Life is something we seem to take for granted. With the constant hustle and bustle of our everyday routines, it’s hard to notice how precious a gift our lives truly are. These people were harshly reminded that our numbers could be up at any moment.
#1 Can Never Recover
I nearly lost my life in hurricane Katrina multiple times by drowning, potential criminal situations, eventual general injury and dehydration. It’s a very long story, but I got separated from my family and had extremely tough days before getting saved. The worst incident was the grown couple rolling up on me, pretending they wanted to help me, then beating me unconscious and leaving me in the water for one small half-full bottle of water (they already had water with them). I was a 15-year-old girl at the time. People really turned into animals. I don't think I'll ever really recover from it.
#2 Surprise Allergy
When I was about two, my aunt fed me pistachios. What nobody knew was that I was incredibly allergic to tree nuts. My mom had put me to sleep because she thought the rash starting to form under my mouth was a pacifier rash. She woke up to me crying. I could barely breathe and was rushed to the hospital. The doctor said if my mom had brought me to the hospital any later, I would’ve lost my life. So that’s how I found out I was allergic to tree nuts.
#3 Living in Bonus Time
I have a few that I can think of. First, I was once the middle car in a car accident sandwich. I also turned down a job at the end of August 2001. The job was on the floor that the first plane crashed into. Additionally, I once got shot in the head when I was at a park with friends. Someone shot me from a distance right on the crown. I got lucky because it didn't go through the skull, but I dropped to the ground. I remember at the hospital them washing all the red off my arms. I'm seriously living in bonus time.
#4 Glass Chandelier
When I was eight years old, a chandelier almost fell on top of me in my living room. I was watching a movie when I heard a crack, looked up, and the huge chandelier was about to fall on top of me. I rolled off the couch and it barely missed me. I still had tons of cuts from all the glass, though; just not a direct hit.
#5 A Bad Feeling
In 2017 when I was 12, I almost drowned. It is the worst way to go, in my opinion. The helpless feeling is awful. For one minute, I was full panic mode, trying to breathe but every breath was water. I felt like I was burning. Then it didn't feel peaceful, but it felt like I was ready. The whole saying that states, "you see all your memories before passing" is true.
I just had this bad feeling knowing that my parents wouldn't have seen me grow up, couldn't see my friends anymore, etc. I suddenly heard a loud sound and everything went black. Somehow, someone saw me and saved me. The bad thing is that I've had to cope with depression since then. I'm better nowadays, but the helpless feeling just never left me. One thing I've never said to anyone is that I saw an elf while drowning - I know, weird, but I think it was just my mind making up stuff for the lack of oxygen.
#6 Mom’s Belt Loop
When I was five, I was almost abducted at a grocery store in the ‘90s. I remember my mom used to wear high-waisted boot cut men’s jeans and she was thin as a rail. I used to just hang onto her belt loop while she shopped and I would just kind of be dragged along while I looked at the world and let my little thoughts keep me occupied.
My mom and I went through the grocery store, checked out, and were leaving. We were about 10 feet into the parking lot when I heard my mom’s voice screaming for me. But it wasn’t coming from beside me, it came from behind me. I looked up and saw that I was hanging onto the belt loop of a strange man, a strange man who decided to lead me out to the parking lot rather than find my parent. From there, I ran one way and the man ran the other. That was the end of it. There was no sort of struggle or attempt to actively take me once my mom saw him.
#7 Non-Essential Functions
My tonsils tried to end my life when I was a teenager. It started with the worst sore throat you can imagine and then progressed to feeling so fatigued I had trouble walking. I would wake up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat, literally like someone threw a bucket of water on me, and shaking terribly. As it progressed, I had vivid hallucinations and threw up all night. I felt immediately better after the tonsils were removed, but I lost about 20 pounds and my hair started falling out after I recovered. A doctor told me it was because when you're that sick, your body shuts down non-essential functions like growing hair. I looked a little funny when it started growing back.
#8 At the Pet Store
I worked at a pet store when I was in my 20s. My friend and I were in charge of ordering marine fish since we were both crazy about aquariums and all things saltwater. We received a bunch of corals and live rocks. We were handling it and moving it around, putting it into the tanks. After I set one down, a particularly amazing piece that I’d been looking at closely, a blue-ringed octopus crawled out and nearly latched onto me. We both knew exactly what it was and we just looked at each other speechless.
