgerson says she has swam there before, jumping from the rocks down below, but this was the first time she’d ever contemplated jumping from the bridge.
While Holgerson was hoping she would get to go home from the hospital in the next couple of days, she has a long road to recovery. The active teen was hoping to play sports this coming school year, but likely will miss out.
“I have to wait for quite a while,” she says, “probably for three months. … Can’t do anything active for six weeks. I’m supposed to just keep walking and trying to make my lungs healthier.”
The air bubbles in her chest will also prevent her from flying anywhere for at least the next three months.
As for her sudden fame, the teen says she’s not a fan.
“I don’t like it. There’s too many notifications on my phone,” she says. “Like 500 follow requests on my Instagram. That never happens.”
She did thank her helpers, including “a lot of people I don’t know who are helpers… on the Internet.”
Despite the scare, Holgerson says she doesn’t plan to stop swimming.
“No,” she laughs, “I’m still going to have fun.” Then, after a pause, “When I’m better.”