Medical Professionals Share The Spookiest Last Words They’ve Ever Heard
Most doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals have the rare opportunity to guide people through their final moments of life. However, there’s no doubt that it is difficult watching people take their last breaths. In some cases, they even mumble out some bizarre, disturbing, and creepy sentiments to go out on. These medical professionals and other witnesses took to the Internet to share the spookiest last words that they’ve ever heard from a patient.
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#1 Well, He Got Straight To The Point
I don’t remember the patient’s admitting diagnosis since he wasn’t assigned to me), but my coworker asked me to start an IV on him. He needed a unit of blood and his peripheral access had gone bad. I placed a tourniquet and was ready to stick, but then he looked at me and said: “I’m dying.” He immediately went unresponsive. I checked his pupils—one dilated and the other one constricted. We coded him and never got him back.
#4 He Wanted A Shot To Live
When I was a senior resident, a young man (in his late 20s) was admitted for pneumonia. He got worse quickly and I was called to his room to help. He was having trouble breathing and needed to be intubated. I explained that I would sedate him and them get him intubated so we could help him breathe. He agreed and we got everything ready.
The last thing he said to me was “Doc, please don’t let me die.” I told him I would do my very best. I got him intubated and transferred him to the ICU. A few weeks later, I was on call covering the ICU and he was barely hanging on. I knew he would not make it through the night. He went into V-fib several times and I was able to bring him back, but only briefly. He was just too sick and he died shortly after that. It was horrible talking to his mother and girlfriend knowing the last words he ever spoke were a plea for help.
#5 This Daughter Is Brave As Hec
A 16-year-old girl and her mom were in a serious car accident. The mom was hanging on but the daughter was in bad shape—he had a crushed chest and a cracked skull. The first responders were trying to open wreckage to get access to patients. I was talking to the girl to try to keep her calm. She was moaning from pain, and she couldn’t see her mom.
She suddenly stopped moaning and said loudly, ” Mom! It doesn’t hurt anymore.” Her mom lost consciousness at this point and didn’t respond. The daughter turned her head slightly toward me, barely opened one eye just enough to make eye contact with me, and whispered: “Please tell my mom it doesn’t hurt anymore.” She was pronounced dead by an MD who showed up three minutes later.
#6 Let’s Skydive One Last Time
I had a patient in the cardiac ICU who had been diagnosed with heart failure. We couldn’t figure out what caused it. He was a healthy guy in his 60s. He did yoga every day and walked a few miles five days a week. With his heart failure, his heart was so stretched out it could not squeeze adequately to provide the blood and subsequent oxygen for his body.
A few nights into his hospital stay, I discovered that the senior resident had to code him for sustained unstable heart arrhythmia. I talked with him about it the next morning and he told me that he was in and out of consciousness during it all (from the low blood pressure) but he compared it to the feeling of jumping out of the plane and sky diving.
Later that morning, I was checking on him again and he didn’t look so good. He went into the arrhythmia again, dropped his blood pressure, and was in and out of consciousness. As I was charging the defibrillator to shock him again, he came back around briefly and asked me if I was taking him skydiving again. He let out a nervous laugh before losing consciousness for the last time.
#8 This Jokester Went Out Goofing Around
During my residency, I was on-call, running the hospital. One of my responsibilities was being in charge of the entire ICU (which had about a 16- to 20-bed capacity). I was taking care of a man who had a bowel perforation. He had a nasogastric tube up his nose that went into his stomach. His brother and sister in law came to visit him and they had a nice conversation.
I walked in as they were leaving and they said to him, “Make sure to listen to the doctor.” The patient and I talked a bit and he wasn’t looking so good. I kept hearing a gurgling sound as he was speaking to me; the kind of sound you make when you rinse out your mouth with mouthwash and spit it out. I immediately checked his NG tube and it came right out.
He looked at me and said, “I shouldn’t have played with the tube…” before going pale and losing a pulse. I did everything in my power to save him that day, but his lungs were too far gone. He passed away 20 minutes later. The rest of the day, I felt utterly numb and it still sits with me to this day. To have a patient smiling and laughing with you one moment, then deceased 20 minutes later is one heck of a rollercoaster ride.
