Young Brit survives 13-story fall in New Zealand

June 16, 2013 at 11:02 PM
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AUCKLAND, New Zealand, June 17 (UPI) -- A young Brit was in satisfactory condition Monday after surviving a 13-story fall from an apartment building in New Zealand, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Tom Stilwell, 20, fell from the 15th story of a building in Auckland Sunday while trying to lower himself into the apartment where he was staying from the one above because he was locked out, The New Zealand Herald reported. He fell about 13 stories onto the roof of an adjacent building, the newspaper said.

Stilwell was expected to be transferred out of intensive care where he was being treated for neck and back fractures, a broken wrist and suspected internal injuries, his friend, Dave Thomas, told the Herald.

"He's absolutely fine ... . He's a very lucky man," Thomas said.

An Auckland City Hospital spokeswoman said his condition had improved overnight and he was "satisfactory."

Stilwell had been out drinking and found himself locked out of his apartment after being separated from his friends.

He woke up Geraldine Bautista, 28, who lived in the unit above his and asked if he could lower himself down. She said he quickly climbed over the balcony railing.

"He never said anything ... . I grabbed his hand and then at that time ... he fell down," she said. "I thought I was dreaming. It happened so fast. It happened within seconds. I couldn't even scream for help. He was like a paper falling from here."

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