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1-Year-Old Expected To Survive After 11-Story Fall

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Doctors say a 15-month-old Minneapolis boy is the definition of a miracle.

Musa Dayib survived a fall from his 11-story balcony at the Riverside Plaza apartments. Friends say the child's father had walked into another room when he fell.

Noar Furreh lives in the building and witnessed the scene.

"The baby was laying down, his feet were facing the wall," he said.

The 1-year-old had tumbled through the 5.5-inch slits on the 11th floor balcony. A family friend, Abdirizak Bihi, said it all happened very quickly.

"Less than a minute, the dad went to the room and the daughter run after him, about less than a minute, tell him the baby fell down," he said.

He said the child's 3-year-old sister may have opened the door to the balcony.

Neighbors rushed to the scene.

"I was really happy to see the baby was at least crying," Furreh said.

Feet from the concrete, the child had landed on a thin patch of mulch.

Dr. Tina Slusher is caring for the child at Hennepin County Medical Center.

"He has fractured ribs. He has a fractured backbone, fractured arms, skull fractures, the whole bit," she said.

But this veteran doctor is more amazed at what's intact.

"He does not have a serious head injury, which is amazing," she said.

The toddler is now in a crib similar to the ones behind the doors of the HCMC ICU. He's still in critical condition but stable -- the signs are good.

"He definitely responds to us," Slusher said. "He definitely moves everything."

Dr. Slusher said she's never seen a child beat a fall from a place so high, crediting something even higher.

"That's a gift from God to the family because he shouldn't of made it," she said.

The child's uncle, Abdir Ahim Amed, says his family hopes to raise awareness so that no other parent has to experience their pain.

"Sometimes things happen, you know. My brother's terrified. I don't think he will be the same ever again, you know. But we're all going through his pain, we feel his pain. But we cannot argue about what happened. What happened is what happened," Amed said. "How can we protect the rest of these kids that stays in here needs to be … something's got to be done."

The building's balcony meets state code. A building its age must have slits no more than 9 inches apart -- theirs are only 5.5 inches apart. A spokesperson for the city of Minneapolis, Matthew Lindstrom, issued this statement on the codes:

"The State of Minnesota sets the building codes. The minimum height for balconies is 42 inches and maximum spacing depends on when the building was constructed. For those built prior to 1983, like Riverside Plaza, the maximum spacing is 9 inches. The railings on the Riverside Plaza balconies are 47 inches high and spaced 5.5 inches apart, so at the time they were built, they exceeded the state building code."

A spokesperson for the apartments, Chris Sherman, said they are going to establish a fund for the family.

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