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15 People Share Their ‘I Survived’ Moments

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Lucky for these AskReddit users, they lived to tell their stories. All survived extremely harrowing situations and had close calls with death.

1. Almost drowned

“I got “sucked under” or whatever in the little Tennessee river at a common swimming spot, and couldn’t find my way up and kept rolling. I eventually went limp and popped up a little ways down the river and got to the bank and walked back and no one was the wiser.”

2. Don’t eat that

“When I was 5, we moved into a house where a massive oleander bush was growing over the fence. Oleander flowers littered the lawn. I played with them and then went inside, had something to eat, and played with my sisters for a bit.

Next thing I remember, I’m in a doctor’s office. I’m shivering and I ask for a blanket. The doctor puts a sheet of the paper that they use to cover the bed over me. They explain to my parents that I’m going to be fine and I can be taken home.

When I was a bit older (10 yrs), my mother told me that I had been telling her that my chest hurt and I couldn’t breathe, and she grew concerned enough to take me to the ER. I had fallen asleep in the car and stayed asleep until waking up in the doc’s office.

I googled it and read that Oleander is incredibly poisonous and works by paralyzing the respiratory system. Just one oleander flower can kill a horse. People have died from using oleander branches to roast food when camping. I had gotten pretty severally poisoned just by eating food with oleander residue on my hands. If I had bitten or eaten just a bit of the flower (which I very easily could have done since I was a dumba** that often ate random things), I would have died pretty quickly.”

3. Choking hazard

“I got to work before anyone else was there. I started eating a corn muffin and a huge chunk got caught in my throat. I couldn’t breathe and was choking to death. I finally dislodged it by ramming my body against a chest height counter over and over again until it popped out.”

4. Close call

“Had a car crash at 120mph and walked away with a fractured collar bone, pretty lucky I’d say. When the police came and spoke to me they said they saw the car and were expecting to be cutting bodies out of the car. I was a passenger and the driver had a few bruises but that was it.

They also calculated that my friend was less than an inch from caving his head in on a pole sticking out of the back of the lorry we hit.”

5. Don’t drink and sleep on your back

“Not glamorous or heroic at all, but I got completely trashed on wine one night and woke up lying on my back covered in vomit. It terrifies me to think I could have asphyxiated in my sleep.”

6. I’m not Mick

“Had a knife pulled out on me by a group of 4/5 guys while walking to a friend’s place after being out the night before, I didn’t realize I could run so fast let alone with a terrible hangover!

I’m not sure if they genuinely thought I was someone else that they had a grudge against but they where calling me Mick and apparently they thought I was him, they really did seem like they wanted to do some damage as well, sometimes I think about if Mick is a real person and if these guys actually did ever get around to stabbing him.”

7. Loco

“During our divorce, my ex-wife cut the brake cables on my bicycle. I figured it out before I went out into traffic. Didn’t die.”

8. Cold water

“I fell into a very, very cold creek when I was 12, wearing a winter coat and insulated boots (which get really heavy when wet, it turns out). The water was up to my neck before I started treading water. It took me 3 tries to find a branch that wasn’t rotted so I could pull myself out.

I very easily could have drowned or succumbed to hypothermia. And the only thing I could think was: my mom is going to be so pissed.

I climbed up the bank, facing my aunt’s house but on the wrong side of the creek, and clumsily went into the building behind me. I thought it was a rec center, but it turned out to be a fire station. They got me some dry sweats and called my mom’s cell (which my aunt happened to have). She called my uncle, who is a drama king and freaked out, screaming for my mother at the top of his lungs (which got her freaked out). Then they drove out of the subdivision to pick me up.

When they arrived, they informed me that the fireman told my aunt they had rescued me from the creek. I was pissed. My 12YO butt had pulled MYSELF out of the creek. Bastards, trying to steal my thunder.

I still get made fun of for falling in.”

9. Twister

“I was 7 when my mother attempted to race a tornado because she didn’t want to turn around and go back to her friend’s house to seek shelter in the basement. We were literally like a block or two away from their house and had just said goodbye as the tornado warning for the county we had to drive into (and our current county) was issued (about a 10-15 minute drive.) The weatherman on the radio was frantic saying typical stuff like it’s a very dangerous storm, get out of the car, do not try to outrun a tornado, get out of mobile homes and seek shelter in ditches, etc.

My family is full of idiots. She called me names when I started crying because I was scared and had me lean out the window to look for the funnel, and, because I was out of other options, I did. The sky went green, we were the only car on the road. It started raining hard and I couldn’t see shit. I thought about jumping out of the car and running back into the house or into a ditch but she was driving too fast on the highway and wouldn’t slow down.

