Celebrity trainer Steve Jordan at age 32 has lived two lives. In this exclusive interview Steve describes how he nearly died, recovered, and came to be a fitness expert who once worked at the White House.
Steve, you once had a deadly accident but have fully recovered. Could you tell me what happened and explain how you nearly died?
It was September 23, 1994. I had just started my second year of college at the University of Maryland. A close friend that I grew up with, Brian, and I had traveled down to Baltimore from College Park that Friday night to see Johns Hopkins play Fairleigh Dickinson in football. We had buddies from home on both teams and were fired up for a great time and partying.
I was a serious athlete in high school and already into maintaining a high level of fitness. I was also young, lacked discipline, and was inexperienced. Before the football game we hit a few bars and did some drinking, and after the game we went back to a fraternity house on campus for a party. It was a sports fraternity, where most of the guys were at least 50 pounds heavier than me, were on sports teams, and were known to be able to party pretty hard. I tried to keep up with them but just couldn’t. At 5’9”, I was smaller and didn’t have the same kind of tolerance to alcohol. The rest of the evening is cloudy, and mostly pieced together from other people’s accounts.
The story goes that I was very drunk and wrestling around with Brian on the second story balcony when we went plummeting over the ledge together. My body was leading and I fell to the ground, hitting my head on the concrete. My friend landed on top of me, impacting the front of my head just above my right eye. My head got crushed and my face was basically split open. Brian ended up with a concussion from hitting his head on my face. Chaos ensued as we awoke from the initial shock and were in kind of a frenzy until I finally passed out.
The EMTs came and took me away to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center where it was soon determined that I would need to undergo emergency surgery. I had a hematoma (a localized collection of blood that was clotting in my brain), I was losing spinal cord fluid, and my brain was swelling at a rate that it ran the risk of crushing my brain stem, which would be fatal. They drilled a whole in my head to relieve the pressure, which was not effective enough, so they had to actually saw off part of the left side of my skull.