Top Stories

People Who've Actually Saved Someone's Life Share Their Stories

People Who've Actually Saved Someone's Life Share Their Stories
Image by Ulrike Mai from Pixabay

Years ago I was standing on a subway platform when I witnessed a man lying down on the tracks. A group of us––that is, other people waiting for the train––tried to coax the man out of the trackbed and convince him to hop back up onto the platform. The train was due any minute. I ended up running back to the agent's booth to ask them to notify the next train not to come into the station and another person called 911. Eventually medics arrived and were able to get that man safety. I sometimes wonder what happened to him. I never saw him again.

After Redditor disintegrationist asked the online community, "Have you ever saved someone's life? How did it happen?" people shared stories of their own.

"I don't know..."

I don't know if this really fits. I needed a kidney. My cousin volunteered. During their testing of her they found a small mass they thought was just fat. It turned out to be cancer. Most kidney cancer apparently is not caught until it's too late because your other kidney takes on the work and you don't get symptoms. She was able to get it all removed and is now cancer free (didn't even need chemo, just surgery). Anyway, she claims I saved her life. I claim she saved her own by being willing to donate.


"Was in the middle of a neighborhood pool..."

Was in the middle of a neighborhood pool and watched a toddler at the side of the pool (10ft end) take his floats off and then jump in the water. He curled up like a ball and began to sink quickly. I was able to reach him before he reached the bottom. He was scared but screaming. The babysitter was on her phone.


"Moral of the story..."

I heard a faint domestic fire alarm one night that wouldn't quit so I walked down the street to idenitfy where the alarm was coming from. I knocked on the door but there no answer. I couldn't smell smoke or feel heat off the door but decided to call the fire brigade just in case.

They arrived pretty quickly and I pointed out which unit the alarm was coming from. They walked up to the door then ran back to the truck to grab a door-banging-opening thingo and the hose reels. Next thing all this smoke is pouring out the front door and they're carrying an old lady down the stairs. Then another firey emerged carrying the lady's cat.

Turns out she had turned on the stove to cook dinner but fell asleep. The unit was filled with smoke and she would have asphyxiated, but both she and the kitty survived. She wrote me a lovely note thanking me, which was nice.

Moral of the story is to pay attention to noises/things that are out of place, it's better to be safe than sorry, and look after each other.


"After a long distance running event..."

I am a doctor. Even then I can count the number of times I can say I've saved someone's life on one hand with fingers left over.

I was working at an athletics event. After a long distance running event that was open entry, a person collapsed and stopped breathing. I worked with my team to stabilise them and transfer them to hospital. They needed support for their airway to keep breathing. Had they not had it they would have asphyxiated and died.

I met them with their spouse and 8yo child a few months later - actually on this day a few years ago. That was the biggest reward for me. The best feeling.


"I highly recommend..."

I donated bone marrow to a stranger given two months to live! Surprisingly easy process and haven't regretted doing it for a second.

Registered during an on-campus drive and was called within the year as a match. The whole process took a couple months, and a couple hours of my time for blood tests and doctors appointments.

I highly recommend anyone interested to join a registry. The odds are low of getting selected but the chance to save a life is worth it. I joined with Be the Match.


"When I was in middle school..."

When I was in middle school, my dad took me to one of his friend's barbecues. His friend had a young son that I think was 4 or 5 at the time. Everyone had been swimming in the pool and went in the yard to go eat.

No one saw the little kid run back to the pool except for me. Before I could say anything, he jumped in without his swimmies. I ran as fast as I could to him as he thrashed in the water, and I pulled him out.

His parents were absolutely shocked and terrified. They didn't think he would do anything like that. Thankfully he ended up being fine, and it scared him out of doing it again. Always watch your kids if you have a pool. Even if you think they know better, they probably don't.


"I vividly remember..."

A few friends and I saved a tourist family from drowning while surfing on the island of Oahu.

