Friday, January 04, 2008

'Miracle' window washer speaking after 47-story fall

The window-washer who miraculously survived a 47-story plunge from a Manhattan skyscraper is awake and talking to family - and doctors think he will make a full recovery.

Alcides Moreno, 37, spoke his first words on Christmas Day, more than two weeks after he fell 47 stories from an upper East Side apartment building.

"What did I do?," Moreno said in English when he was finally able to answer his wife Rosie's soothing words.

Days later, his youngest son Andrew was allowed to see his injured father for the first time and said "I miss you," Rosie Moreno said.

Alcides Moreno then answered "I miss you, too," his emotional wife said.

Doctors at New York Weill Cornell Medical Center told reporters this morning Moreno broke both legs, an arm and a wrist and suffered brain and spinal injuries.

He required nine orthopedic surgeries - but doctors think that he will be up, walking, and almost ready to resume a normal life in about a year.

"I've seen it all - or at least I think I have - until something like this happens," said Dr. Philip Barie, chief of the hospital's critical care division.

Moreno's older brother Edgar, a fellow window washer, did not survive the Dec. 7 fall.

City officials believe the brothers' 16-foot scaffolding fell because the cables connecting it to the roof failed.

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