Centenarian survives Nepal quake, worries he's testing fate

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BIDUR, Nepal (AP) - It was an unlikely escape. By his own account, he should have died. But when the humble hut of stacked grey stones collapsed onto Funchu Tamang, who believes himself to be 101 years old, his daughter-in-law quickly pulled him from the wreckage.

He was hit in the chest by a rock during the quake. A couple of ribs were broken, giving him trouble breathing. The next day, just when his son arrived from Nepal's northwest, Tamang was weak and delirious. "I thought my father was dead," 58-year-old Bal Bahadur Tamang said Monday. But the old man had only fallen unconscious.

They revived him, but a few days later it became clear he needed more medical help. His wheezing was getting worse. He was tired and often dizzy.

They called the Nuwakot district hospital for help, which sent a police helicopter to land near his village and bring him here on Saturday.

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Funchu Tamang - 101 year old discovered in Nepal rubble
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Centenarian survives Nepal quake, worries he's testing fate
Funchu Tamang, 101, sits on a bed in a hospital in Nuwakot district on May 3, 2015 around 80 kilometres (50 miles) northwest of Kathmandu where he was taken after being rescued from his collapsed home a day earlier. Rescuers have pulled a 101-year-old man alive from his ruined home a week after Nepal's earthquake claimed at least 7,200 lives, as the government warned Sunday the death toll will climb 'much higher'. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Funchu Tamang, 101, sits on a bed in a hospital in Nuwakot district on May 3, 2015 around 80 kilometres (50 miles) northwest of Kathmandu where he was taken after being rescued from his collapsed home a day earlier. The 101-year-old man was found alive at his ruined home a week after Nepal's earthquake claimed at least 7,200 lives, as the government warned on May 3 the death toll will climb 'much higher'. Police had initially said that Tamang was trapped under the rubble of his home ever since the quake struck on April 25, but they later said he was in fact rescued from his garden where he had been sheltering since the disaster. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Funchu Tamang, 101, sits on a bed in a hospital in Nuwakot district on May 3, 2015 around 80 kilometres (50 miles) northwest of Kathmandu where he was taken after being rescued from his collapsed home a day earlier. Rescuers have pulled a 101-year-old man alive from his ruined home a week after Nepal's earthquake claimed at least 7,200 lives, as the government warned Sunday the death toll will climb 'much higher'. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Funchu Tamang, 101, sits on a bed in a hospital in Nuwakot district on May 3, 2015 around 80 kilometres (50 miles) northwest of Kathmandu where he was taken after being rescued from his collapsed home a day earlier. The 101-year-old man was found alive at his ruined home a week after Nepal's earthquake claimed at least 7,200 lives, as the government warned on May 3 the death toll will climb 'much higher'. Police had initially said that Tamang was trapped under the rubble of his home ever since the quake struck on April 25, but they later said he was in fact rescued from his garden where he had been sheltering since the disaster. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
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On Monday, doctors monitored Tamang's vital signs at the makeshift clinic set up in the parking lot of the district's medical office in the partially ruined town of Bidur.

Funchu Tamang's ordeal is yet another of the extraordinary stories of resilience and survival coming out of Nepal after it was rocked by a 7.8-magnitude quake on April 25. It killed thousands and left hundreds of thousands more homeless.

When he arrived, doctors treated Tamang for a partially collapsed lung. They bandaged cuts he received in the chaos after the quake. Two days later, he was alert and sitting upright, chatting. His blood pressure was a cool 101/62. His injuries were mostly healed, to the point where doctors said he could go home Tuesday.

Funchu Tamang is so old, he has lived through two such devastating quakes. But he barely remembers the 1934 temblor that hit with a magnitude of 8 and leveled cities.

The more recent scare, however, is fresh in his mind. "This one was really bad. I was afraid. I felt as if I would die," he said from his parking lot hospital bed.

He's still confused by the ordeal, and wonders if he may be testing fate a bit too far. "I'm very lucky to be alive. ... But I am so old. I don't think I can survive anymore. I can't see properly. I can't work, can't move properly," he said, wearing a T-shirt depicting the king and queen of Bhutan, a hand-out from visiting Bhutanese medics.

"I am an old man. It is my time to die."

