Sometimes, against all odds, something incredible happens that just can't be explained.
This piece is based on a number of AskReddit threads. Links on the last page.
Brother from another mother.
Went to college in a different state and met a guy who had come from a third state. Found out we had the same birthday – cool. Found out we were born in the same city – weird. Found out we were born in the same hospital – freaky. Found out our dads met getting us from the nursery and remembered each other – insane.
Boxer with some fight.
I was “gifted” a pure breed boxer who came with a host of problems. The vet diagnosed her with congenital heart disease and that at six months of age, she was likely to die in a month or so. We spent a lot of time walking through a national forest I lived near and I kept finding rocks that were in the shape of hearts, so I started collecting these heart stones in hope that they may help my dog. She lived to be 15.
My grandfather had a heart attack while driving and crashed into a tree. He was without oxygen to his brain for 25 minutes. The hospital did everything they could to revive him, actually trying to revive him for 3+ hours because it was a veterans’ hospital and he was a decorated green beret.
I was called to this hospital and told he was brain dead.
I cried and cried, and all the while my family was at his bedside talking to him. The doctors told them that he might be able to hear them.
They were going to take him off of life support that night, but my uncle from San Diego missed his flight and couldn’t come until morning so they decided to wait. Well, a good thing.
A few hours later, I was next to my grandpa and his hands started twitching. I called the nurse in and she told us that these were just spasms and that it was normal. The twitches kept getting more severe and more frequent.
After a while, the doctors started to get a little concerned and checked his vitals, they seemed shocked. After a while, he opened his eyes. We were all in shock. Complete disbelief. They told us he was brain dead and we were going to take him off of life support.
He couldn’t talk for hours but asked for a pen and notepad to write something. The first thing he wrote was “energizer” and “bunny”. It took him about 2 days before he could speak, but now, 4 years later, he is a fully functioning 62-year-old man.
The juice is loose.
My coworker was diagnosed with stage four cancer. Said she was just going to juice and hope for the best because she didn’t want chemo. Four months later, she was cancer free. I have no idea. Don’t even know where to begin. We had begun collecting to help her family with funeral costs.
I was 8 or 9 and I told my friends I was psychic. I don’t know. I was trying to make myself look cool. My friend had a deck of cards and said, “prove it”. He shuffled and told me to tell him what the top card was. I said “queen of clubs.” It was. Small miracles.
This is why you should always play it safe.
When I was in 9th grade a friend of mine got into a car wreck. It was a car full of teens in the middle of the day. There were no injuries, but one of the parents insisted that all of them go to the doctor and get x-rays.
Mind you, these are working class people in a rural town, so the fact that someone felt strongly about this is and they all took it seriously is a miracle in itself. Usually people just “walk it off” around here. After hours of waiting around and taking turns, my friend goes in for her x-ray. When they look at the x-ray, they realize something unbelievable.
It turns out her neck is broken. It’s called a “hangman’s break” because that is how your neck breaks at the gallows. Her spine is entirely broken, just sitting on top of itself. All she had to do at any point was tilt her head up, sneeze, whatever, and she would have instantly died. It’s just insane thinking about. They put her in a halo; she healed up and was fine.
I once had a 20-something year old Jehovah’s Witness as a patient who kept bleeding and bleeding after childbirth. Because of her religion, she refused blood transfusions. After other measures failed, we finally took her to the operating room for an emergency hysterectomy that saved her life. In a pregnant woman, the normal hemoglobin (the protein in your blood that carries oxygen) count is between 9.5-15 g/dL. When we took her to the OR, her hemoglobin was 3.1 g/dL. In the ICU after, it was down to 2.6 g/dL.
I remember talking to her before going to the OR, and all she could do was lie flat in bed. If she did so much as lift her head, her heart rate would jump from about 130 to 180 and she started having chest pain. I also had to tell her A) that I didn’t know if she would live through the surgery, and B) that I wasn’t sure how much of an anesthetic I would be able to give her, so there was the possibility she might remember some of the procedure. Fortunately, somehow she did survive, and didn’t have any recall. It’s amazing what a young, healthy body can do.
Along came a spider
I was bitten seven times by a brown recluse spider when I was five years old. I don’t even have scars. The doctor said by the third bite I should have been convulsing.
Mom Is Tough
When I was 18, my mom was at a stoplight when she was rear-ended by a diesel truck going 60…. Her back was broken and her brain was bleeding. At the hospital, her kidneys started to fail, she had internal bleeding, and her blood pressure was in the 20’s. The doctor told us these facts and told us to say goodbye. A priest was there and offered her last rites. The next day she was stabilized and I can remember the doctor looking at her like… how?
The lane change.
