Imagine going about your business one minute, then waking up in a hospital bed the next. That’s what happened to these Redditors. Some of them got into freak accidents involving vehicles, bicycles, snowboards, and even animals, and others were hit with terrifying illnesses. These stories will make you feel lucky to be alive.
1. Not Business As Usual
I was on a business trip in Texas. Me and two coworkers were driving to work, I was in the back passenger seat. The next thing I knew, I woke up in an ambulance. I got hit by a sprinter van at 80 km/h (50 mph) and slammed into a guard rail according to the official report. I don’t remember any of it. Broke seven ribs, a collar bone, had a concussion, and fractured two bones in my neck. Took like seven months to recover, but my neck and shoulder still bother me daily.
2. On Repeat
My dad was driving me to school and suddenly, the next thing I knew, I was in my bed! I get up, open my door, and ask my family what just happened. Their reaction terrified me. They all simultaneously scream for me to go back to the bed. Apparently, I had already asked them what happened six separate times.
I had a series of grand mal seizures during the car ride. I went from chatty to seizing all of a sudden. My dad called our pediatrician and I was eventually diagnosed with a form of epilepsy. My dad was told to take me home and put me to bed. It was the most disorienting thing I’ve ever experienced. It took six months to feel normal again. I had a constant sense of newness with familiar things that was very weird.
I was in elementary school. I stayed home because I had a light fever one day. I took a nap and woke up three days later in the hospital with no feeling in my legs. I’ll never forget the terror in my stomach. I had contracted viral meningitis, which had cut off the nerves to my lower body. I was bedridden for three weeks and spent several more weeks in physical therapy relearning how to walk.
The horrors I endured during my stay were tough, but I still feel lucky. In high school, a fellow classmate contracted bacterial meningitis. He didn’t make it.
4. Confused Girlfriend
My girlfriend had a thyroid related heart attack, where she was revived and put into a medically induced coma for like two weeks, and it took her another two weeks to come out of it. Then she had to go to in-patient physical therapy for a bit. Talking to her after she woke up, I couldn’t help but be astounded how much it messed with her memory.
It was like she remembered events, people, things, and places, but any concept of time went out the window. For example, she thought she was living at her ex-husband’s mom’s house, driving a car she had before we met, working at her current job, and knew we were dating. And of course, as those were all simultaneously impossible, she was having a lot of trouble figuring out what was right, and what wasn’t.
5. Barbie Power
I was watching Pocahontas in a blanket fort with my stuffed animals, home from preschool because I had pink eye. Then my worst nightmare started. The next thing I knew, over a week had passed. I was surrounded by doctors who were begging me to open up my mouth. My jaw was locked shut, and I had bacterial meningitis. My parents were there, weeping, and my dad told me if I opened my mouth for the doctors he would buy me a Barbie Jeep. I tried. It was impossible.
Days later, I tried again, and part of my tongue fell out. I had bit it off during a seizure. Everyone was yelling, and I looked at my dad and said, “Where’s my Barbie jeep”? I have almost no memories from that time of my life, but the promise my dad made me was on my mind in every memory I have. My parents were told I would never be 100% again and I would likely have severe brain damage permanently.
It was excruciatingly painful to move and do things for a while, but my dad kept reminding me that I could drive my jeep if I kept at it. I remember watching him put it together, but I wasn’t strong enough to drive it. My personality was gone, but I just didn’t care. I barely spoke for months, and had to learn how to read/write/draw again. Fast forward, I finished high school early and I have zero health issues now.
I genuinely believe my parents are to thank. The brain can heal really well, but they found a way to motivate me to keep healing constantly. I loved that Jeep, too.
6. Road Trip Gone Wrong
I had a friend over for a puppy playdate and I remember looking at the clock and thinking I needed to pack for a road trip because we were going to visit my fiancé’s family. The next second I was being told to hold very still and I was having some sort of scan done. That nurse was amazing because she managed to keep me calm the whole time.
We were at a stop light and were rear-ended by a distracted driver. I completely lost 14 hours. I cannot remember them at all, just a complete black hole. But that’s not the worst part. The worst memory loss is that I have very foggy memories from about two months before the accident. It feels like you are trying to remember a dream. Like you know something happened, but have no concrete memories.
This time period includes my fiancé proposing to me, and I hate so much that I cannot remember it. Finally, the entire school year before that (I am a teacher) seems like a really long time ago. Like if I try really hard I can have concrete memories, but it is like trying to remember a birthday party from 20 years ago. Everything before that is still fine and present.
I was having Groundhog Day every minute or so and I would generally ask the same questions in the same order. Obviously I would ask what happened, then how I got there. My fiancé and the ER nurses would make up new answers every time. Apparently, the one that got the biggest reaction is that I got there by a rocket ship. Haha!
That was four years ago and I still struggle with my memory. The dash cam footage is chilling. I know that is me, and I was awake and talking, but no matter how hard I try I cannot remember it. Please please please do not text and drive. It is not worth the risk. The young man that hit us made a simple decision that completely changed my life and I will probably struggle for the rest of my life because he was looking at his phone.