We had been surfing an outer reef on the south shore that was a good half mile or so off the coast when we noticed a family paddling out on a kayak. A single person kayak with a dad, younger daughter maybe 8 and a son maybe 12 on the nose and tail, and with an older teenage son paddling behind on a boogie board. They paddled directly into an area of the reef where 4/5 ft waves were crashing very fast and very powerfully on to pretty much dry reef. It took only seconds for us to see them go from paddling along in the kayak to seeing them all bobbing in the waves and the kayak 200 yards away, stuck on the reef.

We quickly paddled across the channel as fast as we could. We then each gave on of the kids and the dad out boards and pulled them by our leashes far enough into the lagoon and they could walk. About 100 yards of so.

I vividly remember the dad saying "I'm not panicking, I'm not panicking" over and over in a thick Russian accent and having to reassure him that he'd be ok but needs to focus on what we were doing.

Just goes to show how dangerous the ocean is and how deadly it could've been for that family if we weren't there.


"I said no..."

Former lifeguard.

My favorite is the one girl who had a conversation with me that she didn't know how to swim but wanted to jump off the diving board anyway. I said no, get off the diving board. She jumped, I saved her life. You're welcome, girl, wherever you are.


"It's a long..."

It's a long, detailed story but I'll keep it short:

My brother came home from work and went to use the bathroom. When he came back, he asked if I wanted to join him for a cigarette on the back porch. I said "sure" and went to get my shoes while he went out back. When I went to join him, he was laying in the backyard, pale, sweaty and barely conscience. I had to carry him inside which was no easy feat since he's taller and heavier. I put him on the floor in the kitchen and he just circled the drain in front of me. I'm an EMT and I couldn't figure out what was happening. He went into cardiac arrest and died in front of me. I did CPR while the ambulance came and got a pulse right as they entered the house. It turned out he had some bad drugs.

Even though it was a happy ending, it really f*cked me up. Its been over a year now and I think about it everyday. I can recall every detail like it happened yesterday. I've never been the same since it happened. I feel as though a part of me died in exchange for my brother's life.


"It was one of the best things..."

I donated bone marrow to a cancer patient. It was one of the best things I've ever done.


"He wasn't responding..."

A drunk man in front of me ducked under the pedestrian boom gates and started crossing the railway tracks. He wasn't responding to my yelling at him to stop so I had to duck under, grab his clothes and drag him backwards.

The train only just missed him.


"Gave my bro..."

Gave my bro the Heimlich maneuver when he choked on a chunk of hot pineapple.


"A lady down the street..."

A lady down the street from my dad's house plowed her car into a light post and hit her head really hard. When we got there she was trying to start her car and crying, and she got out of the car to look at it and she couldn't walk very well. She told us she was going to just walk home, so my dad called his firefighter neighbor over and we all made conversation with her til an ambulance arrived. I honestly think if she had made it home and gone to bed she would have died from her concussion.


"Left the scene..."

The one time in my life I've been useful.

I lived in Texas for a little bit a couple years ago. I was walking out of a Walmart one day with some groceries and spotted a car in a handicap spot with the driver door open. Looked to me like someone bent over grabbing their wallet/phone or something.

Didn't think much of it and no one walking by seemed to be looking at it either. Me being the suspicious person I am took another quick look back as I was coming closer to my car. I then noticed that a pair of legs had appeared underneath the door like the person had fallen and was now sitting on the ground lying back against the door jam.

I quickly ran my things to my car, threw them in and bolted to the handicap spot car. There was a middle aged man sitting there gasping for air, and barely conscious. I was initially shocked and stood for just a moment trying to figure out what to do. I tried to ask him what happened as he gestured to the inside of his car. Ran to the other side and opened the door.

Cigarette butts and cigarette packages all over the inside, but in the cup holder sat one small inhaler. Grabbed it and physically pumped the inhaler into his airway. By this time two or three people had stopped and were asking what was going on. Looked at them and told them to dial 911.

The man began to breathe normally and one of the people nearby that dialed 911 said the ambulance would be there soon. Looked at the guy on the ground and said "hey man, probably a bad time but you should really stop smoking". He replied in a somber raspy tone "I know".

