Sometimes, against all odds, something incredible happens that just can't be explained.
This piece is based on a number of AskReddit threads. Links on the last page.
1. Bag of tricks.
My father was once travelling along a country highway. It was early morning and he was at the front of a long line of traffic. Along his way he spotted a hitch-hiker with a hiking backpack and being the kind person he was, he stopped for them and lost his place at the front of traffic.
The guy seemed really friendly. Dad chatted with him about his family and work, told the guy how he wanted to have a kid.
All of a sudden, the guy asked my dad to drop him off. Dad was confused as this was right next to a field in the middle of nowhere. The guy said "don't worry about it" and got out. My dad turned to leave, and noticed the guy left his bag. So he turned to tell the guy, but he was gone. Nowhere to be seen.
Dad says he searched for him but it made no sense where he went or how he could hide. When he got back in the car he looked in the bag and found empty. Also weird. He decided to continue on his way.
He came to the first set of lights, and noticed an accident had happened to the car that was behind him in the original line of traffic. Had he not picked this guy up, my dad would've been in that accident.
My dad still has the bag and carries it with him in his car at all times hoping to eventually run into the guy and thank him.
2. Three cars, one guy.
Im a doctor. One time, I had a patient who was walking in the street. He got hit by a car, thrown into oncoming traffic, bounced off another car, and then got pinned under a third.
He had a dislocated shoulder and a non-displaced femur fracture. He was on cocaine at the time, which probably explained how he was able to scream at the trauma team to leave him alone.
My grandfather had a heart attack while driving and crashed into a tree. He was without oxygen to his brain for 25 minutes. The hospital did everything they could to revive him, actually trying to revive him for 3+ hours because it was a veterans hospital and he was a decorated green beret.
I was called to this hospital and told he was brain dead. (continued...)
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I cried and cried, and all the while my family was around his bedside talking to him. The doctors told them that he might be able to hear them.
They were going to take him off of life support that night, but my uncle from San Diego missed his flight and couldn't come until morning so they decided to wait. Well, good thing.
A few hours later, I was next to my grandpa and his hands started twitching. I called the nurse in and she told us that these were just spasms, and that it was normal. The twitches kept getting more severe and more frequent.
After a while, the doctors started to get a little concerned and checked his vitals, they seemed shocked. After a while, he opened his eyes. We were all in shock. Complete disbelief. They told us he was brain dead and we were going to take him off of life support.
He couldn't talk for hours, but asked for a pen and notepad to write something. The first thing he wrote was "energizer" and "bunny". It took him about 2 days before he could speak, but now, 4 years later, he is a fully functioning 62 year old man.
4. The juice is loose.
My coworker was diagnosed with stage four cancer. Said she was just going to juice and hope for the best because she didnt want chemo. Four months later, she was cancer free.
I have no idea. Dont even know where to begin. We had began collecting to help her family with funeral costs.
5. She blossomed.
My aunt and uncle wanted to have a girl named Lily ever since they originally got married. But the year after they were married, my aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time. She had to have her ovaries removed, and couldn't carry a child.
My mom offered to carry their child, and after a surgery, there was only a 1/100 chance it would work. Lily turned 5 last April.
6. This can't be possible...
I used to be an EMT. I had a 20-something year old male, motorcycle vs SUV; SUV won. We arrived on scene to see him face down in about a litre of blood.
We were told he was wearing a helmet, but it was nowhere to be found. He was about 30 feet from his bike, and there was a clear trail of blood to the bike because he wasn't wearing leathers. We rolled him onto the board. That was the first beating heart I ever saw. (continued...)
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We were staring at his heart, a collapsed lung, his great vessels, and the branches of the brachial plexus. Amazingly, they were all intact. Of course he had multiple injuries to his other extremities, mandible, zygomatic arches, etc. but we frankly didn't care at the time.
We were on scene for no more than two minutes before we sped off to the trauma center. I remember transferring the patient to the chief of trauma surgery whose first words when the trauma pad was removed were "Holy [swear]!" Nobody could believe he survived that. I still cant explain it.
7. Flesh wounds.
I saw a guy who got shot 9 times, three of which were in the neck. Amazingly, nothing important got hit, so they just cleaned out the wounds, packed and covered them, and that was it.
8. Along came a spider.
I was bitten seven times by a brown recluse spider when I was five years old. I don't even have scars. The doctor said by the third bite I should have been convulsing.
9. Total eclipse of the heart.
Not a doctor. But this is what I was asked repeatedly when I was in the hospital for my open heart surgery "How are you still alive?"
I was born with a congenital birth defect which has an extremely high mortality rate. Like 1 in 120,000,000 of it happening and about 95% to 99% chance of dying. Not only did I survive it for 20 years, I played lacrosse for 4 years. I had no idea that there was anything wrong with my heart.
The issue is that I was missing a major blood vessel on my heart that is required to pump blood. My body compensated in such an extreme way that the blood vessel on the right side of the heart went down and around the heart and attached itself to aorta.
So how did I find out about this? One day, I blew my nose and had a full blown heart attack.
The main surgeon told me that anyone with this condition usually dies at birth. They only know of the condition from autopsies.
10. The lane change.
I was 18 and driving down the 5 (freeway) towards San Diego. I was on the far right lane going about 65 and there was a driver who was going about the same speed as me inn the lane to my left. There were a bunch of other cars around us going at a steady pace. He didn't realize that I was right next to him and tried to merge into my lane. (continued...)