#9 Kind Words Beyond His Years
My husband is a PICU nurse. One morning, he came home in a bit of a daze. I asked him what was wrong and he told me about a little boy who had been in PICU for a few days. He wasn’t getting better. Most nights, the little boy would wake up so one of the nurses would keep him company while he fell asleep again. My husband was doing just that—he read him a book and just sat there with the boy listening to music so he would go back to sleep.
Before falling asleep, the little boy said, “You were my favorite.” The boy passed away in the morning. His little heart gave out and refused to restart. Although all patients are important, some leave more of an impression than others. Until that point, that little boy hadn’t stood out to my husband and he felt terrible about it because, clearly, he had made a big impression on that little boy. That was the only patient’s funeral he has ever attended.
#10 He Couldn’t See The Light
I was transporting a cardiac patient with a coworker. While we were both watching the EKG monitor, he went into a lethal heart rhythm. His heart stopped pumping blood effectively at that point but there was enough blood pressure for a few seconds of consciousness. He looked at me and said, “I don’t see the light,” then he went unconscious. We coded him, shocked him a few times, administered meds by the handful, but he still didn’t make it.
#11 He Wasn’t Hyped For The Hospital
I work in EMS which doesn’t happen very often. However, I do distinctly recall an elderly gentleman who was determined to pass away in his home. He kept saying, “I’m not going back to the hospital, I’m going to die here.” The guy was having a pretty massive MI, so he was going to be dead in less than 12 hours. His wife and son pleaded for him to go to the hospital with us, telling him to think about his grandbabies.
My unit stayed on the scene for over an hour trying to convince him to go. We even called a doctor to chat with him. He was old, but not old enough to go out just yet. He was still mobile and still fully present mentally. Eventually, we just had to leave the man alone. He was dead the next morning. The funny thing is, I respect the heck out of him. I think he knew something we couldn’t accept, that he would pass even with intervention.
#12 Don’t Worry About The Mess, Man
When I was training, I had a guy go into a massive cardiac arrest. We ended up working on him for over an hour and a half because we kept getting him back then losing him again. He had wet himself during the arrest (which is common, it happens) and he just kept apologizing for “making a mess.”
#13 This Is The Ultimate ‘Sense Of Impending Doom’
I had a guy who had a cardiac arrest in a swimming pool. He came to my ICU. The lifeguards managed to get him back at the poolside. Turned out, he had a dysrhythmia which had eventually resolved itself. We later woke him up from his medically-induced coma, and he was great—smiling, waving, talking, etc. He even remembered feeling unwell in the swimming pool.
Fast forward two hours and his nurse started shouting for help. The guy was screaming in pain. He grabbed me, looked me square in the eyes and shouted, “SOMETHING REALLY BAD IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN!!” I had never seen fear or panic like it. He pulled out all his lines, then bit through his arterial line so he started losing blood everywhere.
We could not calm him down. He just kept screaming and shouting in pain. Then, at some point, he stopped, collapsed on the floor and went into cardiac arrest, which soon led to his death. In the medical profession, we talk about a ‘sense of impending doom’—I now work in palliative care so I see lots of people who die, but this was so visceral. I will never forget the look in his eyes.
#14 Wow, This Hits Hard
I found a guy lying on the street. I knew who it was but I didn’t recognize him at the time. He smelled rotten as if he had an infection that had been brewing for a while. I grabbed his hand and tried to talk to him to see what was going on. He looked at me and said, “Dianne, I didn’t expect to see you here.” He cried a bit, then stopped breathing soon after that. Dianne was his late wife. He was dead before the ambulance got there, and my attempts at CPR didn’t work. I feel bad for the EMTs because I might have blamed them for taking too long.
#15 That’s One Time To Clear A Guilty Conscious
Not a medical worker, but I went with my father to say goodbye to my great uncle. He was suffering from dementia and clearly on the way out. He no longer recognized people. My father was an only child and he spent most of his time being raised by his uncles, as his father ran a farm all day. Anyway, we were sitting there, and my great uncle was snoozing.
He suddenly woke up and started talking to my father about a barn, describing it in great detail. My father was quieter than normal and just kept nodding his head as my great uncle continued to describe the barn. Then, just before my great uncle lost consciousness, he mentioned going into the barn and setting it on fire. Turns out, that my grandfather and great uncle were having a dispute at one time and burned down the barn to get back at him. Everyone suspected, but never knew for sure.
