The following stories come from beyond the grave, or at least they almost did. Most accidents are too severe to result in survival. But, by some miracle, the following people came out of a horrifying incident able to tell the tale and share it to Reddit.
These stories, edited for clarity, come from people who had a 1 in 1 million chance at life, and the odds turned out to be in their favor. Perhaps they will make you appreciate life a little bit more.
"When I was around 3 years old, I somehow got out of my crib and fell down a massive flight of stairs. At the end of the stairs was a really tall shelf with my dad's prized bowling ball on top of it. I smacked into it after falling from the stairs. The bowling ball tumbled off, and fell on my head.
Mind you, the bowling ball was huge, compared to normal ones. This one was at most 23 pounds. Jeez, Dad. Thanks for ordering the custom bowling ball.
Anyway, my parents found me bleeding on the floor and knocked out cold. I woke up the next day with some pain, and the doctors were going nuts. They were telling my parents that I was born with a never before seen genetic disorder. Apparently, my bone density is that of iron. That's why my head didn't even budge from the impact. All I got from the whole experience was a bit of amnesia and a slight concussion. I've hit my head more times than I can count, thanks to accidents."
"In Afghanistan, I was walking to lunch on base and heard a whistling noise turned and saw a Taliban rocket coming right at me. It went about 30 feet over my head and 70 feet behind me on the other side of a huge concrete wall. Had it been a little more humid or the angle slightly off and it hit 10 feet shorter on my side of wall, I would have be sprayed with shrapnel. Thirty to 40 feet shorter, I would be an amputee or dead.
A few months later, one of our medics was actually hit by same kind of rocket. Like, it landed within five feet of him and it took several hours to figure it out because there was so little left of him.
I got the one in a million miss and he got the one in a million hit."
"I was struck by lightning while talking on a landline. This was in the early 90s. Lightning struck the telephone line and traveled through the handset to my ear. My parents drove me to the ER. I couldn't talk very well. My brain knew what I wanted to say, but my mouth didn't want to say it. I had a terrible stutter.
My doctor told me that I had had a 'dose of good, old fashioned electro-shock therapy.' My speech was normal the next day, but I get a terrible headache whenever a thunderstorm comes through."
"I died, was pronounced dead, and came back to life. I might be a zombie.
I was 17 and on a mountain biking excursion with my uncle, aunt, and two cousins (17 and 4). My 17-year-old cousin and I were going out to mountain bike at Whistler in California. We had been riding for three to four hours when we met a guy who wanted to ride with us. Little did we know, he was a professional downhill mountain biker who took us on a course that was way above our skill level.
At the clearing, there were three jumps back-to-back-to-back before a massive turn. My cousin attempted it. He didn't make the jump overly well and skidded out on the turn, so the guy told me that he didn't jump hard enough. Being an inexperienced mountain biker, I was NOT going to make that mistake and went for it. I cleared the second 'down' ramp on my first jump, and hit the second one so that, when I went airborne, I cleared my cousin's head level.
I flipped over the turn, shattered most of my right side, tore 17 muscles, broke 37 bones, my lungs collapsed, and had a NASTY concussion. Attempts to revive me were unsuccessful and after attempting to resuscitate me for 10 minutes 'or so,' they pronounced me dead. The only thing I can remember was my grandpa, who had died 10 years prior, saying 'Not yet.' I'm not a religious person, but take that for what you will."
"I was on a downward spiral from all the partying I was doing. I was also misdiagnosed with anxiety and depression. One time, I took acid when I was out camping with my friends and it turned bad.... real bad. I thought everyone was trying to kill me. Everyone had horns on their heads and as we were sitting around the bonfire, everyone was looking at me and talking about me (auditory and visual hallucinations). There was one guy who was coming and going saying he forgot his knife (which I now know was to help cook food) and my mind leapt at the idea he was going away and taking someone with him each time to kill them. I eventually shot up onto my feet and ran screaming into the pitch black darkness off the night...
This really affected me. I had to be calmed down. Eventually, when they caught up to me, they gave me some meds, which I was convinced was going to kill me. Basically, it took a couple of months for the paranoia and mild hallucinations to go away, and I was triggered when I was around another bonfire a year later. A similar event occurred and I was rattled.
I was at a warehouse party, and I stupidly took another pill and my mind went somewhere no mind should ever go... I made my way up three stories of this place... and I jumped. I fell three stories.
