From the New York Times (“Miraculous” Recovery for Man Who Fell 47 Floors)
January 4, 2008
Alcides Moreno plunged 47 stories that morning last month, clinging to his 3-foot-wide window washer’s platform as it shot down the dark glass face of an Upper East Side apartment building. His brother Edgar, who had been working with him on the platform, was killed…
“Above 10 stories, most of the time we never see the patients because they usually go to the morgue,” Dr. Barie said, though he added that the staff at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell had treated –and had written a medical journal article about– a patient who survived a 19-story fall, less than half the distance Mr. Moreno fell.
“This is right up there with those anecdotes of people falling out of airplanes and surviving, people whose parachutes don’t open and somehow they manage to survive,” Dr. Barie said in an interview after the press conference. “We’re talking about tiny, tiny percentages, well under 1 percent, of people who fall that distance and survive.”
But Mr. Moreno, of Linden, N.J., confounded the odds from the beginning. He was sitting up when firefighters arrived at the building, the Solow Tower, at 265 East 66th Street. He was “on the borderline of consciousness” when he was wheeled into the emergency room, Dr. Barie said, despite serious injuries to his brain, his spine, his chest and his abdomen, along with several fractured ribs, a broken right arm and two broken legs.