Forget about the weird sky falls of toads and fishes . . . It’s Raining Babies!
by Brad and Sherry Steiger
On September 11, 1991, Geraldo Silva was standing outside an apartment building in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, waiting for a friend to join him, when something caused him to look up.
Instinctively, Silva knew that the child would surely die if it struck the sidewalk, so he stuck out his arms as if he were about to catch a football. The impact knocked them both to the sidewalk.
Dazed, Silva examined his surprise catch from the sky and believed the little girl was dead. Blood was pouring from her mouth. He could see now that the baby was small, probably only 20 pounds or so, but when she landed in his arms, she had felt like a 100-pound sack of grain.
“Mama,” the child cried in a weak voice.
Silva thanked God that the baby was still alive. He called for help, and one of the shaken passersby who had gathered as a witness to the remarkable event offered to drive them both to a hospital.
Meanwhile, seven floors above the scene, Najwa Safatli was washing dishes in their apartment when she heard the sound of glass breaking in the living room. Startled, she thought immediately of her 18-month-old daughter Jasmin, who was seated in a highchair in front of a window. Could little Jasmin have managed to crawl out of the highchair and broken a vase or some other glass object?
When Najwa entered the living room, she was shocked to see that Jasmin was not in her highchair and that the window behind the chair was broken.
The young mother searched the living room, calling for her daughter. She could not yet allow herself to think the unthinkable. Jasmin could not have fallen out of the window. Perhaps a large bird or something had broken the window and frightened her baby. Jasmin must be somewhere in the apartment.
Najwa Safatli told journalist Christina Menzies that when she finally looked out the window, she was horrified to see that a crowd had gathered on the street below. At about the same time, a neighbor pounded on the apartment door and told Najwa that Jasmin had fallen out of the window and had been taken to a hospital.
Najwa was certain that Jasmin, their only child, was dead. She believed that it would be impossible for an 18-month-old child—or anyone else, for that matter—to fall out of a seventh-floor window and survive.
Frantic, she didn’t wait for the elevator, but ran barefooted down the stairs to the parking garage in the apartment building. She rushed to the hospital, trying to calm herself to expect the worst. Once she learned the fate of Jasmin, she would call her husband, Ahmad, who was at work.
When the doctors at the hospital told the fearful mother that Jasmin was alive, Najwa said that she knew a miracle had occurred. Her baby had suffered only a broken leg and some bruises. Najwa thanked God and blessed Geraldo Silva for saving Jasmin’s life.
Silva shrugged off all attempts to categorize him as a hero. In his opinion, a benevolent fate had managed to place him at precisely the right spot to catch little Jasmin as she hurtled through the air to the street below.
As the Safatli family recreated the accident, it appeared that Jasmin had stood up on the seat of her highchair and had lost her balance. Although she weighed only 22 pounds, she apparently struck the window with enough force to break it and fall through. According to a witness, Jasmin had bounced off an awning on the fifth floor, thus slowing her descent to some degree.
But it was 45-year-old refrigeration technician Geraldo Silva who completed the miracle by being in exactly the right place at the right time to reach out his arms and catch Jasmin before she landed headfirst on the sidewalk.
Saved by a Diaper
In November 1992, 22-month-old Joshua Beatty fell nine stories out of an open window of a Southfield, Michigan, apartment and survived unharmed. In a strange kind of miracle, little Joshua’s diaper snagged on a bush and cushioned his fall.
A maintenance worker, who witnessed the miraculous incident, said that it was as if God had held out his hands and caught the little boy.
Gina Beatty, Joshua’s mother, said that she panicked when she entered his bedroom and saw that the screen had been pushed out of the window. When she could see her baby nowhere in sight, she remembers being shocked out of her wits.
When she first looked out the window in Joshua’s room, she saw two girls on a balcony across the courtyard staring downward in horror. Then Gina heard awful shrieks from below. Forcing herself to look down at the concrete, she felt her heart thumping as she saw Joshua’s diaper on a bush.
And then she heard him screaming. He was still alive!
Rushing downstairs as quickly as possible, not knowing in what condition she would find her son, she was astonished to find him standing naked, surrounded by a small crowd of incredulous bystanders. As Joshua ran to her arms, Gina collapsed, shaking uncontrollably.
Miraculously, Joshua’s diaper had snagged on a bush only feet from the concrete pavement. Then, somehow, the diaper held his weight long enough for him to hang suspended for a few moments before it snapped and allowed him to tumble harmlessly to the ground.
