If you don’t believe in luck, fate, or destiny, these stories might make you think twice about that.
This piece is based on a Quora Question. Link on the last page.
1/13. The television show Friends saved my life.
It was the year of 2000, late October. Friends was in its prime. My mother was pregnant with me. It was a smooth pregnancy up to that point, and as she was approaching her due date, the doctor had told her to come to the hospital on x day at x time.
My mom, being the wonderful Friends geek she was (is), politely asked if it would be alright to check into the hospital an hour or two prior to the time Friends would air, as this was on a Thursday. She wanted to be settled in and situated in her hospital room so that she could view that nights episode with as little distraction as possible. The doctors agreed with a chuckle.
So, October 26th, 2000 comes and my mom checks into the hospital, early as expected. She gets situated in her room, hooked up to all the machines and monitors, with the slight swish swish of my heartbeat portrayed on a monitor calmly in the background. The Friends theme-song played shortly after.
Swish swish So no one told you life was gonna be this way- *mother claps to theme song probably* swish swish your jobs a joke, youre broke- swish swish your love lifes DOAAAAA swish swish Its like youre always stuck in second gearrrrr *swishing stops* *mother notices, nurse notices*
The next two minutes were a blur. Like the movies, doctors flooded into the room and rushed her bed down the hall.
So an Emergency C-Section takes place at the speed of light. I was pulled from the womb with all five fingers tightly wrapped around my umbilical cord.
Yeah I cut my own circulation off, almost killing my unborn self. What a dork.
The scary thing is, had my mom not asked to go into the hospital a few hours early to catch Friends, she wouldve been at home when my heart stopped beating!
2/13. A mysterious phone call saved me life while I was in Afghanistan. To this day, I still cant explain it. (continued…)
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I was directing fire of a heavy weapon on an enemy post. The corrections were coming from an observer over a telephone line. Suddenly, the phone went dead due to enemy fire which cut the line.
In order to continue firing, I now had to come out from the bunker and observe the fire on my own. While doing so, suddenly, the telephone which was dead, rang! In order to pick up the phone I moved back towards the bunker.
While doing so, I felt a massive push which threw me inside. The whole bunker was filled with black smoke. It then dawned upon me that an enemy shell had hit our bunker at the exact same spot where I had been standing a few seconds before.
I would have died had the phone not rung. But the phone was dead. The line was cut. It couldnt have happened. But it happened.
3/13. One cold winters night, I had an incredibly vivid dream that a doctor was examining my dead body. He was dictating a verbal autopsy. I heard him say, The victims cause of death was asphyxiation due to gas poisoning.
I woke up. It was after midnight. The apartment was ice cold, my vision was blurred and I was disoriented. I immediately opened up my bedroom window and breathed the outside air. Feeling a little better, I put on some warm clothes, walked past the heater and saw that the pilot light was out. I opened up all the windows, the doors and went outside. That dream saved my life!
4/13. A hedgehog saved my life when I was at college.
I used to work nights and cycle home around 4 am. There was a long hill to bike down, then a bend in the road, then a big hill to ride up. I would usually bike around the bend full speed, and rely on my hearing and the glare of headlights to see if anyone was coming.
One night, I was cycling home with headphones in because I’d had a bad shift. I wasnt really paying attention. (continued…)
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I was going along at full speed when I saw a hedgehog in the road, and braked just before the bend. Usually I would have just dodged the hedgehog, but the song I was listening to just made me feel like stopping and watching it for a second.
Just as I pulled up, a UPS truck came around that bend at full speed with its headlights off. I wouldnt have even felt a thing.
The hedgehog was killed.
5/13 I had a bad scuba-diving experience. I found myself on the surface, too far from the dive boat to swim back, in rising seas, with a leaky tank and out of strength, being pulled out to sea by the current. My friends were still on the bottom exploring a sunken ship and I knew I was going to die.
There was no one around, no land in sight and I could barely keep my head above water. I had pulled my weight belt and was constantly filling the BC but I knew it was over for me.
Then a Coast Guard motorboat appeared. I called to them, they came over and pulled me out of the water. The mere fact that they appeared there, at that moment, in the middle of the huge ocean, is absolutely inexplicable.
6/13. I was in the kitchen eating lunch with my father. He lived in a very old house.
I was eating a burger, but when I took a bite all the vegetables fell down on the floor. I was always clumsy like that. I got up from the table to grab a rag to clean up the mess.
While I was reaching for the rag, the entire ceiling collapsed, right in the spot I had been sitting! There was glass and debris everywhere. My dad and I just stared at it in shock. If I had stayed there, there is no way I would have survived.
7/13. I almost died on my 17th birthday. I was coughing until I vomited, because no matter how hard I coughed I could still feel something at the back of my throat.
My mother took me to a pulmonologist; I could hardly breathe, and walking up a flight of stairs left me winded and coughing. He listened to my breathing via stethoscope and determined it was nothing but a bad cold.
I was already out the door when I heard my mother ask, “Doctor, what if it’s influenza?”
There was a big flu epidemic going around at the time, so the doctor told me to go get an X-ray, “just to be safe.”