#16 It Sucks That He Was Right…
I had a sweet guy in his 20s with endocarditis (a heart valve infection) in my unit. I was prepping him for his third open-heart surgery when he sat up, looked me in the eye, and said, “I’m going to die, aren’t I?” He did not survive the surgery.
#17 This Nurse Deserves A Medal
It wasn’t words, but the most haunting death was a patient who was DNR. She was losing her battle, and her family wasn’t there. She was getting frantic, looking around and sitting up in bed. A nurse with more experience than me took her hand and calmly said, “It’s okay. You’re not alone. We’re right here with you.” The patient immediately calmed, put her head back on the pillow and passed away. I knew I wanted to be that nurse when I grew up. How the heck did she know just what to do and say? I’ve never forgotten it.
#18 She Just Wanted Her Mother
A patient had a multi-gunshot wound in the trauma bay. She had lost a lot of blood. Before we took her in, she just kept asking over and over again for her mom. She passed away early the next morning.
#19 He Wanted To Right His Wrongs
We had a patient on our unit for almost a year. He was so mean—he always thought we were always hurting him when really, we were just trying to care for him. Well, I just had a bad break up so I was really depressed. The day he passed away, he was calm and asked me if I was married; which, at the time, made me a little sadder.
So I just answered, “No, I’m not.” And he just said, “You’ll find someone… and I know you aren’t trying to hurt me.” It was so concise, to the point, and memorable for me! Honestly, it was the sweetest thing he could have said to me. On his death bed, no formalities, just telling me what he had always wanted to talk to me about. I cried when I left his room. He passed away right at 7 p.m. when my shift ended. At least I got to be with him.
#20 So, This Patient Was Clearly Psychic
My aunty was with a patient. She told him that he had two weeks left to live. The patient looked to my aunty and muttered out the date “October 12th.” It was July and my aunty was very confused. Anyway, he passed about a week later. My aunty put that date in her calendar, expecting that nothing would happen. But then on October 12th, a patient came in with a severe illness and said the other patient’s name. “He said you’ve been expecting me,” he continued.
#21 Alright, It’s Time To Clock Out
“You tell that man to get out of here right now!” she screamed. I was working a shift in the middle of the night, alone in the haunted hall by myself.
#22 What A Courageous Little Kid
I started off working in pediatrics ER as a nurse. Toward the end of my first year, this woman came in with her eight-year-old daughter who was feeling dizzy and had a poor appetite. She hadn’t had her flu shot and it was flu season, so she took her in because her symptoms were bad enough that she was worried she may need medical intervention.
So we asked her a few questions, then I noticed this huge red bruise on her side that covered half of her side. I noticed another one on her back when we went to check her heartbeat. Then she fainted. We were able to get her stable, and when she woke up she said she was just feeling weak. Because we were thinking flu, we got her hooked up to an IV.
I mentioned the bruises to the doctor and he asked the mother to leave so we could talk to the little girl in private. “Is there anything you want to tell us now that your mother’s not here?” She nodded and looked down shamefully. We asked her what, and that’s when she told us that she was bleeding. She admitted that for a month she had lots of nosebleeds at school, at least a few times a week, and then she showed us something that terrified us.
She showed us an ulcer she had inside of her lip. We went from thinking flu to cancer really fast. We sent her to get some tests done ASAP, and never heard back. A few weeks later, I transferred to St. Judes. Turns out she was getting treated there, and her tests came back positive for Leukemia. She was not doing well. I was working as a chemotherapy nurse right away and would work with her a lot along with a few other patients.
She just got worse. Before one session she looked at me with the saddest eyes and said, “I don’t think I’m going to live for much longer. Tell my mom that I love her more than anything and anyone else.” It was so heartbreaking to hear, but nurses have to be stoic and I had to suck it up. After that session, another nurse took over and I ran outside and broke down crying. She died that night in her sleep.
#23 He Knew What Was Ahead…
I had a patient say, “I don’t feel so good” right before they dropped dead of a massive heart attack. It was shocking because he said it so matter-of-factly.
Make Up Your Mind, Man!
