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 refused to believe that me, a scrawny seven-year-old who has had asthma my entire life, was having trouble breathing and that I really needed my inhaler. Not only did they refuse to let me take it, but they also wouldn’t let me call my mother or doctor, so I suffered an entire school day being practically unable to breathe.
I collapsed on the walk home with my mother as I was mid-way explaining why I was having trouble breathing and was rushed to the hospital via ambulance for extra-strength steroids and an oxygen tent. I did a two-day stint with doctors and nurses who all knew me, since I was in hospital monthly for asthma attacks. When my mother found out the full story of what happened, she absolutely lost it.
She marched down to the principal’s office and what ensued was a one-way screaming match with her basically reaming out the school staff who were all aware of my medical condition but thought I was faking it. After that, whenever I needed my inhaler, I could take it freely. No explanation necessary.
2. A Living Movie
I was on my motorcycle as a six-car accident happened AROUND ME. I came around a curve on the interstate as one car hit the concrete barrier and spun out into four lanes of traffic. Cars were spinning and rolling around me, and I was barely even dodging, it was like they were dodging me. I pulled off and as I was coming to a stop a truck came sliding sideways through the whole mess.
I hit the throttle again and the truck smashed into the guardrail a meter or two behind me. It was seriously like a car chase action movie, except it was all luck and not skill. The throttle punch at the end was the only thing that was on purpose.
3. Time For A Second Opinion
I went to the doctor four times with a variety of symptoms before one of them sent me to the hospital. First time, I felt like I had heartburn and they gave me something for that and sent me home for a week. It got better so I’d start working again. Then I felt like I had a hard time breathing so they diagnosed asthma and gave me another week’s rest.
Third time felt like the flu, so another week at home. Fourth time, I mentioned I’ve had a bad cough from December until now and that was the only consistent symptom. One EKG later: “Get to the hospital. NOW!” At the hospital, they told me my condition was really bad because my heart was so swollen that it was pushing one of my lungs aside, which was giving me a cough.
They diagnosed me with a heart infection, but I didn’t have to worry because I’d make a full recovery. Only now, while writing this do I truly realize that I was at the reaper’s door for just under three months.
4. All Organs Are Basically The Same, Right?
I went to the hospital with excruciating pain in my back. Collapsed in the hallway because I couldn’t walk anymore. Some hospital worker found me and wheeled me the rest of the way to emergency. They told me it was “probably kidney stones” and left me in the waiting room for 8 hours crying, barely able to move, curled in the fetal position.
I get taken back finally. I’ll never forget the looks on their faces after they did a CT scan. They took me directly to surgery almost instantly while freaking out. Thanks, triage lady…my appendix was rupturing.
5. In France, Of All Places
When I was 8, I very nearly drowned in a swimming pool in France. I was playing on the divider between the deep and shallow areas—which was effectively a row of large boulders—and slipped between two of them, getting my leg firmly stuck (and badly cut up in the process). I was trapped, hanging upside down in the water, and unable to twist my leg at all.
The only sign that anything was happening on the surface was the very tip of my foot sticking out, mostly obscured by the boulders, so there wasn’t a good chance that anyone would spot anything unusual. I remember looking at all these upside-down legs moving in the water and thinking, “This is how it happens. In France.”
After what felt like an age, I vaguely remember seeing two big hairy legs move towards me, and next thing I knew I was forcefully yanked out of the water, with blood dripping into my eyes. The guy carried me to the side and made sure I was alright. No idea what would have happened if he hadn’t noticed.
6. Concrete Is Solid
I was hired to cut a hole through a concrete wall once. Needless to say, it is very dirty work. I put on some old torn-up clothes that I was about to throw away anyway, and pretty soon I was sweating like a pig and getting all covered in concrete dust. My hair and beard literally looked like they hadn’t been washed for a year, all stiff and chunky.
Then I got the demolition hammer stuck, and trying to get it out, it rotated and smashed me in the head. I woke up on the floor covered in blood. I decided to grab my plastic bag (now equally dusty, which is exactly why I didn’t bring my regular backpack) with food and tools and go to the ER. When I got there, the nurse thought I was homeless.
She just told me to wait while making it clear that I could just leave if I got bored. I kind of sat there all dizzy for an hour or something until I realized there were no other people waiting. So, I got up to the counter again. She sighed and said clearly annoyed, “Ok, what happened?” I started with “I was at work …” and she blurted out, “You have a job?”
Doctor came immediately and stitched my forehead up. What angers me still is that they obviously won’t help homeless people. This happened in a country with free, universal health care. It wasn’t a “he can’t pay” thing, it was simply a nurse who couldn’t be bothered.
7. It’s A Rule We All Know
I was running with scissors and we can all guess how that went. I was a kid and I was running up the stairs with scissors in my hand. I was holding them in a fist by the handle with the shears facing upwards. I tripped and caught myself with my elbow and impaled the scissors into my neck.
8. Saved By A Guardian Angel
It was 2004. I was at the coffee shop with my best friend, our bodies still shaking after we had experienced an 8.9 earthquake earlier that day. I saw the electricity tower from far away swaying left and right, we had no idea what was happening. That’s when the water began rising rapidly. I thought it was a massive flood, so we just ran. I had no clue how much danger we were in.
