'Miracle baby' survives 11-story fall in Minneapolis: "It's a real gift from God"
A 15-month old toddler survived an 11-story fall from a Minneapolis apartment balcony on Sunday, and is in critical but stable condition in an intensive care unit.
The boy's mother was out of the apartment, and he and his three-year old sister were left in the care of their father. It appears that the child slipped through the balcony's railing and fell to the ground, landing on a pile of mulch.
The boy, Musa Dayib, suffered a punctured lung, a broken spine and ribs, and a concussion.
Residents of the largely Somali-American neighborhood were shocked that he survived the fall.
"No one could believe it," Abdirizak Bihi, a community activist, told the Associated Press.
Dr. Tina Slusher of the Hennepin County Medical Center Pediatric Intensive Care Unit explained how Dayib beat the odds.
"If you and I fell that far, we would be dead," she told the Star Tribune. "He's a kid. So they tend to be more flexible and pliable than you and I would be. Having said that, it's a real gift from God that he made it because this is a huge fall."
Riverside Plaza apartment tenants want to ensure that an accident like this does not happen again.
At a Tuesday tenant meeting, the building's owner, George Sherman, stated that he will close off apartment balconies at a resident's request.
"We will provide that accommodation, [we] have in the past, and will continue to provide that at no charge for the residents," he said, according to Minnesota Public Radio News.
Sherman said that he will also look into getting childproof locks on patio doors.
Minneapolis city building official Patrick Higgins said that the balcony's vertical rods are 5 ½ inches apart—larger than the code requirement of 4 inches. However, code changes are grandfathered in, and not enforced.
"We don't proactively go in and say, 'Code change, now you've got to change all your building systems.' If it was previously approved by the code, it's grandfathered until they choose to rebuild that area," Higgins told the Associated Press.