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Who doesn't love a good medical TV show? We marvel on a weekly basis about the medical cases our tv doctors are faced with. Some of those episodes become epic and we never forget them because of the patient's ordeal (None of us will ever forget the couple on Grey's who were connected by a pipe going through them both and we learned early on that only ONE could live...) that seems to ludicrous to ever happen in "real" life. We often think... "That is too crazy, even for fiction!" But clearly some of us need to have a chat with some more medical personal. Life is strange and miracles are a thing!

Redditor u/yetanotherowl reached out to the Docs of the internet asking them to share.... Doctors of Reddit, what is your best "How the hell did the patient survive" - story?


Baffled is an understatement! 

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Nurse here.

Man in his 50s has brain tumor, has surgery to remove the tumor and hemicraneotomy to relieve intracranial pressure (bone taken from the skull and left out).

Man walks out of this and has normal life. Man is walking around minding his own business. Building explodes. Shrapnel flies. Shrapnel hits man, exactly where the burr hole was, travels through his brain and gets lodged behind his eye. Man still alive.

It baffles me that of all the people who could have been hit by shrapnel it happened to a guy with a missing skull part and it hit him exactly where it was missing. It baffles me even more that he survived all of this. k0rda

"The Canadian" on Netflix.... 

I'm an ER doc and went to see a hall patient with a complaint of "toe pain." Sat down to really talk with the guy since it was a lull in my shift. Said his toe hurt because he dropped a knife on it. Asked him, "were you cooking, or what?" He looks up from his foot and I notice a thin red line on his neck, below his Thyroid cartilage (Adams apple). My heart sank, then started pounding. It's really hard to slit your own throat without bleeding to death, but not impossible if you hit the trachea just right and it lines back up when you look down... which is what this guy had done. He had cut nearly all the way through his trachea (windpipe), and just the muscle in the back was preventing it from falling into his chest causing him to die by suffocation. Once that happened, I wouldn't be able to help him, not with intubation (breathing tube) or cricothyroidotomy (cutting into neck) since his trachea would be retracted into his chest.

VERY CALMY I call cadiothorasic surgery and ENT and got the guy to the OR (still looking at his toe to maintain the seal) for a tracheal repair. He was discharged to the psych floor 3 days later, since this was a suicide attempt, but did well. I knew he had already decided to live, since we had about a half hour to calmly talk to each other waiting for the OR to be ready. If he wanted to finish himself off, he would have just need to look at the ceiling!

Like many patients in the ER, his story was poignant, his acuity wasn't immediately obvious, and there is morbid humor associated with the case. When we tell our trainees about this case we refer to him as "the Canadian." Weremamma

This is why I don't fish! 

I was a resident at the time, it was the end of my shift, and I walked past a guy walking to the front desk with a damn harpoon in his head. It came in from below the chin, and got out through the top of the skull.

Dude wanted to go harpoon fishing, there was an accident in the boat, and he shot himself, so he turned the boat around, sailed to shore, got into his car and drove to the nearest hospital, where he parked, and walked into the reception. He was completely conscious, and couldn't speak for obvious reasons, but he wrote down eloquently.

I heard he was sent home the very next day, with no complications. not_another_feminazi

Breathe! 

When my dad was in residency, he was helping deliver babies. One came out stillborn. It was a rough time for everyone. Dad had to carry the baby away, and the entire time he carried the body away he did chest compressions. The baby started to breathe again. Dad had to bring the baby back. By all accounts, the likelihood of that working was EXTREMELY low, as they had already done everything they were supposed to for longer than they were supposed to do it.

The parents had to go through some trauma therapy after that. That's all I know about that story. YonderIPonder

He Lives!! 

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Our friend blacked out driving home, the last thing he remembers is pulling into the other lane to pass someone.

The car flipped twice and they had to cut him out from the top. He was unresponsive and the EMTs were ready to call him DOA. He broke a vertebrae in his neck and shattered his hand. They were floored when they realized he was still alive.

If it had been one vertebrae higher, he would have been paralyzed. As it was, he walked out of the hospital less than a week later.

He had been wearing his seatbelt which is literally the only reason he is alive today. somebodybannedme

Let it Flow... oops it cant! 

I know a gentleman who has both of his carotid arteries completely blocked off. He obviously gets enough blood flow from other vessels to keep going, and I'm sure these other routes have developed over the years, but still. I remember reading the scan results and having to go over them more than once, like,"100% blockage, ok that's bad. Wait, on the left AND the right?? Damn." Dendarri

Don't fish and Drink! 