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4/28 Nepal earthquake relief & recovery (updated 5/1)
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Centenarian survives Nepal quake, worries he's testing fate
Nepalese soldiers unload relief material brought in by an Indian air force helicopter for victims of Saturday’s earthquake in Melamchi at Sindhupalchowk district, Nepal, Friday, May 1, 2015. The U.N. said the quake affected 8.1 million people, more than a fourth of Nepal's population of 27.8 million, and that more than 1.4 million needed food assistance. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)
Nepalese soldiers run to unload relief material brought in by an Indian air force helicopter for victims of Saturday’s earthquake in Melamchi at Sindhupalchowk district, Nepal, Friday, May 1, 2015. The U.N. said the quake affected 8.1 million people, more than a fourth of Nepal's population of 27.8 million, and that more than 1.4 million needed food assistance. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)
Volunteers load an aid helicopter with relief supplies in Majuwa village, near the epicenter of Saturday's massive earthquake, in the Gorkha District of Nepal, Wednesday, April 29, 2015. In Gorkha, five cargo trucks filled with rice, cooking oil and sugar stood on a grassy field in Majuwa village waiting for a helicopter from Kathmandu to take the supplies to the hardest-hit areas of that district. Unlike in Nepal's capital, where most buildings were spared complete collapse, the tiny hamlets clinging to the remote mountainsides of Gorkha District have been ravaged. Entire clusters of homes were reduced to piles of stone and splintered wood. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
Nepalese women and children receive food distributed by a non-government organization in the center of Kathmandu on April 30, 2015. The UN launched an appeal for Nepalese quake survivors in dire need of shelter, food and medical care April 30 as anger boiled at the government's inability to cope with a disaster that has killed more than 5,000 people. AFP PHOTO / MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
Nepalese children play outside their tent shelter in Kathmandu on April 30, 2015. The UN launched an appeal for Nepalese quake survivors in dire need of shelter, food and medical care April 30 as anger boiled at the government's inability to cope with a disaster that has killed more than 5,000 people. AFP PHOTO / MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
A Nepalese villager woman looks out from amongst makeshift tents at Laprak village, in northern-central Gorkha district on April 30, 2015. The UN launched an appeal for Nepalese quake survivors in dire need of shelter, food and medical care April 30 as anger boiled at the government's inability to cope with a disaster that has killed more than 5,000 people. AFP PHOTO / SAJJAD HUSSAIN (Photo credit should read SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)
KATHMANDU, NEPAL - APRIL 30: Nepalese victims of the eartquake buy vegetables in a street market in Bhaktapur on April 30, 2015 in Kathmandu, Nepal. A major 7.8 earthquake hit Kathmandu mid-day on Saturday, and was followed by multiple aftershocks that triggered avalanches on Mt. Everest that buried mountain climbers in their base camps. Many houses, buildings and temples in the capital were destroyed during the earthquake, leaving over 5500 dead and many more trapped under the debris as emergency rescue workers attempt to clear debris and find survivors. Regular aftershocks have hampered recovery missions as locals, officials and aid workers attempt to recover bodies from the rubble. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
KATHMANDU, NEPAL - APRIL 30: Sanjhana Tamang takes care of her daughter Simran Tamang, 3, as she lays in bed at a temporary hospital suffering from Typhoid fever after the earthquake in Shanku on April 30, 2015 in Kathmandu, Nepal. A major 7.8 earthquake hit Kathmandu mid-day on Saturday, and was followed by multiple aftershocks that triggered avalanches on Mt. Everest that buried mountain climbers in their base camps. Many houses, buildings and temples in the capital were destroyed during the earthquake, leaving over 5500 dead and many more trapped under the debris as emergency rescue workers attempt to clear debris and find survivors. Regular aftershocks have hampered recovery missions as locals, officials and aid workers attempt to recover bodies from the rubble. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
KATHMANDU, NEPAL - 2015/04/30: Nepali soldiers and civilians try to pull down a dangerous section of severely damaged wall that is in danger of collapsing in Bhaktapur, Nepal on April 30, 2015. On April 25, 2015, Nepal suffered a magnitude 7.8 earthquake killing over 5,000 people and injuring thousands more. (Photo by Taylor Weidman/LightRocket via Getty Images)
