There’s something thrilling about surviving a crazy incident. Being the lucky one who made it despite all odds gives the survivor a terrific high, and it often makes the audience revel in the unbreakable and unshakeable human spirit. Come to think of it, the only advantage that humans have over all other creatures in the world is the fact that we have reason. Using our reason and resourcefulness is how these survival stories come about. And even if these survivors they did lose a lot in their struggle to survive, their spirits definitely came through unscathed
A lot of these survivors offer an insight into the resilience of the human body, and they perhaps also prove the existence of mind over matter. Is our survival dependent on just the sheer will to survive, or is there more to it? How are some people able to take the bone-crushing pain and still manage to come out the end with a smile? Medical science may never know. Call it luck, the will to make it through, or faith in a higher power, but somehow these people managed to survive. So here go 15 absurd survival stories about people who probably should not have madeit.
15. The Hibernating Sleeping Beauty Who Just Needed An Electric Blanket
When sub-zero temperatures caused her car to skid and crash, Jean Hilliard decided to walk it through the freezing cold to reach a friend’s home, which was nearby. This was a foolhardy decision, since she collapsed fifteen feet away from the doorway. The friend found her frozen and stiff-as-a-board in the driveway the next morning, minus any sign of life. She had been outside all night, and her friend still drove her dutifully to the hospital, splaying her in the backseat with difficulty. At the hospital, the staff was flummoxed. The nurse tried to start an IV but the needle snapped and broke against her iced skin. Not knowing what to do with Sleeping Beauty, they wrapped her in an electric blanket. Hilliard soon began to twitch and convulse and woke up with no major complications, without the help of a prince’s kiss! All she had was a bit of disorientation, and doctors believe that she froze quickly into hibernation, which saved her life.
14. When Your Brain Is Left With A Gaping Hole & Your Personality Gets A Little Weird
Phineas Gage was a railroad worker a long time ago, and this is one of those old survival tales. Back then, to lay tracks, you had to blow up the big rocks and the hard earth with dynamite. It was rather simple; you dug a hole in the ground and packed it with dynamite. Then you had to make sure the dynamite was good and packing, so you took a metal rod and poked the dynamite with it. One day, the dynamite poked back and blew the tamping iron right into Gage’s cheekbone, through his brain and skull, and then some feet away. Gage was left with a huge gaping hole in his brain. Stupefied doctors expected him to keel over, so they packed his head with brown paper and vinegar, or whatever passed for medicine in those times and sent him home. The only thing was Gage survived! However, the missing brain matter did alter his personality, and he went from being a nice guy to a bit of a jerk.
13. She Really Needed Her Head To Be Placed Firmly On Her Shoulders
When 23-year-old Rachel Bailey survived a horrific car crash, she did so with one very, very major issue; her spinal cord was wrenched so badly that it decided to just slip away from the brain and well, just stand alone. Medically, it’s called an internal decapitation. We call it… Well, we don’t know what to call it. Her head was left high and dry without support, and it decided to slip off her neck, so Rachel held it in place until she could reach the doctors. There, the good doctors screwed her head and neck in place with an arsenal of plates, screws, and rods that could put a tank to shame. After weeks of care and therapy, Rachel Bailey regained her motor functions and speech, but she lost about a month and half of memory. It was a small price to pay considering she escaped paralysis or nerve damage! How was Rachel able to survive it? She didn’t lose her head over losing her head!
12. What Happens When You Get Hit By A Particle Accelerator Right In Your Mug
It seems like this stuff only happens in Russia! Or maybe it happens anywhere you keep things like a particle accelerator. Anatoli Bugorski was a researcher at the Institute for High Energy Physics in Protvino and one day in 1978, he was checking a faulty particle accelerator. The fault could have been with the proton beams escaping the particle accelerator because he got hit by a proton beam traveling almost at the speed of light, right in his face. He describes it as seeing a light that seemed brighter than a thousand suns but feeling no pain at all. The beam should have killed him, but it didn’t. However, in the next few days, the damage was evident. His face swelled up and parts of it sloughed off, pointing to the path the beam had taken. He lost hearing in an ear and has significant nerve damage to one half of his face, which, strangely, does not age at the same rate that the other side of his face does. Other than a little ringing in his good ear, he made a full mental recovery.