Left the scene knowing he was in good hands and never got his name. If you're out there, hope you broke the habit and glad to have helped that day.


Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

People Reveal The Weirdest Thing About Themselves

Reddit user Isitjustmedownhere asked: 'Give an example; how weird are you really?'

Let's get one thing straight: no one is normal. We're all weird in our own ways, and that is actually normal.

Of course, that doesn't mean we don't all have that one strange trait or quirk that outweighs all the other weirdness we possess.

For me, it's the fact that I'm almost 30 years old, and I still have an imaginary friend. Her name is Sarah, she has red hair and green eyes, and I strongly believe that, since I lived in India when I created her and there were no actual people with red hair around, she was based on Daphne Blake from Scooby-Doo.

I also didn't know the name Sarah when I created her, so that came later. I know she's not really there, hence the term 'imaginary friend,' but she's kind of always been around. We all have conversations in our heads; mine are with Sarah. She keeps me on task and efficient.

My mom thinks I'm crazy that I still have an imaginary friend, and writing about her like this makes me think I may actually be crazy, but I don't mind. As I said, we're all weird, and we all have that one trait that outweighs all the other weirdness.

Redditors know this all too well and are eager to share their weird traits.

It all started when Redditor Isitjustmedownhere asked:

"Give an example; how weird are you really?"

Monsters Under My Bed

"My bed doesn't touch any wall."

"Edit: I guess i should clarify im not rich."

– Practical_Eye_3600

"Gosh the monsters can get you from any angle then."

– bikergirlr7

"At first I thought this was a flex on how big your bedroom is, but then I realized you're just a psycho 😁"

– zenOFiniquity8

Can You See Why?

"I bought one of those super-powerful fans to dry a basement carpet. Afterwards, I realized that it can point straight up and that it would be amazing to use on myself post-shower. Now I squeegee my body with my hands, step out of the shower and get blasted by a wide jet of room-temp air. I barely use my towel at all. Wife thinks I'm weird."

– KingBooRadley


"In 1990 when I was 8 years old and bored on a field trip, I saw a black Oldsmobile Cutlass driving down the street on a hot day to where you could see that mirage like distortion from the heat on the road. I took a “snapshot” by blinking my eyes and told myself “I wonder how long I can remember this image” ….well."

– AquamarineCheetah

"Even before smartphones, I always take "snapshots" by blinking my eyes hoping I'll remember every detail so I can draw it when I get home. Unfortunately, I may have taken so much snapshots that I can no longer remember every detail I want to draw."

"Makes me think my "memory is full.""

– Reasonable-Pirate902

Same, Same

"I have eaten the same lunch every day for the past 4 years and I'm not bored yet."

– OhhGoood

"How f**king big was this lunch when you started?"

– notmyrealnam3

Not Sure Who Was Weirder

"Had a line cook that worked for us for 6 months never said much. My sous chef once told him with no context, "Baw wit da baw daw bang daw bang diggy diggy." The guy smiled, left, and never came back."

– Frostygrunt


"I pace around my house for hours listening to music imagining that I have done all the things I simply lack the brain capacity to do, or in some really bizarre scenarios, I can really get immersed in these imaginations sometimes I don't know if this is some form of schizophrenia or what."

– RandomSharinganUser

"I do the same exact thing, sometimes for hours. When I was young it would be a ridiculous amount of time and many years later it’s sort of trickled off into almost nothing (almost). It’s weird but I just thought it’s how my brain processes sh*t."

– Kolkeia

If Only

"Even as an adult I still think that if you are in a car that goes over a cliff; and right as you are about to hit the ground if you jump up you can avoid the damage and will land safely. I know I'm wrong. You shut up. I'm not crying."

– ShotCompetition2593

Pet Food

"As a kid I would snack on my dog's Milkbones."

– drummerskillit

"Haha, I have a clear memory of myself doing this as well. I was around 3 y/o. Needless to say no one was supervising me."

