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'It’s Not That Bad. I Still Have My Life': Florida Man Who Lost Arm in Alligator Attack Recalls How It Happened

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Jun. 2 2023, Published 6:49 p.m. ET

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An alligator attack cost a Florida man his arm, but spared his life. Jordan Rivera recalled the horrific moment leading up to the life-changing event, RadarOnline.com has learned.

After Rivera was treated for his injuries and released from the hospital, he spoke out about the dramatic attack — and his outlook on life — for the first time.

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What began as an ordinary day with friends ended in Rivera fighting for his life.

On May 21, Rivera and his friends were gearing up to leave Bandito's Restaurant in Charlotte, Florida, when he went to use the bathroom. Due to a long line for the men's restrooms, Rivera switched course and decided he would relieve himself outside at a nearby pond.

Within a matter of seconds, that simple decision nearly cost Rivera his life.

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Rivera recalled it being a little after midnight when he approached the pond. Without being able to precisely recall his steps, Rivera believed that he may have slipped and fell.

"I made a little trip outside and walked out to the pond," Rivera told Inside Edition.

Suddenly, an alligator seized the opportunity to attack Rivera.

"Next thing I know, I’m waking up in the hospital, dude," Rivera continued. "My arm's wrapped up, I’m sedated."

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"It all happened in one quick minute, maybe less than a minute," Rivera shared, as he credited bystanders for their fast action.

Rivera branded his friend and an Army veteran his "lifesavers," after they rushed to his aid during the nighttime attack.

While the terrifying event mangled Rivera's body, he managed to maintain a positive outlook on life, albeit changed forever.

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Despite all that he had been through, Rivera believed things could have been much worse. He was, after all, still alive.

"It’s not that bad," Rivera stated. "I still have my life and that’s how I look at it."

Rivera added that even with the loss of one arm, he could "still dress myself shower, bathe," which he branded "the essentials of life."

A GoFundMe was created to support Rivera's medical bills and extensive recovery. Donors contributed over $20,000 towards the $50,000 goal.

The alligator was identified the day after Rivera's attack and was euthanized.

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