Monday, January 07, 2008

The falling window washer who didn't die

Our journey here will ebb and flow
'Til our GOD summons us to go;
Then we will here no longer stay
But to our place then flee away.

There is a time to be born, and a time to die.

On the morning of Dec. 7, brothers Edgar and Alcides Moreno fell from the roof of a 47-story apartment building in New York. A swing scaffold collapsed and the brothers plunged down at a speed of up to 124 miles per hour. Edgar was killed, but Alcides survived. "Stefan Bright, safety director for the International Window Cleaners Association, never heard of a case like Alcides'," saying, "Window washers have fallen six feet and died." Dr. Sheldon Teperman at Jacobi Medical Center said, "This guy absolutely should have died."

But he didn't die. Everyone thinks they know the reason: "the aluminum platform added air resistance that slowed his descent," "Maybe...a random air current rising between the Upper East Side buildings...slowed him the extra bit that spared his life," "a tangle of cables and bent railings...may have broken his 500-foot fall or absorbed some of the shock," "His landing position also could have made a huge difference," and/or "extreme luck." All of these and more (except the "luck") may have conspired to break his fall. But there is The Cause behind the causes -- "There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death..." Ecclesiastes 8:8. God is in charge of the day we die.

On 5 Jan 2008, the National Post reported that doctors say Alcides Moreno "is now awake, talking to his family and expected to walk again."

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