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Man awake, talking after 47-floor fall
AP on Yahoo ^ | 1/3/08 | David B. Caruso - ap

Posted on 01/03/2008 6:21:17 PM PST by NormsRevenge

NEW YORK - 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 Dec. 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.

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."

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.

In those first critical hours, doctors pumped 24 units of donated blood into his body — about twice his entire blood volume.

They gave him plasma and platelets and a drug to stimulate clotting and stop the hemorrhaging. They inserted a catheter into his brain to reduce swelling and cut open his abdomen to relieve pressure on his organs.

Moreno was at the edge of consciousness when he was brought in. Doctors sedated him, performed a tracheotomy and put him on a ventilator.

His condition was so unstable, doctors worried that even a mild jostle might kill him, so they performed his first surgery without moving him to an operating room.

Nine orthopedic operations followed to piece together his broken body.

Yet, even when things were at their worst, the hospital's staff marveled at his luck.

Incredibly, Moreno's head injuries were relatively minor for a fall victim. Neurosurgeon John Boockvar said the window washer also managed to avoid a paralyzing spinal cord injury, even though he suffered a shattered vertebra.

"If you are a believer in miracles, this would be one," said the hospital's chief of surgery, Dr. Philip Barie.

New York-Presbyterian has treated people who have tumbled from great heights before, including a patient who survived a 19-story fall, but most of those tales end sadly.

The death rate from even a three-story fall is about 50 percent, Barie said. People who fall more than 10 stories almost never survive.

"Forty-seven floors is virtually beyond belief," Pardes said.

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 N.J., died instantly. He was buried in Ecuador, where the brothers are from.

Alcides Moreno, whom his wife described as strong and athletic, may have clung to his scaffolding platform as it dropped. It is possible that the metal platform offered him some protection, although doctors said they were unsure how.

An investigation into the cause of the accident continues.

Rosario Moreno said that her husband remembers little of the fall but that he didn't need to be told his brother had died.

The injured window washer spent about three weeks on a ventilator, unable to speak, and initially his only means of communication was by touch.

"He wanted to touch my face, touch my hair," Rosario Moreno said.

She would take his hand and hold it to her skin. Then, one day, he reached out and touched one of the nurses.

Rosario Moreno said that when she heard about it, she jokingly lectured her husband to keep his hands to himself. He answered in English, "What did I do?"

"It stunned me," she said, "because I didn't know he could speak."

There is still a rough road ahead for the tough New Jersey man, a father of three children, ages 14, 8 and 6.

He was scheduled to undergo another spinal surgery on Friday, and he will need another operation to reconstruct his abdominal wall. There is a chance he could develop complications, even life-threatening ones, during the months ahead.

Moreno will remain in the hospital for at least a few more weeks, doctors said. After that, he will need extensive physical rehabilitation. It may be another year before doctors know how much he will improve.

The medical staff was guarded Thursday about his prospects for returning to a normal life. Doctors said they believe he will walk, but they also suggested that some of his injuries are likely to be lifelong.

"We're optimistic for a very substantial recovery, eventually," Barie said

Rosario Moreno said she knows this much for sure: His days as a window washer are over. "I told him, 'You're not going back to work there,'" she said.


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; US: New York; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: awake; fortune; luck; survivors; talking; thedeathzone; victorialard; windowwasher
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1 posted on 01/03/2008 6:21:19 PM PST by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge

I’m guessing it wasn’t free-fall, but a miracle nonetheless!


2 posted on 01/03/2008 6:26:43 PM PST by sionnsar (trad-anglican.faithweb.com |Iran Azadi| 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | UN: Useless Nations)
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To: NormsRevenge

Were his first words, “What’s for breakfast?”


3 posted on 01/03/2008 6:26:48 PM PST by mtbopfuyn (I think the border is kind of an artificial barrier - San Antonio councilwoman Patti Radle)
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To: NormsRevenge

It wasn’t his time to go.


4 posted on 01/03/2008 6:27:25 PM PST by rdl6989 (FRed Thompson '08)
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To: sionnsar
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.

Okay, not completely free-fall. Reduce the Gs at ground level, you may have a chance.

5 posted on 01/03/2008 6:28:17 PM PST by sionnsar (trad-anglican.faithweb.com |Iran Azadi| 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | UN: Useless Nations)
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To: NormsRevenge

Wow - life would suck if this guy’s illegal and get deported ...


