Daniel Fleigle recalls getting up the morning of June 15. But his next memory isn't until almost a week later — waking up in a hospital room after being jolted by an electrical wire that evening and plummeting from the top of a closed bridge.
Thirteen days after climbing and falling from the old bridge in Sartell, the 16-year-old is walking, talking and making sense of what happened that night.
Friends, family and his doctor helped fill in the pieces on Monday morning during a news conference at Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC), giving an update on Fleigle's progress and recounting the lifesaving heroics of his friends.
The Sauk Rapids teen had been looking for an adventure with Abby Trelfa, 15, Madison Demaris, 15, and Merritt Merriman, 16, when he decided to scale the closed bridge. As he climbed, he lost his balance and grabbed the nearest thing — a live electrical wire. After Fleigle's shock and 30-foot fall to the bridge deck, Trelfa flipped him onto his back and discovered he wasn't breathing.
"I didn't cry. I just knew we needed to save this kid's life," Trelfa said during the news conference.
Demaris called 911 while Trelfa administered CPR — a skill she picked up in 7th- and 9th-grade classes — until paramedics arrived.
"I just want to give these young ladies kudos because this young man wouldn't be here without them," said Dr. Andrew Kiragu, the pediatric intensive-care physician who has been treating Fleigle at HCMC.
The teen was in a medically induced coma until June 21, when he woke up and was immediately able to follow commands.
"It's truly a miracle," Kiragu said. "His heart stopped beating. He died, and then he was brought back to life."
A known daredevil — his Instagram bio reads "Rather risk it all than play it safe" — Fleigle said he always tries to push the envelope but will now think twice about climbing bridges.
"I never thought it would happen to me," Fleigle said Monday. "I kind of thought I was invincible. It was a shock."
Fleigle has no recollection of the accident. His mother, Shelly Fleigle, reconstructed the day's events for him once he came out of the coma.
"Right away he said, 'Awesome,' and I said, 'No, not awesome,' " Fleigle's mother said. "He kept asking, 'Will I walk again? Will I run?' "
Ten of his Sauk Rapids high school classmates made the hourlong drive to visit their friend on Monday.
Back in his hospital room, the teens ate Twizzlers and teased him about his lack of initiative to ask out Trelfa after she saved him. The two had been casually dating before the accident.
His occupational and physical therapy will continue, and doctors hope Fleigle will be released from the hospital in the next week. He's walking away from the accident with some staples in his scalp, an injured lung, a broken rib and vertebra — and the promise of a romantic outing.
"Once he gets out," Trelfa said, "we're definitely going on a date."