Suddenly the stream of floodwater turned into a raging river and went up to 3 meters, we’re all swept away. I got sucked into a small store after the water breached the door. I got pulled in along with a few bikes, and a car. I almost drowned under one of those vehicles. Somehow a force from below pushed me up to the surface.
I slipped between the vehicles above me, not smoothly though, my upper body got injured badly. As I reached the surface, there was only a thirty-centimeter space between the ceiling and the surface of the water. Luckily, the water level got no higher and slowly receded. I learned later that what had happened was a tsunami.
9. Listen To Your Father
Me and my sister loved doing this thing where we would let ourselves get hit by large waves. The feeling of getting pulled in and slammed down as a kid was exhilarating. Well, one day, the ocean was unusually rough. The waves were gigantic and there were rip tides. My dad told us we can’t go in the ocean. But the waves were so huge, we had to give it a try.
We snuck off. Sat in front of our impending doom. This 10-foot wave starts coming in. Takes all the water with it. When it began to crest, I got the “oh no this is going to hurt” feeling but at this point, it was too far to go back. It comes in picks up me and my sister, slams me face first on the beach. Scratches the heck out of my face and arms on the beach shells.
Most waves when they crash, there is very little water left on the beach. Yet, this one was so huge, it left a ton. Enough that the current still could pull us back into the next one. It did this 2-3 times. Until we were both either concussed or tired enough that we couldn’t fight back. The last one pulled us deep into the ocean. I’ll never forget that awful feeling in my stomach.
We tried to swim toward the beach, but to no avail, we kept going further and further. But an old man, probably in his 60s spotted us. He swam up to us. But he only grabbed my sister and brought her back to the beach. I can barely see the shoreline and I remember pondering my mortality, but I was too tired to do anything but just stay afloat.
After what seemed like an eternity, the old man swims back and finds me, he takes me to shore. I was traumatized by the ocean. I probably didn’t go back in it for about four years. Even today, I’ll go but it causes uneasy feelings and I’m definitely not going deeper than I can stand.
10. Stuck In The Air
I’m a paratrooper in the 82nd airborne division and had the misfortune of suffering a static line injury. Essentially the cable that opens my chute is attached to the top of my chute and the inside of the plane. Through bad luck, I ended up with too much slack and it wrapped my arm. I bounced off of the outside of the plane and my parachute was too twisted to open properly.
I ended up with a torn bicep and shattered shoulder blade. All things considered, my injuries should’ve been way worse and I’m lucky to be alive
11. In The Nick Of Time
When I was about 12 years old, I was all ready to go to my Karate lessons with my brother. We were high belt grades so really into the contact side of it. I’d mentioned a rash to my dad, but he dismissed it as a heat rash. Before leaving I showed it to my mum who had just come in from work. She thought it was meningitis and rushed me to the hospital after dropping my brother off for his lessons.
Turns out they were both wrong and it was a super rare blood disorder causing my body to attack the platelets, which are the clotting mechanisms in the blood. Essentially, if I’d gone to the Karate lesson instead of talking to my mum, I could have caused some internal bleeding and very possibly I might not have survived.
12. At Least Someone Was Paying Attention
Many years ago, I got shoved out of the way of a tram when I was stood obliviously looking at some scenery when on a school trip to Berlin. Luckily a girl in my class was far more spatially aware than me and she managed to hoof me out of the way just in time—I felt the buttons on my coat just clip the side of the tram.
13. More Than Just A Little
I had a miscarriage. I was at work when my water broke. Drove myself to the hospital (terrible idea). I get there and I am bleeding really bad. I’m walking to the ER when I just can’t go any further. I flag down an EMT, apologized for disturbing them, and explained what was happening. The ER staff didn’t take me seriously.
They said it was just a little bleeding and I should go sit down. I go out to the waiting room and try to get comfortable. Finally, someone comes and asks if I’d like anything for pain. Absolutely, yes, I’m basically in labor. The nurse called me to come in and not to get detailed, but everything fell out. I was rushed to the OR and had to get a transfusion.
14. These Things Exist For A Reason
My wife went on a weekend away with friends. We lived in a little old wood house with a gas heater built into the floor of the hallway. It was late spring, and the heater was kept turned off by pushing the thermostat way down. 59F was as low as it went. I went out with some friends and came home late, went to sleep.
A cold front blew in and at around 5am, the temperature dropped to 58F in the house. We kept a throw rug over the floor grate in the hall most of the year to keep out dust. I awoke to smoke filling the air and the sound of the smoke alarm. I sat up in bed and looked down the hall just in time to see the throw rug burst into flames.
I jumped up, grabbed it by the corner and ran outside, hosed it off. I went back in and got the pets into the yard, woke up my neighbor, and then realized that without the smoke alarm, I would be dead. I would have suffocated and the house would have burned up like a book of matches.
15. Not So Nice
I was driving on the highway in New England after a particularly fierce snowstorm which quickly turned everything to ice. Some dingus didn’t clear off the top of their SUV. A chunk of ice the size of a small person came sailing off the top of their car and into my windshield. I was covered head to toe in glass and immediately started crying. If that ice had hit an inch or two lower, I likely wouldn’t be here.
