Humans tend to be rather fragile and we sometimes have to face our own mortality. These Redditors have lived to tell the tales of the times when they almost didn’t make it back from the brink of the abyss. Luckily, they all survived and are able to share their stories so that we don’t have to learn the same lessons the hard way.
1. Calm Down And Breathe
The teachers didn't trust me, a skinny seven-year-old with lifelong asthma, when I told them I was struggling to breathe and desperately needed my inhaler. And even after that, they still managed to make to make it worse: They stopped me from calling my mum or my doctor, leaving me to endure a full day at school barely able to draw a breath.
On my way home with my mum, I passed out mid-sentence while trying to explain my predicament. An ambulance arrived instantly, whisking me to the hospital for strong steroids and an oxygen tent. I spent two full days in the care of all the doctors and nurses who knew me, as I was admitted to the hospital regularly due to asthma-related episodes. When my mum heard about what the teachers did, she completely lost it.
She stormed into the principal's office and gave them an earful, basically tearing into the school staff who knew about my health issue but assumed I was pretending. Since then, I had unrestricted access to my inhaler anytime I needed, no explanations required.
2. A Living Movie
I found myself in the center of a six-car collision while on my motorcycle. As I was cruising on the highway, a car slammed into the concrete barrier and began spinning uncontrollably across four traffic lanes. I couldn't believe what I was seeing: Like in a chaotic dance, cars were spiraling and rolling around me, and it seemed as if they were maneuvering to avoid me rather than the other way around.
Making a quick decision, I pulled to the side, but as I was slowing down, a truck slid sideways through the chaos. I quickly revved the engine again and the truck crashed into the guardrail just a meter or two behind me. It felt like a scene straight out of an action movie car chase, except it was all pure chance, no skill. Only the throttle burst at the end was a conscious move on my part.
3. Time For A Second Opinion
I visited my doctor four times, each time with different symptoms, before finally being redirected to the hospital. The first time, my symptoms seemed like heartburn, and they prescribed me some medication and sent me home for a week. I felt better, so I got back to work. But then, I started having difficulty breathing, so they said it was asthma, gave me more meds, and another week off.
My third visit felt like I had the flu, so I got yet another week at home. By the fourth visit, I noted that the one constant in all this was a nasty cough I'd had since December. That stopped him in his tracks. After an EKG, they sent me straight to the hospital. There, they informed me that my condition was way more dire than I thought; my heart was so enlarged it was pushing against one lung, causing the cough.
They diagnosed me with a heart infection, but assured me I'd fully recover. It's only now, as I write this, that I fully grasp how close I was to not making it.
4. All Organs Are Basically The Same, Right?
I ended up going to the hospital because the pain in my back was unbearable. I was in so much discomfort that I collapsed in the hallway, unable to take another step. Thankfully, an employee of the hospital found me and quickly got me a wheelchair to take me the rest of the way to the emergency room. Their initial guess was that I was likely dealing with kidney stones, and then they made me wait in the waiting room for eight grueling hours, weeping and curled up because it hurt too much to move.
When they finally took me to the back for more examination, things changed quickly. I'll never forget the shock on their faces when the results from my CT scan came in. Without wasting another moment, they rushed me straight into surgery. Turns out, it wasn't a kidney stone, but a rupturing appendix. So much for an initial assessment- thanks, triage nurse...
5. In France, Of All Places
When I was 8, I had a close call with drowning at a French swimming pool. I was fooling around on the border between the deep and shallow ends, essentially a line of big rocks, and ended up slipping between two of them. My leg got caught and pretty badly scrapped in the process. There I was, stuck, hanging upside down in the water, and couldn't move my leg.
From the surface, you'd barely see anything except the tiny tip of my foot peeking out amidst the rocks, so odds of someone noticing were really slim. I remember seeing an assortment of legs moving upside down in the water and thinking, "So, this is how it ends. In France".
After what seemed like forever, I vaguely recall noticing two large legs moving in my direction. Next thing I knew, I was pulled up out of the water quite forcefully, with blood clouding my vision. The man carried me to the side and made sure I was okay. I don't know what might have happened if he hadn't seen me.
6. Concrete Is Solid
Once, I had a job cutting a hole through a concrete wall. As you can imagine, it's really messy. I wore my beat-up old clothes ready for the bin, and soon enough, I was sweating buckets and covered from head to toe in concrete dust. My hair and beard looked like they hadn't seen a shower in ages, stiff and filled with chunks of cement.
Everything went south when the demolition hammer got wedged in the wall. In my attempt to pry it loose, it spun around and struck me in the head. Next thing I know, I'm lying on the ground, soaked in blood. So, I grabbed my bag with my tools and food - now also layered in dust, hence why I deliberately didn't bring my usual backpack - and headed for the hospital. Upon arrival, the nurse mistook me for a homeless person.
Her suggestion was for me to wait, but she made it clear that I could leave anytime if I grew impatient. Dazed and confused, I waited for about an hour before it dawned on me that I was the only one waiting. I approached the counter again, and the nurse, visibly frustrated, asked, "Ok, what happened?" I began my explanation with "I was at work..". and she interjected, surprised, "You have a job?"
Next thing I knew, a doctor emerged and swiftly stitched up my forehead. What still irritates me is the implication that they don't attend to homeless people. This incident took place in a country with free, national health care. The issue wasn't about payment, but rather a nurse who seemed to lack empathy.
7. It’s A Rule We All Know
I was running around with scissors, and you can probably guess where this is going. When I was a kid, I sprinted up the stairs, scissors in hand. I gripped them tight, handle in hand but blades pointing upward. Unfortunately, I stumbled, and as I tried to catch myself with my elbow, the scissors ended up jabbing into my neck.