6 posted on 01/03/2008 6:31:18 PM PST by 11th_VA (HUCKABEE - 2008 !!!)
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To: NormsRevenge

Amazing story. He fell almost half the height of the WTC. I understand his brother met a particularly gruesome death when he landed on a fence.


7 posted on 01/03/2008 6:32:05 PM PST by OCC
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To: NormsRevenge

“Alcides Moreno, 37, plummeted almost 500 feet in a Dec. 7 scaffolding
collapse that killed his brother.”

Wow...about ten times the height usually called “the death zone”
(a fall from 50 feet).

Well, at least as they say on CSI on TV...it’s not the fall that kills
you...it’s how you land.
But this guy certainly had some sort of nearly unbelievable luck.
Even if it was all physics.


8 posted on 01/03/2008 6:32:12 PM PST by VOA
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To: 11th_VA
"Wow - life would suck if this guy’s illegal and get deported ..."

Edgar Moreno, 30, of Linden N.J., died instantly. He was buried in Ecuador, where the brothers are from.

It's not out of the question.

9 posted on 01/03/2008 6:43:43 PM PST by theymakemesick (The war on drugs benefits government agencies, politicians and drug dealers, they don't want to win.)
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To: mtbopfuyn
Were his first words, “What’s for breakfast?”

His real first words were funnier, and were an almost perfect replay of the second JibJib 2004 Election animation. He grabbed a nurse, and his wife told him to keep his hands to himself. And he responded, "What'd I do?!"
10 posted on 01/03/2008 6:44:33 PM PST by Dr. Sivana (Not a newbie, I just wanted a new screen name.)
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To: NormsRevenge

Wow....talk about yer dead cat bounce !


11 posted on 01/03/2008 6:47:50 PM PST by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet. )
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To: mtbopfuyn
Were his first words, “What’s for breakfast?”

Nope. "What did I do?"

Any married man knows that's what you say when you wake up in the hospital...

12 posted on 01/03/2008 6:49:29 PM PST by null and void (To anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth. - M203M4)
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To: NormsRevenge

Lucky fella.


13 posted on 01/03/2008 6:58:33 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj (~~~Jihad Fever -- Catch It !~~~ (Backup tag: "Live Fred or Die"))
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To: NormsRevenge
In those first critical hours, doctors pumped 24 units of donated blood into his body — about twice his entire blood volume.

That’s why I feel all warm and fuzzy inside whenever I donate blood (and no, it’s just not the temporary head giddiness because of blood loss – it’s only a pint – and I don’t even miss it).

Donating blood is relatively painless, is very safe for the donor and doesn’t take much time (I’ve done it during my lunch hour). The most “painful” and time consuming part is filling out the questionnaire.

You just never know whose life you might be helping to save. It could be a victim of a car accident, work accident, a cop or soldier injured in the line of duty, a cancer patient or a small child or infant. It could be your neighbor or friend.

My blood has tested negative for Cytomegalovirus (CMV) meaning my blood is especially useful for newborn infants that need blood transfusions.

With all jokes aside, hospitals and trauma centers are facing serious shortages. If you’ve never donate blood before, give it a try. If you haven’t donated in awhile, it’s time to do so again.
14 posted on 01/03/2008 7:01:37 PM PST by Caramelgal (Rely on the spirit and meaning of the teachings, not on the words or superficial interpretations)
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To: sionnsar
He remembered to jump up and down in the falling elevator, giving him a 50 50 chance of being in the air when it hit (lol).
15 posted on 01/03/2008 7:04:12 PM PST by JasonC
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To: sionnsar
I’m guessing it wasn’t free-fall, but a miracle nonetheless!

I read about this accident the day after it happened(in the local paper). Witnesses said he laid on top of the scaffolding and rode it down like a surfboard. The board took a lot of the shock. It's a miracle that he lived. His brother was thrown free and died on impact.

16 posted on 01/03/2008 7:10:08 PM PST by NRA2BFree ("The time is near at hand which must determine whether Americans are to be free men or slaves!")
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To: Caramelgal
That’s why I feel all warm and fuzzy inside whenever I donate blood

I donated a couple of times -- but in the last one the van was way overheated, the air too humid (this was in winter) and dirty-close feeling, and the staff just a bit too carefree. I left the van feeling dirty.

But it doesn't really matter any more for me since my travels have now taken me to places where, having been there, I am not supposed to donate anymore.

17 posted on 01/03/2008 7:12:56 PM PST by sionnsar (trad-anglican.faithweb.com |Iran Azadi| 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | UN: Useless Nations)
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To: NRA2BFree
I read about this accident the day after it happened(in the local paper). Witnesses said he laid on top of the scaffolding and rode it down like a surfboard. The board took a lot of the shock.

