Man Survives 47-Story Fall

This is amazing.

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Alcides Moreno sat upright, barely conscious, amid the tangle of cables and twisted aluminum of his window-washing platform, a few feet from his brother's corpse. The pair had plunged 47 stories down the smoked-glass side of a Manhattan apartment tower, and one of them was alive -- for now.

His brain swelled against his skull, building pressure that could kill him. Blood gushed from rips in his internal organs, filling his chest. The temperature hovered around freezing, and hypothermia was setting in as New York City paramedics arrived.

The physics of a perfect fall, slowed by the platform's wind resistance, may have been the only reason Moreno survived, scientists say. Next it would take a flawless medical rescue to keep him alive.

"If you are a believer of miracles, this would be one,'' said Philip Barie, chief of critical care at New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, four blocks from the alley where the brothers landed. [more]

Yes, indeed. Mr. Moreno was saved by "physics" and "a flawless medical rescue." It couldn't possibly be a "miracle" unless you are one of those superstitious "believer" folks, says the doctor who works at a Presbyterian Hospital, which just happened to be four blocks away from the scene.

It is, of course, legitimate to ask what kind of miracle saves one man while letting his brother die. We cannot know the answer to that question. Maybe the laws of nature combined in such a way that Mr. Moreno survived without supernatural intervention. Yet to think that the laws of physics work in such perfect harmony by random chance is insane.

The universe itself is a miracle - so it's not hard to believe this was one, too.

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