August 15, 2011
Garrett Ebling, 36, was among the worst injured in the Minnesota bridge collapse of
August 1, 2007. Today, Ebling counts his blessings and manages his start-up restaurant as a part
of his new life as a survivor
Eblings brush with death happened four years ago when the Interstate 35W bridge
collapsed and fell 60 feet into the Mississippi River. Another 145 people were injured in the
bridge collapse, with a death toll of thirteen.
Ebling spent two months in the hospital, undergoing multiple surgeries
to fix his severed
colon, multiple fractured bones in his face and jaw, two broken feet, collapsed lung, and
compound fracture in his arm. Ebling had to relearn everyday tasks, from walking to eating.
Ebling admitted that his emotional recovery took far longer than the physical. He spent
three years in therapy following his release from the hospital, learning to deal with his depression
and anxiety attacks
Ebling used money from a settlement to start his restaurant, Minnesotas first Which
Wich sandwich franchise. The job requires Ebling to spend long hours on his feet, but he feels
more fulfilled than in his previous journalism career.
"I just realized I didnt want to spend the years ahead working in a cubicle," Ebling said
. "I wanted to do work thats more active, to be out interacting with the public and acting as
a mentor to the people here."
"I wont say that when Im driving across a bridge I sometimes dont still feel a little
nervous or when Im stopped at a light on a bridge," Ebling confessed to the source. "I just
talk myself through it, The lights going to turn green and youre going to drive across. No
problem. And it does, and I do."