About 10-15 minutes later we did drive through where the tornado had touched down, trees and powerlines were down, there was storm damage and hail/fog still on the road. We had narrowly missed it when it touched down and went back up minutes before we moved into the area.

I pissed myself in terror that day but I survived.”

10. Terrifying

“I was pregnant and in my last trimester. Having some strange symptoms, but I had just seen my doctor 3 days before and he said all was good, so brushed them off. Then that night had a terrific blinding headache, started seeing colored lights all around so I grabbed my phone to call 911. Before I could dial the numbers everything started getting blurry and then black.

I woke up 3 days later in an ICU, no longer pregnant and with a trach tube. Turns out my doctor didn’t diagnose my pre-eclampsia and it turned into eclampsia which caused me to have grand mal seizures for 11 hours, alone, until my roommate came home to find me.

She told me later that she thought someone had murdered me. There was blood everywhere, and all over me, since I almost severed parts of my tongue while seizing. There were also bloody handprints in the hall and kitchen since apparently between episodes of seizing I would walk around and try to do things. I have no memory of that.

Anyway after a 3 day coma, emergency c-section, emergency trach cut into my windpipe to establish air, lot’s of drugs to reduce my insane high blood pressure, tongue surgery to piece the sucker back together, then month long hospital stay to recover, and 2 month hospital stay for my son and both my son and I survived!

He was only 1lb and the size of a barbie doll, now almost 7 and doing great. And the doctors said they don’t know how I survived, but I know I am super stubborn and wasn’t ready to go.”

11. Country roads

“When I was 17 my mother was driving us to a nearby town for a lunch. On the back country road we hit an oil patch or something that made the road slippy. The car swung like a horizontal pendulum (lucky there was nothing else coming) for a stretch, we hit the side of the road and the back end of the car rose up and over. I remember when the windscreen cracked because it cracked in slow motion. I instinctively pressed my hands against the roof.

The car landed, the roof crumpled in quite a bit, the engine cut off – Katy Perry singing through the radio did not. Myself and my mum were ‘trapped’ because the doors were below the bank by the road and we couldn’t open them. Eventually a car stopped (after we counted about 10 cars driving past) and the occupants prised the door open. Getting out, standing up and brushing myself down, I looked at where the car had landed. One cars length forward, we would have sunk into the bog. Any further left or right, we would have landed on the boulders. The car had flipped into the perfect spot. Crazy moment.

Anyway, we eventually got home then ate locally for lunch. Fish and chips.”

12. Drunk driver

“I was almost killed by a drunk driver when I was in middle school. I was spending the night at my friends house with my younger brother when sometime around midnight we heard some people fighting down the street. Being dumb teenagers, we went to investigate just as one of the drunken guys that was fighting peeled off in his car towards us.

My friend and brother jumped into some bushes as I ran towards someone’s front lawn. Just as I turned around, I saw the car less than 10 feet way coming straight at me. I just froze. The car slammed hard into a tree that just happened to be slightly in front of me, saving my life. I was only hit with some debris and walked away… shaking but alive.”

13. Wife material

“The girl I was dating tried throwing me off a balcony and I was clinging onto the railing. Her dad had to stop her and pull me up.”

14. Beatdown

“I survived having 5 guys beating me half to death. All hits were on my head/face none on my body. Injuries so severe cops ruled it as an attempt of murder. Broke everything from the nose down. Cant say I survived the PTSD though. I still tense up when surrounded by people and prepare for a surprise fight.

Another Story: a drunk bus driver rear ended me while i was on a motorcycle. The injuries werent that bad but he could have easily run me over when i was sliding across the asphalt on my back.”

15. Rear ended

“1996. Had just come out of a tunnel midnight Saturday night/ Easter Sunday. Four of us in a 1988ish Honda Accord, I was riding shotgun and the girls in back were asleep. The driver did not know if she should take an off ramp so pulled off and put the car in Park to check the map. Yes, hindsight not smart but the roads were dead, it was so weird for NYC.

A drunk driver rear ended us going at what the cops estimated was 70 mph and hit us repeatedly, bouncing us 100 yards down the road. There were no skid marks from him trying to brake. The car must have bunny hopped 3 or 4 times before it stopped. All the doors were jammed and only 1 window would roll down, so that’s how we got out. It was totaled. The frame was twisted and trunk was literally compressed flush up to the rear window, but no broken windows.

The police were surprised no one was seriously injured, because no one was hurt. I had a very mild backstrain from twisting during the crash to look at the girls in back that woke up screaming.. it cleared right up after a hot shower.

I’ll always be so very grateful to the nice Jewish couple that stopped and let us pile in their car to keep warm until the police came. They were so sweet, offering us water and matzo bread to help as the adrenaline wore off.

We were so lucky. 1980s Honda Accords were tanks.”