MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Like many teenage boys, Danny Fleigle seeks out thrill and adventure. But the one he took with friends onto a vacated Sartell bridge June 15 nearly killed him.
On Monday Fleigle spoke to reporters from Hennepin County Medical Center.
“The first thing I remember was waking up in a hospital bed,” Fleigle explained.
He was climbing onto the steel girders of a bridge in Sartell and lost his balance. That’s when friends below say he appeared to grab a power line. The electrical jolt sent him 30 feet down onto the bridge decking.
Friend Madison Demarais was among those with Fleigle and called 911.
“She yelled over to me that he stopped breathing and then I told the dispatcher and she told us, walked us through how to give CPR,” Demarais recalled.
Together with another friend, Abby Trelfa, the two girls kept it up, doing chest compressions and giving the unconscious Fleigle short breaths until paramedics finally arrived.
“Nothing was really going through my head, it was all a blur, like, we need to save this kid’s life,” said Trelfa.
Dr. Andrew Kiragu leads HCMC’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Kiragu told reporters that Danny’s injuries were multiple and complicated, any of which could have ended his life.
“In the sense that his heart stopped beating, he died,” Kiragu said.
The electrical jolt Fleigle endured on the bridge stopped his heart — the fall fractured his skull, broke some ribs, a vertebrae and punctured his airway.
“Remarkable and truly a miracle. I think a lot of things came together to get him to where he is,” Kiragu adds.
A very lucky young man, who owes so much to several calm and quick thinking friends.
“I’m very proud and thankful that I have friends in my life that would do that for me,” Fleigle said.
And with those friends surrounding him, Fleigle’s on a new adventure – one that’s called the road to recovery.