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My Story

Lindsay was a survivor of the I-35W bridge collapse on Aug. 1, 2007. Click the link to hear more about her story.



Lindsay was in her car on the I-35W bridge, heading home from her job as a youth worker at a group home for adolescents, when it collapsed; she thinks she was near the middle of the bridge at the time, and was headed Southbound. She said it all happened very fast - she saw the bridge start collapsing in front of her and then she fell very quickly. Her car landed in the water and submerged to the bottom of the river. She remained trapped in the vehicle as her car filled with water; she struggled for some time but could not find a way out (the water was very dark and dirty and she probably could not see what was happening). Unsuccessful in breaking out of the car, she reports that she thought she was going to drown and that for a moment she considered the idea of giving up the fight (her vision, she states, began to go all white at this point). However, although she does not know how, the next thing she knew she found herself free of her car and submerged in the water, at which point she swam to the surface. After she emerged a construction worker, who was on a piece of the collapsed bridge on the water, extended a broom and pulled her up to safety. After climbing up onto the bridge she walked to the median, sat down, and kept herself propped against the median. Until then she didn’t notice the pain that began developing in her lower back. While sitting there amidst the rubble a fellow victim of the disaster borrowed her cell phone to Lindsay so that she could call people to alert them of what happened. Once rescue workers arrived she was taken to the U of M Fairview hospital in the bed of a pickup truck. She spent a couple days in the intensive care unit and once stabilized was sent to another unit where she spent several days recovering before her discharge on Monday, Aug. 5. She is now recovering at home with the help of her family and friends and some great services from Fairview Home Care.

Lindsay suffered a "burst" fracture to her L1 vertebrae in her lower back. Much to our relief, it appears that this damage should not cause major, permanent impairment, nor should it require surgery. She has been fitted for a brace, which she will need to wear for about 3 months. The doctors state that the brace has a 98-99 percent chance of healing her spine injuries and that she should be able to lead a normal, healthy life after fully recovering. The back fracture is the only major physical injury she suffered from this accident.

Feed

Lindsay Petterson posted a new journal entry, "Exciting News".

I have absolutely no idea who might read this-- or if anyone will-- but I wanted to share some exciting news with those who have followed my journey since the bridge ... Read more

Megan Helmen signed Lindsay's Guestbook.

Yay Lindsay! I'm impressed with your drive and am certain your project will provide a healing outlet for many. Congrats! Read more

Lindsay Petterson posted a new journal entry, "Exciting News".

I have absolutely no idea who might read this-- or if anyone will-- but I wanted to share some exciting news with those who have followed my journey since the bridge ... Read more

Pat Moore signed Lindsay's Guestbook.

Lindsay, Only good thoughts come your way for a fanastic 2009! I have never been on a snowboard so the fact you have is great. I'm confident that if there is a way to ... Read more

Kim Dahl signed Lindsay's Guestbook.

Hey Lindsay, I will hope to keep in touch with you through your email address. Keep up the hard work and I hope and pray for you. Your a strong girl. Take Care hun. Love ... Read more

Lindsay Petterson posted a new journal entry.

Since I haven't found the time to update this in such a long time, I thought I would use the last day of 2008 to officially sign-off. I'm still a ways from full-recovery, ... Read more

Rachel Oldand signed Lindsay's Guestbook.

Lindsay, I have been wanting to get in contact with you for some time but did not find, until today, this wonderful place to do so. I have followed your story through out ... Read more

Kim Dahl signed Lindsay's Guestbook.

Hey Lindsay,good to hear an update. I do know what you feel about the weather wow. You feel like you've aged 40 extra years. I've been thinking about you and was wondering ... Read more

karen moe signed Lindsay's Guestbook.

So glad you signed in. We pray for you every day and always wonder how things are going. Tell Dave's Dad we are so glad to hear he is doing better. I really miss talking ... Read more

Lindsay Petterson posted a new journal entry.

I’ve been feeling pretty good lately, at least emotionally. (My back has been killing me with the change in weather.) I’m still working on finding a balance between my ... Read more

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