I was in a coma for a week. I broke ribs, my back, my left knee, my left wrist - which contain pins and plates. I have extensive plates in my face (orbitals, mandible, cracked skull, broken jaw, forehead) and I suffered an acute bilateral hematoma (brain bleed). It has been a slow and painful journey, but my life has improved so much since I was finally diagnosed with ADHD-Pi which explains so much of my life.
You don’t think this sort of thing will happen to you. But it freaking can. And I NEVER want to wake up hearing 'Josie, you’re with us. Josie, can you hear me? Josie, we were so scared' with so many eyes looking down at me. Look after yourselves, people."
"I survived a 'non-survivable' plane crash. I was on an old Po-2 (famous for being very safe and uncrushable) on a tour of the desert in western China when I was, like, 7. My father’s friend who hosted me and piloted the plane didn’t survive but, somehow, I got out with a concussion and apparently passed out for almost a day in the middle of the desert, in the wreckage of the crash, about 30 miles from the airport.
The people who found plant greens in the desert to protect towns from sandstorm and they discovered my body on their way picking up a shipment. The only reason they looked was because they were making a bet on how fast an egg would cook in the sand and went off the road to test.
According to my dad, the theory that I might have lived was because the plane was mostly made out of fabrics and wood. So, when the plane crashed, the front half collapsed and took the majority of the impact. Though I got knocked out, I was probably covered under the wreckage and in the shades, it cooled me off enough to survive for a day or so. To be honest, I don't remember enough for it to actually cause like a traumatic experience or something."
"I came super close to death with a partial decapitation when I was 9.
Someone had a makeshift fence made of concrete reinforcement wire. A corner was hanging loose and it clipped my throat. I went to my dad and told him I cut my throat, he said look up and I did. There was a giant gash and you could see everything - voice box, jugular, veins, etc. He rushed me to the hospital.
The crazy thing is that it didn't bleed, only bled enough to cover the surface of a dime, the shots and stitches bled more. I ended up with only nine stitches. One layer of fat saved my life."
"I lived in Florida for the first 18 years of my life and spent most of my free time outdoors fishing, camping, what have you. The summer before my junior year of high school I found myself out hiking nearby by my home with a buddy. We were stomping around in some clay deposits inside of a little ravine when it started to pour.
Our minds immediately jumped to the exciting possibility of a flash flood raging through the crevasses we were exploring. In an effort to make our day more exciting and not take any chances, we began to climb vertically out of the canyons, versus take the lengthy path out of it horizontally. We got to the top, put our feet on the ground, and did pull up. As I stood up, I felt the ground underneath me squirm. I had stepped on a snake.
I screamed and kicked the snake that was latched onto my foot off me by reflex. As an Eagle Scout, I immediately recognized the red on yellow pattern as the snake slithered away. The red and yellow bands were touching. I remembered the phrase 'red on yellow kills a fellow, red on black - friend of Jack.' I knew it was a coral snake.
We rushed home and drove to the hospital. The doctors had never seen a coral snake bite before because coral snake were thought to not inhabit where I lived. When I told the doctors about the bite, they assured me I really saw the opposite color combination, indicating a King snake, but after explaining how adamant I was about seeing it and them consulting others on what a coral snake bite looks like, they decided on coral snake. The doctors asked me to send a friend or two to go try to find the snake for confirmation. They went but couldn’t find the snake. The shape of the bite and the color pattern definitely indicated a coral snake though.
The doctors informed my parents the nearest antivenin was a 3-hour helicopter ride away. The first symptom, lung failure, would occur after 2 hours. My parents called my friends and family and we all spent time together without me knowing my fate. My friends and family arrived and subsequently left together. My parents turned off the lights and we prayed together. Around two hours after being bitten, a nurse came in to our dark room with gurney to collect my dead body.
I asked the nurse, 'Has there been any developments?' to her surprise. The doctors came in, shocked I was alive, told me it was a dry bite, and that I should remain whatever religion I practiced."
"A bullet was deflected away from my heart by a novelty dog tag I wore. It skipped sideways through my chest instead, missing every vital organ, bone, or artery. It exited my chest and lodged in my arm. I was in the hospital for a couple hours and released with bandages and pieces of the bullet still inside me."
