20 Grateful People Share The Closest They've Ever Come To Actually Dying.

There are close calls, and then there are CLOSE calls. Those times where a single inch or a fraction of a second make the difference between life and death. Near-death experiences are unforgettable.

Here are twenty of them...

Many thanks to the Reddit user who posed this question. you can check out ore answers from the source at the end of this article!

1/20. In a car accident, I was losing blood and going into shock, and half my bones on my left side were broken and dislocated; if the firefighters hadn't found me crawling back to the road I probably wouldn't have lasted much longer.


2/20. I work in a warehouse. Once I was trying to bring down a pallet from the top shelf. I didn't know someone had put the spare forks for the lift on top of it. 70+ pound solid iron forks. Anyway I lift and tilt back slightly (standard procedure) and all I hear is the sound of metal sliding on cardboard.

Next thing I know the spare forks have slid off the pallet and come flying at me. One lands sideways and bounces off the guard rail on top. However, the second one... The second one comes down with the long end pointed straight down. It fits through the gaps in the guard. As I lean away I watch the fork impale the lift right where my head had been a split second before. It pierced the seat and into the engine. Had I not moved it would have cut me in half from the top of my head all the way to my abdomen.


3/20. I was walking along a tiny mountain path with my dad and brother, to go take a look at the reichenbach falls. It was so narrow we had to walk single file, and my dad made me and my brother hold his hands.

On the way back my mum shouted to say hello as we came in to view and, being a stupid ten year old, I stepped out from behind my dad to see her. And I fell off the edge. Luckily my dad was holding tight and I just hung over the edge for a few seconds before he pulled me back up. Scary as f*ck.


4/20. Camping in a tent, a tree falls down and misses my head by about a few inches. It felt like a t-rex had stomped down next to me.


5/20. Ive done 467 skydives in my life, but the one I remember the most is jump 212. Its hard to forget about a skydive when your main parachute doesnt work...

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I was training with my four-man skydiving team in southern California. It was a sunny day with blue skies and not a cloud in sight. We were doing four-way relative work, where you complete as many acrobatics and formations as you can in 35 seconds. Four-way relative work is akin to a military drill team, with the exception that youre rocketing toward the ground at 120 mph.

My team exited the plane at 10,500 feet. The first half of the jump went well, and we completed 16 formations. At 3,000 feet the break off altitude our audible altitude alarms beeped in our ears. We turned away from each other and flew across the sky in opposite directions.

When Id cleared my teammates airspace, I deployed my parachute at 2,000 feet. I instantly knew something was wrong. Instead of my parachute opening overhead, it was horizontal to my body. The lines connecting to my parachute were twisted up, which is similar to a person spinning themselves around on a swing. I was plummeting toward the earth at 50 mph. There was no way I could land my main parachute, but thats why you have a reserve.

I looked at my altimeter: 1,500 feet.

Every skydiver wears a backpack style parachute. And below the shoulder harness, theres a handle on your right side that enables you to cutaway your main parachute. But Id never had an emergency before, and when I tried to pull the cutaway handle it wouldnt budge.

Surprisingly, I didnt panic. I achieved a sense of calm Id never experienced before. Everything slowed down and I heard my skydiving instructors voice.

On your first cutaway the handle might stick, hed once told me. So if that happens try peeling the handle instead of pulling it. His words flashed through my mind in milliseconds. I heeded his advice and peeled my cutaway handle this time. My main parachute disconnected and I was back in free fall.

I slipped my hand through the metal D-ring on my left side and deployed my reserve. A few moments later, I had a glorious white canopy overhead.

I was at 900 feet, but I was safe. I landed my parachute without further incident.

My family and friends always ask me if I have death wish, and I always tell them its quite the opposite.


6/20. I contracted meningitis about 7 years ago. I was at home one night and then woke up a week and a half later from a coma with several machines keeping me alive...

