The Food and Beverage Industry has many inspiring stories. Recently a veteran bartender we have known for years sat down with us to discuss her amazing story. This is a journey of passion, pain, perseverance and success that will inspire all who read it.
Jessica Mylius was born in Houston, Texas and moved to Hawaii when she was 18. Her first bartending position was at the young age of 20. After earning a BS in Hotel Resort and Hospitality she moved to Las Vegas at age 25 and expanded her bartending skills. In addition to her passion for meeting new people as a bartender she has an immense love of the outdoors. She recently spent four days in Washington State climbing
Last year Jessica was in the best shape of her life. She stopped drinking, became devoted to her yoga practice, and went on numerous difficult hikes enjoying the outdoors and as she puts it “having balance and healthy fun in my life.”
On a fateful day she planned a hike in Valley of Fire with some friends. After a last minute cancellation by one of her friends the group decided to hike Ice Box Canyon, a difficult hike in beautiful Red Rock Canyon, coincidently just minutes away from Toro’s Restaurant and Bar on West Charleston where she works.
Climbing deep into Ice Box Canyon she worked her way up above the falls to enjoy the view. Wanting to get a better perspective she made a short jump to a large rock not far away. She made the leap, landed and the momentum brought her forward. She could not stop and fell 100 feet into a pool of water. A fall of this distance is almost always fatal. She landed in a seated position shattering her pelvis and fracturing both wrists in addition to other injuries. Having been a lifeguard in the past she knew not to move. In fact, amazingly enough, she never lost consciousness as she lay in the frigid water waiting for help to come.
Her friends climbed down to aid her and a nearby hiker went for help hiking 1 ½ hours out of the canyon before cell phone coverage could be obtained. In addition to her critical injuries, having fallen in cold water she began to become hypothermic. Her friends shared their clothing and huddled together until the LVMPD rescue team arrived on foot risking their own lives as the helicopter hovered above.
These heroes packed her up for transport and began the dangerous job of roping and placing carabiners into the rock making their way up the cliffs to a safe place where she could be raised into the helicopter. This remarkable woman recounted to us her harrowing ride through the canyon as she was being raised 100 feet through the air into the awaiting helicopter.
After a five hour ordeal with no pain medication she was now safe in the hospital where she underwent numerous surgeries and unimaginable pain. Jessica endured four months of painful rehabilitation in Las Vegas. During her rehabilitation her doctors were amazed as she drew strength from her family, faith and friends to be way ahead of schedule. She KNEW she was going to walk again, hike again and come full circle to return behind the bar. “What doctors thought would take months or even years took me weeks. All of my regulars came through for me. I really saw the good in people,” Jessica stated.
She never even used a walker. Her determination and inner strength had her raise herself out of the wheelchair walking under her own power. She returned to Texas for two months and continued her own rehabilitation never losing sight on returning to Las Vegas and Toros.
Over at Toro’s Adam Corrigan and General Manager Gene Gatza never lost faith in Jessica and happily brought her back during the NCAA tournament. They created a special “Jessica schedule” easing her back working 4 hours at a time and 3 days off as she continued to build up her stamina. She is now back working full shifts greeting her regulars with her beautiful infections smile. On her days off, she is back to camping and hiking.
Jessica added, “I believe that I deserve a great life. Many people get stuck in a victim mentality because they don’t believe this. I will never be the same, after the pain and unknown. I think in life, when we try so hard to do things, carrying everything on our shoulders, through self effort, it can be miserable. I have learned to trust God to help me and lean on that, and the blessings come.”
Jessica is truly an inspiration. We can all learn something from her improbable comeback story. Stop into Toro’s. You will be glad you did.