#9 Trouble Breathing
I’ve got an arrhythmia and have had it at least since I was 11. Basically, my heart messes up and misses a beat, then overcorrects and goes into tachycardia. I faint and am extraordinarily bad at a lot of cardio, but I love running. When I was 13, I hadn’t yet been diagnosed. I ran track and had been for three years. I also did sprints and jumps.
My coach wanted me to try the mile at a meet and I agreed to try. At the meet, I wasn’t able to finish because my chest pain got so bad. That night, I wasn’t able to breathe well and felt like my chest was simultaneously exploding and being crushed. My mom said it must be an asthma attack (which I hadn’t had before) and I was up all night.
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#10 Holes for Ducks
I was playing on the ice with a really fat friend of mine when I was nine. We knew we weren't allowed to play there because it's really dangerous, but we still did. That friend was an utter idiot. He started smashing the ice with a hammer (to make holes for the ducks). Then of course, the ice broke and he fell into the water.
He was so heavy that every time he tried to get back on the ice, it would break. At some point, he got stuck beneath the ice. I was a really lanky nine-year-old girl, so pulling him up, in general, was difficult. No one else besides me and two friends who were just yelling and screaming from the side of the river was there.
So my idiotic self decided to grab the hammer and start smashing the ice so it would break. I attempted to pull him back on the ice, but he was so heavy that he pulled me half underwater as well. After about ten minutes of both of us half drowning in the ice water, I managed to pull him onto the land. He didn't even thank me and ran off crying to his house. I waited until my clothes were dry and never told my family what happened. The next day at school, my mom heard my friend had to go to the hospital because of hypothermia. I pretended not to know why.
#11 In a Panic
I almost lost my life due to my stupidity! When I was four, I played with a broom, tripped, rammed the broomstick in my mouth and up to my throat. I almost choked on it and I think it was my father who saved me because the emergency doctor told my parents to not move that thing. But my father just kind of ripped it out of my throat in a panic.
#12 Plank of Wood
While undocking a houseboat, the rope we used got wrapped around my leg and I started getting dragged down the river bank. I was saved by some random plank of wood being nailed into the side of the bank. I was able to put my good foot on that and take off my rope foot shoe, letting me slide the rope off. If that wood wasn't there, I would've fallen in and been dragged downriver by my foot.
#13 Good Morning
I had a stint in college where I was in a really bad place and my drinking got out of hand. Every time I drank, I'd wake up the next morning to a pile of vomit next to my bed with no recollection of doing so. One morning, I woke up and my mouth was full of it. It had clearly been in my mouth for a long time as I had gotten so tipsy that I didn't even roll over or wake up. I have no clue how I didn't choke on it and suffocate in my sleep, but I stopped drinking for quite a while after that.
#14 In for Surgery
I had a pneumothorax last month. I went to the emergency room at a local hospital. The doctors told me they had to operate me the next day. When I asked if there was any risk they told me, "Absolutely none. We never missed an operation like that and we'll be doing it with the help of the latest technology scanner. It will take us 10 minutes and you'll feel immediately better after."
They gave me a lot of morphine for the pain. During the operation I heard something like, “Oh no. He's hemorrhaging! We need to send him to this other clinic in emergency." They kept me waiting for an hour and a half, while internally bleeding and suffocating before the ambulance arrived for the transfer. The doctor at the second hospital yelled, "I want him in the block immediately” when I arrived. He saved my life.
#15 Iron Spikes
I once jumped over a rail at Pier 33 near Fisherman’s Wharf at night and landed in the bay underneath the pier. It was disgusting, but all my friends helped me get out. Later on, I went by the same area during the day only to discover that I had missed several iron spikes sticking out of the wood where I dove in.
#16 Developing Something New
I used to go out once a week with friends to get lunch at a sushi bar and just chat with the boys. One week, we went out and all ordered several types of sushi and shared per usual. Fast forward to that evening after I went to bed with a full belly and a smile. I awakened predawn to hives covering the majority of my body and my throat swelling shut. I literally crawled to my parents’ room and collapsed. I then woke up at the ER and got scheduled for an allergy test. Sadly, I swore off fish (which I was not allergic to previously).
