Last month, scaffolding holding two window cleaners outside a 47-floor building on East 66th Street collapsed, leaving one of the cleaners dead and the other, his brother, with massive injuries. Now, the survivor's doctors and wife are talking about his "miraculous" recovery, as he's alert and talking - and may even be able to walk in a year.
Here's a list of what Alcides Moreno has been through, per the Daily News:
- Fell 47 stories - roughly 500 feet. Only 50% of people survive a fall from three stories.
- He was traveling at about 123 mph when he hit the ground.
- Broke his ribs, right arm and both legs. His brain, spinal column, chest and abdomen were all injured.
- Received 24 units of blood and 19 units of plasma and platelets.
- Underwent nine orthopedic procedures and another five abdomen operations, as well as a tracheotomy.
- He was on a ventilator for three weeks and put in a medically induced coma.
When wife Rosario would visit him, she would take his hand to stroke her face. On Christmas Day, Moreno himself reached up and stroked the face of a nurse. Rosario Morales said to him (in a gentle manner), "'You're not supposed to do that. You touch your wife, you're not supposed to touch the nurse," to which Moreno spoke for the first time and said, "What did I do?"
Doctors at New York Presbyterian/Weill-Cornell are also amazed at his recovery. Chief of critical care Dr. Philip S. Barie said, “If you are a believer in miracles, this would be one...We are very pleased — dare I say astonished? — at the level of recovery that this patient has enjoyed so far, and although there is more work to be done, we are very optimistic for his prospects for survival.”
Moreno will have at least a year of rehabilitation ahead of him. His wife also said he knew that his brother, who fell on top a fence, had died from the fall. Moreno's medical bills are in the millions; his family has indicated they will sue the building and scaffolding company (neither he nor his brother were wearing safety harnesses, they had complained after safety conditions before). The Buildings Department and OSHA are also investigating the incident.