8. Saved By A Guardian Angel
Back in 2004, I found myself in a coffee shop with my best friend, our bodies quaking after experiencing a terrifying 8.9 earthquake that very day. I remember glancing at an electrical tower in the distance, swaying way more than it should. Suddenly, the water levels started rising fast. Thinking we were facing a major flood, we instinctively ran. We had no clue about the actual danger we were running into.
Without warning, what seemed like a flood effortlessly transformed into a wild river, sweeping everything up to a height of three meters, including us. I was dragged into a small store as the water busted through its doors, pulled in with a couple of bikes and a car. I nearly met my end under one of those vehicles, until by some force—I was shot back up to the surface.
My ascent wasn’t easy, and the process wounded my upper body quite badly. When I broke the surface, I found mere thirty centimeters between the water and the ceiling. Fortunately, the water didn't rise any further and slowly began to drain. It was afterward that I discovered the shocking truth—the chaos we experienced wasn't a regular flood, but a literal tsunami.
9. Listen To Your Father
My sister and I used to thrive on the thrill of getting bombarded by enormous waves. As kids, it was our idea of fun. One day, the ocean was particularly fierce, with gigantic waves and treacherous rip tides. Our dad warned us not to swim, but the lure of those massive waves was just too strong.
So, off we sneaked, sitting in front of what felt like our very own tidal wave. A towering 10-foot wave started building up, drawing water away. As it began to peak, I realized this was going to be rough, but it was too late to retreat. The wave swept us away, dumping me face-down on the sandy beach. I was scraped by beach shells, my face and arms scratched quite badly.
Usually, waves leave little water on the shore as they crash. But this beast of a wave dumped so much water, the current was strong enough to pull us back into the next wave. This happened a couple more times, until we were either too dazed or exhausted to fight back. The final wave dragged us far out to sea. That horrifying feeling in the pit of my stomach is something I'll never forget.
Trying to swim back to the shore proved futile, as we just kept drifting further out. An elderly man nearby, probably in his 60s, noticed us struggling. He reached us, but could only manage to rescue my sister first. Alone, getting further from shore, and exhausted, I remember contemplating my own mortality.
Eventually, the man returned for me, pulling me to safety. The whole ordeal left me scarred by the ocean, and I didn't even venture near it for four years. Now, I do go into the water, but with a sense of unease and a strict rule to never go deeper than I can stand.
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10. Stuck In The Air
I work as a paratrooper in the 82nd airborne division and unfortunately, I was the victim of a static line injury. Basically, the cord that deploys my parachute is connected to the top of my chute and the plane's interior. Due to unfortunate circumstances, I ended up with excess slack that ended up wrapping around my arm. Consequently, I rebounded off the exterior of the plane and my parachute got too twisted to unfurl as it should.
The outcome was a ruptured bicep and a broken shoulder blade. Given the circumstances, my injuries could've been a lot worse. I'm lucky to still be here.
11. In The Nick Of Time
I was around 12 years old and all geared up for my karate class along with my brother. Since we were high-ranking students, we were really into the physical aspect of it. I had told my dad about a rash I had, but he thought it was just from the heat. Right before we left, my mum got home from work and I showed her the rash. She was worried it might be meningitis, so after dropping off my brother at his class, she rushed me to the hospital.
As it turned out, both my parents were mistaken. The truth was even worse. In reality, I had an extremely rare blood disorder that was causing my body to fight off the platelets, which help with blood clotting. Basically, if I had opted for karate class rather than speaking to my mum, I could have caused some internal bleeding and might not have made it.
12. At Least Someone Was Paying Attention
A long time ago, during a school trip to Berlin, I was completely distracted by the sights when suddenly, I was pushed out of the path of an oncoming tram. Thankfully, a classmate of mine was more alert and nudged me out of harm's way just in the nick of time—I even felt the tram graze my coat buttons as it sped past.
13. More Than Just A Little
I experienced a miscarriage. It happened while I was at work and my water broke unexpectedly. I decided to drive myself to the hospital, though in hindsight it was terrible idea. I arrived at the hospital in a severe state, bleeding profusely. It was such a struggle; I had to stop halfway to the ER. I managed to catch the attention of an EMT, making a quick apology for the interruption before explaining my situation. Unfortunately, the ER staff seemed to downplay my condition.
They dismissed the severity of my bleeding and suggested I rest in the waiting room. So, I tried to find a comfortable spot there and wait. Eventually, someone did approach me, offering something for the pain. I gratefully accepted, the pain was akin to labor. Shortly after that, the nurse beckoned me into the examination area. I'm not going to delve into the gruesome details, but let's just say things rapidly escalated. I ended up being whisked to the OR where I received a blood transfusion.
14. These Things Exist For A Reason
My wife was off on a weekend trip with some friends. We called a quaint, elderly wooden house our home, fitted with a gas heater built snugly into the hallway's floor. Late spring was upon us and we tended to keep the heater turned off, with the thermostat nudged to its lowest setting - about 59 degrees Fahrenheit. One evening, after hanging out with some buddies, I came home late and drifted off to sleep.
An icy front swept in around 5am, causing the temperature inside the house to plunge a degree below the thermostat setting. To prevent dust, we typically covered the hallway's floor grate with an area rug for most of the year. I was jolted awake by the sound of the smoke alarm, with the air dense with smoke. What happened next felt like it was out of a movie. Sitting up in bed, my eyes followed the smoke trail and I saw our rug suddenly ignite.
Springing out of my bed, I dashed to grab the corner of the burning rug and sprinted outside to douse the fire with a hose. I then rushed back in to get our pets to safety in the yard and awakened my neighbor. In that moment, the stark realization hit me - without the smoke alarm, I may not have been there. I could have suffocated, with the house potentially going up in flames like a matchbook.