– Isitjustmedownhere

"When I was younger, one of my responsibilities was to feed the pet fish every day. Instead, I would hide under the futon in the spare bedroom and eat the fish food."

– -GateKeep-

My Favorite Subject

"I'm autistic and have always had a thing for insects. My neurotypical best friend and I used to hang out at this local bar to talk to girls, back in the late 90s. One time he claimed that my tendency to circle conversations back to insects was hurting my game. The next time we went to that bar (with a few other friends), he turned and said sternly "No talking about bugs. Or space, or statistics or other bullsh*t but mainly no bugs." I felt like he was losing his mind over nothing."

"It was summer, the bar had its windows open. Our group hit it off with a group of young ladies, We were all chatting and having a good time. I was talking to one of these girls, my buddy was behind her facing away from me talking to a few other people."

"A cloudless sulphur flies in and lands on little thing that holds coasters."

"Cue Jordan Peele sweating gif."

"The girl notices my tension, and asks if I am looking at the leaf. "Actually, that's a lepidoptera called..." I looked at the back of my friend's head, he wasn't looking, "I mean a butterfly..." I poked it and it spread its wings the girl says "oh that's a BUG?!" and I still remember my friend turning around slowly to look at me with chastisement. The ONE thing he told me not to do."

"I was 21, and was completely not aware that I already had a rep for being an oddball. It got worse from there."

– Phormicidae

*Teeth Chatter*

"I bite ice cream sometimes."


"That's how I am with popsicles. My wife shudders every single time."


Never Speak Of This

"I put ice in my milk."


"You should keep that kind of thing to yourself. Even when asked."

– We-R-Doomed

"There's some disturbing sh*t in this thread, but this one takes the cake."

– RatonaMuffin

More Than Super Hearing

"I can hear the television while it's on mute."

– Tira13e

"What does it say to you, child?"

– Mama_Skip


"I put mustard on my omelettes."

– Deleted User


– NotCrustOr-filling

Evened Up

"Whenever I say a word and feel like I used a half of my mouth more than the other half, I have to even it out by saying the word again using the other half of my mouth more. If I don't do it correctly, that can go on forever until I feel it's ok."

"I do it silently so I don't creep people out."

– LesPaltaX

"That sounds like a symptom of OCD (I have it myself). Some people with OCD feel like certain actions have to be balanced (like counting or making sure physical movements are even). You should find a therapist who specializes in OCD, because they can help you."

– MoonlightKayla

I totally have the same need for things to be balanced! Guess I'm weird and a little OCD!

Close up face of a woman in bed, staring into the camera
Photo by Jen Theodore

Experiencing death is a fascinating and frightening idea.

Who doesn't want to know what is waiting for us on the other side?

But so many of us want to know and then come back and live a little longer.

It would be so great to be sure there is something else.

But the whole dying part is not that great, so we'll have to rely on other people's accounts.

Redditor AlaskaStiletto wanted to hear from everyone who has returned to life, so they asked:

"Redditors who have 'died' and come back to life, what did you see?"


Happy Good Vibes GIF by Major League SoccerGiphy

"My dad's heart stopped when he had a heart attack and he had to be brought back to life. He kept the paper copy of the heart monitor which shows he flatlined. He said he felt an overwhelming sensation of peace, like nothing he had felt before."



"I had surgical complications in 2010 that caused a great deal of blood loss. As a result, I had extremely low blood pressure and could barely stay awake. I remember feeling like I was surrounded by loved ones who had passed. They were in a circle around me and I knew they were there to guide me onwards. I told them I was not ready to go because my kids needed me and I came back."

"My nurse later said she was afraid she’d find me dead every time she came into the room."

"It took months, and blood transfusions, but I recovered."


Take Me Back

"Overwhelming peace and happiness. A bright airy and floating feeling. I live a very stressful life. Imagine finding out the person you have had a crush on reveals they have the same feelings for you and then you win the lotto later that day - that was the feeling I had."