16. Smokey The Bear Does Not Approve
I was managing a hobby ranch for some very rich people. This particular day, I was doing some pasture reclamation via controlled fire. I am not a wildland firefighter, but it was an incredibly calm day, there were firebreaks on either side of the ditch I was burning and I had a 500-gallon water wagon behind the ranch pickup.
Things were burning slowly and low to the ground, which was great, exactly what I wanted. I drove into the ditch to monitor progress and happened to be standing on the unburned side of the fire when the wind picked up out of nowhere. The flames which had been burning the dry spring grass at about a height of 6″ off the ground were suddenly whipped up.
Within an instant, the flames were at my feet. Another instant, and I was surrounded by flames about 6′ high. All I could see around me was fire. All I could feel was heat. I ran. Instinctually, I ran away from the fire, up the hill on the other side of the ditch, ignoring the ranch pickup. More flames. Nothing but heat. Then true disaster struck. I slipped, fell, and lost my glasses.
I was so scared for a minute there, but I managed to get back up and make it to the top of the ditch into the firebreak. I stood at the top of the hill and watched the fire burn all around the truck, thinking to myself, “Is my truck going to explode like it does in the movies?” Almost as soon as the wind whipped up the fire, it went away and the fire dropped back to a small, easily manageable fire.
I made my way back to the truck and found my glasses along the way (they had melted a bit but were still usable). The plastic parts of the truck and water wagon had melted somewhat, but the truck was still running. I climbed in, drove home, and cried.
17. Mind The Gap
When I was 16 years old, I was backpacking through Europe as a part of a summer camp. We took the night train to Berlin and when getting off the train, I felt a pull backward. My backpack got caught in the train door and the train started moving again. I was dragged for maybe 10 meters. The train finally stopped thankfully and I did not die by being crushed by a train.
18. You’re No Hawkeye
I was practicing archery at an outdoor range. The place was deserted and I had a target all to myself. When I ran out of arrows, I started walking toward the target to retrieve them. Halfway there, there was an ear-piercing whistle and something whizzed past my head. Some moron had arrived and literally shot an arrow at my target while I was walking toward it.
I looked back and the dude was already stammering out apologies, some nonsense about how he didn’t see me. Good thing his aim was bad or else I would’ve been toast.
19. Worst Sauna Ever
When I was 14, my friend and I were exploring the sketchy old lumber mill where his dad was the night watchman. We went into the lumber drying room. We knew it would be really hot in there but we still wanted to check it out. We thought it would be ok to go in for just a second and come right back out. But when we went in and the door closed behind us.
Unfortunately, we panicked and forgot how to open the door. I’ve never felt fear like in that moment. We kept pulling instead of pushing. When that didn’t work my friend panicked even more and started climbing up the wall using steam pipes as a ladder, burning his hands pretty badly. I bumped into the door, and it opened outward easily.
We were pretty freaked out about it, and never really discussed it very much. Not sure how long we could have survived in there but it felt like it wouldn’t be very long.
20. It Just Gets Worse
When I was 17, I was trying to get home from my after-school job in a nasty snowstorm. At the time I lived far out in the country and was going down some pretty treacherous roads. I took a turn a little too sharp and ended up in a ditch. I couldn’t get out no matter how hard I tried and I knew I couldn’t stay there. My folks were out of town and my cell had no reception.
No one would even come looking for me until morning. Luckily, I had my little survival kit in the trunk. I put on my snow boots, heavy coat and wrapped myself in a blanket, grabbed my whistle and some road flares. My thought was that if I got into a bad situation then maybe the road flares and whistle would alert someone to my location.
I knew there was a large church about two miles or so away at the bottom of a hill so I started walking along the dark country road in that direction. I hoped maybe it would be open or someone might be home in the parish next door. The wind and snow were brutal but I had enough layers to keep me warm.
This road was heavily wooded on either side. Soon, I came to the sickening realization that I wasn’t alone. I heard them off in the distance at first, coyotes, alerting one another to my presence. I quicken my pace but I could feel their eyes on me and I knew there were more than just a few of them. Coyotes were a real problem in that area around this time.
Lots of reports of them eating livestock and even a story about some trying to attack a small child playing outside his home. I was very small for a 17-year-old girl and my mind began to race thinking of what I would do should they get a little too brave. I could hear them following along the tree line. Their footsteps were no longer quiet and careful.
I was getting closer to the church, I thought about sprinting but I was afraid that would only make their predatory instincts kick in and they’d come after me. I started making aggressive noises at them, growling and snarling and using my whistle. Hoping maybe it would scare them off. It didn’t. I knew they were getting braver all the time as their numbers grew.
Then I remembered the road flares in my pocket. I quickly set one off and held it out towards them as I continued to whistle and snarl at them. It was like a horror movie; I could see the light from the flare reflecting in their eyes as they hid in the tree line. I aggressively waved the flare at them and screamed at them to leave me alone.
It worked, they backed off and I made a break for it still holding the flare with one arm behind me as I ran. I made it to the church and began pounding on the door. To my extreme good fortune, the minister’s wife was still there working on some costumes for the kid’s Christmas play. I can’t imagine how I must have looked to her standing out in the cold covered in blankets and snow, wide eyed and shaking.