A Nepalese family sit outside makeshift tents at Laprak village, in northern-central Gorkha district on April 30, 2015. The UN launched an appeal for Nepalese quake survivors in dire need of shelter, food and medical care April 30 as anger boiled at the government's inability to cope with a disaster that has killed more than 5,000 people. AFP PHOTO / SAJJAD HUSSAIN (Photo credit should read SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)
A Nepalese mother sits with her child outside makeshift tents at Laprak village, in northern-central Gorkha district on April 30, 2015. The UN launched an appeal for Nepalese quake survivors in dire need of shelter, food and medical care April 30 as anger boiled at the government's inability to cope with a disaster that has killed more than 5,000 people. AFP PHOTO / SAJJAD HUSSAIN (Photo credit should read SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)
A Nepalese injured mother and daughter sit inside an Indian Army helicopter after they were rescued from Laprak village, in northern-central Gorkha district on April 30, 2015. The UN launched an appeal for Nepalese quake survivors in dire need of shelter, food and medical care April 30 as anger boiled at the government's inability to cope with a disaster that has killed more than 5,000 people. AFP PHOTO / SAJJAD HUSSAIN (Photo credit should read SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)
Nepalese youth, Pemba Tamang,15, is treated by Israeli Army medic soldiers at the Israeli field hospital following his rescue earlier in the day in Kathmandu on April 30, 2015. Rescuers pulled a 15-year-old boy alive from the rubble of Nepal's earthquake April 30, bringing a rare moment of joy to the ruined capital Kathmandu, five days after a disaster which killed more than 5,500 people. AFP PHOTO / MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
BHAKTAPUR, NEPAL - APRIL 29: Nepalese Army Police memebers search for victims among debris of a house on April 29, 2015 in Bhaktapur, Nepal. A major 7.8 earthquake hit Kathmandu mid-day on Saturday, and was followed by multiple aftershocks that triggered avalanches on Mt. Everest that buried mountain climbers in their base camps. Many houses, buildings and temples in the capital were destroyed during the earthquake, leaving over 4600 dead and many more trapped under the debris as emergency rescue workers attempt to clear debris and find survivors. Regular aftershocks have hampered recovery missions as locals, officials and aid workers attempt to recover bodies from the rubble. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
BHAKTAPUR, NEPAL - APRIL 29: A Nepalese victim of the earthquake searchs for her belongings among debris of her house on April 29, 2015 in Bhaktapur, Nepal. A major 7.8 earthquake hit Kathmandu mid-day on Saturday, and was followed by multiple aftershocks that triggered avalanches on Mt. Everest that buried mountain climbers in their base camps. Many houses, buildings and temples in the capital were destroyed during the earthquake, leaving over 4600 dead and many more trapped under the debris as emergency rescue workers attempt to clear debris and find survivors. Regular aftershocks have hampered recovery missions as locals, officials and aid workers attempt to recover bodies from the rubble. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Nepal army soldiers unload relief material from an Indian Air Force helicopter at earthquake affected Dhadingbesti, in Nepal, Wednesday, April 29, 2015. The first aid shipments reached a hilly district near the epicenter of Nepal's earthquake, a U.N. food agency official said, and distribution of food and medicine would start Wednesday, five days after the quake struck. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
Survivors of Saturday's earthquake hold on to a cable as a military takes off with evacuees from Kathmandu to New Delhi during a midnight rescue mission by Indian Air Force, in Kathmandu, Nepal, Wednesday, April 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)
Nepal Army personnel drop relief materials at Larpak village in Gorkha, north-central Nepal on April 29, 2015, following a devastating earthquake on April 25. Desperate Nepalis clashed with riot police and seized supplies of bottled water in the capital April 29 as anger boiled over among survivors of an earthquake that killed more than 5,000 people. AFP PHOTO/PRAKASH SINGH (Photo credit should read PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)
KATHMANDU, NEPAL - APRIL 29: A young girl waits on board a bus to be evacuated from the city center on April 29, 2015 in Kathmandu, Nepal. A major 7.8 earthquake hit Kathmandu mid-day on Saturday, and was followed by multiple aftershocks that triggered avalanches on Mt. Everest that buried mountain climbers in their base camps. Many houses, buildings and temples in the capital were destroyed during the earthquake, leaving over 4600 dead and many more trapped under the debris as emergency rescue workers attempt to clear debris and find survivors. Regular aftershocks have hampered recovery missions as locals, officials and aid workers attempt to recover bodies from the rubble. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
