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Woman paralysed after being pushed off bridge by pal is a ‘better person’

Emily Holliday, 20, suffered catastrophic injuries when she was pushed 25ft from a bridge while walking home after a night in Solihull, Birmingham, with friends in September 2018

Emily spent eight weeks on flatbed rest before she was allowed to sit up

A woman left paralysed from the chest down after being hurled 25ft off a bridge by a ‘jealous’ friend has said ‘it’s made her a better person’.

Emily Holliday, 20, suffered catastrophic injuries while walking home after a night in Solihull, Birmingham, with friends in September 2018.

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 – accusing her of cheating on her then-boyfriend, Wales Online reports.

Suddenly he scooped her up and threw her over the side of the bridge – and terrified Emily plummeted 25ft to the ground, landing on the canal path below.

Emily claims she heard a ‘massive crack’ from her spine on impact and says she remembers every ‘agonising’ second of the fall.

She was rushed to Birmingham Hospital, West Midlands, where she was given the devastating news that she had severed her spinal cord and would never walk again.



Emily Holliday pictured during her recovery
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Image:

Emily Holliday / SWNS)




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The teen responsible was arrested and admitted a charge of wounding at Birmingham Crown Court in April 2019. He was sentenced to two-year youth rehabilitation order – avoiding any time behind bars.

Despite being left with life-changing injuries, Emily said she is choosing to remain positive, that she’s now ‘a better person’ and she aims to live every day feeling grateful that she is still alive.

Emily took to TikTok to share her story and inspire others – racking a staggering 3.5 million views on her video.

Emily, who is unable to work, 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.’



Emily took to TikTok to share her story and inspire others – racking a staggering 3.5 million views on her video
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Image:

Emily Holliday / SWNS)




“I was utterly heartbreaking to hear. Despite everything I feel so lucky to be here – I was given a second chance at life.”

As the pair approached a canal bridge, the teen snapped and suddenly scooped Emily into his arms and tossed her over the side.

She fell 25ft and landed on the embankment below – where she remained for over an hour as paramedics tried to carefully move her.

“I thought ‘this is it – I’m not going to make it,” Emily said. “Almost felt like what he was doing wasn’t real – like I was dreaming. My friends started screaming because they couldn’t find me and they called an ambulance.

“I drifted in and out of consciousness and I couldn’t feel anything from my lower body.”

Emily was rushed to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, where doctors treated a catalogue of injuries.



Emily Holliday before the incident
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Image:

Emily Holliday / SWNS)




She had broken her spinal cord, the vertebrae T3 to T6, four ribs, her breastbone and punctured her lung.

Emily spent eight weeks on flatbed rest before she was allowed to sit up.

She was eventually transferred to Midlands Centre for Spinal injuries for rehabilitation.

Altogether she spent five-and-a-half months in hospital before she was able to go home.

“It was a lot to get my head around, but I had amazing support from my family – they were my rock,” she said. “I also met some incredible people on the ward who were going through the same thing as me.”

The case eventually went to Birmingham Crown Court in April 2019 where the teen admitted to a charge of wounding.



Emily Holliday, 20, who was left paralysed from the chest down
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Image:

Anita Maric / SWNS)




He was sentenced to a two-year youth rehabilitation order.

Emily 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.”

Emily had surgery in April 2021 and an MRI revealed a cyst growing on her spine.

She still battles daily pain however she is looking to the future and remains positive.

Emily continues: “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.

“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.”


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