I’ll never forget how it felt to be hunted, it messed with me for years. I’ll also never forget that as I was drifting off to sleep that night on a stranger’s couch, I could hear their distant howls as if to remind me of just how close I came to perishing.
21. Look Both Ways
When I was living in South America, I was crossing a road when I was run over by a pickup. The guy was waiting to turn right into a street with heavy-flow traffic, and I guess he didn’t see that I was already in the middle of the street. As he was turning, I was lightly hit. Not hard enough to cause pain, but hard enough to knock me over.
He continued to move while I was on the ground and proceeded to run over my leg. In the end, I only had deep-tissue bruising (I walked on crutches for a month) and no broken bones, but I often think what would happen if he had run over my torso instead.
22. Not What Most Consider A Relaxing Holiday
I was on holiday and trying to sneak pills into a club, dumb I know. I hid them in my bum because the taxi driver who took us to the club told us they do ridiculously intense searches. When I arrived at the club, I tried to get the pills out. When I went to pull the baggy out it ripped. I genuinely thought I wouldn’t make it through the night but here we are.
23. As Luck Would Have It
I had picked up a cold and just couldn’t seem to shake it. I had gone to the hospital multiple times, only to be sent back with pain medicine and told that it would clear. Finally, after 3 or 4 trips like this, someone examined more closely and had noticed an abscess had formed. I had dropped 15 pounds, hadn’t been able to eat, and was severely dehydrated.
It took two weeks before I was well enough to leave and was told that, had I not come in when I did, that I likely would not have lived. The combination of me and the local doctors being complacent, I never figured a throat infection could end that badly. I’m still mad at my local doctors and how long it took for them to take it seriously.
24. That Took A Turn
A few years ago, my grandparents and I were on vacation to see the Grand Canyon. We spent a few days in Las Vegas going to see shows. When it was time to fly back home, we managed to get lost and at one point turned left onto a what we thought was a normal two-lane road. That was until we realized we were very wrong.
We had turned onto a four-lane and were driving directly into oncoming traffic. We were lucky enough that there was a break in the median separating the two middle lanes so that we didn’t get into an accident.
25. Oxygen Is Good For You
I took a job at a small chemical factory, I mainly focused on distillations of a product to make it purer so it could be used in another product. It routinely took 15-20 minutes for the large flask of fluid to heat to boiling where I wouldn’t need to worry about doing something else. Since I was a little more tired than normal one day, I turned on the heat and went to grab a soda.
I swear I was only gone for 5 min, but when I got back, the substance was boiling pretty bad and spewing smoke into the room. Of course, the large plastic piping that was supposed to vent to the roof had fallen off. I took a deep breath and ran in to put the piping on and turn off the heat. I then went and told my boss, he asked how I felt and I felt fine.
He asked a few more times throughout the day and I didn’t seem any worse for wear. I left and got home feeling very tired. I went upstairs and drew a nice hot bath. Once inside, I felt off, so I went and told my mom I wanted to go to the hospital. We got to the emergency room and I checked in, still kind of short of breath.
I got put in a bed and hooked up to an oxygen sensor and they showed my oxygen level around 70…normal is 90-100. It was slowly dropping. Then came all the questions of what the chemical was, how to get in touch with my boss, and other things I don’t remember. My dad, who was a cop at the time, showed up shortly after, and he looked nervous, which really threw me.
Eventually both my parents came in and my mother was tearing up. She said, “The doctors said you may still be reacting to whatever it was you inhaled. I want you to know that we love you very much.” That’s when it all suddenly felt so real, my heart sank. My oxygen rate was still dropping and was down to 50ish at one point. It was all a blur; I remember having this feeling that I was going to die.
My oxygen finally started to go back up and I spent the weekend in the hospital. I never went back to that job.
26. Not The Best Idea
As a child, I felt inspired to ride a wagon down the sloped backyard of my cousins’ rural property. My cousins, brothers, and I used to bail out before hitting the fence at the end of the yard. We usually came out with grass burns and bruises, but such a fun time, we would ride down and bail out, over and over.
One time my cousin and I were in the wagon together, and we didn’t bail out and hit the fence post. We were unhurt and had no bruises or grass burns, EUREKA!! So of course, we do it again…This time we hit the barbed wire instead of the fence post. We were both clotheslined off the wagon and ended up about 20 feet on the other side of the fence, in a horse pasture.
We were either both unconscious or blacked out due to shock? We woke up our necks all sliced, clothes torn. We ran screaming back up to the house. My aunt nearly fainted and my cousin had to get stitches in his throat. I still have a scar under my chin near my neck where a barb ripped me. My beard doesn’t grow in a small strip there to this day.
27. A Beautiful Birthday Gift
On my 23rd birthday, I was walking along this sidewalk and I’m looking down. I can see my shadow and the shadow of a powerline. The powerline begins to shake violently and its shadow gets bigger…I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and ripped my earbuds out. I looked up and in front of me, and screamed in terror. The whole powerline was collapsing.
It collapsed in a wave motion, a large truck had hit it and the whole thing was coming down. I freaked out and darted across the road. Not one second later that whole side of the block’s powerline had collapsed and I could barely walk properly I was so full of adrenaline. The city had a pole that was rotted and infested with termites and it was leaning so the truck hit it.