Thanks for the confirmation! A "little" thing like this clearly can make all the difference.

18 posted on 01/03/2008 7:14:15 PM PST by sionnsar (trad-anglican.faithweb.com |Iran Azadi| 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | UN: Useless Nations)
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To: sionnsar
Like in Dark Star?


19 posted on 01/03/2008 7:19:37 PM PST by null and void (To anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth. - M203M4)
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To: sionnsar
Thanks for the confirmation! A "little" thing like this clearly can make all the difference.

Glad it helped. The paper also said that employees are trained to try to ride it down like that in case of an accident, because the board absorbs much of the impact.

It's hard to believe that anyone could live after that far of a fall. I got knocked backward 3 1/2 feet out of a trailer and fractured several bones. The next day, I literally couldn't move from the pain. I can only imagine the pain this man has gone through. It is a miracle he's alive.

20 posted on 01/03/2008 7:33:25 PM PST by NRA2BFree ("The time is near at hand which must determine whether Americans are to be free men or slaves!")
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To: VOA
...it’s how you land.

I wonder if he landed on his brother . . .

21 posted on 01/03/2008 7:34:52 PM PST by Tanniker Smith (wee fish ewe a mare egrets moose panda hippo gnu deer)
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To: Caramelgal

I agree. Excellent post.

I donate blood on a semi-regular basis.

I think it’s a good thing...no, a great thing to do that takes very little time and effort.


22 posted on 01/03/2008 7:41:00 PM PST by MplsSteve
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To: NormsRevenge

Bush's fault...

23 posted on 01/03/2008 7:45:06 PM PST by Libloather (Hillary donors find their way to the cover of Time. And the very next day they're doing it...)
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To: sionnsar
Whenever I’ve donated it’s either been at a Red Cross center or at my workplace or at my gym. In all my cases it’s been very clean, comfortable and well run but then again I’ve never donated inside a van. LOL!

The worst experience I ever had was one time when the donation was almost complete but for some reason they couldn’t get any more blood from my left arm. Since it was so close to being a full pint but not enough to count or be used, the nurse asked me if I would mind if they “tapped” my other arm to get the rest of the donation. Since I had no other place to go and nothing better to do with my time, I said “sure”.

You would have thought I was donating a Kidney - the nurses and RC volunteers were so kind and sympathetic. To me it was just an extra pin prick and 5 more minutes of my time and no great big deal. But I was treated so kindly it was amazing to me.

But it doesn't really matter any more for me since my travels have now taken me to places where, having been there, I am not supposed to donate anymore.

When I answer the questionnaire about my travels outside the US, I feel like a such a rube since I’ve only traveled outside the US once, on business, to Canada and that doesn’t really count. If feel so unsophisticated.

When I’m confidentially asked about IV drug use, tattoos and body piercing, homosexual sexual encounters, or encounters with IV drug users, travels to the UK, Africa, etc, etc. and I keep answering, No, No, No, No; I feel like I must be the most boring person on the face of the Earth.

I guess that what makes me a good blood donor. :),

Your qualification as a blood donor isn’t’ necessarily dependent on where you’ve ever traveled but also how long ago and when you traveled there. Check back with the RC and you may find you are now qualified to donate.
24 posted on 01/03/2008 7:52:53 PM PST by Caramelgal (Rely on the spirit and meaning of the teachings, not on the words or superficial interpretations)
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To: Caramelgal
Your qualification as a blood donor isn’t’ necessarily dependent on where you’ve ever traveled but also how long ago and when you traveled there. Check back with the RC and you may find you are now qualified to donate.

I am aware of that, but right now I am in a 10-year non-contribution window.

25 posted on 01/03/2008 7:57:47 PM PST by sionnsar (trad-anglican.faithweb.com |Iran Azadi| 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | UN: Useless Nations)
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To: sionnsar

Goodness! Where did you go? (If I may ask)...


26 posted on 01/03/2008 8:15:49 PM PST by null and void (To anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth. - M203M4)
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To: sionnsar

Goodness! Where did you go? (If I may ask)...


27 posted on 01/03/2008 8:17:02 PM PST by null and void (To anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth. - M203M4)
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To: NRA2BFree

My hubby has fallen off the top of a 40’ pole a couple of times. I thought that was bad enough. But geez, 470’??!! I think I’d die just from the fear of the fall.