#17 The Diving Board
I was fairly young and going off the diving board as a kid. I decided it was a good idea to swim as fast as possible with as little breaths as possible to get out of the way because the lifeguard was rushing people. Then, I remember taking in a breath of water because I couldn't hold it anymore. It burned and I had my eyes closed, pushing myself harder. I opened them and the bottom was so blue.
I can remember slowing down with a wish of letting myself go. It was serene and the only thing I thought about was, "Finally, I can be done." Then, I touched the ladder. It felt like hours but it was only a few seconds. I got out, nobody who cared about me was there, so nobody asked if I was okay when I hacked up a lung for a couple of minutes. Not even the "lifeguard" seemed to care.
#18 Waiting Outside
My mom was ordering food at a fast-food place and I was just waiting outside. The guy came up to me, grabbed my arm and tried to walk away with me. I was yelling for help but he said to the people around us that I was his son and that I was just throwing a fit. Eventually, my mom came out and started screaming at him, but he kept arguing that I was his son. He loosened his grip when he was focused on my mom, so I yanked myself free and ran over to mom. My mom forgot to call the police as she was in shock.
#19 On the Water Slide
I thought my five-year-old son was going to drown when he came down a slide at the water park. He was thrashing around in the water. I was with my one-year-old daughter on the side. The lifeguard saw my son, blew her whistle, and jumped into the water. She quickly made her way over to my son and… stood him up. He was in less than two feet of water.
#20 Sleeping Outside
A few years ago, I was staying at a stranger's home in the western U.S. I actually slept in a camper outside of the main house, but could use the kitchen and bathroom inside. At one point, they offered to let me sleep inside as they had an extra bedroom. I just enjoy sleeping out, so I declined. That night, there was a gas leak in the house and the entire family lost their lives. I actually knocked on the door that morning and had to leave because nobody would let me in. That night, the police were there and told me to leave. I've done a lot of really dangerous things, but I think this is the event that most haunts me.
#21 On the Road
As a 20-year-old American, I was riding a motorcycle across Vietnam like the Top Gear special. I stupidly decided that riding on highway 1 at night, in the rain, was a good idea. At one point, I was riding and I could see two headlights in the oncoming lane blinding me with their high beams. All of a sudden, the two headlights turned into four as a bus was passing the truck, coming head-on at me. I tried my best to swerve off onto the shoulder, but I was blinded by both their high beams and I had rain in my eyes. I landed up, getting over just enough and the bus came probably an inch from hitting me head-on.
#22 Multiple Doctors
Two years of misdiagnosis by multiple doctors. My bowel ruptured in the middle of the night due to undiagnosed Crohn’s disease. I vomited up my own waste, all my veins collapsed and paramedics couldn't get a cannula in anywhere other than my feet. There also wasn’t a top line on the heart rate monitor. I was in excruciating pain but couldn’t get meds as my heart rate was so low. I then went in for an eight-hour surgery and woke up with an ileostomy bag. 100% didn't think I would wake up.
#23 Saved By a Miracle
I went cycling with a friend of mine and it started raining, so the road became slippery. We hit the pedals even harder to escape from the rain as we were only a few minutes away from home. In not even that sharp a corner, I just slipped as I sled on the wet tarmac. I then saw a semi-truck rolling towards me and thought, "Well, that's it.” We missed each other by maybe a few centimeters. My friend told me after he came to check on me that he thought it was over and only a miracle saved me.
#24 Not a Good Day
I was (and still am) an autistic kid put into a small autism school located in a mall. It was absolute garbage. There was one incident where I got hurt fairly badly, but it probably couldn't have been lethal. Another incident, however, could have potentially ended me if not for the sub. Basically, I was nearly strangled.
I was in my journalism class, and, as usual, everyone was talking over the video, and, also as usual, I was yelling at them to stop. Eventually, one kid got up from the couch he was sitting on, ran over to me, and clenched his hands around my neck. It wasn't like we were enemies; in fact, we got along pretty darn well. But then again, it was an autism school. Thankfully, the previously mentioned sub came over and got him off of me. It was not a good day.