7. The Friendly Neighbor
I had a small bowel obstruction, and my neighbor saved me. I went to bed perfectly fine, then apparently I was puking blood. We had massive gaps under our front doors, like you could stick your hand under them, and they were all studio apartments. My neighbor walked by my unit walking into hers, and said she heard me gurgling and she was pounding on the door and I wasn’t responding. She sprang into action. She kicked it in, brought me to the hospital (downtown, 2 blocks away) and I woke up two weeks later.
Nothing obvious caused it and I lost 110 pounds in two weeks. This happened four years ago, I’ve gained about 50 pounds back, but today I am healthy and no longer wake up in fear. It is extremely overwhelming to go to bed, ready to wake up for class the next day, and instead wake up two weeks later, having lost over half of your body weight. I think it’s fair to say it’s a little unnerving to wake up in an ICU.
8. Race To The Finish
My mom, my brother, and I were in the family room chatting (I was maybe eight at the time, my brother 13). My mom asked us if we’d like some of the Danish chocolate the exchange student we hosted for a few weeks gave us as a parting gift. Excited, I raced to the kitchen to beat my brother there. Then, everything happened so fast. I tripped over a stool someone left out (let’s be honest, probably me). I fell over it and hit my head on the edge of the kitchen counter. From there I blacked out.
Now, this wasn’t my first head injury and certainly not my last, so I barely recall waking up at the ER at the hospital. I remember my body feeling extremely heavy and my head pounding like nothing ever before or since. Apparently, I scrambled my memories up even more than one of my first head injuries. It took fourteen stitches to sew me back up and one sort of boring summer inside with the TV. I never did get that chocolate.
I was maybe 16? I had asked my mom if we could go look at puppies at a pet store, ‘cause man do I love dogs. There were a lot of really cute dogs, but after being inside for a minute, I felt…off. Not like, something is extremely wrong, just sort of off. At this point, I figured I was having an asthma attack, and since my rescue inhaler was in the car, I went to sit down and use it.
My mom came out a minute later and started driving me to the hospital because my breathing wasn’t getting better. Then everything went black. Woke up three days later in a hospital bed, with my mom and dad sobbing next to me. Apparently, I had a severe allergic reaction. My throat had closed almost completely. The doctor that appeared soon after I woke said that I was extremely lucky, and gave me an epipen. I still don’t know what I was allergic to, because even with insurance, getting an allergy test was wayyyy too expensive. It still is kind of too expensive. I’m still crawling out of medical debt now.
10. A Family Affair
My wife, two-year-old son, and I went to visit a couple of friends out in the country. We had some food. I had a couple of drinks myself. We had an amazing time. My wife was sober, so she got into the driver’s seat, and I was wrangling my young one back into his car seat to go home, because he was overtired and unhappy but made sure he was good and snug.
We pulled out of the driveway after waving goodbye to our friends. I came to almost a month and a half later. I could barely move my legs and arms due to neuropathy and fatigue. I had a feeding tube up my nose and a colostomy bag. I’ll never forget that fear. The doctors told me that I had actually come to a couple days before while I was still in intensive care, but the nature of the anaesthetic they had me on meant I kept kinda waking up, fading back and forgetting everything.
At this point I was able to remember things normally. They told me right off the bat my son was fine; completely unharmed and in the care of a very old and dear friend with three kids of his own already. My wife was alive and relatively uninjured with the exception of some damage to her leg and a moderate brain injury that she would recover from slowly.
They kept the details about the accident from me for a few weeks while I was recovering, but basically my wife missed a stop sign in the middle of a dark, poorly marked country road and we got T-boned by an SUV. The other driver was fine. It’s been over two years since the accident. I got the strength back to walk again, but because of pins/bolts/plates in my left ankle and shin I’ll never likely be able to run again.
The neuropathy in my legs wore off, and eventually wore off in my arms to the point where I can use them normally again but it was a lot of therapy, retraining, and time. I suffered PTSD about ten months after by the time I was back at home. From time to time, I still have nightmares about something that I don’t technically have the ability to remember.
11. Close Call
I was at the pool, next thing I knew I woke up in a hospital bed, feeling very cold and my throat hurt. Turns out I had actually drowned, but the lifeguard had pulled me out and reanimated me for about 45 min. Then I was flown to the hospital by helicopter, where I lay in a coma for two days, during which they kept my body temperature low (to prevent cerebral damage caused by lack of oxygen). I could go home a week after the accident.
12. Pizza With A View
I woke up to my mom’s face looking down on me along with a few random hospital staff poking around. I think they might have actually been moving me to another room at that point but it’s all fuzzy. It took a while for memories to come back but I was out drinking and when the bar closed me and my buddy got some pizza and decided to climb up a rooftop to eat it.
We’d been up there many times before but I was significantly more unstable this time. After my pizza I felt sick and didn’t want to throw up on the rooftop so I went to climb down. That’s my last memory. I fell about two stories and crushed my L1 vertebrae. I also broke my wrist and cut my head a bit. I was knocked out briefly but by the time my buddy got down to check on me I was sitting up.
He saw the blood and got worried, wrapped his shirt around my head and hailed a cab. I tried to go home but he forced me to go to the emergency room (he explained all this to me later I have no recollection of it). I walked in and he helped admit me. He explained what happened and they took me away. They told him they’d hold me overnight and asked if he could come back in the early morning to pick me up and he said yeah.