28 posted on 01/03/2008 8:24:31 PM PST by abigailsmybaby (I was born with nothing. So far I have most of it left.)
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To: NormsRevenge

Prayers up!


29 posted on 01/03/2008 8:28:00 PM PST by A. Morgan (Thompson 2008)
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To: theymakemesick
"Wow - life would suck if this guy’s illegal and get deported ..." Edgar Moreno, 30, of Linden N.J., died instantly. He was buried in Ecuador, where the brothers are from. It's not out of the question.I say we get an Act of Congress to keep him here! We need those super-genes to stay in our pool.
30 posted on 01/03/2008 8:37:56 PM PST by higgmeister (In the Shadow of The Big Chicken!)
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To: sionnsar

The real miracle here is not the fall, but the medical knowledge, drugs, and technology available to anyone—key word anyone—experiencing a medical crisis in the U.S. Without it, this man almost certainly would have died. Just surprised no one posting here has thought to mention this.

I don’t want to throw a damper on all the high-fiving but at some point the cost of the care he received is going to have to be paid by someone. The extraordinary efforts taken to keep him alive will come with an extraordinary price tag.

Did he have private medical insurance? A lot of these window washing businesses must cover their employees with workers comp—but not much else.


31 posted on 01/03/2008 8:48:12 PM PST by 4Runner
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To: abigailsmybaby
My hubby has fallen off the top of a 40’ pole a couple of times. I thought that was bad enough. But geez, 470’??!! I think I’d die just from the fear of the fall.

The fact that your husband fell off of a 40 foot pole and survived once is a miracle, but twice? WoW, that's amazing. He must lead a charmed life because he's found favor with God. Three and a half feet laid me up for almost a year with several fractures and a broken tail bone.

32 posted on 01/03/2008 9:10:39 PM PST by NRA2BFree ("The time is near at hand which must determine whether Americans are to be free men or slaves!")
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To: NRA2BFree

I don’t know how he didn’t get seriously injured. The first time did jam his back up pretty bad and left his chest full of splinters. He hugged the pole part of the way down. He was back to work in 2 days.

The second time knocked him out. He came to to his buddy leaning over him, grinning. He said “I hope I bounce as good as you do when I fall off a pole”.


33 posted on 01/03/2008 9:17:32 PM PST by abigailsmybaby (I was born with nothing. So far I have most of it left.)
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To: Caramelgal; NormsRevenge
The most “painful” and time consuming part is filling out the questionnaire.

.................

With all jokes aside, hospitals and trauma centers are facing serious shortages. If you’ve never donate blood before, give it a try. If you haven’t donated in awhile, it’s time to do so again.

I've donated over 4 gallons to my local blood bank and at least another gallon to blood banks in places I used to live. It's amazing how much more detailed and intrusive the screening questions have gotten over the years. I think I'll wait another week or two till I've completely gotten over the cold I came down with on Xmas eve till I donate again.

34 posted on 01/03/2008 9:18:17 PM PST by Paleo Conservative (I'm not celebrating Kwanza!)
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To: 4Runner
Did he have private medical insurance? A lot of these window washing businesses must cover their employees with workers comp—but not much else.

I suspect he was on the dole in some way, it happening in New York.

I hate to say it, but I would rather that victims be treated with this extravagant care in an emergency, because I would hate to receive poor emergency care myself, just because my insurance card was lost or destroyed in the accident.

There is plenty of time later to see if a person should be on the ward or in a private room.

35 posted on 01/03/2008 9:18:40 PM PST by higgmeister (In the Shadow of The Big Chicken!)
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To: NRA2BFree
Had a guy on top of a 40 story building under construction get blown off because he was holding on to a 4x8 sheet of plywood and a gust came. He held onto to the board and was blown back in 3 story's below.

The guy held the board so tight his fingernails were embedded in the wood and were ripped out of his hand.

He never came back to work again.

36 posted on 01/03/2008 9:26:25 PM PST by Rome2000 (Peace is not an option)
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To: sionnsar
Reduce the Gs at ground level, you may have a chance.

There was a show just on that had footage of an F-18 crashing at an air show.

The Marine pilot survived the estimated 75G stop.

Had his face pushed in 1/2" by the stick when the harness snapped, and he went forward. They said that saved his life.

Walks with a cane now.

37 posted on 01/03/2008 9:29:50 PM PST by Calvin Locke
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To: VOA

I think I saw a recommendation for suicide that the jump be at least eight stories.


38 posted on 01/03/2008 9:31:13 PM PST by Calvin Locke
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To: 4Runner

I was under the impression the workers comp would get the tab for a work related injury, not the medical carrier.