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The doctors told my family to say their goodbyes as they said I was going to die and had my last rites read to me and everything. I eventually started to get better (although I contracted sepsis in the hospital too) and relearned how to breathe on my own. Then learned how to swallow and move my fingers. Then after a few weeks I managed to move my head and look around. Walking was torture as I lost the bottom of my feet and had to stand on raw nerves. (Thank God for Fentanyl!) Now I've become obsessive at getting stronger everyday and have become a bodybuilder. Words of wisdom: get vaccinated!!

Don't go through the hell I had to.


7/20. Drowning. It was sheer panic at the start, trying to reach for something that's not there, seeing bright lights sparkle, and just accepting that it's over, it was calm, really calm after a while. Thank god, my friend pulled me up. Thanks friend.


8/20. I hit a deer on my motorcycle at 70mph. I remember thinking "well, this is it". Saw my slip-on business loafer fly off and thought "huh, there goes my shoe". I ended up just kicking the deer in the rear, as the engine guards/highway bars of my motorcycle impacted her. Bike never went down, I got up, looked for deer, she was gone. Walked down the road and found my shoe.


9/20. I did a tour of duty in Iraq right in 2004-2005, so there were several moments, but the worst one was when a few of us were walking down to the dining facility to eat. It was about a half mile walk, inside our base.

We get about halfway there and we hear mortar shells screaming in and start landing around us. A couple guys ran, but I just stood there. There was no cover anywhere around, so I figured I might as well take my chance right where I was. About 8 or 9 of them landed and exploded with a few hundred feet of us, but nobody was hurt. Then we proceeded to dinner.


10/20. I was in Cameroon doing some NGO work in the West Region.

After a couple of weeks I get a bit of a cough. No big deal, I can get over it. Until a week later when my coughing starts to hurt. One night I bring up a load of mucus and crap in a coughing fit. I go to the local clinic and am diagnosed with bronchopneumonia, given flucox and binding agent. That night I CANNOT sleep. Can't. Every time I swallow my throat is agony. I'm constantly spitting into a bag on the floor because I can't do anything else with it. Next morning there is what feels like a golf ball under the skin of my neck. I call my haematologist. She tells me I need to come home, fast. At this point, I am worried. I get a crowded African minibus for a seven hour drive in tropical heat to Douala. I am dying, I feel horrific. I get the first plane out, somehow getting past security with a Jabba style neck. It connects in Brussels to Heathrow. On the plane I find a giant hematoma under my tongue, but with nothing to do about it high above western Chad I watch a couple of movies on the in flight screen...

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When I get to Brussels my mum is at the airport. She sees me and cries. When I buy a coke and keep spitting it out she gets the airport doctor. Heart rate 160, slight temperature. Not fit to fly - at this point I have been unable to eat drink or sleep for 2 days. I'm taken to leuven hospital where a CT reveals an enormous retropharyngeal paralaryngeal hematoma. Working theory is I tore the inside of my throat with constant coughing and it just bled into the space. After four days in hospital (one night in ICU) with constant iv factor 8 and iv nutrition, I am discharged home. My voice didn't sound right for a few weeks. They told me quite clearly if I had left it any later I would have died on the plane, or in the African mud hut I was staying in.


11/20. I was the victim of a hit and run. The woman was caught, and claimed she didn't stop because she didn't want her dad to shout at her. She was in her late thirties...


12/20. I was 13 and it was Thanksgiving night and I was sleeping at my Aunt's house in the basement with my two cousins. I will never forget the moment when my Uncle came downstairs to wake us up- he asked my cousin if he wanted to sleep in or to go to tennis practice. I remember thinking "please say sleep in!" but my cousin said he wanted to practice so we all started to slowly wake up. This is the last thing I remember.

Turns out carbon monoxide was leaking in the basement. My older cousin was the heaviest so he hadn't passed out yet. My younger cousin and I wouldn't wake up. We all had to be rushed to the hospital for carbon monoxide poisoning. We would have died if we didn't wake up early for practice and most likely everyone else in the house would have as well. We got hit first because we were sleeping in the basement.