28. Tiny Bladders Save Lives
I was in the computer room in school while they were renovating the roof. I went to have a bathroom break, and when I came back the teacher was screaming at me, “You have a guardian angel!” and other stuff. I looked really confused, then I looked at my chair and saw that a huge concrete block fell on it, and broke the chair in half. Had it not been for the bathroom break, I’d be dead.
29. Swing Safety
My little sister almost ended me twice before she turned 5 years old. One time, I was standing on our tree swing when she started spinning it around and around. It was all fun and games until the twisted rope caught the back of my t-shirt and got all tangled up. I lost my footing and was dangling there, unable to breathe and my little sister ran away.
The last thing I remember before losing consciousness was my dad jumped off the deck and running towards me. I guess he made it in time. Either that or this is the lamest afterlife ever.
30. Speak Up
My socially awkward self didn’t want to cause any trouble to the driver when the bus started moving slightly before I got off. I almost fell under the wheels of the bus. I was pretty traumatized for the rest of the day and didn’t talk much to any of my friends. Took a cab home.
31. Bring A Map
When I was 16, I went camping with my family in the mountains. At the time I was really into longboarding, and I had brought my longboard hoping to ride it down some paved, relatively empty backroads. My dad came with me on the last day when I rode down a hill. I was going down on my longboard and he was driving behind me maybe 50 feet.
He was matching my speed so at the end he could tell me how fast I was going. I went down a new road I had never gone down before that was quite long and straight, with a slight bend at the end. I sped down the hill (ended up hitting a max speed of 45 kilometers an hour or something like that according to my dad) until I got to the curve and turned onto it.
That’s when I realized, I’d made a horrible mistake. RIGHT after the curve is…the highway, which somehow neither of us had remembered was there beforehand. So, I’ve just turned this corner and am maybe ten seconds away from entering the highway, going nearly 50 kilometers an hour and the highway is full of cars and semitrucks barreling through at 100 kilometers an hour.
I ended up just hooking a sharp left into the ditch and flew face first into it and all along the right side of my body. Had massive road rash on the entirety of the right side of my body, from my ankle to my neck and some big cuts on my face, I broke my glasses and cut open the spot right next to my eye. It’s still scarred today as well as various deeper cuts along my leg.
Dad drove me back to the campsite and mom was MAD. In hindsight, the entire situation was completely preventable and I’m unsure how either me or my dad didn’t catch that this road led to the highway.
32. No More Dreams Of Flying
When I was about 7 years old and a tiny, undersized little thing, we were driving to the dentist’s office during a bad storm. Golf ball-sized hail started falling, cracking the windshield, but we managed to drive through that relatively safely. Right when we were pulling into the parking lot, the tornado sirens started blaring.
My stepfather pulled up to the front door so we could get out under the covering. The wind is so strong at this point that when my sister opens the sliding door of the van it slams backward with a crash. Similarly, when my mother opens the front passenger side door it slams back hard enough that the side view mirror breaks off.
My mother is struggling to get the door closed again while screaming at my sister and me to get inside over the roaring sirens. We are still about 10 feet away from the door, but right next to the handicap railing. I jump out first, diving forward and grabbing onto the railing for dear life. My older sister follows me, grabbing onto my hand for support as she grabs onto the handicap railing in front of me.
At this point, a random guy opens up the front door and starts gesturing us frantically inside. My sister reaches forward, he grabs her and helps her inside. I’m still about 10 feet away from the entrance, my mom was on the other side of the van still trying to get her door closed. While I’m waiting, I notice all the windows in the entrance are shattered.
The man comes back and reaches out for me, but I’m too far away for him to reach me. I try to scoot closer to the door, edging my way along the handicap railing when a particularly strong gust screams by and I lose my grip. Still trying to grab at the handicap rail, I remember thinking, “That’s not supposed to happen,” as I start floating in the air.
I notice that one of my shoes had come untied and my dirty shoelaces match all the sticks flying in the air. I am flying away past the van and I hear my mother screaming my name. And then the man who was at the door lunges outside and grabs me and pulls me inside. He asks if I am okay before handing me to my sister and going back out to help my mother inside.
My mother gives up trying to bother with the van door and rushes inside, where we are promptly brought into an inner hallway where it’s filled with people crying and praying and huddled on the wet ground. We huddle on the ground next to them, in the dark since the power went out. My sister asks if we are going to die. We did not.
33. Unless You Ate Beets?
I started throwing up at home and it was kind of brownish colored. I figured it was maybe something I ate or drank. Then it got a little bit more red. That’s weird. The third time I was undeniably throwing up blood but still felt okay. I got in my truck and drove myself to the hospital. I had to stop along the way and threw up again.
This time it was A LOT of blood and I’m starting to feel really bad. When I finally pull up the hospital, I can barely walk in, I’m feeling so woozy. I threw up one more time. This time it was an insane amount of what looked like pure blood. Like if you took an entire soda can and dumped it out. That much blood. A security guard saw me on the ground and freaked out. He quickly wheeled me inside.
I talked to the nurse and explained what was going on and that I felt like I was about to pass out any minute. I struggled to the bathroom where I eventually collapsed in front of the toilet and threw up everywhere. Thankfully, I didn’t close the door because a doctor was walking by and saw the scene I had just created and freaked out. He starting yelling for a bed and I was brought back immediately.
