[This story has been updated with corrections and additional details added at the end]
Otherwise known as the GIF we’ve been waiting for all year long, a Zhongshan man has performed the incredible feat of catching a falling child from a two-story apartment. In the pouring rain. With his bare hands. Like they were giving them away for free.
Captured in its entirety by a web monitor (video here), the scene took place at Chaonan Road, Xiaolan County, Zhongshan, Guangdong Province at 12:14pm on May 18. A three year-old child
one year-old baby was left alone at a second-floor apartment when he climbed up to the window to look for his mother. He could be heard calling for her and started to crawl outside. That’s when it accidentally fell from the window.
Mr Li was across the street at the time waiting for the rain to stop when he suddenly saw the child in danger. Instead of staying dry like a normal citizen, Mr Li ran out in the middle of traffic. Other people on the street saw as well, and lay down cardboard boxes and a black cushion in an attempt to soften the fall.
Dubbed “Brother Catch” by the Chinese press, Mr Li shows us how he got his new name:
That’s extraordinary. The stilted stutter of the wilting shuffle of the two would-be baby catchers that follow the trajectory of the falling child is contrasted by hero Mr Li’s iron-clad, unwavering commitment. Here he is moments before the fall:
We don’t want to take anything away from the shirtless man accompanying Mr Li to his right, but only one of them was going to catch the kid, and it wasn’t going to be the guy flinching from the rain. No, our hero Mr Li is the guy standing still as a statue, arms fully extended, intently focused upon the target, raindrops spattering upon his eyeballs, showing all of us where the calm lies in the middle of the storm.
We don’t know what Mr Li called out right at that moment, but if he told me to jump, I would, even if I was standing on the ground.
Mr Li, thank you. We need more heroes like you. GIFs, too.
Here’s a video of the incident:
Our hero, “Brother Catch” has been identified as Li Xianwen, a 50 years-old worker at an electric supply company. Li had been out with his family for lunch when he came across the three year-old child dangling precariously from the second floor window.
The mother is said to have arrived at the scene just at that precise moment. She went upstairs to the apartment, but by then the child had already fallen.
The child was taken to the hospital, but an examination showed he had not sustained any injuries.
Like all cool people, Li left the party early, not telling anyone at the scene. It was only later that his identity was discovered. Li also suffered no injuries in the incident, and was very modest about being the courageous hero that he is. Li said,
I just did what anyone else would have done…It’s very fortunate I caught him. If I didn’t, I’d regret it for the rest of my life.
Photos: Weibo screencaps of GIFs