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Baby Survives 30-Foot Fall Without Injury


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Baby Survives 30-Foot Fall Without Injury

By MELANIE DABOVICH

Associated Press Writer

August 5, 2004, 7:12 PM EDT

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- It could be seen as a lucky landing, but the father of 2-year-old girl who fell 30 feet from a Santa Fe hotel window without major injury said his daughter was saved by a miracle from God.

"Her guardian angel let her down easy. We think that there was definitely some supernatural intervention," said Jeffrey Shaver of Edmond, Okla., a devout Roman Catholic who is vacationing in New Mexico with his wife, Amy, and their five children. "I think that when a child drops 30 feet you usually don't have a good ending."

Shaver said his daughter was playing with her twin sister in their room at La Fonda Hotel on Tuesday morning when she climbed up on the window sill and leaned on the screen. The screen tore, and the toddler fell straight down to the concrete, landing on her diaper.

Amy Shaver was in the restroom and Jeffrey Shaver was busy preparing breakfast and didn't know their daughter had fallen until their other children alerted them.

"Her twin sister was crying, saying 'Baby fell,' and our 10-year old looked out the window and saw her on the ground," he said.

Shaver said he initially couldn't believe what had happened.

"I kept thinking, 'Did she get out with the bellman?' We didn't hear anything at all," Shaver said.

The child's fall from the third-story window could have been fatal, said Santa Fe Deputy Police Chief Eric Johnson.

"It is a pretty severe fall. An adult could have broken bones and back and neck injuries from that height," Johnson said. "She must have landed just right."

A witness told police the child stood up on her own after the fall and began to cry, Johnson said. Officers arrived shortly thereafter and stabilized the girl until medical personnel arrived.

"We were just very pleased to see that she was able to walk away," Johnson said.

Because of soreness, Jeffrey Shaver his daughter wasn't walking around much Wednesday but was otherwise getting back to being her normal self despite all the attention.

"She really doesn't know what's going on. The staff at the hotel gave her balloons and other people gave her a bear, but she really hasn't verbalized anything about (the fall)," Shaver said.

The family plans to head back to Oklahoma soon.

"She likes to play with our dogs and play dolls with her sister, but she also likes to get into things," said Shaver, who described his daughter as fearless. "In fact, she tried to get on the window sill again today."

Copyright © 2004, The Associated Press

newsday.com

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