I was 18 and driving down the 5 (freeway) towards San Diego. I was in the far right lane going about 65 and there was a driver who was going about the same speed as me in the lane to my left. There were a bunch of other cars around us going at a steady pace. He didn’t realize that I was right next to him and tried to merge into my lane. I freaked out and I swerved to my right. My car broke down, and I ended up doing two 360s through 4 lanes. I came to a stop facing oncoming traffic. Somehow, there were absolutely no cars around me when it happened, and when I stopped, the cars were a good distance from me. It was as if something pushed all of them back when my car began to swerve. I didn’t hit anyone. After I stopped, I was shocked. I took a second to catch my breath and pulled off to the right lane. Then I bawled like a baby and called my mom.
Angel on my shoulder.
There’s a waitress we like at a local breakfast restaurant. Her name is Marta. She works nearly every day. She has a brace of angel pins on her apron.
One day, my wife and I walk into a random thrift store; one we never go to. My wife goes to the jewelry counter and sees an angel pin that she thinks Marta would like. She said it kind of called to her. I agree that she can buy it, and a couple of days later we go back to the restaurant and present Marta with the pin.
She just about turned white. Marta said she had seen that pin in the thrift store, and wanted it, but somehow couldn’t bring herself to spend the money. Then later, when she decided she could afford it, she couldn’t remember where she saw it.
And then she hugs my wife and cries, “And today is my birthday!”
So you’re saying there’s a chance.
A friend had an extremely premature baby (like, she just made it past the cut off for when doctors won’t even try to resuscitate) and baby was given less than 10% chance of survival. My friend was told that if she did survive, she could expect extreme developmental and or physical issues.
Now she’s three, and except for having imperfect eyesight and lightly weak lungs, she’s perfectly happy and healthy and developmentally on track. Total firecracker of a little girl.
My family has had trouble holding on to health insurance for many years, but my sister’s yearly heart checkups have been a priority. She was born with Ebstein’s anomaly of the tricuspid valve, which basically means her blood leaks backwards and pumps oxygen very inefficiently. One year her appointment got postponed a few months due to a switch in providers.
My sister was in 10th grade gym class and having trouble running every day. Turns out she was puking every class due to the exertion. My parents immediately decided that checking up on her heart would be the best decision and thank God they did.
Her cardiologist said her heart was “the size of a small watermelon” and it was “an absolute wonder” she was only puking and not passing out or literally dropping dead if she was running a mile in less than 30 minutes (and I think her mile was under 15). He said it was one of the most advanced states of Ebstein’s he’d seen, if not the worst currently unoperated case in the country.
Basically, she had to have an emergency open-heart surgery, and now, 4 years later she’s still on medication and is looking to get a pacemaker. Unbelievably, the gym teacher still only her a B- final grade. Jerk.
The widow unmaker.
My dad had a massive heart attack a few years ago. He proceeded to drive around for several hours disoriented and confused to where the hospital was. He went to a closed fire station and drove around the city for who knows how long.
He had a complete 100% blockage in his Left Anterior Descending Artery. They call it the Widow Maker. Blessed to still have my old man around to say the least.
That is one lucky guy.
When I was working as a trauma surgeon, I got a notification about a man who was shot 3 times in the head. He comes in, literally one eye hanging out of the socket, blood everywhere, and he’s slumped forward.
Apparently, he was shot in the temple, in the nose, and In the cheek. At this point I’m thinking they just brought him in so we can pronounce him in the ER because he looked dead. I go to examine him and tilt his head back, and he says “yo be gentle!” Somehow all the bullets missed his brain.
This can’t be possible…
I used to be an EMT. I had a 20-something-year-old male, motorcycle vs SUV; SUV won. We arrived on scene to see him face down in about a liter of blood.
We were told he was wearing a helmet, but it was nowhere to be found. He was about 30 feet from his bike, and there was a clear trail of blood to the bike because he wasn’t wearing leathers. We rolled him onto the board. That was the first beating heart I ever saw.
We were staring at his heart, a collapsed lung, his great vessels, and the branches of the brachial plexus. Amazingly, they were all intact. Of course, he had multiple injuries to his other extremities, mandible, zygomatic arches, etc. but we frankly didn’t care at the time.
We were on scene for no more than two minutes before we sped off to the trauma center. I remember transferring the patient to the chief of trauma surgery whose first words when the trauma pad was removed were “Holy [swear]!” Nobody could believe he survived that. I still can’t explain it.
I was born 3 months early in the 90’s and survived.(Which is a miracle for the time) With cerebral palsy as the outcome, they said I would never walk run or function normally. I learn to do all of that and more.
Now I can do almost anything set my mind to. I’m an independent single mother. I have lived alone and raised him along with all the things I shouldn’t be able to do. It is yet another miracle.
Three cars, one guy.
I’m a doctor. One time, I had a patient who was walking in the street. He got hit by a car, thrown into oncoming traffic, bounced off another car, and then got pinned under a third.
He had a dislocated shoulder and a non-displaced femur fracture. He was on some serious substances at the time, apparently, which probably explained how he was able to scream at the trauma team to leave him alone.
