DALLAS - The quest to snap that perfect selflie at the Margaret McDermott Bridge put an 18-year old in the hospital with serious injuries. He’s now hoping others will learn from his near-death experience.
Triston Bailey doesn't remember anything from the fall and says he knows he's opening himself up to a lot of criticism by sharing his story. However, he wants to warn others about taking the same life-changing risks he did.
Bailey returned for the first time with his mom, Amber Gibson, to the spot where he could've died when he fell on November 12.
“It was amazing,” Gibson said. “There's no explanation for how he survived.”
Bailey and his friends were headed home from the Dallas Stars game on I-30 West when they decided to pull over for a quick selfie off the Margaret McDermott Bridge. They were hoping to get the perfect shot with the Dallas skyline behind them.
“I was going over the concrete barriers and they heard me exclaim. They thought I was joking and that I was trying to mess with them that I fell,” he recalled. “But then they said they looked over and just like the movies, I'm just laid out there on the dirt.”
Bailey never did get the selfie. Instead, he landed in ER at Methodist Medical Center in Dallas, where doctors where stunned his injuries weren't worse.
“This is inexplicable,” said Dr. Jospeh Darryl Amos, the chief of trauma at Methodist Medical Center in Dallas. “He bruised both lungs. He had a collapse of the lung. He had multiple lacerations to his spleen, and he had a pelvic fracture.”
Bailey's doctors are calling his injuries and recovery miraculous.
“One more turn or one more twist, it's amazing he didn't snap his neck,” Amos said. “It's amazing he's not a paraplegic or broke his back or he could've hit a stone in the middle of that field and fractured his skull and not been here. This is a constellation of miraculous little events that occurred.”
“Triston just happened to stop at the one perfect spot that cushioned his landing,” said Dr. Edgar Araiza.
Bailey's plans to join the Air Force are now on hold and is doing physical therapy twice a week.
Since the accident, Bailey says he's taken selfies but definitely uses more caution and is focusing on his safety instead of capturing a great background.
“If I see another person on I-30 about to take a picture, I just stop on the side like, ‘Hey, it's not a good idea,’” he said.
Bailey's phone even survived the fall and his family was able to recover it. Once he finishes his physical therapy, he says he will eventually go back to his plans of joining the Air Force.