"I never feared death afterward and am relieved when I hear of people dying after suffering from an illness."



The Light Minnie GIF by (G)I-DLEGiphy

"I had a heart surgery with near-death experience, for me at least (well the possibility that those effects are caused by morphine is also there) I just saw black and nothing else but it was warm and I had such inner peace, its weird as I sometimes still think about it and wish this feeling of being so light and free again."


This is why I hate surgery.

You just never know.



"More of a near-death experience. I was electrocuted. I felt like I was in a deep hole looking straight up in the sky. My life flashed before me. Felt sad for my family, but I had a deep sense of peace."



"Nursing in the ICU, we’ve had people try to die on us many times during the years, some successfully. One guy stood out to me. His heart stopped. We called a code, are working on him, and suddenly he comes to. We hadn’t vented him yet, so he was able to talk, and he started screaming, 'Don’t let them take me, don’t let them take me, they are coming,' he was scared and yelling."

"Then he yelled a little more, as we tried to calm him down, he screamed, 'No, No,' and gestured towards the end of the bed, and died again. We didn’t get him back. It was seriously creepy. We called his son to tell him the news, and the son said basically, 'Good, he was an SOB.'”



"My sister died and said it was extremely peaceful. She said it was very loud like a train station and lots of talking and she was stuck in this area that was like a curtain with lots of beautiful colors (colors that you don’t see in real life according to her) a man told her 'He was sorry, but she had to go back as it wasn’t her time.'"


"I had a really similar experience except I was in an endless garden with flowers that were colors I had never seen before. It was quiet and peaceful and a woman in a dress looked at me, shook her head, and just said 'Not yet.' As I was coming back, it was extremely loud, like everyone in the world was trying to talk all at once. It was all very disorienting but it changed my perspective on life!"


The Fog

"I was in a gray fog with a girl who looked a lot like a young version of my grandmother (who was still alive) but dressed like a pioneer in the 1800s she didn't say anything but kept pulling me towards an opening in the wall. I kept refusing to go because I was so tired."

"I finally got tired of her nagging and went and that's when I came to. I had bled out during a c-section and my heart could not beat without blood. They had to deliver the baby and sew up the bleeders. refill me with blood before they could restart my heart so, like, at least 12 minutes gone."


Through the Walls

"My spouse was dead for a couple of minutes one miserable night. She maintains that she saw nothing, but only heard people talking about her like through a wall. The only thing she remembers for absolute certain was begging an ER nurse that she didn't want to die."

"She's quite alive and well today."


Well let's all be happy to be alive.

It seems to be all we have.

Man's waist line
Santhosh Vaithiyanathan/Unsplash

Trying to lose weight is a struggle understood by many people regardless of size.

The goal of reaching a healthy weight may seem unattainable, but with diet and exercise, it can pay off through persistence and discipline.

Seeing the pounds gradually drop off can also be a great motivator and incentivize people to stay the course.

Those who've achieved their respective weight goals shared their experiences when Redditor apprenti8455 asked:

"People who lost a lot of weight, what surprises you the most now?"

Redditors didn't see these coming.

Shiver Me Timbers

"I’m always cold now!"

– Telrom_1

"I had a coworker lose over 130 pounds five or six years ago. I’ve never seen him without a jacket on since."

– r7ndom

"140 lbs lost here starting just before COVID, I feel like that little old lady that's always cold, damn this top comment was on point lmao."

– mr_remy

Drawing Concern

"I lost 100 pounds over a year and a half but since I’m old(70’s) it seems few people comment on it because (I think) they think I’m wasting away from some terminal illness."

– dee-fondy

"Congrats on the weight loss! It’s honestly a real accomplishment 🙂"

"Working in oncology, I can never comment on someone’s weight loss unless I specifically know it was on purpose, regardless of their age. I think it kind of ruffles feathers at times, but like I don’t want to congratulate someone for having cancer or something. It’s a weird place to be in."

