I-35W Bridge collapse survivor Mercedes Gorden shares recovery photos


Jake and Mercedes doing home therapy after her fall
Jake and Mercedes doing home therapy after her fall

It was 4 years ago today our lives changed forever," DJ Jake Rudh wrote on his Facebook wall this morning. "Here are pics from August 1st, 2007 and the months that followed. She continues to be the strongest woman I know."

That woman is his wife, Mercedes Gorden, who was driving across the I-35W bridge when it collapsed onto the Mississippi riverbed below, killing 13 and injuring 145 people. Gorden fell eight stories and injured both legs, resulting in a two-month hospital stay, more than 10 surgeries, long-term at-home rehabilitation and, needless to say, some very intense and painful emotions.

Over the last four years, Rudh chronicled his wife's recovery and shared photos on their CaringBridge web site. He posted a photo slideshow to his Facebook page today -- a touching tribute to Mercedes on the anniversary of the event that severely impacted their lives but didn't break their spirits or admirable bond with one another.

"The album was constructed over 3+ years ago, so the captions are from when we were living through some of the toughest days," Rudh told City Pages, adding that nearly every media outlet in town has been calling and visiting in attempt to put a face to today's occasion.

This stormy afternoon, Gorden and Rudh will power through some difficult moments as they return to the collapse site to attend the dedication of a memorial honoring both survivors and those who lost their lives. The ceremony begins at 5 p.m. and ends with a moment of silence at 6:05 p.m., the exact time the bridge fell in 2007.

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