After he left they did the cat scan to be sure and saw my broken vertebrae. They called my parents and they came in. Shortly after I woke up. I couldn’t remember much of anything at first and I was really scared because my mom looked scared. Then I just felt horrible and stupid for doing something so dumb. Then I had to awkwardly pee in a jug while staying completely horizontal in front of my parents and a half dozen hospital staff.
13. Punk Rock
I was just shy of my twentieth birthday when I went to a punk show. I remember paying the cover and being in front of the stage when, next thing I knew I was waking up in the hospital two days later with a massive headache, a sore jaw, and no idea of what had happened. Turned out I had been knocked out in the mosh pit and fractured my skull on the concrete floor. To this day I still have no memory of the incident. It also caused me to lose my sense of smell.
14. Where Am I?
I was twelve in 1982. Woke up in a hospital bed feeling fine, no idea what happened. Nobody else in the room. The last person I remember hanging out with was my friend, Scott, so I called his house. His mom answered, advised me to call my parents. No answer at the home phone. So I’m sitting in this bed, trying to figure out why I’m even there.
I finally discover that the rolling table over the bed opens up, and there’s a mirror under the lid. Across my forehead and down the whole right side of my face are fresh abrasions. “Ohhh, that’s why”. Finally, I get hold of Scott and learn the story (which I still don’t remember). I was riding my bike down a sidewalk near the grade school.
The sidewalk takes a 45-degree left turn, and I cut the corner. The grass was deep, and a little wet, and my front wheel caught on the edge of the sidewalk, flipping me over. I landed on my face, dragged against the other edge of the sidewalk, knocked out cold. Another neighborhood kid was in the area, hustled back to alert my parents. My dad took me to the hospital in his car, and I woke up the next day. Yes, my parents just left me in the hospital by myself.
15. Casual Crash
One month short of my fourteenth birthday I was riding my bicycle home from school. One second I was at the top of a steep hill, and on the wrong side of the road. The next second I was standing in the middle of the street. I reasoned I must have fallen off of my bike. It was lying nearby, so I picked it up and tried to get back on.
For some reason, the pedals wouldn’t move. At this time a bunch of people had come up to me, and they were all freaking out. I was confused at first as to why I was surrounded by hysterical adults until I happened to look down. That’s when I finally realized something was very wrong. All of the blood pouring out of my face proved that. So I let them guide me off of the street while an ambulance was called for me.
I spent the whole ambulance ride asking if I was going to get a needle. The EMTs kept giving me evasive answers so I kept asking. I still don’t remember what happened, but here’s what I’ve pieced together over the years. While riding on the wrong side of the road I passed in front of a stopped car. The driver wanted to turn right so she was looking to her left to spot a gap in traffic.
When she saw one she pulled out not realizing I was approaching from her right. She barely knocked me off of my bicycle but I was going over 32 km/h (20mph) because of the hill I just went down. I hit the asphalt face first with no helmet. The skin on the left side of my forehead was completely torn off and had to be regrown.
16. One Of The First?
Three years ago, I had a bad flu. I’ve had bad flus before, though, so I didn’t think too much of it. Next thing I knew, I opened my eyes, alone, in a semi-noisy hospital room, intubated, arms tied to the bed, and completely unable to move. I rolled my eyes across all I could see and thought, “What. In. The. World?” I used to be a physical therapist so I knew whatever happened had to have been really bad.
My family showed up, so happy to see my eyes open and me responsive. I was completely alert but baffled as to why I was there. Because of the ventilator, I couldn’t speak, couldn’t move. My son told me I had been in a coma for nine days, and I almost didn’t make it. My “bad flu” (this was six months before covid, was it covid??) lead to poor oxygen levels and I was intubated and put into a coma where they thought I would bounce back but didn’t.
All they could do was wait and test me for every possible thing including a lung biopsy. It all showed nothing. I spent three more days on the ventilator (SO painful), kind of remembering how I got there, and from there I got better, better, better. They called me a “medical masterpiece”. I just knew that I had to GET UP even though I did not want to. After three total weeks, I walked out with a walker. A friend stayed with me for a few days and then I was on my own. By the time school started in August, I was completely myself, if a little fatigued. (I was a 59-year-old music teacher at the time). Three years later, it’s like it never happened.
17. At A Crossroad
Well I was riding a bike downhill, and around ten meters away there was a crossroad which was usually empty, and a van was parked on the corner blocking my vision. Eventually I said YOLO and let my brakes go, and then…I was gliding in a hospital bed and the lights of the corridor were passing by. At first I tried to sit but felt immense pain in my back, and the first thing I said was, “What have I done?”
And then I learned that a car t-boned me going 60 km/h. I had broken my clavicle, two ribs, an arm, I had a severe concussion to my head (I had a giant bulge in the back of my head), and my knee hurt really bad. People who saw the incident said I flew in the air for five or six meters. I remember nothing from that time but strangely after two years, again some car hit me while he was crossing a red light, and I remember when I saw the car about to hit me I said to myself, “again?” And the whole scenario passed though my mind in an instant. So that was it. Yeah, I was a complete idiot for not looking when crossing and not having a helmet on but the car was speeding too.
