Doctors say they have never seen anything like it: A window washer who fell 47 stories from the roof of a Manhattan skyscraper is now awake, talking to his family and expected to walk again.
Alcides Moreno, 37, plummeted almost 500 feet in a December 7 scaffolding collapse that killed his brother.
Somehow, Moreno lived, and doctors at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center announced Thursday that his recovery has been astonishing.
He has movement in all his limbs. He is breathing on his own. And on Christmas Day, he opened his mouth and spoke for the first time since the accident.
Somehow he lived? Uh, pardon me, but has anyone considered it just might be the loving arms of Baby Jesus that caught the falling lamb and set him softly on the ground below?
Sure, sure, “softly” might be a relative term…
Dr. Herbert Pardes, the hospital’s president, described Moreno’s condition when he arrived for treatment as “a complete disaster.”
Both legs and his right arm and wrist were broken in several places. He had severe injuries to his chest, his abdomen and his spinal column. His brain was bleeding. Everything was bleeding, it seemed.
Soft, indeed, like a whispered “I love you” on a warm, salty ocean breeze. Snuggles the Bear soft, even.
His wife, Rosario Moreno, cried as she thanked the doctors and nurses who kept him alive.
“Thank God for the miracle that we had,” she said. “He keeps telling me that it just wasn’t his time.”
It was his time, however, for 24 units of blood transfusions, plasma, platelets, pro-clotting and anti-hemorrhaging drugs, a brain catheter, a nifty scar down his abdomen to relieve pressure, a tracheotomy, assisted breathing, and nine orthopedic operations.
And, I’m just guessing here, lots of prayer.
But, um, also 24 units of blood transfusions, plasma, platelets, pro-clotting and anti-hemorrhaging drugs, a brain catheter, a nifty scar down his abdomen to relieve pressure, a tracheotomy, assisted breathing, and nine orthopedic operations.
I’m sure one was just as important as the other.
Science may never be able to explain what protected Moreno when the platform he and his brother were using atop an Upper East Side apartment tower broke free and fell to the ground.
Edgar Moreno, 30, of Linden New Jersey, died instantly. He was buried in Ecuador, where the brothers are from.
My bet for why Baby Jesus didn’t catch the brother? He only has two arms (note: that’s the scientific explanation). He’s not Kali or Cthulhu, you know!
Being serious for a moment, Moreno’s survival is amazing, certainly. His living through the initial case of rapid deceleration was a lucky break, and his continued survival is a testament to the amazing dedication and skill of the EMTs, doctors, and nurses who tended to his shattered body. Here’s hoping he makes a full recovery and return to his wife and children.
As for it being a miracle? Nah. A miracle would have been the scaffolding breaking away from its supports and floating down down down to the ground ground ground like a feather, lost from the wing of a cute baby bird making its first earnest efforts at flight.
But God’s never been one for being, you know, showy.
Except for all the people making and smiting and smoting and salt pillaring and planet flooding and bush burning*.
That was then; this is now. These days he goes for the more subtle miracles that look as if no miracle actually took place.
*…bloodletting. Every motive escalate. Automotive incinerate. Light a candle, light a votive. Step down, step down. Watch a heel crush, crush. Uh oh, this means no fear – cavalier. Renegade and steer clear! A tournament, a tournament, a tournament of lies. Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives and I decline.
Yes, I know it’s really “book burning” in the song. Shut up.