He could have died on their first date, but fate had other plans

Brian knew from the moment he first laid eyes on Jessica that she was something special. The two ran within the same circle of friends throughout college and frequently saw each other at social outings. Brian never pursued anything more than a friendship with Jessica, and they lost touch after college.

In the fall of 2015, when their mutual friend Vanessa got married in Sonoma, Calif., both parties attended the wedding to show their support. Brian quickly spotted Jessica.  They caught up on lost time and connected immediately, just like their college days.

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Jessica explained that between the excitement of wedding and the connection with her old friend, there was definitely something in the air that night.

“We were dancing and drinking all night. We really did have so much fun, but I was hesitant to jump into anything serious. I had just gotten out of a relationship, and I was looking to be single for a while. Brian had other plans. When we returned from the wedding, he repeatedly asked me if he could take me out on a date. After about a month of pestering, I reluctantly agreed.”

At the time, Jessica was two years into her medial residency at Georgia’s Augusta University. Brian agreed to drive two hours from his home in Atlanta to take her on a date in downtown Augusta. The plan was to hang out all afternoon, then get dinner.

“I though the date was going really well. After dinner, Jessica asked if I wanted to go with her to a local party for one of her friends. I was willing to go anywhere with her, so of course I agreed. We showed up to this really cool renovated firehouse. It was such an awesome place to host a party of doctors!”

The firehouse included a fire escape that spanned the outer wall of the building. Residents who lived there would frequently climb the fire escape and hang out on the roof. Jessica had heard about the great view countless times, so she knew this was the perfect time to check it out.

“I had heard about this view for years, so I knew we all needed to check it out. Brian was the first one up the escape. We all watched him climb 20 feet up the wall and then make it on top of the roof. He looked so proud of himself. He turned around to beacon us up, and then he just disappeared from sight. At that point, I realized that he had fallen off the wall; he had slipped between the gap between the two buildings.”

Brian fell 20 feet between two brick walls. Fortunately, he was still alive when he hit the ground.

“When I fell between the wall and the fire escape, I panicked. I just remember wondering when I was going to hit the ground. I was terrified.  The front of my body was scraping the one brick wall, and my back was scraping the other. As crazy as it sounds, I’m pretty sure the reason I survived is because the walls helped slowed me down. If I had fallen the almost 20 feet without the walls… I don’t even like thinking about it.”

Luckily, Brian injured himself at a party full of doctors. Jessica immediately went into doctor mode, calling down to ask Brian if he was bleeding and if his head was in any pain. Brian did a quick check of his body. His head was fine and his back didn’t seem to be in any pain, but his foot was definitely not in the right position.

“My adrenaline was rushing, but I knew I needed to make sure I was OK before I decided to move. I felt OK, but my foot was completely turned around. My ankle was broken, and I was 20 feet stuck between two buildings. I knew it was going to be a challenge to get me out. The EMTs and firefighters had to break through a window on the first floor, then I had to be lifted five feet to make it over the first wall. Luckily, they got me out of there, and then I was rushed to Jessica’s hospital, where they have a Level I trauma center.”

Brian’s foot was put in a cast. When he was discharged, Jessica took him back to her place. She tucked Brian into bed and did her best to make this never-ending first date less tragic.

“Well, Brian was recuperating at my apartment, but it was getting weird. It was our first date, and he had been at my apartment for 48 hours. I went to work the next day, and when I came home, I had a bus ticket for him. As a medical professional, I wanted to makes sure he was OK, but as a person he was trying to date, it was time for him to go home! It was time for Brian to head back to Atlanta.”

Brian made his way back to Atlanta, even more determined to show Jessica why they should be together.

“I knew that I wanted to marry this girl when I got on the plane from Sonoma back to Atlanta. It took a little convincing, since Jessica was so reserved, but she eventually came around to see what I see. Luckily, when you break a bone on the first date, you can guilt your partner into at least two more dates. After those dates, I knew I had sealed the deal. We were finally on the same page.”

With Jessica working in the medical field, the couple had to be flexible, understanding when scheduling time together. Jessica works 80 to 150 hours a week, but Brian has been nothing but supportive, bragging on her whenever he gets the opportunity.

“Brian is my biggest supporter and number one fan. It’s not always easy with my schedule, and I am just so grateful that he’s so patient and understanding. My job is demanding, and he knows that. I try to make a good effort to show him how much he means to me. He’s so good to everyone in his life. He’s a good partner and an even better friend. I’m proud to be with him. I definitely claim him as mine.”

Their relationship didn’t start on the best terms, but it truly made for a uniquely beautiful love story.

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Kaitlyn Winey About the author:
Kaitlyn Winey is an associate videographer/editor for Rare. Follow her on Twitter @TheWineyWrapUp.
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