34. What A Scene
On my pregnancy due date, I went to just get a checkup. They mention that the sac is a little low on fluid, so I go to the hospital just to make sure everything is ok, as I most likely will go into labor soon. I get all hooked up and they say that my blood pressure is getting a little high, and with the low fluids, they want to induce me to get labor started.
They give me the induction medicine and within 20 minutes they come barging back in to say that my blood pressure is spiking into stroke zone, they have to do an emergency c-section. When earlier admitted, I had said that I was hungry because we hadn’t had breakfast before coming in (my bad), so they gave me this chicken broth stuff.
So, I am in the crucifixion pose, all numbed up, and I have to sneeze, but I can’t because my diaphragm is numb. I suddenly feel the tugging on my body as they pull my son out. The sensation was so unnerving that I felt nauseous. I told the nurse I felt like I was going to throw up, but I guess she didn’t believe me or didn’t think it was possible.
Just as my husband is being ushered into the room to see the birth of his son, he sees me projectile vomiting straight green. He thought I was dying right then. I almost started choking on my own vomit, until the nurse realizes what happens and uses that suction thing to clean out my mouth/throat. I was stitched back together, but my blood pressure was still high.
I had to be on magnesium sulfate for almost 3 full days after. Such a miserable experience. Never even got to feel a single contraction, which many will tell me is a blessing, but this was my one and only go at birth and I really wanted to feel it all.
35. Watch Out!
When I worked on offshore oil rigs there was an incident where a cable under ten thousand pounds of tension broke and launched a big chunk of steel into the rig floor. It broke up into a bunch of little pieces of shrapnel and went everywhere. To this day I have no idea how nobody was even injured given how much damage it did to the driller shack.
There were fragments of metal 50 feet away embedded in walls. Honestly the most surprising thing was how little it seemed to phase the rest of the rig crew. What kind of stuff did they deal with routinely that this didn’t even illicit a response?
36. Candy Should Only Be Consumed In Serious Circumstances
I was in the high school cafeteria and someone gave me one of those jawbreaker candies. They’re about the diameter of a nickel, maybe bigger. I started laughing at something one of my friends said or did and sucked that thing down into my throat. Immediately, I couldn’t breathe normally. My best friend was an aspiring young doctor.
He realized what was going on and tried doing the Heimlich on me. First two times didn’t work. By then, everybody thought we were fighting, and the big, burly, bearded lunchroom monitor started lumbering over toward us to “break up the fight.” The third time my friend thrust his fists into my abdomen, the candy went flying out of my mouth! My friend never did become a doctor, but he did save a life.
37. A Grizzly Fate
Me, my younger brother, and two friends were on a hiking trail in the Grand Tetons. This was our first time hiking anywhere other than the Appalachian Mountains. The difference we found most concerning was the shops being nearly sold out of bear spray. Being a bit cautious we decided to get one can for our ventures. I never actually thought we might have to use it—but I was wrong.
Upon having hiked most of the way through a loop trail, we decided to take a moment to pause and enjoy the view. We had been trying to make constant noise like we were told up until this point. “Hey bear!” my younger brother would occasionally call out. Once we left our rest spot and after not seeing others for a while, we decided to finish the hike.
As we get up and leave my younger brother resumed with his regular “hey bear” shout. He is in the back, me and one friend are side by side, and one of our friends is in the front making a diamond. First shout from my brother, loud and clear. Second shout, loud and clear. Third shout, he cuts off after “HEY” then murmurs just loud enough for me to hear “it’s right there…”
He stops dead in his tracks and me and my friend to my side pause and look up. In front of us no more than 25 yards dead center of the trail, is what is seemingly a five-hundred-pound grizzly bear. Our friend in the front was not watching where he was stepping and he did not hear us stop. He ventured about 10 more steps forward, which was way closer for comfort.
I finally softly said his name to get him to look up. In the seven years of knowing him, I have never seen his face show that much surprise, fear, and motivation to move in the opposite direction. The bear had not noticed us seemingly or just didn’t care. It continued to sniff around on the ground, paused on the trial as we went quickly in the opposite direction.
Never have I feared that I would have to outrun a friend or a brother for my life until that moment. No matter how prepared you think you are, sometimes you never think to use the obvious tool. Bear spray was the last thing on our minds.
38. Hiding In The Bushes
I was out late one night, my car had broken down in the middle of an interchange that was so deserted there was no one there for miles. I did what any other person would do and called a towing number and when I finally got through it was almost 1 am. I decided to go take a leak down at some bushes. That’s when I suddenly heard a chilling sound. Some motorcyles were approaching the car.
I wanted to head out immediately to stop them for help when my legs froze and I thought twice. From behind my bush, I basically saw them try to ransack the car and apparently, they were all armed. Thank goodness I remained still because these guys meant business. They fired multiple shots into the windscreen and door.
It was an old car and there was nothing in there, but they busted all four wheels with bullets before getting back on their bikes and zooming off. I walked a bit further into an open field and sat on the thick branches of a tree where I could see approaching objects. The tow truck didn’t get there until four in the morning and I can tell y’all that was the longest night of my life.