15. Not So Nice
I was cruising along a highway in New England after a severe snowstorm that had frozen everything. Some careless driver didn't bother to clean the ice off their SUV's roof. This ice, about as big as a small child, came flying off their car and smashed right into my windshield. I was completely covered in shattered glass and burst into tears instantly. Had the ice hit any lower by an inch or two, it could've been the end for me.
16. Smokey The Bear Does Not Approve
I was running a luxury hobby ranch for some super wealthy folks. On this day, I was trying to rejuvenate the pasture using a controlled fire - not exactly in my remit as I wasn't a professional firefighter. However, the weather was exceptionally calm and there were firebreaks on both sides of the ditch I was burning. Plus, I had a 500-gallon water wagon attached to the ranch pickup.
The fire was burning slowly and staying close to the ground. Perfect, just what I was going for. I parked up in the ditch to closely watch the situation. I was standing on the unscorched side when suddenly a gust of wind kicked up. The flames, previously only burning about 6 inches high, were significantly boosted.
Before I knew it, the fire engulfed me. One moment flames tickled my feet, the next I was surrounded by 6-foot high flames. All I could see was fire, all I could feel was heat. Panic kicked in and I instinctively ran away, uphill and away from the pickup. The heat followed me, I felt nothing but blistering heat. And then came the true disaster. I slipped, fell, and lost my glasses.
Those moments were terrifying, but I somehow managed to scramble back up, crossing the firebreak at the top. Looking back from the hilltop, I saw the fire dancing around the truck. I wondered, "Will my truck blow up like they do in the movies?" Then, as quickly as it had escalated, the fire calmed down and shrunk back to a manageable small fire.
I made my way back to my vehicle, finding my half-melted glasses on the way. There was some melting damage to the truck and water wagon, but thankfully the engine still purred. I hopped in, drove home, and just broke down in tears.
17. Mind The Gap
When I was 16, I went backpacking across Europe as part of a summer program. We hopped on a night train to Berlin, and when we disembarked, I felt a jerk behind me. My backpack had snagged in the train door, and- to my horror- the train began to move again. I was hauled about 10 meters before the train finally stopped. Thankfully, I was safe and not squashed by the moving train.
18. You’re No Hawkeye
I was honing my archery skills at an open-air range. The area was empty and I had a target all to my own. Once I used up all my arrows, I headed towards the target to fetch them. As I was halfway, an intense whistle sounded and something flew past my head. Some careless person had come in and without noticing me, shot an arrow at my target.
I turned around and the guy was fast to stutter out apologies, uttering something about how he couldn't see me. Luckily, his target practice was off – otherwise, I would've been in serious trouble.
19. Worst Sauna Ever
When I was 14, my buddy and I decided to explore the old, sketchy lumber mill where his dad worked the night shift. We ventured into the lumber-drying room, well aware that it was going to be super hot inside, but curious nonetheless. We figured we'd just pop in and out. However, things took a turn for the worst when the door closed behind us.
In the midst of our panic, we forgot how to operate the door properly. The terror I felt in that moment remains unparalleled. Rather than pushing, we kept yanking the door. My friend's anxiety went through the roof, leading him to try and scale the wall using the steam pipes as a ladder, severely burning his hands in the process. Luckily, I stumbled into the door, which swung open effortlessly.
We were quite shaken by the entire ordeal and didn't mention it much afterwards. It's hard to say how long we would have lasted in there, but it sure felt like our time was running out.
20. It Just Gets Worse
When I was 17, I found myself trying to get home from my after-school job during a harsh snowstorm. I lived out in the countryside and had to navigate some rather dangerous roads. I miscalculated a turn and ended up in a ditch. Despite my best efforts, I couldn't escape, and I knew I couldn't just stay there. My parents were out of town and I had no cell signal.
Nobody was likely to look for me until the next morning. Fortunately, I had a small survival kit in my car. I put on my snow boots, thick coat, and wrapped myself in a warm blanket. Along with a whistle and some road flares, I figured they could alert someone if I got into serious trouble.
My plan was to head towards a sizable church about two miles away, down a hill. I made my way along the dark, rural road hoping the church would be open or that someone would be home at the nearby priest's house. Battling the wind and snow was tricky, but my layers kept me insulated.
This road was flanked by dense woods. Soon enough, I made a chilling discovery: I wasn't alone. I heard coyotes in the distance, clearly aware of my presence. I picked up my pace but I knew there were more than a few of them. Coyotes were a serious issue in this region.
Frequent reports of these animals attacking livestock were common and there was even a tale about some coyotes attempting to assault a young child outside their home. I was quite petite for a 17-year-old girl, and my mind started racing about what I'd do if they decided to get daring. I could hear them tagging along near the forest line, their steps growing louder and less cautious.
As I drew nearer to the church, I contemplated sprinting but feared that it might provoke them. I opted for making loud, aggressive noises, hissing, growling, and using my whistle in hopes of scaring them off. It was unsuccessful as their courage only seemed to grow.
Then I thought about the road flares in my pocket. I quickly ignited one and brandished it towards them while still hissing and whistling loudly. It felt like a scene from a horror movie; the flare's glow mirrored eerily in their eyes from within the treeline. Fearlessly, I waved the flare at them, shouting for them to back off.
To my relief, it worked. The coyotes retreated, and I took my chance, running, still holding the flaring torch behind me. I reached the church and began banging on the door. As luck would have it, the pastor's wife was still inside, busy with costumes for the children's Christmas pageant. I must've been quite a sight, draped in blankets and snow, wide-eyed and rattled.
The memory of being stalked stayed with me for years. As I fell asleep that night on a stranger's couch, the far-off howling reminded me of the brush with danger I had experienced.
