Man Remembers His Fall Off The LifeWay Building Ahead of Implosion

Posted at 10:18 PM, Jan 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-06 18:29:34-05

A Lebanon man who survived falling from the side of the Lifeway Baptist Sunday School Board building nearly 30 years ago plans to attend Saturday's implosion. 

Lloyd Smalley, 67, was working a high-angle job cleaning the outside windows of Draper Tower on October 31st 1990 when he somehow lost his balance and fell to the ground.

"I would do a lot of window cleaning and repelling on it and get to the hard places and everything and that was my process, to get it done. It was going to open in a couple days for tenants but I didn’t get to see the part," he said.

Smalley was hospitalized in Vanderbilt University Medical Center in an induced coma for nearly a month. The 40-year-old would awake to find his sister near his side asking him if he knew who she was.

"And it was really confusing because the woman I was looking at was much older than my sister was in my memory at that time. Because when I woke up, I had lost 25 years of memories," he said.

Doctors were surprised he survived falling at least seven stories. 

For three years, Smalley relearned how to walk and most memories resurfaced. 

He said watching Saturday's implosion will feel like leaving a piece of him behind. 

"Just one more step in the process I guess to watch that building come down. I don’t wish any harm but it didn’t wish me any, we just had a bad day," he said.

After the event, he wants to retrieve a piece of the rubble as a souvenir.