18. Quite The Commute
Was on my way to work on my bike. The last thing I remember is turning out of the driveway. I woke up five days later in a neuro unit with 11 broken ribs, a shattered clavicle, a punctured lung, eight stitches on my foot, six behind my ear, and permanent nerve damage. I have no recollection to this day of what happened.
From the evidence, I’m pretty sure I was run over. There was also blood on my helmet visor from the wound behind the ear. I’ve had some parts filled in for me. The first hospital they took me to couldn’t give me strong painkillers or risk putting me under because they didn’t know what damage my skull had taken. CT scans were required.
It took four hours for me to get to a hospital with a CT machine. Four hours with a punctured lung. There’s no video of the incident. It happened conveniently in an unsurveilled spot between two video cameras. Bystanders were of no help (at least, my brother and dad didn’t collect any information from them that they’ve shared with me). But I have a sinister idea about what happened.
I suspected for some time that my then girlfriend with whom I’d recently broken up had tried to have me taken out. While I was under, she turned up at the hospital and convinced my family that I’d tried to off myself. In a bike accident. While wearing a helmet. In six o’clock rush hour traffic. Half a mile from my apartment. Where my dad was sitting. On the tenth floor. My brother and my dad believe her. They still think I remember exactly what happened but won’t tell them because I’m embarrassed to admit I was thinking of offing myself.
19. Snake Fight
Was taking the bus home from my mum’s place. I asked the bus driver to stop at the house, as it was just next to the road and I forgot a thing. I wish he had just kept driving… I ran across the road, and got hit by a car. They found me in a decorticate posturing. I spent eight days in a medically induced coma. I was constantly ‘spitting’ at the breathing tube (attempting to spit it out, I didn’t appreciate that thing in my throat).
I had a weird dream of a snake that had attached/bitten me in the mouth. At some point I got tired of the situation, so I fought the snake. I eventually won and tore the snake away from my mouth (removing my own breathing tube). I looked at it ‘dancing’ in my hand and I threw it across the room. My family got all the diagnoses possible. Permanent brain damage, unable to decide which side I wished to drool on, forever living in a wheelchair.
I left the hospital after 28 days. During the entire venture I was flying high on morphine. During my detox routine, I told the nurses I had a weird experience with a photograph on the wall. It was flowing in/out, having waves as an ocean, a 2D image became 3D, and doing other trippy things. Today, I’m living with a 10% disability condition. It cost me my dream of software development.
20. Don’t Get Too Excited
So one of my mum’s friends had come over (keep in mind I know them really well too) and I couldn’t wait to see her. But as I ran down the steps of my backdoor to see them I tripped and BOOM! I woke up one hour later and had surgery. Turns out I tripped, fell on a sharp rock, and blacked out. They told me Mum heard me yell as I fell, came running, and found me passed out on the floor, blood pouring out my head. I’ve still got the scar to prove it.
21. Take The Reins
This was about two summers ago. My family has a total of four horses, only three we can ride. Our biggest and oldest horse, Hope, is an ex-racehorse. For some time I had been taking lessons on her from my stepmom. Hope was not fully trained and could only be ridden at a walk/trot, she also couldn’t steer. Horses don’t like wind, and it was really windy that day, leaving Hope a bit sensitive.
When trying to get her into a trot, my stepmom had a whip and was just shaking it slightly. Hope jumped forward, so I instinctively held on with my legs. Bad idea. This caused her to freak out more. I was pulling back on the reins to try and get her to stop. When she finally came to a very harsh stop I went off backward, not sure how but I did.
I landed right on my head, and Hope proceeded to back up and step on my back. I got a concussion, but that was it. I could have easily been paralyzed or even worse. I don’t remember seeing anything in the hospital but I remember hearing things. The earliest thing I remember seeing was the window at a Walgreens pharmacy.
Also, I don’t remember most of that day, this is just from what my stepmom told me. I braided my horse’s tail earlier that day and had no memory. I even remember in the hospital bed my stepmom telling me I did it. I didn’t know what day it was or anything. Over time some memory came back from it, like I remember crawling out of the pen while gasping for air. Hope is a sweet horse. I should have been more careful that day.
My folks sent me to school with a stupidly high fever because they thought I was pulling a Ferris Bueller because my favorite uncle was in town. Other than the fever I didn’t appear sick at all. I vaguely remember asking to go to the school nurse…and then waking up at the doctors office…and then waking up again in my own bed. My fever was around 105. I forget why, I think it was a cold or strep or something. It lasted about 48 hours and then I felt fine. I’ve had sepsis an ungodly amount of times and it felt kinda like that.
23. Look Before You Leap
I must have been about nine or ten years old and was skateboarding with a friend of mine (same age). This was the mid to late 80s so of course we didn’t wear any protective equipment like helmets or pads. There was a steep hill next to the school that his brother went to at that time (and later both of us…this school was junior high and high school combined). It was a recipe for disaster.
I went down the hill on my skateboard, and when I opened my eyes I was in the hospital. My friend then told me that there was a stick on the path that I must have overlooked and I fell. I was unconscious, and fortunately his brother had afternoon sport class at the high school, so he ran over to get him and their teacher.