21. Look Both Ways
While I was living in South America, I happened to be crossing a road and got hit by a pickup truck. The driver was poised to turn right into a heavily-trafficked street, seemingly oblivious to my presence in the middle of the road. As he made his turn, he bumped into me. It wasn't impactful enough to hurt, but strong enough to push me over.
Even as I lay there on the ground, he kept going and ended up running over my leg. Ultimately, all I sustained was severe bruising deep in my tissue (which resulted in me hobbling around on crutches for a month). I didn't suffer any fractures, but I often wonder what might have happened if he had sped over my upper body instead.
22. Not What Most Consider A Relaxing Holiday
I was on vacation and decided to bring some Molly into a nightclub. Yes, a dumb idea, I admit. I hid them in an...awkward spot as the cabbie who drove us there warned us about extremely thorough inspections. Upon reaching the club, I attempted to remove the tablets. Unfortunately, the packet tore when I tried to take it out of its...cubby. Honestly, I was afraid I wouldn't survive the night but, surprise, I emerged just fine.
23. As Luck Would Have It
I caught a cold that just wouldn't go away. Despite numerous trips to the hospital, all I got were pain meds and reassurances it would clear up. After 3 or 4 visits like this, someone finally took a closer look and found an abscess. I'd lost 15 pounds, couldn't eat, and was dangerously dehydrated.
It took two weeks for me to recover enough to be discharged, and I was informed that if I hadn't sought help when I did, I might not be alive now. The thing is, I was complacent, and so were my local doctors. I never thought a throat infection could turn this serious. I'm still upset with my local doctors for the time it took to treat this seriously.
24. That Took A Turn
A while back, my grandparents and I went on a trip to visit the Grand Canyon. We spent several days enjoying Las Vegas, watching various shows. But when it came time to fly back, we somehow lost our way, and mistakenly took a left turn onto what we assumed was a regular two-lane road. It wasn't long before we discovered our mistake.
Instead of a two-lane, it was a busy four-lane highway and we were driving straight into the onslaught of cars coming our way. Luckily, there was an opening in the median that separated the two central lanes, saving us from having a semi crash headlong into us.
25. Oxygen Is Good For You
I once worked at a small chemical processing plant where my main task was distilling a product to make it more pure for use in another project. Typical distillation took about 15-20 minutes to heat the substance to boiling point, then I could focus on other tasks. One particular day, feeling a bit more exhausted than usual, I put the flask on the heater and went for a soda break.
I thought I'd only been gone for a short while, but when I got back, the substance was boiling violently and filling the room with smoke. To make matters worse, the large plastic tube that vented to the roof had come loose. I braced myself, dashed in to secure the pipe and switched off the heat. When I informed my boss, he was concerned about my well-being, but I felt okay at that moment.
He checked on me throughout the day and I didn't notice any major discomfort. It lured me into a false sense of security. Then when I got home, I felt unusually exhausted. As I soaked in a hot bath, I felt weird and told my mom I wanted to go to the hospital. When we arrived at the ER, my breath was a bit shallow.
After being admitted and connected to an oxygen monitor, it showed my oxygen levels hovering around 70, while the norm is 90-100. It continued to drop. Then came a flurry of questions about the compound, my boss's contact details, among other things I've forgotten. My dad, who worked on the Force, arrived and looked worried, which unnerved me.
My parents were in the room with me when my mom, close to tears, said, "The doctors think you're still reacting to whatever you breathed in. We want you to know that we love you very much". That's when it hit me hard. My heart dropped as my oxygen levels were still on the decline, even hitting a low of 50. It all became a terrifying blur, with the thought of death looming over me.
At last, my oxygen levels started to rise and I spent the weekend in the hospital, recovering. Needless to say, I never returned to that job.
26. Not The Best Idea
When I was a kid, I was thrilled to go wagon-riding down the hill in my cousins' countryside backyard. Together with my brothers and cousins, we would ride it downhill and jump off just before slamming into the yard fence. Sure, we ended up with scratches and bruises but boy, was it fun! We'd do it again and again.
One particular time, my cousin and I decided not to jump off. Instead, we crashed into the fence post. Surprisingly, we didn’t get hurt or have any bruises or scratches – huge win! So naturally, we decided to do it again. Bad idea.
This time, we smashed into the barbed wire, not the fence post. We were catapulted about 20 feet beyond the fence into a horse pasture.
I’m not sure if we lost consciousness or if shock made us black out, but we later woke up all cut up with ripped clothes. Panicked, we raced back to the house. My aunt was horrified and my cousin had to get his throat stitched up. I still have a scar under my chin near my neck where a barb tore into me. This patch is still hairless when I grow my beard.
27. A Beautiful Birthday Gift
On the day I turned 23, I was strolling down a sidewalk, eyes cast downward. I noticed my shadow as well as the shadow of a nearby powerline. All of a sudden, the powerline started shaking aggressively, its shadow expanding... I felt a chill run up my spine and I quickly yanked out my earbuds. I looked up and screamed in terror. The powerline was on the brink of collapsing.
It was falling in a kind of wave motion due to a large truck that had crashed into it, and it was all coming down. Panicked, I dashed across the street. Just a second later, the powerline on that entire block tumbled down and my legs were shaky from the rush of adrenaline. Apparently, the city had neglected a pole that was decayed and riddled with termites. It was tilted in the direction the truck hit, so the whole thing came crashing down.
28. Tiny Bladders Save Lives
I was in the school's computer lab during a roof renovation. I stepped out for a quick restroom break and returned to my teacher freaking out, shouting "You must have a guardian angel!" among other things. I was totally confused—until I spotted my chair, split in two by a massive concrete block. If it wasn't for that restroom break, I wouldn't be here today.