#25 Hit the Ground
My friend and I fell through the ice in a pond once. Luckily, it was shallow enough where it only reached up to my collarbones when my feet hit the ground. We both managed to get back onto the ice pretty quickly and knew enough to crawl slowly and try to keep our weight distributed evenly. We also never told anyone about it for years, but it was easily one of the scariest moments of my life. I was so scared about getting hypothermia and then having to tell my parents about it.
#26 Could’ve Been Worse
My shower was upstairs and underneath the bathroom there was another room. Directly underneath the shower, there was a lamp (electricity). The water out of the shower would leak into the ceiling of the room underneath because of a problem with the pipes. One time I was showering and was going to turn off the water, but felt this power surge in my hand. It wasn't the more common variant that everyone has once in a while when touching a doorknob or something. My hand legitimately hurt after that and felt very uncomfortable. We didn't know what it was, but once we found out, I feel like it could've been much worse.
#27 A Bad Memory
When I was five years old, I accidentally hung myself. I was swinging on a rope from a ladder and somehow the rope wrapped around my neck. Luckily, my uncle was a cop and lived a few houses down. He cut me down and performed CPR. Originally, the doctors didn't think I was going to make it through the night. When I did, they said I wasn't going to wake up. When I woke up, they thought I would have severe brain damage. I'm a perfectly "normal" 24-year-old man and the only lasting damage I have is a bad memory.
#28 Rope Swing
Picture a giant iron cauldron flipped over so that its spikey feet are pointing up in the air. Imagine it under a rope hanging from a treehouse. I was in this treehouse and got on the rope to climb down, but the rope broke when I got all my weight on it. I fell straight down, flat on my back onto the dirt. A few minutes earlier, I had moved the cauldron, thinking I wanted to swing on the rope, but climbed up into the treehouse instead. It still kind of freaks me out when I think about the whole sequence of events. I hit the ground so hard that the wind was knocked out of me and I couldn’t move for a few seconds. I would’ve had a broken back for sure if the cauldron was still there.
#29 Walking Back Home
When I was 15 years old, me and my and a friend were walking to the store, joking around with each other. We reached the store and started walking back in an alley. A car pulled up but continued to walk away. They let off a couple of rounds and I was the only one that was shot. It pierced my liver, inches away from my heart.
#30 Young and With Friends
When I was 13, I was on a train with my friends. We were slowing down, coming into the train station, being stood at the door. I thought it would be a good idea to stick my head out of the window. I was extremely close to a wall and probably would’ve had my head ripped off. Safe to say, it was the last time I did anything like that. You don’t realize how dumb you can be when you're young and with your friends.
#31 An Odd Case
Our setting is around 2015 and I was 10 years old. I had been throwing up for a few days, nothing could even come close to entering my stomach. So, I went to the hospital. They couldn't find a vein for around 25 minutes. I was in there a good five weeks, had to have a feeding tube, the whole workup with scans and such, and was under constant observation. I didn't know it then, but medical students thought I was such an odd case. I got diagnosed with Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome this year.
#32 Makeshift Sled
I was out hiking in a very remote part of the woods and walked up to a large rock near the edge of a ravine. I was unaware it had rained a few days ago and the ground was still moist, which caused the ground underneath the rock to give out. I remember starting to fall and then my memory goes black. The next thing I remembered was going in and out of consciousness and being dragged on some type of sled. The next full memory I had, I was laying on the ground next to a makeshift sled adjacent to my car. I was seriously injured, but someone called the police and fire department to check on me.
For some reason, they collected DNA from the ropes used to pull the sled and run it through the database. I got a call a week later from a detective asking if anything else happened. I said no and asked why. The detective informed me the DNA came back to a suspect of multiple felonies. I would say I was very lucky the guy did not hurt me.
#33 Mom’s Joke
I remember this one time when I was younger, I was eating dinner with my mom. At one point, she said something that made me laugh, causing some pie and mashed potatoes to get stuck in my throat. I was choking for about two minutes before I was able to remove the blockage. Yeah, choking is definitely not fun.
#34 Extremely Stressful
My stepmother got appendicitis while on holiday in Egypt. She had surgery, but the doctor ignored a developing infection next to the removed appendix, causing her to get worse, fast. Instead of giving her the extra care she needed, the hospital wanted them to pay the bill immediately. When they couldn't (because they didn't have the money and insurance took ages) they threw my stepmother and father into a cell. My stepmother just had invasive surgery less than a week before. They got out after the Dutch embassy got involved, but it was extremely stressful for them and us back home.