Had a patient who was out having drinks and fishing at night. Well a wave hit and he stumbled right onto his pole, somehow impaling it through his eye and touching the back of his skull. Amazing that he survived it given the fishing pole sized crater through his brain on the MRI. aceofspadesx1

Bullseye! 

A twenty something boy got shot in the head, straight on mind you. Dude came to the hospital awake and talking. I personally saw the CT scan with the bullet still in his skull. My favorite part was he claimed it was a drive by shooting; I have never seen anything more centered on someone's forehead, dead center no joke, seems highly unlikely that it was random. center-of-a-stage

The Bionic 65 year old! 

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A year ago, I was involved with treating a 65 year old lady, walking across the street to get lunch one day, she got hit by a semi truck doing 45. Broke all the bones on the left side of her body, some of them in multiple places. She also had a Morell-Lavalee (skin separates off the underlying tissue) that involved about 70 percent of her left leg, from hip to ankle. Had a pelvic fracture that was open into her rectum with a large perineal wound. Took multiple surgeries over several weeks, but at her most recent follow up (accident happened a year ago), she was walking and basically back to normal. MrGogomofo

Lassie ain't playin'!

I had a dog brought in that had eaten a bunch of anticoagulant rat poison about a week prior. They didn't think anything of it at the time because the dog was "fine" immediately after. If a dog gets into anticoagulant poison, and you catch it right away, you can decontaminate them, and give vitamin K, and they'll usually be fine. By the time they decided their dog should see the vet, it was dripping blood from every orifice, in shock, and had a packed cell count of 6%. For some reason, they'd let me hospitalize, and start vitamin K, but they would not let me transfuse that dog. It was bleeding from its freaking tear ducts, too weak to lift its head, and I was so convinced it was going to bleed out in front of me if I couldn't buy it some time with some donor blood. That stubborn little pup pulled through, and was going strong when I saw her a year later for her regular checkup. trocarkarin

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Image by Foundry Co from Pixabay

Now that college has become a standard requirement for so many jobs and careers, there is a massive push by high schools to get their graduating students accepted and enrolled at an undergraduate college.

On the whole, that's undoubtedly a great thing. A more educated workforce will be prepared to solve the most complex issues facing human beings in the next several decades.

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Image by Gianni Crestani from Pixabay

*The following article contains discussion of suicide/self-harm.

The person on the other end of a 911 call has a truly remarkable job.

For those who don't play that professional role, we hope to never encounter the 911 call interaction. But if we do find ourselves making that call, the moment is an anomaly in our lives.

The chaos, the panic, the racing heart, and the desperation are all emotions we, ideally, don't experience on a regular basis.

But for the operator on the other end, our call is one in a long line of calls they've received all day, and all the workdays before that one.

It's difficult to imagine being embedded in those uniquely urgent, emergency moments all the time.

Some Redditors who are on the other end of that call shared their experiences on the job.

WhimsicalxxButcher asked, "911 dispatchers what has been your most creepy/unnerving call?"

For a few, the most unnerving moments were the calm callers.

There was something just so eerie about how level-headed the faceless human being on the other end could be through such a desperate, tragic moment.

Almost Clinical 

"I had a friend who worked as a 911 dispatcher and he always said the worst call he ever had was a ~20 year old kid who committed suicide by mixing a bunch of chemicals together in his car to produce hydrogen sulfide gas."

"He said that the most unnerving part was hearing him calmly listing off the chemicals, the type of gas produced, and the effects of hydrogen sulfide on the body (namely the almost instant death it causes at high concentrations)."

"He ended the call by providing the address of the parking lot he was in and saying that nobody should approach the vehicle without hazmat equipment."

"Apparently after that there was a whooshing sound as he dumped the last chemical into the mix, and then the line went dead silent aside for a quiet fizzing noise."

"I know that call screwed him up because he almost never talks about stuff that happens to him on the job. He quit a few months later to go into construction management, and frankly I can't blame him."

-- iunoyou

Planned Out 

"A woman called me, saying she was going to kill herself. She was gassing herself. Gave me her name & address then said she was just going to lie down and 'go to sleep.' And stopped responding to me."

"I kept the line open, trying to get her to speak to me, and eventually heard officers forcing their way in to find her body. I guess she just wanted someone to find her body."

-- mozgw4

Before It Set In 

"When I got a call from a 6 year old who got home from school and laid down to take a nap with his dad. His dad never woke up."

"The kid was so calm when calling it broke my heart."

