Teen who fell 28 feet says angel caught him
May 22, 2004 - Reported in [Omaha.com]. Written by Marion Rhodes. Teen who fell 28 feet likely to live. Boy hurt in fall was a 13-year-old. As Edgar Bravo dangled over the Kennedy Freeway with his hands clinging to the pavement of Cornhusker Road, he thought, "If I fall, I'll die." A few seconds later, he did fall. But he didn't die. When the 13-year-old Bellevue student hit the concrete on the shoulder of the freeway underneath the Cornhusker Road overpass, he broke both his wrists, an elbow and his nose. He suffered a broken jaw, broken teeth and several bruises.
His family calls Edgar's survival of the 28-foot fall a miracle, the work of his guardian angel.
The World-Herald interviewed Edgar with the help of Maritza Hernandez of Bellevue, his sister-in-law, who served as a translator. Edgar said he and a friend had planned to walk to another friend's house in Bellevue last Saturday night, but they realized it was too far away and turned around. They were walking east on Cornhusker Road when they approached the bridge over the freeway, also known as U.S. Highway 75. To get to the sidewalk on the bridge, they had to cross the road. The two boys dodged traffic and ran across the westbound lane. At the edge of the road, there was a guardrail.
Edgar thought if he jumped over the rail, he'd land on the sidewalk. He didn't know that behind the rail was a 5-foot gap that separated it from the walkway. He realized his mistake as he was jumping across the rail. Edgar reacted quickly and tried to grab hold of something. He hit his chest and stomach on the edge of the road, and he managed to grip onto the concrete. He hung on for about five seconds before falling 28 feet onto the freeway. Edgar said he feared for his life and started praying: "God, please help me." He thinks his prayer was answered.
As he was falling, he felt pressure around his chest, as if someone was wrapping his arms around him. He remembers seeing long, blond hair, a very bright light and something that looked like wings to his side. Then he hit the pavement. His memory came back as he lay on the shoulder. He heard two men talking to him, asking questions, telling him help was on the way. His friend had wanted to jump the rail as well, but after he saw Edgar fall, he ran to a nearby police car and alerted the officer.
The officer was shocked to see how far Edgar had fallen, Hernandez said. "He was really surprised to see that he was conscious." Edgar was listed in good condition Friday at the intensive pediatric care unit at Creighton University Medical Center. Both his arms were in casts, but he said he felt only a little pain. He has had two surgeries already and will have two more. If everything goes well, he might get to go home next week, Hernandez said. Edgar and his parents moved from Mexico to the United States last August. He is a student at Logan Fontenelle Middle School. Edgar said the experience has strengthened his faith in God.
"He thinks the person holding him was an angel," Hernandez said. "He thinks that's what made him not die."