They brought me to a very nearby hospital (3 minutes away) where I then woke up again. I don’t know how long I was out in total though. It was not the first or last time that I ended up in the hospital (my mom used to work in one, and they knew me there almost better as a patient than as her son, due to me getting injured by doing stupid stuff), but this was the only time I woke up in a hospital.
24. Running In The Rain
Was running through a field in the rain. I woke up a few hours later in the ER. Apparently, I slipped and hit big rocks when I went down. My husband found me seizing. My next memory was puking in the ER, so they flipped the table so I wouldn’t choke on it. I just kept apologizing to them. Didn’t know my name, DOB, nothing. Except that Clinton was president. I don’t know why that stuck with me but it was the one question I could answer.
I had brain injuries, a concussion of course, I cracked my skull, had two broken ribs, a bruised lung, and I coughed up blood chunks from my lungs for weeks. The main side effects are permanent neck damage I have to maintain, and the biggest issue is that I still can’t remember names or faces unless it is someone who interacts with me consistently or is a consistent topic of conversation.
I can pinpoint WHO you are if there is a connection made to an experience I’ve had with you. Like “that time we went kayaking at the Brazos in Texas.” The Brazos won’t mean anything but kayaking in Texas would get me enough clicks in my head to pull the connection to you. Not your name, but I’ll remember our relationship at least. It led to some truly bizarre moments.
I had a few weird experiences of people running into me in public, giving me a hug, talking about how long it’s been since they’ve seen me. I just play it off. I hug back, big smiles, let them lead the conversation, and hope they mention something that sparks a connection for me. Starting new jobs is scary because you are introduced to so many new people and I won’t remember any of them for a few days at least.
I often chant someone’s name when I first meet them or are due to have a meeting with someone. Face and name combo helps me remember so talking about someone in the third person is really hard for me to retain. Nicknames or titles help a lot. Like “big boy” or “director.” But every once in a while I have a moment where it’s all there. Names, faces, movie titles. They don’t last long but it always gets me happy and I start digging into my memories until it’s gone again.
25. Breathing Problems
I had Covid pneumonia. I woke up, went to the bathroom, and my eyesight started going black. I lost all vision, then slowly lost all hearing. I woke up hooked to oxygen in a hospital and was there through Christmas and New Years. It was not fun at all. I had very low lung capacity for five months of lung rehabilitation.
26. Panic At The Pool
I was at the beach and went for a swim. I was eight at the time. Next thing I know I’m on a hospital bed with my mom and aunt watching over me. Turns out some guy thought it’d be fun to throw me into the water. Apparently, the impact knocked the wind out of me and I almost drowned. And I would have if it weren’t for some other dude seeing me not move in the water. The first guy tried to run away but was caught and was taken into custody. His family tried to pay off my mom so she wouldn’t press charges. She was not interested.
27. Mirror Mirror On The Wall
I cut my finger real good after a shower while wiping steam from a frameless mirror when I was a kid. The last thing I remember is my mom switching to a fresh paper towel after the first had been drenched in blood. I woke up in an ambulance, hooked to a machine with suction cups on my chest. Still have a little scar. I don’t remember the hospital at all but I imagine we were there long enough to get stitches and leave.
28. Kitchen Catastrophe
I was having heart issues for almost a year. It looked like bradycardia (heart beating too slow). I had lots of tests, and was put on meds. One day I was going to go to the kitchen and get a knife to start cutting up chicken for dinner, and then I fell on the floor, my roommate yelling my name. She said I just dropped. After that, it started getting worse.
The last time it happened she said it looked like I was having a seizure so she called an ambulance. In the ER I got a cat scan, chest x-ray, and an ultrasound, and all of them came back fine. After a couple hours laying in the ER bed a nurse came in to chart my vitals and I started getting this huge head rush, I said, “oh no oh no,” and she said, “OH MY GOD” and ran out of the room.
She came back with like six or seven people, and everything was going crazy around me. They put these big contact pads for the shock paddles on me, the doctors were yelling, then it happened again, and again. I passed out and peed all over the floor. The doctor came in and told me I was getting a pacemaker in the morning.
Turns out the fainting and head rushes were due to my heart rate just tanking. It would go from 80-90 bpm to 30. I spent three days in the ICU and went home with a heart rate in the 70s. I had just wanted to go to sleep after the last fainting episode at home. Thankfully my roommate called an ambulance and didn’t listen to me. If not for that and the fainting stuff happening in the ER I’d be underground right now.
29. Not So Routine
I was 28 years old, about seven months pregnant with my eldest child, and I went to my OB’s office (which was located in a separate building on a local hospital campus) for my regular checkup. I was feeling okay aside from still having a sensitive stomach, and my back was hurting, but you know, pregnancy, that stuff’s normal. Right? I was standing in line to check in for my appointment, and then suddenly a nurse was peeling me off the floor and depositing me onto a wheelchair. Turned out both the nausea and the back pain were a violently bad kidney infection that had me hospitalized for two weeks.
30. No Cure-All
I remember that when I was 16, at some point my head started to hurt very badly. Everyone closed their eyes and said, “come on, everything will pass, take a pill everything will be fine”. At first it helped, but later I started to get sick many times stronger. I also had darkening in my eyes and dizziness added to this. It bothered me, but I kept taking pills.