39 posted on 01/03/2008 9:37:02 PM PST by Bogeygolfer
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To: NormsRevenge
It is possible that the metal platform offered him some protection, although doctors said they were unsure how.

I suspect that his terminal velocity was rather lower than normal, and that he was more or less riding the scaffolding...and then one end of the scaffolding hit and rotated, thus causing deceleration to happen over a number of feet rather than a simple splat of an inch or so. He even might have had some amazing inclined-plane effect.

40 posted on 01/03/2008 9:52:09 PM PST by lepton ("It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into"--Jonathan Swift)
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To: VOA

Don’t quote me on this, but it seems I’ve read stories about skydivers surviving when their parachute failed to deploy. Of course if it deploys partially, that would be a factor. Anyone have any info on that scenario?


41 posted on 01/03/2008 10:10:47 PM PST by SALChamps03
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To: NormsRevenge

bmflr


42 posted on 01/03/2008 10:16:50 PM PST by Kevmo (We should withdraw from Iraq via Tehran. And Duncan Hunter is just the man to get that job done.)
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To: Rome2000
"plywood"

That particular kind of event was featured in a "Mythbusters" episode. Their conclusion was that hanging onto a piece of plywood was about as good as hanging onto a rock. It must have been a VERY strong gust of wind.

43 posted on 01/04/2008 3:32:48 AM PST by driftless2
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To: SALChamps03

“Don’t quote me on this, but it seems I’ve read stories about skydivers
surviving when their parachute failed to deploy.”

FR archiving to the rescue!
Below is a link to a thread on the topic. Also note the URL in the
first post; it leads to more reference on the subject, including
the story of the fellow that survived a fall from a bomber in WWII.
That story got at least one thread on FR a few years back.

I do seem to remember two other stories: one was a young lady that
survived a partially-deployed chute, landed (IIRC) face down on
a parking lot with some obvious fractures. But she survived and got
patched up “near as new”. And happily discovered she’d was “just
pregnant” at the time of the fall; eventually delivered a healthy baby.
I think that was in Oklahoma.

I did also see a film clip of someone surviving a streaming chute;
I’m sure the ground-level videographer thought...”well, that will
help the local coroner close this case after one view of this clip”.
But the guy went into some sort of boggy area and survived with some
injuries.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1784379/posts


44 posted on 01/04/2008 8:39:24 AM PST by VOA
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To: theymakemesick
Edgar Moreno, 30, of Linden N.J., died instantly. He was buried in Ecuador, where the brothers are from.

This seems as good a place as any to point out that Ecuadorans are considered the Mexicans of Colombia.

45 posted on 01/04/2008 8:44:49 AM PST by King of Florida (A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them.)
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To: Calvin Locke

“I think I saw a recommendation for suicide that the jump be at
least eight stories.”

That “death zone” phrase is one I heard tossed around by some friends
that were rock-climbers.
I’d guess the folks giving suicide advice are trying to assure “success”
by getting folks to jump from at at least 80 feet (not the 50 feet
of the rock-climber’s “death zone”).


46 posted on 01/04/2008 8:46:36 AM PST by VOA
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To: NormsRevenge

I’m aware of two more even more miraculous survivals.

The first was in WWII. A tailgunner on a British bomber survived a fall of over 10,000 feet without a chute. This was documented by the Germans who captured him.

In the 1950s or 60s, a Navy pilot ejected over the Pacific. His chute failed to deploy. Not a streamer. Total failure. He survived the fall of over 20,000 feet. Read this in Reader’s Digest.


47 posted on 01/04/2008 8:52:36 AM PST by DugwayDuke (Ron Paul - building a bridge to the 19th century.)
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To: Calvin Locke

“There was a show just on that had footage of an F-18 crashing at
an air show.
The Marine pilot survived the estimated 75G stop.”

IIRC, during the airing of that segment, the narrator said that the
fellow set a record for “survival of G-forces” during that accident.

The narrartor mentioned it, but I can’t recall the level of G-forces
in the previous “record holder” that became “second place” in the category.


48 posted on 01/04/2008 8:52:44 AM PST by VOA
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To: NormsRevenge
victoria lard
Google

49 posted on 01/04/2008 10:02:46 AM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/____________________Profile updated Sunday, December 30, 2007)
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Top this, squeegie boy!
Top this, squeegie boy!

50 posted on 01/04/2008 10:05:54 AM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/____________________Profile updated Sunday, December 30, 2007)
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