Make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector in your home! I pretty much owe my life to my cousin's commitment to tennis when he was a child.


13/20. Was born dead with the umbilical cord wrapped around my neck. All of the doctors/nurses had given up except one. Shout out to Dr. Primmage who didn't give up and saved my life.


14/20. I bled out after giving birth to my 3rd child.

First thing, in labor, when the doc goes to insert the fetal HR monitor, I knew he did something wrong. That had never been excruciatingly painful before...

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Second, There was blood beyond "bloody show".

Third, After the birth, I started to go into shock. What that's like is you get really cold. I vomited. I turned bright pale white. I was not "all there" mentally.

When the nurse had to check my post birth discharge, she pressed on my stomach and the blood shot out of me, past (and all over) my feet.

Her expression was priceless.

She called some code and off to surgery I went.

I had an epidural from the birth, so they only gave me a little something to knock me out.

I woke up during surgery. I saw the doctor and nurses. I heard him order a transfusion. I heard him say, "Omygoodness, I cannot find to source of this intense bleeding! Wait. Here it is. I must've tore her cervix...patient is alert." Then they gassed me more and I was out again.

After surgery, the doctor told me I had 12 stitches in my cervix. I said, "Is that from when you put the fetal monitor on?"

His face went white and denied everything.

I said, "Come on, doc. I was awake during part of the surgery. I'm not going to sue you. It's just that I plan on having more kids, so I want to know why this one went badly so I can prepare for the next one."

He just said, "Don't worry. This won't effect your next pregnancy." And I thought, "Yep. Because I'm getting a new doctor."


15/20. Made a makeshift catapult with friends. It was a plank of wood pivoted on a rock. I put a huge stone the size of my 11 year old head on the end of the plank. I then told my friends to watch as I jumped on the other end hoping it would fly into the forest and hit a tree. Nothing happened. Until the rock came plumetting down after about 5 seconds then grazed my nose and smashed into the dirt making a smaller crater. We stood there in awe at my luck and the thud the stone made. It had gone straight up and straight down. I nearly got the top of my head reshaped into an egg holder.


16/20. Christmas morning. Diabetic hypoglycemia. Unable to communicate verbally, but I kind of knew what was going on in my head. Woke up moaning in a wet bed from pissing myself, managed to get to the washroom to clean up (because in my hypoglycemic mind, THAT was the priority). Went down a flight of stairs on my bum (very little muscular control). Mini seizures set in by the time I was in the kitchen, laying in front of the refrigerator. My bloodsugar was 0.6 mmol/L...

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My parents were there the whole time, feeding me sugary snacks and other carbs, but for some reason my blood sugars just didn't want to rise. Plus when I'm hypoglycemic like that, I get angry that my muscles aren't working and I can't communicate properly so I get a little violent.

I'll always remember it because it happened Christmas morning, and it wasn't a very good Christmas gift to receive or give to my family.

Haven't had a low that bad since.


17/20. Baby formula caused me to develop severe pneumonia at <1 year old.

I coded out three times.


18/20. Probably when I almost stepped on a rattle snake in the middle of nowhere.


19/20. I jumped off a cliff in Missouri and landed flat on my back from ~50-60ft in the water. I fractured my spine in a few places, but if I had been at even a slight angle, I could have been paralyzed or killed because of the pressure on my neck.


20/20. I was robbed at gunpoint by three young men in 1989 while a delivery driver for Pizza Hut.

I pulled up, saw them approaching the car, and assumed they ordered the pizza. One of them immediately pulled a revolver and placed it against my left cheek, cocked it, and said "Give me your money, bitch!" while the others looked around nervously.

"This is not my money, this is your money.", I said and handed them the twenty something dollars from my change apron. Then they demanded my wallet which I produced quickly. Finding it empty they threw it back into my face and with the revolver still pointed at me, said "Get the f*ck outta here." I got the f*ck out of there. True story.

And no, they did not take the pizza.



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