I was reminded of this story, which happened at the beginning of this month (November 2010). I think it illustrates how some people, in this case a small child, are meant to live on, despite what happens to them.
The scene is Paris, France and two small children in an apartment are inexplicably left on their own by their parents.
Somehow one of the children, only 18 months old, climbs out of a window and onto the balcony, seven floors up. The next thing he is falling 80 feet. His number is surely up - but astonishingly no.
The toddler bounced on a cafe's awning and into the safe hands of a passing doctor!
The doctor, Philippe Bensignor, was with his son and wife. He explained what happened: "I was there at the right time. My son happened to look up and he saw that a little boy was on the balcony and had somehow got through the railing and was playing on the very edge of a vertical drop into the street. I just had the time to get across the street and place myself. I said to myself 'whatever happens, I mustn’t miss him'. The boy bounced on the awning and I caught him. He didn’t have a scratch. He cried for a few moments and then calmed down and fell asleep."
Another amazing thing to this coincidence is that the awning should not have been in place to break the boy's fall. The cafe was closed but the awning remained in position only because the mechanism had jammed.
The boy was taken to hospital to be checked over but only had minor scratches. His parents, however, were charged with neglect - they cannot be named for legal reasons.
This was one lucky little boy who surely was meant to live - the doctor, the awning and fate was on his side.