11. When The Universe Conspires To Drill Some Sense Into Your Head, Painfully
Now Rob Hunt is another one of those survival stories about people with pretty bad inuries. One day, Hunt was making his merry way up a rather unstable ladder with a massive drill. For most normal people, this looks like an accident waiting to happen. But for a construction worker, this was probably rather mundane. Except on this day, Rob fell, and as he did, the drill bit decided to drill away into his eye and through his brain, finally emerging out at the back of his head. Rob’s adrenaline rush was so strong that he didn’t really realize how badly he was hurt until he felt his face and, well, found a power tool instead. His arrival at the hospital panicked the doctors more than it did him and they managed to drill the bit back out. Amazingly, he suffered no brain damage– just damage to his eyes and skull. And possibly to his ego as well!
10. When A Mugging Leaves You Stuck. Or Rather, With Something Stuck In You
When a mugger attacked 22-year-old Julia Popova, he didn’t realize he had attacked a gal with the chops of Uma Thurman in Kill Bill. He got the fight of his life, and once he realized he wasn’t going to win, he quickly ran off leaving Julia and her handbag mostly intact. A shaken Julia carried on home, walking for around 40 minutes to her parents’ place with adrenaline running through her veins. That’s probably why she didn’t notice the souvenir the attacker had left for her. When she reached home, all hell broke loose. This blonde with her fighting spirit had a knife sticking out of the back of her neck! Her parents bundled her off to the hospital where Julia became a mini heroine of sorts. Doctors were able to remove it and luckily, the knife missed all major nerves and the spinal cord as well.
9. Hit By An Arrow In The Eye But Survived Because Of A Fluke Shot
So when an 11-year-old Chinese schoolboy was shot in the eye with a bow and arrow by a classmate, they both had to be rushed to the hospital. Cheong went into emergency because he had a 16-inch arrow sticking through his eye. His classmate needed a bit of care to revive because she was in shock, considering she had hit her friend! The doctors swung into action. They trimmed the arrow down to fit him into the CT scanner and found somewhat of a miracle. The arrow had completely missed the optic nerve, as well as the brain, which means that Liu Cheung was one lucky boy. The arrow had also not travelled too fast, or else it could have caused far more damage.
8. The Man With A Rocket In His Gut But Who Walked Away Whole
Stationed in Afghanistan, Moss was busy doing his duty when his convoy was ambushed by the very enemy they were trying to decimate. Amidst the firing and the rocket-propelled grenades, Moss felt something hit him. He couldn’t believe what he saw– a small rocket jutting out of his body! Considering he was about to blow, his CO told the medical crew that Moss had some shrapnel in him. At the field hospital, when the shrapnel turned out to be a rocket instead, everyone went into panic mode until a closer look revealed that the exploding warhead was not in him; it was just the rocket and the detonator. Finally the whole lot was sawed off and pulled out, along with clothing and other paraphernalia that had embedded itself into Moss’s gut because of the impact. Miraculously, no major organs were damaged, and Moss walked away a lucky man.
7. Stayed Underwater For More Than An Hour And Still Survived!
When you discover a toddler underwater who has turned blue, you’d assume the worst and start to cry bitter tears of sorrow and regret. But that’s not what happened to two-year-old Michelle Funk. Michelle was not written off by the doctors. Michelle and her brother were playing near a creek when the little girl lost her balance and fell. Her brother yelled for their mom, who called emergency when she could not locate her daughter anywhere. The emergency divers did no better and finally, water was drained from the creek. When the little girl was finally discovered, it had been 62 minutes of her being submerged. Despite the seemingly hopeless situation, EMTs gave her CPR until they reached the hospital. There, the doctors put her on a heart-lung machine that re-oxygenated her blood bit by bit and after three hours, she had a heartbeat again. Despite having no chance of survival, little Michelle made it and she survived it all without even a scratch on her.
