Florida man Jordan Rivera decided he didn’t want to wait in the bathroom line at his favorite bar, Banditos, in Port Charlotte, Florida last week and now will be giving one-handed high fives for the rest of his life as a result.
Rivera surmised the situation at Banditos, and made the ill-fated decision to take a quick walk behind the bar and let nature take its course. Unfortunately, nature had something else in mind, as a 10-foot monster was waiting in the pond, and proceeded to rip Rivera’s arm off above the elbow.
While Rivera survived due to the quick thinking of several bar patrons, he is being remarkably upbeat despite the fact that he will never be able to give a standing ovation again. Check this out.
“Those gators, I didn’t truly understand them until I woke up in the hospital and, ‘Oh, gator got your arm,” Rivera told NBC2 from his hospital bed in the ICU at Gulf Coast Medical Center.
“I didn’t lose my life, I lost an arm, it’s not the end of the world, you know,”
“They got my elbow. So, I don’t have an elbow,” Rivera said. “I can still move my arm around and whatnot.”
That truly is a glass-half-full outlook for a man with an arm-half-gone story to tell. Rivera is lucky to be alive, and luck to have any of his arm left. Generally speaking, if a gator that size gets you in the water, it’s curtains. The details behind the accident follow.
“So I ended up walking over to the water hole, I didn’t realize how big it was at the time, as I was going over there something happened where I either tripped or the ground below me just went down,” Rivera said. “I ended up in the water. And that’s literally the last thing I remember.”
Witnesses and cell phone footage show that Rivera needed a tourniquet and drifted in and out of consciousness as bystanders urged him to remain awake and alert. Somehow he did, but he doesn’t remember anything until waking up in the hospital.
“Confusion. I was like ‘Whoa’. Because I just woke up and I was just sitting here. And I looked over and I saw my arm the way it was and I was like, ‘Whoa,’” he said. “It kind of feels like my arm is just there, but not there.”
“It was just the craziest thing. It’s almost out of a movie,”
Rivera and his mother credited the quick-thinking bar patrons that saved his life.
“I call them angels, that were there, that saved his life,” Lessa said. “The chance of someone being there with a tourniquet, to me, it’s a miracle that he’s here.”
“The first thing I would do is shake the man’s hand,” Rivera added.
Rivera might want to hold on the handshake for a while, since he is now down to one. Widespread social media speculation was Rivera was in fact feeding the gator, just not with his arm. That is a claim he vociferously denies.
His story has captivated people all across Southwest Florida, but it’s also stirred up the rumor mill. Some people on social media have claimed he was feeding the gator.
“That is completely not true,” he said. “They don’t even serve food at that bar, so I couldn’t have even served the gator food.”
Instead of spreading lies, Rivera would rather spread awareness that Florida’s prehistoric predators aren’t playing games.
“I would just show them my arm and say, ‘Hey bud. You wanna mess around with a big ole 12-foot gator on the golf course,’”
In a way, ironically, he did serve the gator food. Instead of hot wings or cheese sticks, the gator got finger sandwiches and a human wing.
Sadly, the gator had to be euthanized, but since I am largely #teamhuman, at least Rivera survived, and learned a powerful lesson so that others may not suffer the same fate. Wait in the bathroom line in Southwest Florida!
Featured image screen grab from embedded YouTube video
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