Drunk Brit Survives Fall From 15th Story Balcony

By Bryan Le 06/18/13

"Normally sensible" lad recovers after a night of drinking leads to an epic tumble.

Stilwell survived via some shady physics.
Photo via

A British man on working holiday in Auckland, New Zealand is expected to make a full recovery after surviving a tumble off a 15th floor balcony. Tom Stilwell, 20, had been out drinking with his roommates when he left them to go home around 2 am—only to discover he had lost his keys, the New Zealand Herald reports. He woke up his upstairs neighbor, Geraldine Bautista, to ask for permission to jump from her balcony—on the 15th floor—down onto his own, one floor down. Bautista, 28, says she "didn't think he'd jump, because it's really scary," but it happened quickly, and within seconds he had slipped from her hands "like a paper." “I grabbed his hand and then at that time...he fell down," she recalls, "I thought I was dreaming. It happened so fast.” Stilwell fell 13 stories until he hit a roof of a nearby building, miraculously surviving with just back and neck fractures and a broken wrist. One of his roommates, Dave Thomas, arrived home just 15 minutes later to be greeted by police. “He's absolutely fine... he's a very lucky man,” says Thomas, “He's normally the sensible one of all of us.” Stilwell, who doesn't remember much of the fall, is currently recuperating at a nearby hospital and is in "satisfactory" condition. St John medical director Dr Tony Smith says surviving a fall from such a heights is "extraordinary."

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Bryan Le grew up in the 90's, so the Internet is practically his third parent. This combined with a love for journalism led him to The Fix. When he isn't fulfilling his duties as Editorial Coordinator, he's obsessing over fancy keyboards he can't justify buying. Find Bryan on LinkedIn or Twitter