29. Swing Safety
My younger sibling almost caused my demise twice before her fifth birthday. Once, I was on our tree swing when she started rotating it in circles. It was all playful antics until the coil of the rope snagged my t-shirt and became all knotted up. I lost my balance and was left hanging there, unable to catch my breath while my kid sister took off.
The final memory I have before blacking out is my father leaping from the porch and sprinting towards me. I assume he reached me just in time. Otherwise, this must be the dullest afterlife imaginable.
30. Speak Up
Being a bit shy, I didn't want to impose on the bus driver when the bus began to creep forward before I had fully exited. I nearly fell right under the bus wheels. This rattled me so much that I spent the rest of the day quite shaken, and barely spoke to any friends. To play it safe, I took a taxi home.
31. Bring A Map
When I was 16, I went on a mountain camping trip with my family. I was pretty keen on longboarding at the time and had brought my board along, hoping to surf down some quiet, paved backroads. My dad decided to join me on the last day and drove along behind me, maintaining roughly a 50-foot gap.
His plan was to match my speed so that he could later tell me just how fast I was going. One day, I chose a road I had never taken before - it was fairly long, straight and had a gentle curve towards the end. I raced down the hill, going as fast as 45 kilometers per hour according to my dad, until I reached the bend and veered onto it.
That's when it hit me - I had made a horrible mistake. Right after the curve was a highway, which neither of us had recalled was there. What's worse, I was just about 10 seconds away from joining the highway - going nearly 50 kilometres per hour and with the highway bursting with cars and semitrucks speeding at 100 kilometres per hour.
Without wasting a moment, I veered sharply left into the ditch. I ended up flying face first into it, scraping my right side. I was left with extensive road burns from ankle to neck and some major cuts to my face. I also broke my glasses and cut a spot right next to my eye, which still bears a scar today, as do certain deeper cuts on my leg.
Dad drove me back to the camp. As you can imagine, mom was livid. Looking back, the entire situation could have been avoided. It still puzzles me that neither of us realized that this road led to the highway.
32. No More Dreams Of Flying
When I was just a petite little 7-year-old kid, we were heading to the dentist amidst a fierce storm. Hail, the size of golf balls, began to pelt our car, causing the windshield to crack, but we managed to navigate through it safely. Tornado alarms began their fearsome wail just as we arrived in the parking lot.
My stepdad drove us right up to the entrance so we could take shelter quickly. By this point, the wind was so wild that it clanged our van's sliding door backward when my sister tried to open it. Similarly, when Mom tried opening her door, the wind slammed it back, breaking off the side mirror.
Mom was wrestling with the rebellious door, shouting over the blaring alarms for my sister and me to rush inside. We were within 10 feet of the entrance, near the safety railings. Bracing myself, I jumped out first, clutching the railing with all my strength. My sister trailed right behind me, gripping my hand and the railing.
A stranger flung open the front door, motioning for us to come inside quickly. My sister reached out to him, and he pulled her inside. I was still a distance away, clinging to the railing, with Mom on the other side of the van fighting with her door. As I waited, I caught sight of the shattered glass adorning the entrance.
The man came back for me but I was out of his reach. Trying to inch closer to the door along the railing, a heavy gust of wind caused me to lose my hold. Floating in the air, I remember thinking, "This can't be right," as I looked at my untied shoe, its laces fluttering in sync with the airborne debris.
I was being blown past the van when I heard Mom's terrified scream. Just in the nick of time, the man at the door lunged forth, caught hold of me, and pulled me inside. He quickly checked on me before he went back outside to help my mom.
Surrendering wrestling with the van door, my mom dashed inside where we were ushered into a crowded hallway filled with scared, praying individuals huddled on the wet floor. We joined them, huddling in the dark as the power had now cut out. Amidst this terrifying scene, my sister asked if we were going to meet our end. Thankfully, we didn't.
33. Unless You Ate Beets?
At home, I started to throw up, and it had a slight brownish hue. I assumed it could be something I'd eaten or drank. But then, it started taking on a reddish tint, which was certainly odd. By the third time, I couldn't deny it any longer - I was vomiting blood, yet I felt fine. Ignoring the signs, I hopped in my truck and drove to the hospital, even stopping to throw up along the way.
This time, I vomited an alarming amount of blood and was starting to feel dreadful. As I staggered into the hospital, I was light-headed and barely managing to stay upright. I threw up again, and this time it was a massive amount of blood - it looked like I'd just emptied a can of soda. A security guard saw me and freaked the heck out. He grabbed me and swiftly wheeled me inside.
I informed the nurse about my alarming symptoms, expressing my concern that I might faint at any moment. I stumbled to the restroom where I collapsed in front of the toilet and vomited all over. Fortunately, I hadn't shut the door, as a passing doctor spotted the mess. Overwhelmed, he immediately called for a bed, and they whisked me back without delay.
34. What A Scene
On the day I was expected to give birth, I visited the hospital for a regular checkup. They noticed my amniotic fluid levels were low and sent me to the hospital for safety reasons, as labor was probably imminent. After attaching all the necessary monitors, they found that my blood pressure was on the rise and wanted to get a head start on labor due to the low fluids. So, they decided to induce me.
The induction medication was administered, and within about 20 minutes, a flurry of activity ensued. My blood pressure had shot up alarmingly, risking a stroke, and an emergency C-section was necessary. On arriving, I mentioned I was quite hungry as I hadn't eaten breakfast (my fault), so they provided chicken broth.
As the operation started, I was put in a crucifixion-like position, fully numbed. Sneezing was impossible because the anesthesia numbed my diaphragm as well. I felt an odd pulling sensation when they grabbed my son, which instantly made me sick. I warned the nurse in advance about my queasiness, although she seemed skeptical or overlooked my symptoms.