A Nepalese child injured in Saturday's earthquake is taken on a stretcher after being evacuated from higher reaches of mountains by Nepalese army soldiers, in Kathmandu, Nepal, Wednesday, April 29, 2015. The first aid shipments reached a hilly district near the epicenter of Nepal's earthquake, a U.N. food agency official said, and distribution of food and medicine would start Wednesday, five days after the quake struck. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
KATHMANDU, NEPAL - APRIL 29: A member of the army stands watch over a destroyed temple in Bashantapur on April 29, 2015 in Kathmandu, Nepal. A major 7.8 earthquake hit Kathmandu mid-day on Saturday, and was followed by multiple aftershocks that triggered avalanches on Mt. Everest that buried mountain climbers in their base camps. Many houses, buildings and temples in the capital were destroyed during the earthquake, leaving over 4600 dead and many more trapped under the debris as emergency rescue workers attempt to clear debris and find survivors. Regular aftershocks have hampered recovery missions as locals, officials and aid workers attempt to recover bodies from the rubble. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
KATHMANDU, NEPAL - APRIL 29: Thousands of people queue on the street outside a government building as they wait for free bus rides out of the city center on on April 29, 2015 in Kathmandu, Nepal. A major 7.8 earthquake hit Kathmandu mid-day on Saturday, and was followed by multiple aftershocks that triggered avalanches on Mt. Everest that buried mountain climbers in their base camps. Many houses, buildings and temples in the capital were destroyed during the earthquake, leaving over 4600 dead and many more trapped under the debris as emergency rescue workers attempt to clear debris and find survivors. Regular aftershocks have hampered recovery missions as locals, officials and aid workers attempt to recover bodies from the rubble. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
BHAKTAPUR, NEPAL - APRIL 29: Nepalese victims of the earthquake search for their belongings among debris of their homes on April 29, 2015 in Bhaktapur, Nepal. A major 7.8 earthquake hit Kathmandu mid-day on Saturday, and was followed by multiple aftershocks that triggered avalanches on Mt. Everest that buried mountain climbers in their base camps. Many houses, buildings and temples in the capital were destroyed during the earthquake, leaving over 4600 dead and many more trapped under the debris as emergency rescue workers attempt to clear debris and find survivors. Regular aftershocks have hampered recovery missions as locals, officials and aid workers attempt to recover bodies from the rubble. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Houses on the higher reaches of mountains destroyed in Saturday’s earthquake are seen from a helicopter near Dhadingbesti, in Nepal, Wednesday, April 29, 2015. The first aid shipments reached a hilly district near the epicenter of Nepal's earthquake, a U.N. food agency official said, and distribution of food and medicine would start Wednesday, five days after the quake struck. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
An injured victim of Saturdy's earthquake is transported to hospital after being evacuated by Indian Air Force, in Kathmandu, Nepal, Wednesday, April 29, 2015. The first aid shipments reached a hilly district near the epicenter of Nepal's earthquake, a U.N. food agency official said, and distribution of food and medicine would start Wednesday, five days after the quake struck. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
Villagers wait in the rain as an aid relief helicopter lands at their remote mountain village of Gumda, near the epicenter of Saturday's massive earthquake in the Gorkha District of Nepal, Wednesday, April 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
Destroyed villages sit on mountain tops near the epicenter of Saturday's massive earthquake, in the Gorkha District of Nepal, Wednesday, April 29, 2015. Aid reached the hilly district near the epicenter of Nepal's earthquake for the first time Wednesday. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
Survivors of Saturday's earthquake read newspaper at a makeshift camp in Kathmandu, Nepal, Tuesday, April 28, 2015. A strong earthquake shook Nepal’s capital and the densely populated Kathmandu valley on Saturday. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)
