The roads had been plowed, but the church wasn’t far. So Jennifer Widge decided to walk.
As WCCO News reports, the Minneapolis mom had been training for a triathlon in addition to working and caring for her daughters. But now, her whole life is on hold thanks to a poorly-cleared stretch of sidewalk.
Conditions were cold and icy when Widge decided that she was going to walk to church. She told her husband and set out down the block. Immediately, she realized that the sidewalk wasn’t in great condition. She told WCCO:
“I was thinking, I wish the people would salt a little bit more because it’s kind of dangerous out here.”
Because the roads had been plowed, the mom walked in the street for a while.
Widge told WCCO that she doesn’t remember much, but she must have hit a slippery patch after getting back on the sidewalk:
“I moved over to the sidewalk and I don’t even remember falling. All I remember is waking up in an ambulance and people asking me questions.”
One of Widge’s neighbors saw the accident and called 911. The mom had severe head injuries and had to spend recovery time in the hospital:
“They say I had a brain bleed. They were watching it really closely — that’s why they kept me overnight.”
Widge now has nerve damage in her face. She can’t pick up her young daughters, blow her nose, or feel her teeth. She will be off of work for a month, and exercising for her triathlon is out of the question. “I broke the right side of my face,” she told WCCO. “All the things that I loved in my life I’ve had to stop or dilute.”
Because she doesn’t remember what happened, Widge had to thank her neighbors through a post on Nextdoor. She told WCCO that whoever called 911, “probably saved my life.”
She also has a message for anyone living in a snowy or icy area: clear and salt your sidewalks because they can be dangerous. As she told WCCO, “If you can’t do it, call a neighbor because no one deserves to have their life on hold.”