As my husband was invited to witness the arrival of our little boy, he was unfortunately greeted with a sight of me spewing green vomit everywhere. He was terrified, thinking I was a goner. I began choking on my own vomit before the quick-thinking nurse could suction it out of my mouth and throat. Post surgery, my blood pressure remained elevated.
For almost three dreadful days afterward, I had to endure a treatment of magnesium sulfate. A completely miserable experience. And the cherry on top? I never felt a single contraction. Some might call that a good thing, but personally, I found it quite disappointing. After all, it was my only chance at childbirth and I sincerely wanted to go through the whole, natural process.
35. Watch Out!
When I used to work on offshore oil rigs, there was one scenario where a cable, buckling under the strain of ten thousand pounds, snapped. It catapulted a massive chunk of metal across the drill deck. I'm still amazed that no one was hurt, considering the severe damage it caused, especially to our driller's cabin.
We found bits of metal embedded in walls as far as 50 feet away. What really astounds me is how unfazed the rest of the rig crew seemed to be. I often wonder: what kind of everyday conditions must they be handling for this sort of incident to seem so trivial?
36. Candy Should Only Be Consumed In Serious Circumstances
I was hanging out in my school cafeteria when a pal handed me a jawbreaker candy. It's about the size of a nickel, give or take. As soon as I popped it in my mouth, I burst out laughing at a joke one of my friends made, and down my throat the candy went! Suddenly, I was choking and couldn't breathe.
My best friend, who was hoping to be a doctor someday, quickly recognized the danger. He attempted the Heimlich maneuver on me, but the first two tries didn't work. By this time, everyone thought we were fighting, and the hulking, bearded cafeteria monitor started steadily walking our way to "stop the fight".
On the third attempt, my friend successfully dislodged the candy from my throat with a forceful push on my abdomen. The candy flew out of my mouth like in a movie. Though my friend never became a doctor, he certainly saved a life that day!
37. A Grizzly Fate
My younger brother, two friends, and I went hiking in the Grand Tetons, which was a big change from our regular stomping grounds in the Appalachian Mountains. One of the main differences that caught us off guard was how bear spray was almost out of stock everywhere. We decided it was better to be safe than sorry, so we purchased a can, even though I didn't really think we'd need it. Boy, was I wrong.
After trekking along a loop trail for the better part of the day, we stopped to take a break and enjoy the breathtaking scenery. We had been intentionally making noise throughout the hike, just as we were advised to do. My brother would occasionally yell, "Hey bear!" to keep any potential bears at bay. After a quiet and enjoyable pause, we got back on our feet and decided to finish our hike.
Once we resumed our expedition, my younger brother went back to his usual routine and started shouting “hey bear” again. He was at the back of our group, while my friend and I hiked side by side in the middle, and our other friend was leading the pack. After the third shout, my brother suddenly cut himself off mid-sentence. Then he said three words that sent a chill up my spine: "It's right there..".
Pulling up quickly, my friend and I looked around. There, right in the middle of our path and just 25 yards away, was a massive grizzly bear. Meanwhile, our friend who had been in the lead didn't realize that we had stopped and unknowingly took another ten steps towards the bear.
Softly, I called out his name, causing him to look up. I couldn't forget the look of sheer terror and shock on his face before he quickly turned and made for the other direction. The bear, seemingly oblivious or simply not caring, continued sniffing at the ground while we fled in the opposite direction.
That was the first time in my life where I genuinely thought I might have to outrun my friends or even my brother to survive. We may have thought we were well-prepared, but when faced with real danger, it's funny how the obvious solutions, like bear spray, slip your mind.
38. Hiding In The Bushes
One late night, my car broke down in the middle of a deserted interchange, miles from anywhere. Like anyone would, I called a tow truck, but it was nearly 1 am when I finally got through. I walked over to some bushes to relieve myself. That's when an unsettling sound made me stop in my tracks—motorcycles approaching my broken-down car.
One would expect me to rush out and ask them for help, but something stopped me. From my hiding spot in the bushes, I saw these people trying to break into my car, and clearly, they were carrying weapons. I stayed as still as I could—it felt like these guys definitely weren't fooling around. They riddled my windshield and car door with bullet holes.
My car was old and empty, but they didn't leave until they had punctured all four tires with bullets. After they sped away, I quietly moved further into an open field and climbed up a tree where I had a clear view of any approaching vehicles. The tow truck didn't arrive until 4 am. Trust me when I say, that was the longest night of my life.
39. Another Perspective
When I was just 7, I recall being at my mom's work barbeque and getting restless. I spotted a tree out back by the barbeque and decided to climb it. I shimmied up and down a few times, until my mom noticed and panicked. She hurried me down, while giving me quite the lecture. I argued that I wasn't at risk of falling, and the only reason my leggings were ripped was because she forced me down so quickly.
But she wasn’t hearing any of it. I recently visited that same bar and noticed the tree I'd been climbing. It struck me as taller than my own home, and thinking back, I remember making it quite high up due to my lightweight allowing me to scale the thinner branches. It dawned upon me just how dangerous it was - a slight imbalance could have led to a disaster. Just goes to show, I had no sense of danger or realization of mortality at that age.
40. Adrenaline For The Win
My buddy and I were part of a fishing crew off the coast of Alaska. One stormy day, against our better judgement, we decided to take our small boat (about 16 feet long) fishing as it was the start of the season and we were eager to get started. On our way back towards shore, we were driving somewhat recklessly due to our enthusiasm. Then, before I could react, everything was a terrifying blur. We got blindsided by a wave that hit us at the worst possible moment.
I was sitting on the edge of the boat and caught the brunt of the impact. I was flung clear into the ocean while my friend stayed aboard but lost control of the steering. Suddenly, our boat was racing away and high waves blocked it from my view. There I was, left alone in the churning sea, struggling to stay afloat, weighted by my fishing gear including boots, gloves and waterproof overalls that were quickly filling with water.