Elixir of life
Nine days sober after 8 years of daily alcoholic drinking, and I was a bridesmaid in an out-of-town wedding. The morning of the wedding I’m the first person up (I was in a rental with the bridal party) and I see that a full bottle of wine had exploded in the freezer – the exact vintage I had preferred during my active addiction. I clean it up and find I am completely revolted. I even gagged a couple times. It sure felt like a miracle to be disgusted by the thing that had felt so essential to my survival just over a week before. That’s some seriously powerful stuff. I’ll be celebrating four years sober next week!
My aunt and uncle wanted to have a girl named Lily ever since they originally got married. But the year after they were married, my aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time. She had to have her ovaries removed, and couldn’t carry a child.
My mom offered to carry their child, and after a surgery, there was only a 1/100 chance it would work. Lily turned 5 last April.
I saw a guy who got shot 9 times, three of which were in the neck. Amazingly, nothing important got hit, so they just cleaned out the wounds, packed and covered them, and that was it.
I work with a dude that has a family history of heart disease. Not many males in his immediate family branch reach pass the age of 60. This man only has one vice. Food. I’ve seen him in action. At one point his caloric intake was over 10,000 calories a day. It’s almost obscene of how many burger meals and giant tubs of soda he puts away in a day. I don’t know the count but when he does need to see a doctor, they always marvel of how he is upright and not dead with his blood pressure so high. He’s been told more than once that he should be dead.
Get the man some plum sauce.
Paramedic here. I ran a call on a guy that was ejected out of a late 80’s mustang. The guy said the car rolled 2 times before pitching him out of the driver’s side window. He said he landed on his head and the 7-inch scalp avulsion seemed to corroborate his story.
The car was completely crushed and sitting on its top. The guy wanted to refuse treatment and transport. GCS 15 and never lost consciousness. I insisted though that he be seen at the ER. He rode the whole way texting people. When I told him that he shouldn’t be alive he said “Yeah I got a hard nugget”
Total eclipse of the heart
Not a doctor. But this is what I was asked repeatedly when I was in the hospital for my open heart surgery “How are you still alive?”
I was born with a congenital birth defect which has an extremely high mortality rate. Like 1 in 120,000,000 of it happening and about 95% to 99% chance of dying. Not only did I survive it for 20 years, I played lacrosse for 4 years. I had no idea that there was anything wrong with my heart.
The issue is that I was missing a major blood vessel on my heart that is required to pump blood. My body compensated in such an extreme way that the blood vessel on the right side of the heart went down and around the heart and attached itself to aorta.
So how did I find out about this? One day, I blew my nose and had a full-blown heart attack.
The main surgeon told me that anyone with this condition usually dies at birth. They only know of the condition from autopsies.
Breath of life.
My friend is a crime scene tech. The police responded to the address of a couple of drug addicts. Enter and it’s a mess. Mattress at the centre of the living room floor and blood EVERYWHERE. Cannot reach the mattress without stepping in it. Spray on the walls and ceiling. Two bodies on the mattress both covered in blood. Cops have to go round and enter through the back door just to get near them without messing up the scene.
Cops check, but no signs of life. Call detectives who arrive and start investigating the scene. About 1 hour into it and one of the ‘bodies’ takes a deep breath and starts to move.
Turns out they got high and decided to end it all. Only one didn’t succeed and just had a really strong nap.
I’ve been struck by three cars, worked in a coal mine when a shaft collapsed with my team in it, worked making fireworks when a stray spark detonated the ‘powder shack’ I was walking out of, I’ve fallen off of roofs, and was even a passenger in a jeep that flipped.
My only explanation is I’m too ugly to die.
My sister had a series of seizures when she was about 4. After a few scans, the doctor determined that she had had a lesion in her brain that had left scar tissue. She would have to be on medication for the rest of her life and would still have 2-3 seizures a year. But she never had another seizure and was able to go off her meds after about five years. She’s sixteen now and completely normal.
Bag of tricks.
My father was once travelling along a country highway. It was early morning and he was at the front of a long line of traffic. Along his way he spotted a hitch-hiker with a hiking backpack and being the kind person he was, he stopped for them and lost his place at the front of traffic.
The guy seemed really friendly. Dad chatted with him about his family and work, told the guy how he wanted to have a kid.
All of a sudden, the guy asked my dad to drop him off. Dad was confused as this was right next to a field in the middle of nowhere. The guy said “don’t worry about it” and got out. My dad turned to leave, and noticed the guy left his bag. So he turned to tell the guy, but he was gone. Nowhere to be seen.
Dad says he searched for him but it made no sense where he went or how he could hide. When he got back in the car he looked in the bag and found empty. Also weird. He decided to continue on his way.
He came to the first set of lights, and noticed an accident had happened to the car that was behind him in the original line of traffic. Had he not picked this guy up, my dad would’ve been in that accident.
My dad still has the bag and carries it with him in his car at all times hoping to eventually run into the guy and thank him.