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I freaked out and I swerved to my right. My car broke down, and I ended up doing two 360s through 4 lanes. I came to a stop facing oncoming traffic.
Somehow, there were absolutely no cars around me when it happened, and when I stopped, the cars were a good distance from me. It was as if something pushed all of them back when my car began to swerve. I didn't hit anyone. After I stopped, I was shocked. I took a second to catch my breath and pulled off to the right lane. Then I bawled like a baby and called my mom.
11. Angel on my shoulder.
There's a waitress we like at a local breakfast restaurant. Her name is Marta. She works nearly every day. She has a brace of angel pins on her apron.
One day, my wife and I walk into a random thrift store; one we never go to. My wife goes to the jewelry counter and sees an angel pin that she thinks Marta would like. She said it kind of called to her. I agree that she can buy it, and a couple of days later we go back to the restaurant and present Marta with the pin.
She just about turned white. Marta said she had seen that pin in the thrift store, and wanted it, but somehow couldn't bring herself to spend the money. Then later, when she decided she could afford it, she couldn't remember where she saw it.
And then she hugs my wife and cries, "And today is my birthday!"
12. So you're saying there's a chance.
A friend had an extremely premature baby (like, she just made it past the cut off for when doctors won't even try to resuscitate) and baby was given less than 10% chance of survival. My friend was told that if she did survive, she could expect extreme developmental and or physical issues.
Now she's three, and except for having imperfect eye sight and lightly weak lungs, she's perfectly happy and healthy and developmentally on track. Total firecracker of a little girl.
13. Check yourself.
My family has had trouble holding on to health insurance for many years, but my sister's yearly heart checkups have been a priority. She was born with Ebstein's anomaly of the tricuspid valve, which basically means her blood leaks backwards and pumps oxygen very inefficiently. One year her appointment got postponed a few months due to a switch in providers.
My sister was in 10th grade gym class and having trouble running every day. Turns out she was puking every class due to the exertion. My parents immediately decided that checking up on her heart would be the best decision and thank God they did. (continued...)
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Her cardiologist said her heart was "the size of a small watermelon" and it was "an absolute wonder" she was only puking and not passing out or literally dropping dead if she was running a mile in less than 30 minutes (and I think her mile was under 15). He said it was one of the most advanced states of Ebstein's he'd seen, if not the worst currently unoperated case in the country.
Basically, she had to have an emergency open-heart surgery, and now, 4 years later she's still on medication and is looking to get a pacemaker. Unbelievably, the gym teacher still only her a B- final grade. Jerk.
14. The widow unmaker.
My dad had a massive heart attack a few years ago. He proceeded to drive around for several hours disoriented and confused to where the hospital was. He went to a closed fire station and drove around the city for who knows how long.
He had a complete 100% blockage in his Left Anterior Descending Artery. They call it the Widow Maker. Blessed to still have my old man around to say the least.
15. That is one lucky guy.
When I was working as a trauma surgeon, I got a notification about a man who was shot 3 times in the head. He comes in, literally one eye hanging out of the socket, blood everywhere, and he's slumped forward.
Apparently he was shot in the temple, in the nose, and In the cheek. At this point I'm thinking they just brought him in so we can pronounce him in the ER because he looked dead. I go to examine him and tilt his head back, and he's says "yoooo be gentle!" Somehow all the bullets missed his brain.
16. This is why you should always play it safe.
When I was in 9th grade a friend of mine got into a car wreck. It was a car full of teens in the middle of the day. There were no injuries, but one of the parents insisted that all of them go to the doctor and get x-rays.
Mind you, these are working class people in a rural town, so the fact that someone felt strongly about this is and they all took it seriously is a miracle in itself. Usually people just "walk it off" around here. After hours of waiting around and taking turns, my friend goes in for her x-ray. When they look at the x-ray, they realize something unbelievable. (continued...)
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It turns out her neck is broken. It's called a "hangman's break" because that is how your neck breaks at the gallows. Her spine is entirely broken, just sitting on top of itself. All she had to do at any point was tilt her head up, sneeze, whatever, and she would have instantly died. It's just insane thinking about. They put her in a halo; she healed up and was fine.
17. Miracle baby.
I was born 3 months early in the 90's and survived.(Which is a miracle for the time) With cerebral palsy as the outcome they said I would never walk run or function normally. I learn to do all of that and more.
Now I can do almost anything set my mind to. I'm an independent single mother. I have lived alone and raised him along with all the things I shouldn't be able to do. It is yet another miracle.
18. Boxer with some fight.
I was "gifted" a pure breed boxer who came with a host of problems. The vet diagnosed her with congenital heart disease and that at six months of age, she was likely to die in a month or so. We spent a lot of time walking through a national forest I lived near and I keep finding rocks that were in the shape of hearts, so I started collecting these heart stones in hope that they may help my dog. She lived to be 15.
19. Elixir of life.
Nine days sober after 8 years of daily alcoholic drinking, and I was a bridesmaid in an out-of-town wedding. The morning of the wedding I'm the first person up (I was in a rental with the bridal party) and I see that a full bottle of wine had exploded in the freezer - the exact vintage I had preferred during my active addiction.
I clean it up and find I am completely revolted. I even gagged a couple times. It sure felt like a miracle to be disgusted by the thing that had felt so essential to my survival just over a week before. That's some seriously powerful stuff. I'll be celebrating four years sober next week!