Back in high school, I was on the swimming team, so I would have managed for a bit if it were not for the added weight of my saturated clothing. It was a real fight to keep my head above the frothy water. I squirmed, attempting to shed the drenched gear, but my efforts were futile. The clothing was too tight and the water too chilly. After battling for what seemed like forever and wearing myself out, I realized my time was running short before I would inevitably sink.
I found myself wishing I could tell my girlfriend how much I loved her or share one more hug with my family. I started reminiscing about happier times in my life. By this point, my mouth was submerged, and most of my face was underwater too. Just as I was losing hope, suddenly our boat appeared over the wave crest and crashed down beside me. My mate, demonstrating heroic strength as if he was a mother lifting a car to rescue her child, grabbed me by my straps and hauled me back aboard.
41. With Enemies Like These, Who Needs Friends?
When I was younger, I was quite introverted. On a family vacation, my mom, my siblings and I decided to spend the day at a waterpark. We had also rented a charming little house for our stay. Always pushing me to be more social, my mom encouraged me to try and make friends with other kids at the park. While she preferred the kiddie pool, as she disliked water splashing on her face and enjoyed the warmer temperature, my brother and I were keen to explore the larger pool.
As we ventured deeper, my brother asked if he could go check out the water slide, or if I needed him to stick around. Reassuring him that I was okay, I told him to go ahead. Left alone, I pondered what my next move should be. I noticed a girl, a bit older than me, close by. Gathering the courage, I decided to attempt some interaction. To be honest, I can't clearly remember if I said anything, but I definitely aimed a smile her way.
Unfortunately, my attempt at making a friend didn't yield the desired result. She stared back with an unreadable expression. It seemed she was foreign and perhaps didn't understand me. After this failed interaction, I decided to head back to my mom and turned to swim towards the edge. But she wasn't finished yet.
Out of nowhere, I was abruptly pulled underwater by the girl. The only coherent thought I had was that I was able to open my eyes underwater and it was peculiarly bright. I can't recall if I had panicked, but I do distinctly remember seeing my mom struggling to get to me from a distance, perhaps around 20 meters away, trying to rush through the water.
Her panicked shouts rang through the air, but no one seemed to react. At that point, everything went black. The next thing I knew, I was on my mom's back as she swam hastily away. The lifeguards finally approached us after noticing my teary coughing fit. My mom was incensed.
I spotted the girl peering from the changing room as we left. Later, after a comforting swim with my mom, we treated ourselves to a Tigger teddy from the park's gift shop. Pretty sure that day was the root cause of the anxiety that's still messing me up to this day—but hey, at least I got a Tigger teddy.
42. Keep Your Arms Inside At All Times
While in Mumbai, India, where trains often have no doors, an incident happened. I was returning from a trip with friends, and got on the train but soon noticed my friends hadn't joined me on board. To make matters worse, they had my train ticket. I began to fret and attempted to disembark, but the train began moving. What happened next is somewhat unclear to me — I either jumped or tripped off.
Suddenly, I found myself on the platform amidst hundreds of people yelling at me. Miraculously, I avoided any injuries. Once I got home, I held my mom and broke down in tears for about an hour. The incident now occasionally comes back to haunt me. Every year, hundreds of fatal accidents occur from people falling off trains in Mumbai and its nearby suburbs. I consider myself fortunate.
43. A Weird Feeling
Around a decade ago, my mom and I hit up Taco Bell for a quick bite. I was behind the wheel, while she rode passenger seat. Parked in front of a power pole, with our truck facing the road, I was all set to dine indoors. But my mom had different plans - she voted for takeout. She gave me her order and decided to wait in the truck.
For some unexplainable reason, this made me uncomfortable. Something was telling me not to leave her there. Despite being 20 and totally capable of grabbing our food myself, I persisted that we should go inside together. "What if I mix up the order?" I argued, coaxing her to just tag along. Finally, she gave in and accompanied me inside.
With our food almost ready, a peculiar noise from outside caught my attention. Giving me back my debit card, the Taco Bell cashier casually mentioned, "Wow, that accident outside looks nasty!" Spinning around, I saw a car had veered onto the wrong side of the road, crashing right into the pole my truck was parked against.
The impact caused the pole to fall, caving in the passenger side of my pick-up. So I lost my truck, but got to keep my mom, so I'd say it was worth it.
44. Doubts Flooded In
When I hit the age of 12, I spent time at my old hometown (since we'd moved three hours away) visiting a buddy and his family. They decided to hire canoes and towed them to a spot on the Cedar River. The plan? Pop those canoes in the water, float back towards town, and exit before encountering numerous low-head dams in downtown Charles City, Iowa.
This took place in 1993 during the notorious floods. Numerous rivers across the Midwest had already flooded. Although the Cedar River had escaped the worst of it, its current was worryingly swift that day. My arm had been in a cast for a couple of weeks after a break, which only added to my anxiety as everyone got ready to hit the water. I voiced my opposition.
My gut told me to stay on dry land. A fellow camper happened to swing by and question our plans. He warned us that the river had risen several feet since dawn, and called my friend's parents looney for even considering diving in. They shrugged him off, but I was adamant about not taking the plunge. After a while, a park ranger turned up and echoed my sentiment: if we somehow made it to Charles City, we’d never be able to escape the current and would likely perish at the first dam.
Though quite peeved, they eventually packed up the canoes. They accused me of being a chicken but, you know what? I believe I saved our skins that day. The river breached its banks and Charles City was submerged in the flood.