#35 Jumping Into Action
I remember when I was eight, I went to feed the ducks at a large lake. I decided to do something dumb and stuck my foot onto the slippery edge of the lake. I then slipped and fell into the water. At the time, I didn’t know how to swim. If the two girls a few metres away didn't spring into action and grab onto me before I drifted away, my clothes and coat probably would have weighed me down once they filled up with water, and I might have lost my life. I can't thank them enough now, but back then I didn't say a word since I was too shy.
#36 My Heart is Racing
I have a heart problem, that in Portuguese is called Ritmia (I can't translate this). It’s a small deformity on my heart that starts pounding too fast whenever I make too much effort. Sometimes I would get small heart attacks, but we never cared much because they were small and went away as fast as they came.
Someday, though, I woke up at 5:00 a.m. with my heart racing again, so I told my mom. Since it happened before, she told me to go to sleep and it would stop. It did, but that wasn’t where it ended. She took me to school at 7:00 a.m. and the moment I stepped in class, my heart started pounding again. I asked my first class teacher to go to the infirmary. I spent two hours in there while they checked everything. They then decided to take me to the hospital.
My mom had just laid down to sleep when they called her, which resulted in her rushing to the school with her pajamas on. My heart didn't stop racing at any time. They took me and my mom to the hospital by bus. I stayed there until 2:00 p.m. with a few tubes attached to me and my heart was beating about more than 200 times per minute, as far as I remember.
My mom and I lived with my grandma, so if she knew what was going on, she'd have a heart attack herself. So we didn't tell her the situation until it was over. Nowadays, I have to take pills every night to prevent heart attacks. Once I turn 18, I will have to have surgery to remove the deformity so I can live a normal life. Can't wait!
#37 Girl in Class
I sat next to this girl in class who came in looking super sick. Apparently, it was tonsillitis, but she looked awful. A couple of days later, she passed away. It’s scary to me that I saw her, in a way, losing her life. To this day I believed that she must have been misdiagnosed, but I don’t know enough about it to say with certainty.
#38 Feeling Tingly
When I was very young, my aunt was watching me as I played outside in the rain. I remember that it was stormy. All I remember from the incident is running around and then waking up super tingly on the ground, like my whole body had fallen asleep. Either I or the ground next to me had been hit by lightning. My aunt panicked and still hasn’t ever told my mom or dad. I never have either.
#39 Running Full Force
As a stupid five-year-old, I was messing around with my brother and we took a tent apart, stuck the hollow side of the pole in my mouth and I ran full force towards my living room entrance. But the other side of the pole hit the door frame and basically skewered the back of my throat. Long story short, there was a lot of red and now I have a finger-sized hole in my mouth.
#40 No Faith Left
I also nearly choked in a restaurant with my family and everyone around just watched me. No one tried to help me. The only person who tried to help was my dad and I owe my life to him. That’s also why I’ve lost faith in humanity. They can watch a person slowly choke while just sitting there. It wasn’t a fun experience.
#41 Goodyear Tires
I was 12 and riding a bike without handbrakes on vacation. I wasn’t used to a bike without handbrakes and there was a stop sign. I panicked and forgot how to stop. I had to intentionally crash to avoid getting run over by the truck that was coming and was so close I could read the tires as it sped past. They were Goodyear.
#42 Skin of My Teeth
I was crossing a main road at 14 and the left lane was empty. So, I crossed halfway then waited for the cars in the right lane to form a gap so I could safely cross. I then waited in the middle where the two lanes met. As I was looking at these cars coming towards me, one pulled a bit towards the middle of the road and was on track to hit me.
He got closer and I realized he was literally about to hit me. It’s my fault for being in the middle of the road, so I ran back across the left lane without even taking a second to look if there were any cars coming. Luckily, I made it back to the pavement by the skin of my teeth and felt the wind off of the car as it passed me.
#43 On My Phone
I nearly crashed my car. I was lost and I stupidly looked down at my phone for directions while I was turning and went off the road into a ditch. If I had been a little more to the left I would have crashed into a street light. If I had been any more to the right I would have crashed right into a generator. I was very blessed that day and I haven't been on my phone while driving since.