But when I fainted for the first time, I told my parents about it, but my condition was stable by then. I stayed at home for a week and then I went to school. I sat in class and I felt a headache, so sharp that I just had time to get up and grab my head. I woke up already in the hospital. As it turned out I had a ruptured aneurysm, but I miraculously survived. The doctors said that there was only one such case out of a million. Now I’m 22, I’m fine, but still sometimes this situation triggers me and I wake up in a cold sweat.
31. If It’s Not One Thing…
I was not in the hospital per se but on the floor in the nurse’s office. I was in an animal healthcare class. I had just been bitten by a guinea pig and was sent to see the nurse. All they did was run water on it. Next thing I remember, I was waking up on the ground. Funny because I remember dreaming too. Apparently, on my way down, my face hit the counter and my lower teeth ripped through my mouth. An ambulance took me to the hospital but I was okay. I came to find out that I had issues with my heart where my rate would suddenly drop.
32. Seizure Scare
At 24 years old I went to bed on March 15, 2021 and woke up in the emergency room with my now wife at my side and she told me I had a seizure in my sleep. Up to this point I had never had a seizure or even anything related to epilepsy. Fast forward to August 16, 2021 (my wife was then three months pregnant so this one scared her more than the first one), I was back to work driving a fork truck and I passed out driving the fork truck.
I had a second seizure and wrecked the fork truck. I woke up in the ambulance about a minute or so away from the hospital. Coming forward to today, I have yet to have another seizure, but sometimes I lay awake at night wondering if that night is gonna be the night that I wake up again in the hospital. It truly terrifies me. My neurologist told me I was highly at risk for SUDEP which, for anyone without knowledge of epilepsy, stands for Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy.
33. Curious Child
I remember when I was maybe six years old I was trying to get electrocuted by wetting my fingers and placing them in electric outlets. I don’t know why I did it, I was just a kid. I got shocked and I remember saying to my dad, “Dad what does 400V mean”? “It means 400 volts son, it’s enough to…” And then I just fainted. I woke up in the hospital.
I was driving down a road on a sunny day. The next thing I knew, I woke up in hospital. According to reports, there was a driver on the wrong side of the road, and I was being tailgated. The car that hit me was a Skoda, the car tailgating me was a Jaguar. I was driving a Rover Metro, which crumpled like a tin can. I woke up with a broken foot, internal bleeding, broken ribs, and a broken elbow. My mind has merrily erased all memory of the crash!
35. Before It Was Popular
My dad hit his head in the Tampa airport parking garage, I saw the blood…and woke up on a nursing station cot in the airport. I do not have a problem with blood AT ALL. I have hurt myself cooking, camping, and have been attacked by wild and domesticated animals. This was in January 2020. The EMT said I was “presenting with flu symptoms” and would be fine in a few days.
By the time I was back in Toronto and home, I had shakes, I felt like I was suffocating, and I had no sense of taste. Somehow I came out of it after the worst three days of illness of my life. Winter break ended, and I went back to University. My cardio was messed up for two months afterward, then COVID hit. I got an antibody test…yup. I had COVID in January 2020.
What’s crazier is we went back to Florida for Christmas in 2021, and my parents, siblings and I all caught Omicron, keeping in mind that all four of us were 3/3 on the vaccine (mom was 5/5 since she got the Sinopharm vaccine too for work.) I’m all better now, no long COVID or bad side effects, but it’s crazy to me that I caught it that much earlier (though there were reported cases as early as August 2019, so maybe not that crazy in hindsight).
36. Bro Sports
When I was ten, I was practicing softball with my brother (age 14). I’d just egged him on at bat, next thing I knew, he hit a line drive to my right temple. I woke up to him and my mom carrying me by my arms and legs to the car. I was groggy but felt okay…until I didn’t. As my parents raced me to the hospital, my mom asked me to repeat the alphabet to her, but the letters started coming out slurred.
I managed to stay awake most of the ride at the urging of my mom, but when we got to the hospital, the fatigue hit me all at once. I remember answering the doctor’s questions. “Has she thrown up yet”? he asked. “No”. Then…and I’m not making this up…I tossed my cookies on his brand new shoes. It was like my body was playing catch up.
I was ushered into a room with wretched pink floral wallpaper, which I stared at until I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. The next thing I knew, I came to in an ICU room at a different hospital. Apparently, I was awake and talking when they transferred me via ambulance, lights flashing and all. They’d done scans and saw that I had a hairline fracture in my temple.
I had no memory of any of this, which vexed me because it all sounded very exciting. My poor parents were losing their minds because an inch of difference in any direction would have left me fully out of commission or permanently blind, and little ten-year-old me was bummed out that I didn’t remember the ambulance ride.
Miraculously, the fracture’s location was a good thing because it relieved pressure on my brain and reduced the chance of swelling (which could have caused permanent brain damage). I look back now, and I’m convinced it was divine intervention where that ball struck me. It all feels very surreal. I’m thankful to be alive. My brother, by the way, went on to play division 1 baseball in college. He’s quite the batter.