I worked as a unit clerk in ICU some 20 years ago. There was an HIV-positive man who came in, in his early 40s, and he’d signed a DNR/DNI advance directive when he was first diagnosed. He knew death was inevitable and didn’t want to drag it out. When he was admitted to the ICU with pneumonia, the doctors and nurses reconfirmed with him that he didn’t want any heroic measures if he stopped breathing or if his heart stopped.
He looked tired and done with life, so he said yes. Later that evening, his blood gases kept getting worse and his O2 sats kept dropping. He knew the end was coming for him, and all of a sudden, on a burst of energy, he was yelling for his nurse that he changed his mind and wanted to live. Those were his last words. “I changed my mind, I want to live!”
#25 This Poor Person Was Ready To Go
With wide eyes, the patient said: “Don’t listen to my family. They want to keep me around forever but I just want to die. They won’t let me.”
#26 I’m Sorry, Lad, It’s Too Late
Just before Christmas, a young guy had a fight with his dad. He went into the shed near his farm and took some tablets that were in a random post out of frustration. Soon after, he called an ambulance. We brought him to the ER, but he was quickly deteriorating. We were able to determine what he’d taken, and why he’d taken them. Shortly after, he went into cardiac arrest. We couldn’t save him. We ended up having to move him out to the carpark, and resuscitate him in hazmat suits. Turned out, he’d taken rat poison.
Sometimes, Honesty Is The Greatest Gift
I had a patient in her early 20s who was severely thrombocytopenic and bleeding profusely for days. She asked me if she was going to make it. I had to look her in the eyes and tell her there was a good chance she wouldn’t. I thought she would burst into tears but no, she just kind of sat back and accepted it, I think she already knew. She died shortly after I got off shift.
#28 Well, They Knew What They Wanted
“I want you to go away and leave me alone. I’m going to sleep. Goodbye.” The family members didn’t pick up on that one, but the patient’s eyes said it all.
#29 Relief Isn’t Always A Good Thing
My friend had a patient with an AAA (abdominal aortic aneurysm). It’s when your aorta is bulging and throbbing. The pain is very severe and agonizing. If it does rupture, the pain immediately goes away and it feels so good, but your chances of survival are pretty much non-existent. Anyway, he had a 15-year-old with one and on the way to the hospital, she looked at him and just said, “Oh, that feels so much better.” She died about 10 seconds later.
#30 Okay, So My Heart Is Shattered
It’s less haunting because of how young he was and how he was unaware of his final moments, but one patient I had, who was maybe three years old, asked: “Mommy, why’re you crying?”
#31 Ouch, Those Must’ve Stung A Bit
A jerk patient would yell and cuss at staff regularly. He once threw a half-full urinal at a nurse because he “needed it emptied.” He had some underlying mental health issues but it still made it very difficult emotionally to care for him in a 12-hour shift. He was critically ill and ended up needing intubation. Before we intubated him, he said, “Bet you all will be glad to get rid of me!” He passed shortly after.
#32 An Awful Way To Start Retirement
Not haunting, but it went, “So this is what retirement is like, huh.” He got hit by a car within a few days of retirement and it has to be the funniest last words.
#33 This Is A Heartwrenching Final Confession
I was feeding a patient who spoke Russian. He was in the Holocaust and he wanted to unburden himself before he died. He admitted to me, in Russian, through tears that he stole food from a child to survive and he never forgave himself. He kept saying sorry and then just flatlined. He had a DNR and so we just had to let him go. I told my instructor that I had to go home.
#34 All He Wanted Was A Drink
I am an EMT, and we had a frequent patient, almost once a week. He was a HUGE jerk, but towards the end, he turned into a sweet and appreciative man. We were in his house, which what ended up being our last day there. He knew it. I didn’t. He said, “Can I just have a cola before we leave for the hospital?” I didn’t let him have it. I should have.
#35 You Aren’t Getting A Penny, Lady
I work as a PA for a clinic so I’ll never be involved in that situation, but I know a friend who has been. She is also a PA and she was helping a guy who was terminally ill. Before he passed, he asked her to not let his wife have his stuff. Of course, she listened and was sympathetic. A day or so after he passed, his ex-wife apparently showed up to the hospital with several kids saying she was in the guy’s will. Long story short, she was trying to take his stuff.