BHAKTAPUR, NEPAL - APRIL 29: Nepalese victims of the earthquake search for their belongings among debris of their homes on April 29, 2015 in Bhaktapur, Nepal. A major 7.8 earthquake hit Kathmandu mid-day on Saturday, and was followed by multiple aftershocks that triggered avalanches on Mt. Everest that buried mountain climbers in their base camps. Many houses, buildings and temples in the capital were destroyed during the earthquake, leaving over 4600 dead and many more trapped under the debris as emergency rescue workers attempt to clear debris and find survivors. Regular aftershocks have hampered recovery missions as locals, officials and aid workers attempt to recover bodies from the rubble. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Nepalese residents wait to board buses to leave Kathmandu at a main bus stand in Kathmandu on April 29, 2015, to leave the Nepalese capital following a 7.8 magnitude earthquake which struck the Himalayan nation on April 25. Nepalese riot police battled to contain anger among survivors of an earthquake that killed more than 5,000 people as rescuers raced against time to find anyone else alive in the rubble of the capital Kathmandu. Supplies are running thin and aftershocks have strained nerves in the ruined city. Desperate to leave, thousands of people began gathering from before dawn outside the main bus station after the government promised to lay on special services. AFP PHOTO / MANAN VATSYAYANA (Photo credit should read MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images)
BHAKTAPUR, NEPAL - APRIL 29: Nepalese victims of the earthquake search for their belongings among debris of their homes on April 29, 2015 in Bhaktapur, Nepal. A major 7.8 earthquake hit Kathmandu mid-day on Saturday, and was followed by multiple aftershocks that triggered avalanches on Mt. Everest that buried mountain climbers in their base camps. Many houses, buildings and temples in the capital were destroyed during the earthquake, leaving over 4600 dead and many more trapped under the debris as emergency rescue workers attempt to clear debris and find survivors. Regular aftershocks have hampered recovery missions as locals, officials and aid workers attempt to recover bodies from the rubble. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Rescuers from Japan are seen in the historical centre of Kathmandu on April 29, 2015, following a 7.8 magnitude earthquake which struck the Himalayan nation on April 25. Rescuers are facing a race against time to find survivors of a mammoth earthquake that killed more than 5,000 people when it through Nepal five days ago and devastated large parts of one of Asia's poorest nations. AFP PHOTO/Philippe LOPEZ (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
People pay their last tributes to victims of Saturday’s earthquake in Nepal, after their bodies arrived in Gauhati, India, Wednesday, April 29, 2015. The bodies of six women victims arrived in Gauhati on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)
An Indian girl cries near the coffin of her mother Hema Prabha Saikia, a victim of Saturday’s earthquake in Nepal, in Gauhati, India, Wednesday, April 29, 2015. The bodies of six women victims arrived in Gauhati on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)
This photo taken early on April 29, 2015 shows a survivor (C) being carried out of a damaged building by a French rescue team after being trapped for 82 hours in earthquake-hit Kathmandu. The death toll from the April 25 7.8 magnitude earthquake on April 28 was more than 5,000, with another 8,000 people injured, while the United Nations estimated that eight million people had been affected. CHINA OUT AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
TIBET, CHINA - APRIL 28: (CHINA OUT) (EDITORS NOTE: Image is highest resolution available.) Border soldiers press forward Zhangmu Town which lose contact with outside world for 70 hours after 8.1-magnitude earthquake hitting Nepal and spreading to Tibet on April 28, 2015 in Tibet Autonomous Region, China. A major 7.8 earthquake hit Kathmandu mid-day on Saturday, and was followed by multiple aftershocks that triggered avalanches on Mt. Everest that buried mountain climbers in their base camps. Many houses, buildings and temples in the capital were destroyed during the earthquake, leaving thousands dead or trapped under the debris as emergency rescue workers attempt to clear debris and find survivors. Regular aftershocks have hampered recovery missions as locals, officials and aid workers attempt to recover bodies from the rubble. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
Damaged houses are seen from an Indian Army helicopter following an earthquake in the Nepalese area of Gorkha on April 28, 2015. Hungry and desperate Nepalese villagers rushed towards a relief helicopter begging to be airlifted to safety April 28, 2015, after a huge earthquake that has killed at least 4,349 people devastated their remote community. Terrified residents of Lapu in Gorkha, some of the eight million people the UN said were affected by the April 25, 2015 quake, ran with outstretched arms to the Indian army chopper, pleading for much-needed food and water. AFP PHOTO / Sajjad Hussain (Photo credit should read SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)
Nepalese students and volunteers clear the rubble at Kathmandu Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in Kathmandu, Nepal, Wednesday, April 29, 2015. A 7.8 magnitude earthquake shook Nepal’s capital and the densely populated Kathmandu valley on Saturday devastating the region and leaving tens of thousands shell-shocked and sleeping in streets. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
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