Man credits Oprah show for saving his life

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A Memphis man narrowly escaped a tree as it fell through his roof Friday, and he's crediting Oprah for saving his life.

An odd chain of events saved Robert Monserrat's life.

"I guess I'm here for some reason," he said. "I don't know what."

The switch to digital TV meant Monserrat could not get his show on his usual TV set in the bedroom.

"I watch Oprah all the time," he said.

But the very day TV stations went digital was the very day Monserrat needed to be anywhere but in his bedroom watching TV.

"I have TV's all over the house, but I have one (converter) box," he said. "It was in the kitchen."

So Monserrat went to the kitchen. While outside, Friday's storm hit its peak in Midtown Memphis. Monserrat's grand-niece, Evie Johnson, was there with him.

"Some force was there protecting him," she said.

Lightning struck a tree outside Monserrat's home. It fell, carving it its way into his bedroom - the very place he had been just moments before. The tree destroyed the back of Monserrat's home, burying him in rubble. His niece and four neighbors quickly dug him out, bruised, but alive.

Johnson said the tree was no match for the World War II survivor.

"He fought the Nazis...survived D-Day," she said.

The fact a limb from the same tree fell on the house on the same day years ago wasn't the only coincidence.

"His walker was crushed by the tree, but I saw another walker on top of the tree, and it was my great grandmother's walker that had fallen out of the attic," Johnson said.

And though Oprah Winfrey has an "angel network", Monserrat's sister, Donna McAdams, believes it was the angel on his wall that saved her brother.

"Isn't it amazing that that's still there and the rest of the whole bedroom is destroyed," she asked.

Monserrat lost 40 years of personal belongings in the storm. He said he'll spend the rest of his days enjoying his family.

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