"I shattered my spine in a motorcycle accident several years ago. I was found about 250 feet off the road, and had landed on a fire-ant mound the size of a twin bed. I was covered in terrible ant bites, but it had acted like a cushion and prevented me from getting hurt much worse than if I had landed two feet in any other direction. I called 911 when I regained consciousness, but couldn't tell them where I was due to shock. This was pre-GPS enabled cell phones. A man with sunglasses appeared above me, told me he was an off-duty cop, told the dispatcher where to send the ambulance, and left. If you know anything about first response training, he was not supposed to leave until they arrived.
Less than two minutes later, an ambulance showed up (record timing) and took me to the hospital. The doctors came into the ER with my X-rays preparing to tell my family and me that I would never walk again. Out of habit, they checked my toes before telling us this, and I could move them. They were confused, and went back to make sure they had the correct X-rays. They did.
They then came in and told us that I had a burst fracture, and there were lots of shards of bone around my spinal column like grenade shrapnel. They needed to operate, but doing so would cause some of the shards to move and would sever my spinal column. The surgery took several hours with three doctors, but I came out OK. Then, they told me I'd be bed ridden for a month, need a walker for six months to a year, and may never achieve normal mobility. I was bed ridden for two weeks, used a walker for a month, and had normal mobility within three months.
Once I was home recovering, an officer swung by to clarify all the details of the accident. They were particularly interested in the off-duty officer, because none of their off-duty officers said they were there that day. So, they checked the 911 tapes. And they couldn't find the 911 tapes. As far as they're concerned, an ambulance got a call from dispatch that never happened, told to go there from a person who didn't exist, on a call that was never made, to help me survive an injury that should have killed or paralyzed me.
My family and I believe the cop was an angel."
"I survived hypothermia, by walking with my brother in -40º with windchill to the store. We were already inebriated a bit and never checked the weather. Granted, I did have three jackets on and thermal clothes, but I tried to act all cool by doing it, to impress my brother. It was a short distance to the store, less than two miles.
We got the bottle, headed back to chill in the fort. According to my brother, I started taking a few layers off due to me sweating. No idea why, honestly. Then, I passed out. He ran to grab my dad and wake him up to get the truck. I was probably passed out for 10 minutes whilst they found me, dragged me into the truck, and to the hospital where the doctor said I didn't have a chance, and my father should be waiting for the call.
I woke up with doctors shoving a big breathing tube in my throat, but I couldn't breathe. I was restrained to the bed trying to take it out and I remember a nurse saying, 'Breathe' and I did, once every five seconds, until the doc finally said, 'Take it out,' and he did. I gasped for life when they took it out, so relieved, I remember. I looked at myself in a gown hooked up like a robot, wires connected to me, three machines around me, and, like, six people in the room. Then, the alarms on the machines went off and I blacked out. They monitored me for eight hours until I was stable.
I died in cardiac arrest for five minutes, could be less. I was revived successfully, and monitored closely.
I woke up a day later, seeing my mother and the brother. However, I was so high on morphine, I think that I mumbled a few words, and smiled at mom until I passed out. I freaking survived."
"When I was younger, our backyard was overlooking a wood yard and a cliff (20 feet) was separating our backyard and the wood yard. A big tree was hanging over the cliff and I was always going on this tree and was looking at this yard thinking how much fun I could have over there.
One night I saw on TV a clip about people climbing down a cliff with some harness. The next day, I went on and made a harness with a rope. I attached it around my pants (like a belt) and decided to go down on that cliff to go explore. The cord was 10' long (so half the cliff) as soon as I went down, the rope broke my pants and manage to go around my neck. I almost got hanged, but the branch the cord was on broke and I fell 10 feet to the ground without any injuries,
It wasn’t my day."
"When I was 4, my cousin accidentally kicked me off of a water slide. I fell from about two stories up, and landed head first on the concrete, shattering the back of my skull. I would have broken some spinal cords if it hadn’t been for me still have a life jacket on. My mom scrambled and drove me to the hospital. As a nurse at the time, she decided that it would be faster than waiting on an ambulance. She was right.
In the ER, the desk lady told my mom to wait, even after seeing that I’d lost a lot of blood. Fortunately for me, I had eaten watermelon earlier, and my body decided that it’d be a great time to evacuate the stomach. The desk lady thought the watermelon was blood and I was rushed to the operating room where I made a full recovery."
"I have died.