#44 Bottom of the Pool
I was at a water park near my home town with a friend and her family (I was about 11). We were going down these big slides that ended in a pool for people to swim around in. The lifeguards aren’t supposed to let another person go down the slide until the previous person emerges from the water and swims a bit away. Well, I guess they had thought I had emerged from the water and sent another person down. I had not yet breached the surface and as I was trying to I felt the body of the other person slam into me and push me down to the bottom of the pool. I started freaking out because I had sucked in some water due to impact and couldn’t find my way out from under the person.
#45 I Can Swim, Mom
I learned how to swim falling into a pool in the winter. I was pretending that the pool was a pond and I was fishing. It was in Central Florida and pools weren’t closed long. I don’t think covers were common for in-ground pools at the time. Fences around them wasn’t a thing in the ‘80s either. I somehow fell in with layers of clothes and a heavy coat. I was in preschool or kindergarten at the time. I was in the deep end and I can still see my arm reaching for the ladder as I sank.
All of the clothes were like an anchor. I remember knowing I had very little time to get out. I hit the bottom and bent my legs and pushed as hard as I could. Then, I began kicking and moving my arms. The ladder came into view and I grabbed it and started to climb. I got to the surface only to find my older sister screaming for help. My mom was inside sewing; she heard the screams and came running outside. Seeing me climb out of the pool, she scooped me up, stripped off my clothes and threw me in the bathtub with warm water. She asked me if I was okay and I said, "I can swim now, mom!"
I never ventured to the deep end when I was in the pool. I always had floaties on and stayed at the shallow end. The summer that followed, I would get home from school, yank off my shirt, kick my shoes and socks off and cannonball into the deep end. My mom said that that incident would have made people scared to get in a pool at all, but it was the opposite for me.
#46 Very Close Call
My dog was close to the end of his life and we had to bring him to the vet as an emergency in a snow storm. I was eight and my entire family was in the car. It was bad out and we saw a bus literally spinning 360 down the hill. It would have hit us head-on but it tumbled down a side road. We checked on him and luckily he was okay, but it was close to a head-on collision. I can still see that in my head and it’s been over 20 years.
#47 Cake Crumbs
I nearly choked on a few cake crumbs. Back when we were 14, my best friend and I ate some cake. Then she told me something funny, I began to laugh and suddenly wasn’t able to breathe. I ran for the bathroom because I thought I had to puke. I then passed out on the bathroom floor. I was incredibly lucky that my best friend’s mom, who worked as a nurse, came home mere minutes earlier. She did the Heimlich maneuver and saved my life. I was then brought into the hospital with three broken ribs and pneumonia.
#48 Raging Rocky River
I climbed a cliff above a raging rocky river for no good reason at all. At the last 10 feet of about 100 the whole thing became covered in moss and it kept falling away while I tried to hold on. After hanging in fear for 10 minutes, I just decided to go for it and took three last lunges up that somehow didn't fail. It was really stupid and I don't climb without ropes anymore.
#49 Parent-Teacher Night
My mom’s car flipped over on our way to meet the teacher. I was seven and going into the second grade. My mom was listening to an audiobook while driving, which caused her to get sleepy. I noticed how we were going in the wrong direction but didn’t say anything about it. The next thing I know, we were rolling down a hillside on a highway. My sister muttered, “Mom” but I was silent the whole time — in shock. We didn’t make it to meet the teacher night, no one passed away, but our car was wrecked. My mom doesn’t listen to audiobooks while driving anymore.
#50 A Horrible Experience
I tried to end my life in my senior year of high school. I don't want to encourage anyone to the same, so I won't say how. When I finally realized what I had done, I called my mom. She took me to the hospital, and then everything is kind of a blur. I wanted to sleep, but everybody told me to stay awake. I couldn't walk or talk. I remember a nurse putting a tube in my nose, me trying to take it off, then some other nurses holding me. I remember going to the bathroom with the help of the nurses, then going back to sleep. My mom said I talked nonsense a lot before actually falling asleep. It was a horrible experience. If you’re thinking of doing it, please get some help. Nobody should go through it and every life is worth it.