Nguyen Ngoc Manh was sitting in his car nearby when he heard the shouts of frightened neighbors and the cries of a toddler who had climbed out onto the outside of a balcony 12 stories up. He told several local news outlets that he sprang into action without thinking after realizing what was going on, climbing the roof of a nearby shed in the hopes of catching the child if they fell.
“I scaled the wall and saw that she could fall onto the metallic roof of the house used to store electric generators for the complex, so I tried to climb on top of it,” Manh told VN Express. “I made it, but couldn’t stand firmly, as was crooked.”
Manh lost his footing on the roof just as the child lost their grip on the balcony. He said he flung himself forward blindly in the hopes of stopping their fall onto the metal roof and managed to catch the falling child, who had tumbled from a height of around 165 feet to the roof which was about 10 feet off the ground. Manh hit the roof so hard that he dented it and sustained injuries to his arms but he caught the child.
“She looked so much like my child at home. I was so confused, only able to tell her, ‘Please, please, I’m here now,’” Manh told VN Express.
Doctors who treated the little girl afterward said she suffered a dislocated hip but no other injuries.
Manh left the scene quickly but was tracked down by media and the girl’s family members. The attention he’s received since the incident has been overwhelming.
“It’s not just changed: my life has turned upside down. Normally my Facebook posts draw only a few dozen responses, now I get tens of thousands,” Manh said. “Some have sent me money via my phone number. This disorientates me. I don’t want to receive any money I haven’t earned by myself.”