Baby on the Ledge
The experience and training that he had received as a wide receiver when he played high school football may have given park worker Don Hughes the steady hands and nerves that enabled him to catch 18-month-old Lydell Craig when the baby fell from a third-story window.
On June 6, 1994, 30-year-old Hughes and three fellow workers from the Baltimore Parks and Recreation Department were mowing around trees and shrubs when he noticed a crowd gathering outside of an apartment building across the street. There was a senior citizens’ home nearby, and a lot of elderly men and women were shouting and pointing upward.
Hughes looked up and saw a baby sitting on a third-story window ledge.
In spite of the crowd milling around beneath him, 18-month-old Lydell Craig sat on the ledge, blissfully taking in the new perspective. A woman, obviously the child’s mother, was screaming at the baby, calling him by name, and telling him to get back into the apartment.
Don Hughes had always been a religious person. And he felt that he had been used by God on a previous occasion in 1992 to rescue seven of his neighbors who had been trapped in a fire in a rooming house. When Hughes saw little Lydell Craig teetering on his perch three stories above the street, he heard God telling him to get over there fast.
He was walking across the street when the crowd screamed as if in one voice. The baby on the ledge was falling.
Hughes dashed forward and made the catch of his life. The momentum of his fall forced Lydell Craig to within an inch or two of the concrete, but Hughes’s powerful arms saw to it that the baby didn’t touch it.
Lydell’s mother, Shervonne, told journalist James McCandlish that Don Hughes had performed a miracle and that she would forever be grateful to him. She had left Lydell in the care of her uncle when she had gone shopping. Apparently when the uncle wasn’t looking, the 18-month-old had crawled to the open window and out on the ledge to explore new territory. If a fast-acting Don Hughes hadn’t heeded the orders he received from God to run across the street in time to catch little Lydell, the infant would likely have crashed to the concrete and died.
Doctors at the hospital in Mississauga, Ontario, pronounced two-year-old Joey Rodden to be the luckiest little boy that they had ever seen.
Early one morning in April 1996, Joey climbed onto a windowsill of the family’s third-floor apartment while he was playing with his four-year-old brother Robbie. For some peculiar reason, the game turned to one of throwing their toys out of a torn screen. As they were tossing toys out the window, Joey lost his balance and plunged 35 feet onto the pavement below.
Joey’s five-year-old sister Krystal saw him fall out the window and ran into her parents’ bedroom to tell them the awful news. Cherie and Gary Rodden rushed to the window and looked down in horror to see their son’s limp little body lying on the pavement below. There had been no bush or any snow to break his fall, and he lay still, face down.
Cherie admitted later that she was hysterically praying for a miracle when she and her brother Jon, who was staying with the Roddens, rushed down the stairs.
Jon got to Joey first, knelt beside him, and gently rolled him over on his back. Then his mother’s heartfelt prayer for a miracle was granted. Joey opened his eyes, hugged his Uncle Jon, and got to his feet on his own power.
When the paramedics arrived and gave the boy a preliminary examination, they were astonished to find that Joey bore not a single scratch, bruise, or mark of any kind. To the contrary, rather than discovering a severely or fatally injured boy, the paramedics had to restrain Joey from wiggling free from their examination and running off to play with his brother.
Doctors insisted that the extremely fortunate tot be taken to the hospital for two nights of observation, but the medical personnel were unable to find anything wrong.
Truly, the Rodden family agreed, God had sent an angel to watch over their little Joey that morning. With grim humor, they joked that Joey was, indeed, a bouncing baby boy.
Two-year-old Derek Anthony Darden of Bakersfield, California, fell out of a second-story window on May 19, 2002, and survived with only a few scratches.
The Darden family was still sleeping on Sunday morning when their neighbor rang the doorbell and informed them that their two-year-old son had fallen out of a window and onto the paved parking lot. It appeared that Derek, who shared a room with a seven-month-old brother, had pushed the crib against the window and had crawled up to check things out. And then ended up falling out.
After examining the two-year-old at a hospital, doctors released him to his parents, pronouncing Derek free from injury, except for a couple of scratches. The miracle baby’s father quipped that drinking milk really did make a tot strong and healthy.
Authors Brad and Sherry Steiger have collaborated on over 30 books. Their most recent titles are Puppy Miracles and Conspiracies and Secret Societies. Their website is www.bradandsherry.com.