What that X-ray revealed was a bit more serious than a cold. (continued…)
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Three quarters of my left lung was filled with fluid, as well as half of my right one.
I was instantly admitted to the hospital, and they started me on antibiotics. Still, I kept getting worse, instead of better, until on Wednesday they put me in the ICU. My left lung collapsed that night, and I had to be intubated. I spent four days in a medically induced coma, and I didn’t find out until months later that my doctors thought I wouldn’t live through it.
To this day, there’s no medical explanation for the fact that I pulled through with no lasting damage. So not only is my survival inexplicable, but I think that in the end the something that saved me was the fact that my mother asked that one question and got me an x-ray.
8/13. I almost got hit by a train.
It happened when I was in the 11th grade. I was on my way home and I had to cross the railway before I reached the area. There was no one around. All of a sudden, my uniform skirt got stuck in between the rails. Slowly I started hearing the sound of the train coming down the line. I kept trying to pull my skirt free, but I was frozen.
I didn’t know what to do. I knew it was late for me to run, it was so close. In the last moment, I heard someone’s voice and it seemed that I had been pushed. I found myself lying on the ground, only several meters from the railway while the train passed – skirt intact.
I thought somebody must have helped me. I was looking around, hoping to find someone. But there was nobody there.
I don’t know what happened to me, but I am really grateful to whatever or whoever saved my life. If that had happened only a few seconds later, I most definitely would have died from the hit.
9/13. I was running with a hiking guide and some friends when I slipped a step, and fell off a ravine. I was rolling and tumbling for I cannot remember how many times. I just felt roots and stones hitting my ribs, my legs, my chest. Then, I blacked out.
I woke up to a voice saying, “DON’T MOVE, JUST STAY THERE, WE’RE HERE. It was the guide, secured with harnesses descending toward me. Thats when I realized I was hanging from a tree branch that had caught my bag’s hip belt. Below me are huge rough rock formations that could’ve broken me into pieces.
I love trees.
10/13. I owe my life to a gingerbread cookie. No, seriously. (continued…)
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When I was 18 months old, before fences were a legal requirement around swimming pools – we were visiting some friends who had an inground swimming pool.
My mother looked out the window and saw my woolly hat bobbing up and down in the pool. Then she remembered that I was wearing it.
Everyone raced outside, dad jumped in and lifted me out.
Gingebread biscuits are apparently as water soluble as granite. Because I had one in my mouth and refused to let it go – which meant that I kept my mouth shut and avoided drowning. Thank you, gluttony.
11/13. I tried to kill myself when I was 15. I took an overdose of painkillers. Tylenol with dihydracodeine. Not a small overdose, either – I took more than a hundred. Afterwards, I took a nap, not expecting to wake up. I woke up feeling better than I had in years, and my depression has mostly been gone since then.
I don’t know how or why this happened, and have no memory of the time that I was asleep. Maybe someone came along and found me and pumped my stomach, and then for some reason didn’t stick around afterwards. Maybe the pharmacy accidentally gave my mom placebos instead of real drugs.
All I know is that I changed that day, and whatever the reason, I’m thankful for it.
-Sati Marie Frost
12/13. On Wednesday I started feeling a bit ill. By Friday morning I was feeling a bit queasy, but not too bad. Friday afternoon my stomach started hurting, the doctor diagnosed muscle strain and sent me home.
The next morning I knew I had a serious problem. The pain was excruciating – so bad I could barely move.
I woke my wife and said, call an ambulance.
So I went to the hospital. They put me on some painkillers, and I fell asleep. When I woke up, I was completely horrified to discover what had happened. (continued…)
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Turns out my appendix had burst a week before. During the days after it burst I had driven 1000 miles, shifted 45 tons of furniture, and yet all that time my body was fighting peritonitis so serious the doctor described it as gangrene.
It took the doctor a whole day to bring my fever under control enough to do the operation. When I woke up from surgery, the first words I heard from the surgeon were So youre awake. But youre still going to die.
I wasnt going to die. I had a family to take care of.
Somehow none of the problems my surgeon predicted occurred. He thought the remaining infection in my stomach (he couldnt get it all) would cause my body to crash from toxic shock and organ failure, which would likely lead to my death. But my body simply threw off the infection.
I met the surgeon 3 months later, after a 100% recovery – his words were I cant believe how good you look. People who survive this kind of brush with death generally dont make 100% recoveries, they are often crippled for life, their health permanently ruined.
I am an atheist – but this awful illness and miraculous recovery is the closest Ive come to believing in a higher power.
13/13. In the early 1990s, I use to drive to Tijuana once a week for business.
Driving in Mexico is a bit different than the States. The locals would tell me that driving laws, such as speed limits and stop signs, are more like suggestions than regulations.
One night, I was driving home along Boulevard Industrial when I stopped at a red light. There was a truck blocking my view to my left.
When the light changed, I started forward, but a strange feeling came over to me and for no good reason I stopped just before the intersection. At that moment, an unseen tractor trailer came barreling through the red light and passed just inches in front of my front bumper.
It took a while to realize how close I came and I never knew why I stopped. Just a feeling I guess.