Freedom for Blaine
by: Caroline Westbrook - Last updated: 2003-10-19
David Blaine has completed his Above The Below stunt, which saw him spending 44 days suspended in a box next to London's Tower Bridge surviving only on water. The American illusionist was lowered to the ground at 9.30pm on Sunday night, and told the waiting crowds "I learned more in that little box than I have in years, and I learned how strong we all are as human beings".
An emotional Blaine also said that he was able to see the sun rise and the sun set, which was one of the best experiences of his life, before thanking the crowds for their support. Afterwards it was revealed that he had lost over four stone during the 44 day starvation stunt, before he was taken to a private hospital where doctors will assess whether he has caused any permanent damage to his health.
A nutritionist has also warned that Blaine risks sudden death if he is not closely monitored when he begins eating again. He is expected to spend several days in hospital, although it could take up to six months for him to return to normal health. The entire event was broadcast live on Sky One, with round-the-clock coverage on Sky Active which allowed viewers to get a daily dose of Blaine.
Throughout his 44 day endeavour, Blaine has had the support and good wishes of London's Jewish community. Rabbi Hershel Gorman went to the Tower Bridge location to blow the Shofar for Blaine during Rosh Hashanah so the magician could receive the Mitzvah of hearing the Shofar. According to those watching, Blaine smiled and waved at the Rabbi to acknowledge his appreciation of the blasts from the ram's horn.