Our time here is not guaranteed.
We know that people die––death is all around us––but the fact that we could die at any moment doesn't usually hit us until something really sudden or terrible happens. It's times like those when we realize that absolutely nothing is within our control.
After Redditor Sponge-iopotortoise asked the online community, "What is the closest you have come to dying?" people lined up to share their stories.
Warning: Some uncomfortable reading ahead.
Appendix burst. Experienced surgeon said it was one of the two worst cases he'd ever seen. Sepsis almost got me.
"When I was 2 years old..."
When I was 2 years old I started having random seizures. A really bad one put me in a coma for 2 weeks. During that one week doctors were struggling to find out what was wrong with me. They had doctors fly in from other states to run tests n stuff. Everyone thought I was never going to wake up and die while in a coma. Turns out I had a rare iron deficiency that caused blood to clot in my brain. The doctors had to go in there and get rid of it. One misplaced snip would've either killed me or left me mentally handicapped. Luckily the doc snipped the right spot and all was well. I woke up a while after that but had lost all of my memories and forgot how to do everything. I learned quickly though according to my parents.
"What I remember..."
One time when I was 10, I was at a public pool on top of the highest diving board. I tried to be cute and jump as close as possible to the edge of the board.
What I remember is seeing the concrete of the edge of the pool JUST miss my head by millimeters. I seriously was panicking at the bottom of the pool thinking I was dead. My Mom thought I was dead. The lifeguard probably thought he was gonna be sued for not seeing me be this stupid at the board in the first place.
But I'm still here, twenty years later, and I like to think in an alternate universe I'd be dead from cracking my skull.
"On the interstate..."
Driving home from college. Exhausted. On the interstate, going through the mountains. I was driving, and the I woke up going 70 mph straight down a switchback, on the wrong side of the yellow line and careening right for the edge. I was able to slam the brake and wrestle the car away from the guardrail that certainly wouldn't have stopped me going over the edge at that angle of impact. If I'd woken up a half second later I wouldn't be here.
"The worst part..."
Nearly being strangled by my batman cape when it got caught in the elevator door at my grandparents house. The worst part was having to explain the giant red mark on my neck the next day at school.
"I fell off..."
I fell off a 175 foot cliff in the desert. The ground I should've landed on was hard dirt. There happened to be one singular bush as far as I could see and I landed on it. That bush broke my fall just enough that I only broke one rib. I was totally fine. Then as I'm laying there in shock, I see that the quad I was riding before I fell was falling down as well and coming right down on me. I was in too much pain and shock to move and by some miracle, the quad landed upright with the wheels on either side of me. Barely even grazed me. I was convinced that god was real.
"I'd been out for a night..."
I'd been out for a night on the town with a friend. We bought some food and got in a cab to take us home. We were both sitting in the back. The cab driver said that it was OK if we ate the food in the cab, so I started eating mine (a mixed kebab). My friend was talking to the driver and he said something that made me laugh, just as I put a piece of steak in my mouth, and I involuntarily inhaled it and started choking.
For the first 30 seconds or so, I was trying to either swallow or cough it up, but neither worked. I couldn't breathe at all. At that point I started to panic. I was trying to get my friend's attention, but he was still talking to the driver. I started whacking him and pointing to my mouth, and thankfully he realised what was going on. He grabbed me and twisted me round and started whacking me on the back, and just as I felt like I was about to lose consciousness, I coughed the piece of steak up.
"When I saw..."
Crushed in a head on with a semi and actually felt myself leave my body as my bowels tried to void themselves... Every sensation was that of death and in my state of hyper awareness and more real than real perception I was floating in a void knowing without question I had been killed.
When I saw the stereotypical light at the end of the tunnel I realized what I was seeing was what my eyes were seeing through my slumped over body. In the image I was seeing, I saw my cell phone on the floor of my truck and had a thought that if I could get to the phone I could say goodbye to my family before I pass. With that thought, I was pulled forwards and back into my normal perspective within my skull where I got to experience every degree of pain and shock while bleeding profusely.
Since I had revived and was in a normal state of awareness again, I decided it would be pretty awful to call my loved ones and let them listen to me bleed out so instead, I grabbed for my exposed arteries and squeezed and screamed until help arrived and I got bandaged together enough to ride in the back of the job site ambulance for some 300kms before meeting the real ambulance and getting some gas...
"My car was full of glassware..."
Clipped a barrier in my car. Spun five times and the Pontiac flew backwards up a hill. My car was full of glassware so it was a broken glass tornado. Got out without a scratch and worked a 12 hour shift. May be indestructible.
"I had to be rushed..."
After I had my first daughter, my cervical tear started hemorrhaging. I had to be rushed into surgery, then a bunch of blood was transfused into me. Scared my poor husband. I always joke I would have died in Victorian times.