45. Please Be A Deer
When I was 22, I embarked on a six-month backpacking trip across Patagonia, sleeping wherever I could set up camp. One day, I found myself casting a fishing line on a serene lake, with my camp laid out in anticipation of nightfall - I just had to light my fire.
Suddenly, I picked up on some noise about 30 meters behind me, coming from the veil of trees. I peered towards the source, hoping to spot a deer or something like that.
But, oh no, I found myself face-to-face with a puma. The instinct to run was strong as I began to stand. However, remembering the warnings against doing so, I decided on a different tactic. I hastily picked up some rocks and tossed them, all the while yelling and waving my arms wildly. Much to my relief, this scared it off.
That night, I stayed up late keeping the fire crackling, and then tried to sleep despite the fright I had gone through. I had never been so frightened! And that was the only encounter I had with any big wildlife for the rest of my trip, besides birds and such.
46. Always Question The Dark
Once while I was working the late shift at a grocery store, it was my task to round up all the shopping carts scattered all over the parking lot and bring them back inside the store. In the dimly lit lot, with headphones plugged in, I was engrossed in my task, maneuvering a long train of carts while focusing on the pavement in front of me. Suddenly, without warning, everything around me went pitch black.
I paused for a moment, puzzled about how it could get any darker since it was already nighttime. And right then – Crash! A giant parking lot light, about 30 feet tall, tumbled to the ground before me, landing with explosive force. It crashed onto the lineup of carts; I was barely two feet away from being hit. The base of the metal pole had rusted, causing it to break.
I realized that if I hadn't fleeting paused, contemplating the sudden darkness, my fate would've been sealed under that fallen lightpost.
47. Everything That Could Go Wrong Did
When I was just seven years old, I experienced my first serious asthma attack. I got home from school all wheezing and coughing, but my mom, having never dealt with asthma before, simply assumed I was coming down with a cold. My dad, who had actually lost his dad to an asthma attack when he was only 10, was away on a fishing trip. As the night progressed, it just got worse and worse.
Instead of the right treatment, I was given cough syrup and cough drops by my mom, which in case of asthma, can ironically do more harm than good. Eventually, when my dad got home, he instantly knew we had to rush to the hospital. Despite my alarming state – my skin was visibly turning blue – we hopped in the car; for reasons unknown, we didn't call for an ambulance at the time.
However, our crisis escalated when our car ran out of gas about 15 miles away from the hospital. The final memory I have is of my dad frantically urging me to stay conscious, but I blacked out shortly after. In a fortunate turn of events, a state trooper noticed our car's emergency blinkers and came to our assistance.
He swiftly called for an ambulance upon seeing my critical state. I vaguely remember regaining consciousness during the ambulance ride, still struggling to breathe despite the administered oxygen. When we got to the hospital, it was pure chaos. About ten hospital staff were all urgently trying to stabilize me while I intermittently lost consciousness.
In the end, they had to insert a tube to help me breathe and they administered steroids to regularize my breathing. My battered lungs took about three weeks in the hospital to recover and attain normal blood oxygen levels. To rule out any possible brain damage due to lack of oxygen, I underwent several tests, but luckily all of them came out clear.
48. Not On The Menu
When I was 12, I ventured off on my own during a camping trip, exploring some sparse, dry hills. I managed to scramble up one hill and as I checked out the next one, I saw something that stopped me in my tracks. Only 30 yards away, I locked eyes with a fully grown mountain lion.
Our gazes must have met for just about 10 seconds, but it felt like a lifetime. It's like those dreams, you know, where you can't move no matter how hard you try. It was the only time I've literally been frozen in utter terror. But then, the mountain lion turned away and slowly walked off. I figured it must have already had its meal, considering these creatures aren't averse to dining on young humans.
49. Trust Your Instincts
When I was about a year and a half old, my grandmother was babysitting me while my parents were out. I began to seem unusually tired and couldn't hold my head up by myself. My mom, sensing something wasn't right, insisted my dad take her home. En route, my grandma called to let them know something seemed off with me, but she wasn't sure what.
Fast forward to our visit to the hospital. They examined me but couldn't figure out what was wrong. They suggested giving me Tylenol and letting me rest. However, my mom was persistent, refusing to leave until they looked at me again. A doctor, possibly just to appease her, agreed to another check-up. As soon as they put me on the bed, I started convulsing.
Suddenly, a rash broke out all over my body, leading them to realize I had meningitis. They later told my mom that if I'd gone home and returned later, I could have lost limbs or worse, given I suffered from Meningococcal Meningitis and Septicemia. Thankfully, I only ended up with hearing loss in one ear.
50. All Seven Years At Once
I was moving a large old-fashioned mirror alone at home when, unfortunately, I had an accident. It shattered, and a large chunk landed on my neck, cutting my jugular vein. I nearly bled to death within just a few minutes. The paramedic who came to my rescue told me that I had lost around 2 litres of blood and it was an utter stroke of luck that I survived.
51. I Was A Shoo-In For Doom
I grew up in a moderate-sized town in the Midwest and was incredibly introverted. My first boyfriend was someone I was deeply smitten with. He had an affinity for red stilettos, so wanting to please him, I purchased a pair. He adored them, and I wore them frequently.
One weekend, we had plans for a picnic, a common activity for us. But that day, I felt an overwhelming sense of unease. He was older and usually had a strong influence over me, but on this particular Friday, something felt wrong. The more he pressed me to go on our picnic, the more I resisted.
My anxiety grew to the point where I got physically sick on our porch during our disagreement. He eventually left in frustration. The subsequent week brought horrifying news: a red stiletto was found in the river, followed by the discovery of a body. I later learned the devastating truth.
My boyfriend had been seeing another girl and, tragically, had taken her life that weekend. Their outings mirrored ours. I couldn't help but think that it could have been me in her place.