39. Another Perspective
When I was about 7, I got bored at my mum’s company barbeque and decided to climb a tree at the back of the pub. I went up and down it several times until my mum saw me, screamed, then forced me down and gave me the telling off of my life. I tried to tell her that I wasn’t going to fall, and the only reason I’d snagged my leggings was because she was making me go down so fast.
She was having none of it. I recently went back to that same pub and saw the tree I’d been climbing. It was taller than my house, and I’d been almost at the top because I was small enough that the thinner branches could hold my weight. I realized exactly how dead I would have been if I’d overbalanced even once, and that me as a kid had no concept of danger or my own mortality whatsoever.
40. Adrenaline For The Win
I was working on a fishing crew off the coast of Alaska. A friend and I were in a small boat (5 meters long) on a stormy day. We shouldn’t have been out in the first place, but it was the beginning of the season and we were itching to fish. We were driving a little too fast on our way back to shore and a wave hit us on our side. It happened at the worst possible time.
I had been sitting on the rail and was knocked clear of the boat, he remained inside but lost control of the rudder. The boat sped away. The waves were too high to see the it any longer. I was left in the frothy water trying to stay afloat. My fishing gear (boots, gloves and plastic overalls) began to fill with water.
I swam in high school, so without all the extra weight I think would have been okay for a while, but with all the clothes, I was fighting hard to keep my head above the surface. I squirmed to take the gear off but with no success, it was too tight and the water was too cold. After fighting for a stretch and exhausting myself, I knew I didn’t have much longer before I sank.
I thought about wanting to tell my girlfriend I loved her, or hug my family. I remembered happy things from my life. At this point my mouth was under and almost the rest of my head. Then all of a sudden, the boat flew over the waves and crashed down next to me. In some “mom lifting a car to save her child” feat of strength my friend grabbed me by my straps and pulled me in.
41. With Enemies Like These, Who Needs Friends?
I was a little shy as a kid, and my mom, my siblings, and I were at a waterpark on holiday, with a rented house and such. My mom told me to at least TRY and talk to some kids my age. My mom likes to sit in the kiddie pool, as it’s warmer and she hates getting water in her face, but me and my brother wanted to swim a little.
When we were a little further into the big pool, he asked if he could go and try the water slide, or if I wanted him to stay with me. I said I was fine so he left. I thought to myself, “What should I do now?” A girl a little older than me was close by, so I thought I should try communicating. I don’t remember if I said anything, but I remember smiling at her.
She did not respond. She had this kind of poker face, and from what I remember, she was from another country so I don’t think she understood me. Then because my communication failed, I turned around and swam over to the edge to go back to mom. Right as I grabbed the edge, it all happened so quick. The girl grabbed my shoulders and pulled me underwater.
I only remember thinking, wow, I can open my eyes underwater and it’s very bright down here. I can’t even remember if I panicked. I think I had an out-of-body experience then, because I remember my mom trying to get to me, but it is VERY hard to run in water. I’m not very good with distances, but I was probably around 20 meters away from her.
I remember her shouting, and slow walking through the water at full force, but no one reacted. I think I blacked out then, because I don’t remember her pulling me up. Next, I was on her back, swimming away. I was coughing and crying when the lifeguards came and asked what happened. My mom was furious.
When the guards left, I saw the girls face sticking out from the changing room. My mom swam around with me for a bit, and I got a stuffed Tigger teddy from the store after. I since then developed anxiety, and I honestly still think that’s the reason why.
42. Keep Your Arms Inside At All Times
In Mumbai, India, we have trains that don’t have doors. I was traveling with friends after a trip and made it into the train before I realized my friends hadn’t followed me. They had my train ticket as well. I panicked and tried getting out, but the train started to move. I don’t know what really happened, I jumped off or slipped or something like that.
I ended up on the platform with hundreds of people screaming at me. I was lucky to go without an injury. I went home and hugged my mom and cried for an hour. It still haunts me sometimes. Hundreds of people die falling off trains in Mumbai and nearby suburbs. I was lucky.
43. A Weird Feeling
About ten years ago, my mom and I stopped at Taco Bell for lunch. I was driving and she was the passenger. I parked my pickup truck with my front end facing the street, in front of an electrical post. I thought we were eating in, but my mom said, “No, let’s order to go.” She told me what she wanted and said she’d wait for me in the truck.
For some reason I can’t explain, I just did not want to leave her there. I was insistent that she come in with me. “What if I get the order wrong?” I said, “Come on, just come in with me.” Mind you, I was about 20 at the time, plenty old enough to go in a restaurant order on my own. But something just told me she had to come too. She relented and came in with me.
I had just barely finished placing the order when I heard a strange sound outside behind me. The cashier taking my order looked outside right after returning my debit card and says, “Wow, that crash looks bad!” I turned around and it turns out that a driver had zoomed down the wrong side of the road and slammed into the post I was parked in front of.
The post collapsed and crushed the cab of my truck on the passenger side. Needless to say, I lost the pickup truck but kept my mom.
44. Doubts Flooded In
When I was 12 years old, I went to stay back in my hometown (we had moved to a town 3 hours away) with a friend and his family. They rented canoes and we trailered them to a spot in the Cedar River. We were going to put these canoes in and float back into town, and get off the river before the multiple low-head dams that are in downtown Charles City, Iowa.
