In early 2009, 19-year-old Jordan Forrester was a normal teenager. A recent high school grad, she was using the year to figure out what she was going to do with her life, looking at colleges and trying to find a job. One night and one bad decision changed everything in her life forever.
Let’s talk about your accident. If you will, tell us the events of the evening leading up to the collision.
“I guess we were house hopping,” said Jordan. “We were back roading. Of course, we were all drinking. Even the driver. He was going at a really high rate of speed, 85-90 miles per hour. And we got there, I took off my seatbelt thinking that we were going to get out, and we didn’t. When we took off again he was going the same speed and next thing I knew we were all separated. I was in the middle of the road, and that’s all I knew.”
After you were ejected from this car, and lying in the road, did the driver of the car come to your aide?
“No. What I was told because I don’t remember anything really was that he ran off for a few days and that his family couldn’t find him,” said Jordan.
Jordan, let’s talk about the injuries you sustained in this collision
“My injuries. I fractured two of my vertebrates in my neck. I broke my t7, 8, and 9. Then my L1 and 2. My whole body was swollen. I had a lot of road rash. I busted my head open,” she explained.
And those of course are serious orthopedic injuries but there was damage to your spinal cord in this accident, correct?
“Yes, I was told it was scraped and two of my vertebrates, I believe they are the Thoracic, they exploded. They had to replace it with fake bone. I have rods and screws in me,” said Jordan.
Let me ask you specifically, you’ve told me about your injuries. Do you have pain? Do you feel pain?
“Yes, I feel pain 24/7, like that feeling you get in your arm if it falls asleep and it just starts waking up. That’s what my lower half feels like 24/7,” Jordan said.
If you would tell our audience a little bit more about the day in the life of Jordan. What’s it like to use the bathroom now? What’s it like to get in and out of bed and to your car? Give us the details.
“I thought I was getting more sensation and muscles back in my bladder so I could at least do that on my own,” said Jordan. “But, no. And with catheterizing, you have really good possibility of getting at urinary tract infection. So that’s one of the major things I’ve had to deal with.”
Mechanically how does it work?
“The catheter?” She asked.
“It’s a tube and you insert it into your urethra, and it’ll drain your bladder,” Jordan explained.
What can you tell them about your bad experience that might give them strength?
“Well, your dreams, some of them are crushed,” said Jordan. “I didn’t have many, but I just wanted to you know move out of the house, go to college, just what any other student or high schooler would want to do. But, it kind of put me in a rut. I had to learn how to go to the restroom on my own, go get back to driving with hand controls, I had to learn how to just be independent with all the basic things everyone else can do on their own.”
Do you have hope that you will be able to walk some day?
“I don’t know,” said Jordan. “I just feel like I have to keep the hope alive, you know. Look forward to something. I don’t want to look on the negative side.”
There is 19 year old’s in the audience who may be thinking about the upcoming weekend and climbing into a car with a drunk driver and how nothing will happen to me, what would you say to that
“Do not get in a vehicle, even if you’re a passenger,” said Jordan. ‘
Get a ride home from a sober driver, that’s the rule you live by now isn’t it?
You wished you lived by that rule before.
“I really wish I would have. But, hindsight is 20/20,” Jordan said.