37. Don’t Look Up
I was alpine skiing, and was just going along as you do. I felt a loud bang and everything went black. I woke up on a stretcher being loaded into an ambulance. Turns out someone had accidentally dropped a decommissioned T-bar from the lift above right onto 11-year-old me’s head. I had a helmet on so I came out of it with a skull fracture and a concussion. I had some gnarly bruising throughout my face for a while after.
38. Terrier Terror
I was five years old and walking across my neighbor’s front yard to go visit someone else in the neighborhood. I remember looking at my neighbor who was spraying the fruit trees in her backyard. She had tied their little terrier out on a leash in the front yard. I remember looking at the dog who was barking furiously at me.
I knew the dog well but I was young, so I didn’t think the barking was a big deal. The next thing I remember was waking up in a hospital bed with my mom and dad looking at me. Dad was asking me if I knew how many fingers he was holding up. I could tell my face was bandaged and one eye was covered. Story says that the dog attacked me and ripped open my face at my left temple.
The neighbor didn’t see any of it. I ran home and rang the front doorbell and my mother came to the door to see me covered in blood. The neighbor’s teen daughter held me while mom drove me to the hospital. Eventually, they had to explain why they didn’t have the dog anymore by saying he went off to a farm. Only as an adult did I realize the dark truth.
For years, there was a perfectly circular blood stain on our concrete front step. My parents met the plastic surgeon who would turn out to be a lifelong friend and I am left with a wee scar and part of my eyebrow missing, and a few other teeth marks in my face and arm. I have no fear of dogs but I know, as an adult, that kids should be taught how to approach them. Also, I remember having so much jello in the hospital! My mom hated making it so it was such a treat!
I crossed over from a green ski run to a double black diamond at Tahoe by accident. Apparently my snowboard caught a leading edge down a steep embankment and I wiped out. I went from running the slopes to waking up in an ambulance with a dude asking me who the current president was. I was pretty badly concussed and had to get a CT/MRI to rule out a neck fracture and brain injuries since I was unconscious for so long.
Thank god I was wearing a helmet or I definitely would have ended up with a smashed skull. The helmet was split in half from the impact. I still have no actual memory of it, just stories and photos and stuff that friends have shared. Always wear a helmet doing action sports.
40. Out For Lunch
I decided at work with my supervisor that we’d have an early lunch. I was 19, an apprentice plumber and was standing in the canteen on a building site. I had ordered my lunch, and I woke up what turned out to be an hour later as I was being taken into hospital. My memory of the event is as follows: 1. I was about to put some ketchup on my lunch.
2. Opens eyes and figures out I was in hospital. 3. Doctor says “take him into resus” (resuscitation). 4. Panic. I thought I had kicked the bucket and was experiencing this from outside my body. I was fully awake and speaking to the medical pros but I swear I could see everything that was happening from above. Like, a downward view of everything.
Being “blue lighted” with an official escort to the main hospital in the county’s largest city an hour away. Scans revealed I’d had a stroke which was caused by a blood clot passing through a hole in my heart, that I knew nothing about, and getting caught in my brain. Twenty years on and I’m kicking the ball as strongly as ever, although no one ever recovers truly 100% from a stroke.
41. Vertically Challenged
I was quite young, about 12 years old when this happened. I was quite unaware of my surroundings and was easygoing. I was home alone and decided to make myself something to eat. I was around four foot 11 so I couldn’t actually reach my cabinets. So, to find my way around this, I jumped up on a kitchen unit and grabbed food from the cabinet.
Before getting off, I could’ve sworn I saw the kitchen unit was longer than before. So I crawled on the unit. The next thing I knew, I was in a hospital bed with my parents surrounding me. They said I fell off of the kitchen counter and nearly fractured my head. Luckily, I landed on my stomach, so nothing severe. I could’ve had memory loss or a concussion.
42. Holiday Horrors
I was at the beach doing yoga with my husband and parents on holiday, and then woke up in the ER in the most pain I have ever been in. Turns out it was a ruptured ectopic pregnancy and I’d lost over 60% of my blood to the internal bleed. It was the scariest time of my life and so thankful that it all ended up okay after an emergency surgery.
43. Pregnancy Perils
I was technically already in the hospital, just the ER bathroom. I got up because I felt like I was going to pass out, realized the emergency pull cord wasn’t where I thought it would be, opened the door, screamed for my husband, then dropped. I woke up being cleaned up and triaged (finally) and being prepped for whatever tests could be run. I was 13 weeks pregnant and my appendix ruptured. We both almost didn’t make it, the kid was a 50/50. He’s alive and well now, but not without trying to take me out again during the birth, and ten days later on Mother’s Day.
44. Easter Emergency
My brother and I were outside playing with squirt guns (this was 2001 so I would have been 11). Next thing I know it’s Easter Sunday, I was in a hospital bed with a massive headache and blurred vision, and the last thing I remembered was four days prior. Apparently, I fell backward and smacked my dome on the curb hard enough to fracture my skull and bruise my brain.
I got two weeks off of school which was cool back then and I’ve had to wear glasses ever since. Apparently, according to my mom, the first sign of consciousness in the hospital was me getting out of bed, going to the bathroom on the floor, and then going back to sleep for two more days. The whole thing was a weird experience.
