A woman who was left paralysed from the chest down at 17 years old after an ‘obsessed’ male friend threw her off a bridge says she is a ‘better person’ because of it.
Emily Holliday, 20, wasn’t able to walk again after a friend hurled her 25ft off a bridge while walking home after a night in Solihull, Birmingham in September 2018.
But the woman said that she feels ‘lucky to be here’ despite everything.
Emily Holliday, 20, plummeted 25ft off a bridge to the ground, landing on the canal path below after a night with friends in September 2018
She said: ‘I feel like a better person as I appreciate the little things more now.’
Ms Holliday suffered catastrophic injuries and was told she wouldn’t be able to walk again three years ago while walking back home with a friend.
As they approached a canal bridge, a 17-year-old pal – who cannot be named for legal reasons – had been acting ‘irrationally’ and jealous towards Emily and accusing her of cheating on her then-boyfriend.
Suddenly he scooped her up and threw her over the side of the bridge.
Ms Holliday had known the teen who threw her off the bridge for around five years, during school, and believed he had ‘feelings’ for her
The young woman spent five-and-a-half months recovering in hospital before being able to go home
A terrified Ms Holliday plummeted 25ft to the ground, landing on the canal path below.
She said she heard a ‘massive crack’ from her spine on impact and remembers every ‘agonising’ second of the fall.
The young woman was rushed to Birmingham Hospital where she was given the devastating news that she had severed her spinal cord and would never walk again.
Her spinal cord was broken along with some vertebrae, four ribs and the breastbone. Ms Holliday’s lung was also punctured.
Ms Holliday said she heard a ‘massive crack’ from her spine on impact and says she remembers every ‘agonising’ second of the fall
She wasn’t allowed to sit up for eight weeks and was later transferred to the Midland Centre for Spinal injuries for rehabilitation.
The young woman spent five-and-a-half months in hospital before being able to go home.
Ms Holliday, who is from Birmingham, West Midlands, said: ‘I remember the moment he picked me up and threw me over.
‘It’s clear as day – I remember falling and hearing a massive “crack” when I landed on the embankment.
‘I couldn’t feel anything, I could only move my arms, and I knew it wasn’t good. I woke up in hospital and doctors told me: “You’ll never walk again.”
Ms Holliday said her life is now completely different but she still feels ‘lucky to be here’ despite everything
‘It was utterly heart-breaking to hear. Despite everything I feel so lucky to be here – I was given a second chance at life.’
Ms Holliday had known the teen for around five years, during school, and believed he had ‘feelings’ for her.
She said: ‘I think he was a bit obsessed with me – but I didn’t feel that way towards him.
‘He was being really aggressive towards me and saying nasty things, but I just tried to ignore him.’
A TikTok the young woman posted of her ordeal in July has racked up 3.6 million views and 10.1 thousand comments
The case eventually went to Birmingham Crown Court in April 2019 where the teen admitted to a charge of wounding and was sentenced to a two-year youth rehabilitation order.
Ms Holliday said: ‘I was disappointed with the outcome. I don’t think it’s fair that he has completely changed my life and walked away from prison.’
The 20-year-old had surgery in April 2021 and an MRI revealed a cyst growing on her spine.
While she still deals with daily pain, the young woman has a positive outlook.
She added: ‘I have had to completely adjust my life and learn to do everything again. I lost everything I had – I don’t have a social life anymore.
Ms Holliday wasn’t allowed to sit up for eight weeks and was later transferred to the Midland Centre for Spinal injuries for rehabilitation
The young woman’s spinal cord was broken along with some vertebrae, four ribs and the breastbone. Her lung was also punctured
‘I will always remain strong, and I’ve worked so hard to get to where I am today. I feel like a better person – as I appreciate the little things more now.
‘I’m so proud of myself and I will always be grateful to still be here.
On September 1, she took to TikTok to post about the experience. The audio-captioned video, which has over 12d views, said: ‘Today marks three years since my life changed forever.
Ms Holliday says the ordeal has helped her love who she is. She said: ‘I’ve come so far in the last few years and I’m so proud of myself’
‘Every single thing in my life changed in under one minute.
‘I’m so lucky to even be here right now. I was given a second chance at life.
‘I’ve come so far in the last few years and I’m so proud of myself.
‘I’m alive, breathing, and have the best people surrounding me and supporting me.
‘I’ve learned to love who I am now and nobody’s going to change that.’
An earlier TikTok she posted of her ordeal from July has racked up 3.6 million views.
In the short video, Ms Holliday shared her story and said: ‘I will never, ever give up hope and I will always be positive.’