On August 2, 2015 around 2:40 p.m., 24-year-old Tierney Darden was standing with her mother and 19-year-old sister outside of the airport near the outer lane of the lower level street that accesses Terminal 2 (“2 W. Terminal Street”) by Vestibule 2C. The three women just returned to Chicago from Minneapolis where they were shopping for bridesmaid dresses for an upcoming wedding. A storm rolled through the area as the women were waiting to be picked up and a pedestrian shelter became loose and fell onto Ms. Darden.
Tierney, who was a dance student at Truman College at the time, sustained dislocated vertebras at T11-T12, which resulted in a severed spinal cord and left her paralyzed from the waist down. Since the accident, Tierney has had to overcome physical and emotional hurdles.