"I ended up leaving dispatch shortly after. I was good at compartmentalizing the job for the year I was doing it, but it would've broken me in the long run."

-- tasha7712

Other 911 operators were unfortunate enough to receive a call from the very last person they wanted to hear from: a loved one.

These dispatchers' unique position gave them the unexpected access to a family member or friend at their most dire moments.

No More of That 

"My family member is a long time first responder, and 'retired' into doing dispatch. He heard the address (someone else was taking the call) and realized it was his daughter's house."

"He rushed over there just in time to see them wheeling her body out. Overdose."

"Five months later, he was called to his ex-wife's place because his grandson (son of the daughter who recently passed) had his door locked, lights on, but wasn't responding to his grandma."

"He broke the door down and found him deceased in bed. Overdose."

"He's very stoic after years of all sorts of traumatic situations but my heart hurts whenever I think of what all of this must have felt like. Like sand through your fingers."

-- bitchyhouseplant

Knowing the Address

"Not me, but my grandma. I was sitting in the dispatch office, (very small one only 2 dispatchers including my grandma) but she put out a dispatch that there was a gun shot from my best friends address."

"My heart sank to my stomach and broke later that day. He committed suicide."

-- OntaiSenpuu

When it Happened 

"My uncle passing away. Worked as a small town dispatcher for a year or so. Had a bunch of messed up stuff happen on shift, but this call came in in the still hours of the night. Small town, so not many calls after midnight."

"I answered and recognized the name and address on caller id. Aunt was in a frenzy so didn't recognize my voice. I remained calm and got ems and fire rolling to them, but by my aunt's own words he was already blue."

"I went thru debriefing and mandated therapy for a couple other things that happened, but never really talked to anyone about this. I just try not to think about it."

"That was the call I figured out I needed to find a different job."

-- dangitjon

Finally, some simply had a front row seat to sudden tragedy.

These operators were flies on the wall when disaster struck. They never asked to witness what they witnessed, but sometimes that came with the territory.

A Holiday Tragedy 

"My mom is a 911 dispatcher. Early on she said one Christmas Eve while working she got a call from an elderly lady who's husband had just collapsed(and died) from a heart attack and in the background Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas music was playing on blast."

"The lady was screaming and crying and begging for her husband to wake up but my mom could hear his gurgling in his last breathes. She doesn't listen to or watch Alvin and the chipmunks since."

-- Blueflowerbluehair

What is it About Christmas?

"Christmas night. 911 call with crying child on the other end. A neighbor had run her car over her mom during a domestic."

"The mom crawled to the porch bleeding and the child saw the car coming back. I had her hide quietly in a closet with the cordless phone."

"The 10 year old child was crying and screamed that she hated Christmas. She was afraid of the police when they got there."

"I kept her on the phone until she felt safe enough to give the phone to an officer. I almost fainted after that call was over. Had nightmares for a while."

-- 2FunBoofer

Close to Home 

"Not a dispatcher but I handle radio communications for the Coast Guard. One night I was on the radio and got a call from an 11 year old kid whose boat had started to sink. He was out with his dad and 6 year old brother."

"They had been hit by another boat and his father got knocked unconscious. I remember the entire conversation up until the radio had gone underwater."

"They ended up finding his dad floating on his back alive but the two boys didn't make it. That one really fu**ed with me because my two littlest brothers were around the same age as the youngest."

-- HIRSH2243

A Horrible Clock 

"Another one that stays with me was the man who called in. It was the anniversary of his adult son having hanged himself. He'd now come home to find his wife had done the same."

"That date is always going to be a black day for him."

-- mozgw4


If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/

Again, we hope you never have to use the 911 call in your life. Nobody wants to be involved in a sudden emergency or a tragic incident.

But hopefully, if you do, an operator like one of these thoughtful, sensitive Redditors is on the other end.

Image by Nguyen Dinh Lich from Pixabay

When I was moving on from middle school to high school my parents had me tested for the "gifted" program. By some miracle I passed and was accepted. And then I turned it down. Everyone was irritated. "This will pave the way for any college you want! You'll learn so much!" his path will set you up for life!" Every adult tried valiantly to sell me this merchandise but in my gut I just wasn't buying it. So I "settled" a level below, merely advanced classes. And upon reflection... it was the best choice I ever made.

Redditor u/dauntlessdaisy was wondering how far some in life got by asking... For those of you who were considered "gifted" in school, what are you doing with your life now?
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Image by Markus Spiske from Pixabay

There's a million things that can happen to you while out on on the road.

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