One night around 11 pm, I was trying to fall asleep, but was just too hungry. I had just taken sleeping meds, so I tried to cook some food fast before they kicked in. Unfortunately, when I went to eat, I accidentally aspirated a bunch of it and passed out. Everyone in my house was asleep but, amazingly, my sister just so happened to go to the bathroom at 3 am and saw my light on underneath my door, so she decided to investigate.
She found me on the ground in full code and blue as a blueberry. She called 911 and they walked her through CPR. When the first responders arrived, I was still in full code for another two and a half minutes but, eventually, was brought back. I spent three days in a coma and, like, 10 days in the ICU. If she wouldn't have gone to the bathroom in the middle of the night, I wouldn't be here today."
"I was 17 years old visiting Oahu, Hawaii, with my mom, dad, and sister along with my parents' friends and their two boys around my age. It was in December around the mid-90s that we all decided to go to the North Shore of Oahu to try boogie boarding. It was a windy, stormy afternoon. I was venturing out to the North Shore with my rented flippers and boogie board from Waikiki beach.
Fins on my feet. Board under my arm. Strap from board to my wrist. Lifeguard was on his megaphone bellowing out 'No fins, no swimming' over and over. I thought he was saying you couldn't wear fins and you couldn't go swimming. So, I took off my fins. I had no business going out into these stormy waves with fins on and now it was pretty much a going out of business sale without any fins.
So, the fins were off and I was heading for the ocean again. I had no idea that waves came in sets. I just so happened to time my entrance into the water when there were no big sets coming in. So, kicked and paddled my way out there and was getting a bit tired and had no game plan. That was when some bigger waves start rolling in. I still had no idea what was happening or coming.
The lifeguard was now on his megaphone yelling, 'The guy that doesn't know what he's doing out there, get in here now before you end up in Kauai!!' I heard that, but didn't think that was meant for me. So, I kept kicking with my feet and paddling my way out. I was going up the front of the wave and down the back. I kept kicking and paddling away from the beach and up the front of another wave and down the back.
This wave had developed a bit of a spray at the peak of the wave. I thought that was pretty cool. I kept kicking and paddling my way out to nowhere in particular and I went up the front of the wave and down the back, and this wave's spray was bigger than the last waves. Wow, I thought. Next wave came and up I went and then there was an even bigger spray than the last one. It was magical going up and down this monstrous wave and the spray was so beautiful that I jut couldn't believe how lucky I was to be there.
Kicking and paddling down the back of this wave, heading for the next one, life could not get much greater than this. I was heading up the wave and then, BOOM!!!! It curled on top of me and slammed me down. What the heck was that??? I was five feet underwater in a mix of sand and white wash. I started to panic and didn't know which way was up or down but I found air after a few seconds. Then, I was pretty tired from kicking and paddling and going through a whirlpool that was no fun.
There was a guy on a surfboard about 30 feet away yelling at me to duck into the wave. I tried to duck into the wave with my boogie board and was sent flying backwards again. Few seconds later, I was back up for air. I was exhausted. Lifeguard was yelling on the megaphone and, this time, I knew it was directed at me, but before I knew it, I was crushed by another wave and didn't get a good breath of air before this wave hit me and I really got scared and was trying to get to the surface, but didn't know what direction I was going because of the sand and white wash and was almost out of breath.
My hand reached the surface and I was so desperate for air that I had a big breath of the Pacific Ocean while my head was still under water and my hand was in the air above the surface. I don't think I'm getting rescued, I thought after my head rose above the surface. So, I turned toward the shoreline and caught this forth wave and I was just so ecstatic that this wave was doing all the work for me because I couldn't do much else at that point.
So, for a few seconds, I thought that I had done it. I was going to make it. Well, that wasn't really the case after all. I was on top of the curl and I went hard over the top, slammed onto the ocean floor, and I was dazed and confused. I was about five feet below the surface and remember thinking, so, this is how it feels to drown. That right there was the most relaxing, surreal moment of my life. Everything was so calm and peaceful and I was staring up at the surface about four feet below the water line, looking at how beautiful the water and sky were. It was so amazing.
This is the part I don't remember: my head was above the water somehow and my dad was on the shoreline yelling at me to get in. I yelled back, 'I can't!!' He said, 'Stand up!!' I stood up and ran to the shore in the chest high water and got back to the beach safe. I used to have nightmares about getting pulled out into the ocean by these waves. I've never had one since that day."