6. The Woman Who Turned Her Pain Into Paintings Whilst She Convalesced
When Frida was just a girl and not a famous painter, she boarded a bus with her then-boyfriend Alex Gomez Arias, and the bus got into a car accident. Alex recalled how Kahlo was lying on the road with a large piece of metal handrail stuck through her. Strangely, she was covered in a golden pigment powder. This was 1925 and the extent of her injuries made the doctors think she was a goner. Her spinal column was broken in three places. Her collarbone and third and fourth ribs were broken too. She also had eleven fractures in her right leg and her right foot was dislocated and crushed. Her left shoulder was out of joint, and her pelvis was broken in three places. A steel handrail had entered through the left hip, pierced her uterus, and exited through her body. Despite this, Kahlo survived and it took 35 operations and two years of convalescing for her to heal completely. She suffered from recurring pain for the rest of her life, though, and she turned this agony into unbelievable art.
5. Complained Of A Headache With 12 Nails In His Brain
So when an addict in Oregon decided to take himself out in what could only be described as a drug-fueled mental fugue, he decided to shoot himself in the head. The only issue: he used a nail gun instead of a proper gun. After shooting some six nails on one side of his head and still finding himself breathing, he switched hands and shot himself six times on the other side too. Still breathing, he then went to the hospital, complaining of a headache. Doctors discovered the nails only when they did an X-ray. The good doctors removed the nails with needle-nosed pliers and a drill, and then also reported the suic*de attempt. He was put in a psych ward but later checked out against doctors’ orders. This man certainly survived the nails in his brains, but his survival was extremely unlikely.
4. Shot After A Bachelor Party
When Joseph Guzman and a friend decided to throw their engaged pal Sean Bell a Hangover-style bachelor party, they didn’t quite count on what ended up happening. While exiting a club, their car collided with an SUV and a heated exchange started. For some reason, undercover cops decided to intervene and stop the trio by firing some 50 rounds at them. 16 of these bullets hit Guzman. Guzman was wheeled into the hospital and the doctors didn’t know where to start. He was bleeding outside and internally as well, and after emergency surgery, the doctors still had to leave four bullets in him, choosing to save his life instead of diving in for the bullets.
3. When Life Flips You The Finger, You Take The Arm
Here’s a story about a person who had to inflict a near-fatal injury on himself in order to survive. You might know this story from the movie 127 Hours! Aron Ralston was rock climbing in Utah when a dislodged boulder in Blue John Canyon fell on him and pinned his forearm against the rock wall. The man had grit, though. He didn’t lose his head and he kept trying to get out of the jam, hoping that someone would come and rescue him. He rationed his water and once it was gone, he realized he had to come up with a plan. After enduring six days of hell, Aron finally realized no one was coming, because no one knew where he was. He broke his own arm, which was basically already dying due to lack of circulation, and then sawed through the skin, tendons, and muscles with a dull multipurpose knife he had on him. Nope, not pretty at all. Finally, he climbed out with nothing more than sheer grit and will. He still loves his sport and is now also an inspirational speaker.
2. When A Full-Sized Man Is Tries To Fit Through A 5-Inch Opening
What happens when you get pushed through a small hole at a high speed? According to Mathew Lowe, you get a very serious injury. Lowe, a welder and factory worker, was in for an unpleasant ride when his overalls got caught in a factory machine. Lowe says he knew something bad was going to happen to him, so he just relaxed his body and let the worst happen, praying for the best. The mechanism yanked him through a 5-inch opening and spat him out the other end with terrible fractures on the back, pelvis, hips, and ribs. Humans are not meant to be pushed through CD-sized holes@ Despite the numerous injuries, Lowe was back on the factory floor after some six operations, plenty of therapy and many, many metal parts.
1. Lived To Tell His Tale Of Getting Cut In Half, Though Minus Half His Body Now
When you think of things getting sliced in half, you think of sandwiches, or boiled eggs, or apples. The human body? Well, not so much. This is why we should all know about Truman Duncan, the switch operator who survived getting sliced in half when he fell from a moving train and went under the wheels. This man is a true hero. He stayed conscious while he was dragged some 75 feet. He even had the presence of mind to call 911!. And since the rescue team probably needed some shock treatment themselves, he also called his family for good measure. He lived through 23 surgeries in over four months and left the hospital after losing his legs, pelvis and a kidney. But his spirit survived it all. Scarred? Yes. But broken? Nope! You can call these miracles or survival stories, but the people involved are definitely heroes with an amazing will to live.
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