This was in 1993, the year of the massive floods. Other rivers were already out of their banks across the Midwest. The Cedar River had been less affected, but on this day, it was flowing by at an alarming rate. I had broken my arm a couple weeks prior, and was in a cast. As they prepared to launch these canoes, I began to protest.
I didn’t want to get in the river. A guy that was camping nearby approached and asked what we were doing. He said the river had come up several feet since he had woken up, and that my friend’s parents were fools to try and get in it. They dismissed him, but I continued to refuse. Eventually, a park ranger arrived and said that if we even made it to Charles City, we’d never get off the river and would be drowned at the first dam.
They finally reloaded the canoes, but they were angry at me for being such a wimp. I think I saved us all. The river came out of its banks that day and flooded Charles City.
45. Please Be A Deer
I was 22 years old, backpacking through Patagonia for six months and camping wherever I could. One day, I was fishing by the lake with my camp already set down for the night save for starting the fire. I kept hearing rustling some 30 meters behind me in the tree line so I stared for a while hoping to see a deer or something.
Next thing I know, I’m staring down a puma right in the eyes. I started to get up, ready to take a sprint but right as I was standing up, I remembered I was warned against this so instead I grabbed some rocks from the ground and started throwing rocks and shouting and throwing my arms up in the air until it left me alone.
That night I stayed up late next to the fire and then went to (try to) sleep, scared as I’ve ever been. That was my only encounter with wildlife on the whole trip (save for birds and stuff).
46. Always Question The Dark
One time working at a grocery store at night, I had cart duty, and had to collect all the carts from the parking lot and bring them in to the store. It was dark out and I had my headphones in, and I was looking at the ground and pushing a chain of carts, when suddenly it got darker. I stopped for a split second to wonder how it could get darker when it was already night and BAM!
One of the huge 30 feet high parking lot lights smashed onto the ground right in front of me. Hit the carts and missed me by 2 feet. The metal had rusted out and it snapped at the base. If I hadn’t stopped to wonder how it got darker, I would’ve definitely died.
47. Everything That Could Go Wrong Did
When I was seven, I had my first real asthma attack. I came home from school wheezing and coughing, but my mom had never seen anyone with asthma, so she just thought I was getting a cold. My dad, whose own father actually succumbed to an asthma attack when my dad was 10, was on a fishing trip. As the night went on it just got worse and worse.
My mom just kept giving me cough medicine and cough drops, which if you know anything about asthma, is just about the worst thing you can do. Finally, my dad came home, took one look at me, and said, “We have to go to the hospital.” He put me in the car (to this day I don’t know why they just didn’t call an ambulance, because I was turning blue at this point) and we start flying towards the hospital.
Except my dad had forgotten to fill the gas tank up. We ran out about 15 miles away from the hospital. Last thing I remember was my dad practically screaming at me to stay with him, and then I lost consciousness. A few seconds after that, by some miracle, a state trooper came along, saw my dad’s blinkers, and stopped.
My dad said he took one look at me, now almost completely blue, and called for an ambulance. I regained consciousness at some point in the ambulance ride. They were giving me oxygen but I was still having trouble breathing. When I got to the hospital, it was utter chaos. There were ten people working on me, and I kept going in and out of consciousness.
They ended up having to intubate me, and give me bunch of steroids to get me breathing again. I had to stay in the hospital for three weeks because my lungs were so messed up, my blood oxygen levels took that long to get back to normal. I also had to have a bunch of tests to make sure I didn’t have brain damage, which thankfully, I didn’t.
48. Not On The Menu
On a camping trip, I went hiking alone at the age of 12 in some dry grass hills. Climbed up to the top of one hill and looked at the next hill over and saw something terrifying. About 30 yards away from me, a full-grown mountain lion was staring me down. We locked eyes for what must have been only 10 seconds or so but it felt like an eternity.
It was like in those dreams where you can’t move at all, I was frozen in a sort of terrified disbelief. Then it slowly turned around and walked away. It must have eaten already because they have no qualms with eating human children.
49. Trust Your Instincts
When I was 18 months old, my nana was looking after me whilst my parents were out. I started acting really sleepy and refused to hold my head up on my own. Weirdly, my mum started getting a really weird feeling and made my dad take her home. On their way, they got a call from my nana to say that there was something wrong with me but she didn’t know what.
Fast forward to the hospital. They looked me over but didn’t know what was wrong. They told my mum to give me some Tylenol and let me sleep it off. My mum refused to leave and kept hounding the doctors. Finally, a doctor who was clearly just trying to get rid of her, agreed to look at me. The minute my butt touched the bed, I started convulsing.
Within seconds a rash appeared all over my body and they realized that I actually had meningitis. They later told my mum that if I went home and came back, I would have probably lost limbs or even more likely died as I had Meningococcal Meningitis and Septicemia. Only came away with deafness in one ear.
50. All Seven Years At Once
I had an accident while moving a big antique mirror by myself at home. It broke and half of it fell onto my neck. It severed my jugular vein and I came within a few minutes of bleeding out. The paramedic who saved me said I lost about 2 liters of blood and I was extremely lucky to survive.