– LizardofDeath

Unleashing Insults

"I remember when I lost the first big chunk of weight (around 50 lbs) it was like it gave some people license to talk sh*t about the 'old' me. Old coworkers, friends, made a lot of not just negative, but harsh comments about what I used to look like. One person I met after the big loss saw a picture of me prior and said, 'Wow, we wouldn’t even be friends!'”

"It wasn’t extremely common, but I was a little alarmed by some of the attention. My weight has been up and down since then, but every time I gain a little it gets me a little down thinking about those things people said."

– alanamablamaspama

Not Everything Goes After Losing Weight

"The loose skin is a bit unexpected."

– KeltarCentauri

"I haven’t experienced it myself, but surgery to remove skin takes a long time to recover. Longer than bariatric surgery and usually isn’t covered by insurance unless you have both."

– KatMagic1977

"It definitely does take a long time to recover. My Dad dropped a little over 200 pounds a few years back and decided to go through with skin removal surgery to deal with the excess. His procedure was extensive, as in he had skin taken from just about every part of his body excluding his head, and he went through hell for weeks in recovery, and he was bedridden for a lot of it."

– Jaew96

These Redditors shared their pleasantly surprising experiences.


"I can buy clothes in any store I want."

– WaySavvyD

"When I lost weight I was dying to go find cute, smaller clothes and I really struggled. As someone who had always been restricted to one or two stores that catered to plus-sized clothing, a full mall of shops with items in my size was daunting. Too many options and not enough knowledge of brands that were good vs cheap. I usually went home pretty frustrated."

– ganache98012

No More Symptoms

"Lost about 80 pounds in the past year and a half, biggest thing that I’ve noticed that I haven’t seen mentioned on here yet is my acid reflux and heartburn are basically gone. I used to be popping tums every couple hours and now they just sit in the medicine cabinet collecting dust."

– colleennicole93

Expanding Capabilities

"I'm all for not judging people by their appearance and I recognise that there are unhealthy, unachievable beauty standards, but one thing that is undeniable is that I can just do stuff now. Just stamina and flexibility alone are worth it, appearance is tertiary at best."

– Ramblonius

People Change Their Tune

"How much nicer people are to you."

"My feet weren't 'wide' they were 'fat.'"

– LiZZygsu

"Have to agree. Lost 220 lbs, people make eye contact and hold open doors and stuff"

"And on the foot thing, I also lost a full shoe size numerically and also wear regular width now 😅"

– awholedamngarden

It's gonna take some getting used to.

Bones Everywhere

"Having bones. Collarbones, wrist bones, knee bones, hip bones, ribs. I have so many bones sticking out everywhere and it’s weird as hell."

– Princess-Pancake-97

"I noticed the shadow of my ribs the other day and it threw me, there’s a whole skeleton in here."

– bekastrange

Knee Pillow

"Right?! And they’re so … pointy! Now I get why people sleep with pillows between their legs - the knee bones laying on top of each other (side sleeper here) is weird and jarring."

– snic2030

"I lost only 40 pounds within the last year or so. I’m struggling to relate to most of these comments as I feel like I just 'slimmed down' rather than dropped a ton. But wow, the pillow between the knees at night. YES! I can relate to this. I think a lot of my weight was in my thighs. I never needed to do this up until recently."

– Strongbad23

More Mobility

"I’ve lost 100 lbs since 2020. It’s a collection of little things that surprise me. For at least 10 years I couldn’t put on socks, or tie my shoes. I couldn’t bend over and pick something up. I couldn’t climb a ladder to fix something. Simple things like that I can do now that fascinate me."

"Edit: Some additional little things are sitting in a chair with arms, sitting in a booth in a restaurant, being able to shop in a normal store AND not needing to buy the biggest size there, being able to easily wipe my butt, and looking down and being able to see my penis."

– dma1965

People making significant changes, whether for mental or physical health, can surely find a newfound perspective on life.

But they can also discover different issues they never saw coming.

That being said, overcoming any challenge in life is laudable, especially if it leads to gaining confidence and ditching insecurities.