45. Up To Bat
I was at school, about eight years old. It was sports carnival day. I don’t know if they have that everywhere, it’s where the whole school spends the day competing in various sports. I was watching the other group play tee ball. Next minute, hospital. I woke up feeling like I’d just had a dream that I was in an ambulance.
Apparently I did briefly wake in the ambulance but not for long. I was thwacked in the forehead with a flying metal bat, had a massive abrasion which turned into the oddest scab you’d ever seen, like a unicorn had his horn lopped off. I still have a scar there where my skull cracked and healed with a kind of divot in it.
46. Freaky Friday
I had epilepsy but didn’t know it. I had regularly been having non-convulsive (focal) seizures for years, but never sought help for them because I thought they were just panic attacks. Then one day, I took a turn for the worse. One of those “panic attacks” turned into a full-blown convulsive (generalized) seizure that lasted for over seven minutes. The duration resulted in a small stroke. The last thing I remember was watching Friday on the couch, getting stoned with my brother. Six days later I woke up in a hospital bed.
The doctors had to induce a coma because they had no idea what was wrong with me. I am thankful my brother was there when it happened. If not, I likely would not have made it. It really terrified him though. I spent a total of ten days in ICU, a week in the regular hospital, and another ten days in a rehabilitation hospital. The stroke didn’t leave lasting damage but the seizures have sorta messed up my memory, especially short-term. I am medicated and they’re pretty well controlled now.
47. Got The Blues
I had a severe asthma attack to the point my entire throat closed up. I turned blue and was lying on the kitchen floor. I woke up in my granddad’s car with a straw in my throat and with him banging on my back. I woke up again in the hospital. I was about seven years old, and it was the most terrifying experience ever. I’ll never forget it.
48. Runner’s High
I have been a regular runner for 20+ years. About seven years ago I was doing a half marathon. I live in Florida and have lived here my entire life, so I am used to the heat and the humidity here, and have always been an active outdoor person. You can probably guess where this is going… For this half marathon, the last mile went along the park where the race finished.
The last thing I remember is seeing the 12-mile sign (half is 13.1 for those who don’t know). The next thing I remember I was in the ICU. I had gotten heatstroke with a body temperature around 106 or so. Luckily they got me to a hospital where they gave me ice baths and a ton of fluids. I had to stay for several days while my organ function returned to normal, but I have no lasting effects. I do have a photo of myself crossing the finish line despite not remembering anything past mile 12.
49. Wrong Side Of The Road
I was riding my bicycle to work when I got hit by an impaired driver going 45 mph, head on. I would’ve been going about 20 mph myself. I have no memory of being hit. I remember what came next, though. I had a lot of injuries from it being such a dramatic impact. Avulsion fracture to tibia, bruised lung, moderate brain injury, grade four to five lacerated spleen (almost fatal), broken left femur, two vertebrae with compression fractures, broken left scapula, broken left clavicle, broken left second rib, and various scrapes, the worst being 15 by four centimeters (six by one and a half inches).
I’ve mostly recovered, but I can’t really walk on my left leg. My left arm will never be what it was. The worst scrape was on top of the shoulder so that muscle is just gone. The driver had had some drinks, was speeding, and was on the wrong side of the road. Yet somehow, she still sunk lower. She tried claiming my lights were off, but they were still on at the scene.
I don’t know how I managed to survive, it was a collision of a total of 65 mph. I wasn’t even supposed to work that day either. Now the pain…my heavens does that hurt. The first vivid memory I have was when they set my femur into place (out in traction), without any kind of pain meds. I had lost so much blood I couldn’t handle any painkillers at all.
After that, once adrenaline wore off, the pain was excruciating. It felt like I was breaking a new bone with every breath with all the injuries I had. The pharmacy had some issues and I only got the strong painkillers twice in my line for four or five hours. They only worked for like 20 to 30 minutes. I never really complained about it, no point, it is what it is.
The funny thing is, there’s video of the accident. The driver complained about it more the first ten minutes than I have in ten months. Swearing and screaming at me while I was laying there in pain.
50. Family To The Rescue
I was living in my own apartment at 18, working full time, in school full time. I was sick, I thought I had a cold. I worked the evening shift and didn’t remember doing any of the work but everything was done. I went home, slept, and called my mother the next morning. She told me to go get some cold medicine—and it’s a good thing she did.
The last thing I remember was getting ready to walk to the store around the corner. Suddenly, I’m strapped to a bed, blind and freaking out. I had viral encephalitis. I was in a coma for a couple days and came very close to not making it. If I hadn’t left my apartment I would not have made it, for sure. My mother saved my life. The doctors thought I had taken too much “medication,” and my older sister had to convince them I was far too poor for “that kind” of medication, and that it was meningitis/encephalitis.
She had seen it before in people she worked with. She saved my life too. My family truly thought I wasn’t going to make it. When I woke up my father asked if I knew where I was. I was terrified, but I looked at the straps and managed to quip, “Looks like the psych ward.” My father started crying and said, “He’s ok.” Everyone assumed I’d have brain damage, but I was ok, except I lost my short-term memory for a while. To say I was lucky would be an understatement.