"Get under the bed—hurry!" Dr. Luis Allen and his wife Maxine ushered their two sons beneath the king-size bed in their hotel room in Mumbai, India. Gunshots resonated in the hallway. Their bodies, pressed against the floor, shook from the vibrations of explosions going off within the building. All they could do was lie there—and pray.
Dr. Luis Allen, a geriatric psychiatrist at Florida Hospital, his wife and their two sons were on vacation in India. On the family's last night in Mumbai, the Allens made their way from the renowned hotel pool to their room. The sound of fireworks filled the night air. Approaching their room, the Allens realized that the noises weren't fireworks, but gunshots. Alerted by his discovery, Dr. Allen began searching the internet for more information. A CNN headline rattled the family—"Mumbai Under Siege."
The family could hear banging on hotel doors nearby, followed by screams and rounds of gunfire. Hotel guests were being dragged from their rooms and murdered in the hallways. Fearing that their room would be next, Dr. Allen and Maxine staged a "hasty departure." Hiding the boys safely under the bed, the couple unlocked the safety lock on the door, tossed their clothes haphazardly into bags and opened the safe. Dr. Allen and Maxine crawled beneath the bed cocooning their boys between them.
For the next 48 hours, the Allen family remained under their bed, in a "coffin position." Miraculously, the young boys fell into a deep sleep. The family received texts from friends and family worldwide. As Maxine's cell phone battery was running out, she sent a final text to her pastor Jim Coffin at Markham Woods Seventh-day Adventist Church: "We're in the Taj—pray."