#36 Looks Like He’s Getting A Ghost
“I’m going haunt you if they kill me.” A 72-year-old said this to his 35-year-old son just before open-heart surgery. He never woke up. He had terrible odds either way and he knew it. Seemed superhuman to have that kind of humor.
#37 I Think You’re Haunted, Man
I worked with a patient in a private home. The neighbor found the older person unresponsive. We got there and the person was unconscious. He was barely breathing and, about five seconds after we got there, he went into cardiac arrest. We pushed meds, defibbed him twice, and got him back. His eyes shot open and through his oxygen mask, just as I’m asking him his name to ascertain his alertness, he shouted, “Behind you!” Then he flatlined. There was no one behind me. I have no idea what he saw there.
#38 A Heart Of Gold Until The End
Five years ago, I had a call to a pretty nasty accident involving a tipsy driver (who of course was only injured a little by the airbag). It was a head-on crash that must have happened on an angle as the other driver’s car was upside down in a ditch. When I was putting the spinal collar on him he asked, “Is the other guy okay? He came out of nowhere. I hope he isn’t as bad as I am.”
I told him, “He’s okay, but let’s focus on getting you out of here.” After a moment of silence, he said, “I just wanted to know because I think I’m going to die soon, bud.” I told him we were going to do everything we could. He wished us luck and passed away during extraction. Neither us or the hospital could get him back. It still haunts me that the last thing he said was wishing us luck with getting him back. He knew he was going to die. That still haunts my thoughts sometimes.
#39 The Last Minute Cry For Their Identity
I’m an intern at a home for patients with Alzheimer’s disease. The first patient to pass during my internship asked, “Who am I?” For some reason, it saddens me deeply and I can’t seem to let it go.
#40 How The Heck Did He Know That?
I was about five or six when my grandfather was on his death bed. The last thing he did was put his hand on my shoulder and said, “No wonder you never liked my spicy food.” He then passed away about 10 seconds later. We were all super confused. About three months later, I almost died from suffocation after eating some salsa. At the hospital, I was diagnosed with a capsaicin allergy (spicy food). To this day, it still creeps me out. No one knew I was allergic before then, and I didn’t show any signs either.
#41 If Only He’d Held On For A Bit…
I was taking care of this guy with stage 4 cancer who had an altered mental status. The crazy part was that there was no cancer in the brain on imaging. We couldn’t find out what was wrong, and it was getting worse. The morning before he died, he actually looked a lot better and said, “Hey Doc, can we talk?” I said, “Sure, I’ll come back after rounds.” My plan was to come back after lunch to talk to him. On my way down to get food, my pager went off saying that the patient had passed away. A nurse later told me he was scared of dying and wanted to talk to me for comfort. He died terrified and I will always regret that.
#42 This Must’ve Been Hard To Watch
Most elderly people are at ease as they get nearer and nearer to death. But this old lady, as she deteriorated over her last week or so, would scream, “I DON’T WANT TO DIE! I DON’T WANT TO DIE! I DON’T WANT TO DIE! I DON’T WANT TO DIE!” Really heartbreaking to see.
#43 This Husband’s Final Romantic Gesture
I was caring for a man in his 40s with a brain tumor. He was coming in and out of consciousness. His 16-year-old daughter was crying non-stop for 12 hours. His wife, who had been given a few months to prepare herself, was calm and focused on her husband. He had signed a DNR, so they were all on edge. I had to routinely check his level of consciousness which involved talking to him in a loud voice.
I asked his wife to do the loud voice part, so the voice he would hear would be hers, not mine, and she did so without hesitation. The only response we observed with her vocalization was that this profoundly unconscious patient took her hand to his lips and kissed it. He stopped breathing very soon after that. I am haunted, but not in a bad way.
#44 The Shattering Words Of Survivors
I’m an emergency nurse, and there’s one thing that always gets me when patients die. It’s not what they say, but what their husband, wife, and parents say when they’ve gone. I’ve had it a few times but the most memorable was a man in his 70s whose wife had just passed away. He was holding her hand, crying, and he just looked up at me and said, “I’ve loved her for 55 years, she’s my whole life. What do I do without her?” It breaks me every time.
#45 This Poor Teenager’s Fear Of Consequences
A teenage girl who was having an asthma attack while she was at someone’s house she wasn’t supposed to be at, said, “My mom’s gonna kill me.” She died at the hospital.