20 Heroic People Share The Experience Of Saving Someone Else's Life.
People on Reddit were asked: "Have you ever saved someone's life?" These are some of the best answers.
1/20 Some years ago, was out drinking. Waiting for a bus to go home. Saw a group of teenagers in the bus shelter trying to console their friend. Said friend looked like she was either drunk or concussed. Judging from the conversation, that shed been jumped by another girl from their school and struck her head on a curb, I decided to offer assistance as a first aider. The kids didn't like my diagnosis and recommendation to get her to a hospital immediately, as they'd been out underage drinking and their parents would be upset. I finally convinced one of them that her life was in danger, so he dialed 911.
I spent the next twenty minutes trying to keep this girl conscious. Told the kids to keep her head still and to keep the area clear of bystanders. Her eyes kept rolling up, she kept repeating her words, her pupils were different sizes, it was bad. She was barely responding to pain stimuli when the paramedics showed up. She got strapped to a board and loaded in.
I took the kids to the hospital to be with her and try to convince them to contact their parents. Six hours it took before I got them to get the parents involved. The other kids' parents arrived and also stayed. Naturally I was treated with some suspicion as a twenty something scruffy thug in white Jordans and a bears jersey.
Her folks then arrived and after some reassurance from the other parents I relayed what I knew. We then all waited together after they got the update from the hospital staff. She came out with a neck brace. Went out and had a smoke while her folks had an emotional moment. They thanked me, though i was too outside my own body with fatigue and past terror to remember what I said. I went home at eight in the morning and tried to sleep. Spent the day decompressing instead. Smoked a pack and a half. Quit not too much later after that.
2/20 "Hey man, stay away from the edge of that cliff" And he did.
3/20 I've had 2 situations, both based on the same ailment within the same weekend. My dad's deathly allergic to bees, and keeps and epipen in his truck. When I was 11, we were fishing together and he got stung on the neck. His throat was quickly swelling, causing a lack of air and dizziness, but he managed to say "I need you to run to my truck and get my shot, and stick it in my neck. Go as fast as you can and don't be scared." By the time I got back to him, he was wheezing pretty hard, but I gave him his shot, and within 15-20 minutes, he was able to drive himself to the hospital.
Fast forward roughly 24 hours. My dad had ordered a new epipen, but didn't have it yet. We're working on a treehouse in the backyard and, as luck would have it, he gets stung right under his eye. Within a minute, he can't see. I vividly remember him saying "You ever driven before? You're about to learn." Luckily, I knew the way around our town from lots of bike rides, but learning to drive a manual at 11 years old was a task. But we made it, and he made it.
4/20 My own story is kinda mundane, but I did get a monkey out of it. I was 11, it was probably a 4th of July picnic at my aunt's house. Around dusk, when the adults were all eating on the porch, and the kids were scattered who knows where, I was walking across the backyard to get something to eat. As I passed the pool, I saw a small body floating in it. I remember starting to take one of my velvet mary-janes off (my favorite shoes ever) before I realized I was being stupid and jumped in. It was my 20 month-old cousin, somehow he had crawled up the ladder and fell in. Cousin saved, yada yada.
So, my grandma told me she would get me anything I wanted, and my stupid 11yo self said "I want a monkey." Sure enough, a few weeks later, she brought me a monkey (I had forgotten all about it by that time). It was a spider monkey (I guess I was thinking more like chimp). Nastiest thing ever. My dad built huge cage for it in the garage. I tried to make friends with Kiki, but he still bit the shit out of me. We donated it, cage and all, to a local nature center when it got cold. No regrets.
5/20 Maybe. I had plans with a friend- and he didn't show up. We called him a bunch, and when he finally called back, he said he didn't feel too well, wasn't going out. Whatever, no big deal. Hedid say I love you a bunch when we hung up, which was also no big deal, we're all a bunch of mushpots. So fast forward to what I though was the end of my night. I was wasting time on Facebook, and his status was really really off. It was sentimental and not funny, and it just struck me as weird. Soooo, I called his phone a couple of times, and resolved to just ride my bike to his house, to make sure he was okay (it was about 4 am). I though what I was doing was just kind of silly and overly neurotic, but I'm kind of obsessive and I figured, it would be worth waking him up for. Well, he called me back and I told him why I wanted to make sure he was okay, it turned out he was really f*cked up and was pondering/sort of attempting suicide. So I went over and bought him a pizza instead. It was terrifying. He was pretty shocked that I knew something was off, but we're buddies. I just knew something was off.
6/20 This July I was in an airport at the top of an escalator where a woman was trying to deal with her luggage, a baby in a stroller, and a toddler. Her toddler slipped right before they got on the escalator and without thinking she reached for him and, in doing so, let go of the baby stroller that was halfway on to the top stair of the escalator.
The stroller started to tilt downward and when I realized it was about to completely tip over, I dropped my own luggage, grabbed it and brought it back up to the landing. No idea if I actually saved the kids life, but the escalator was empty, so I imagine it would have fallen all the way down.
7/20 Waiting for the bus, random guy wearing sun glasses also waiting for the bus leans over the curb to look to see if the the bus is coming, randomly collapses, so I run into the street where he collapsed and stop cars from running over him and ask him if he is ok, call the cops, and turns out that he was a veteran and he got a blast from a grenade several tears ago, has to take meds to help with his migraines, he blacks out randomly.
8/20 I was a life-guard and pulled a 2 year old off the bottom of a 12 ft well. I guess that counts, a person is a person, no matter how small.
9/20 I was in Hong Kong on business, so my colleague and I went to Repulse Bay. We met up with some girls we'd previously met, drank all day on the beach, hung out, made new friends and we're all hitting a volleyball when a guy our age (early 20's) comes up to us his voice in a panic saying his friend is buried and they can't get him out of the sand. I immediately thought this was some prank, so we go over to the kid and literally all you can see is an arm sticking out of the sand, so we try pulling it and all you can hear is a muffled scream. When we realized whats going on and tried to get closer, the sand caved in and the arm began frantically waving in a panic. Immediately I started digging in the sand with 4 other people to find this kids head and then I found it and we dug a small air pocket around his mouth. After about 5 minutes of carefully digging and pulling, we pulled him out. The beach was empty aside from us and it was getting pitch black out. Kind of crazy I saved some kids life in Hong Kong.
10/20 Out drinking for a mates 18th birthday at the local bar. Drinking our way into oblivion when we noticed a crowd forming on the dance floor.Thinking it was a fight or something we all run over. Instead it was an elderly man lying on the ground with a massive gash over his eye. Everyone was freaking out. Being a lifeguard i just push my way through and do the basic checks. This old guy was gone. No pulse or breathing. He had vomit and blood bubbling out of his mouth. Wasn't a pleasant sight.
I sobered up within a second and my training kicked in. I directed a person to call the ambos and told security to get everyone out and to turn on the lights. People were still dancing around the guy and the DJ was still playing. Looking back this was properly the most disgusting part of the whole incident. I started compression on the old guy. I wasn't game to go anywhere near the mouth cause of the blood/vomit until I had some sort of mask. I was passed a pocket mask by bystander. It was basically a little bit of plastic with a little hole so I didn't get the best seal on the poor guy. I worked on the old man for about 15 mins until the paramedics showed. I thought he was a definite goner. In between compression I held his hand and squeezed to try and gain a response and looked into his eyes. They were so black. I'll never forget them eyes. The paramedics directed me to continue compression while the started to bag (pump oxy) the guy. The defib was set up and he was shocked twice. I can't remember the stats but not many people come back after the third shock. Possibly as low as 10%...
I handed the guy over to the paramedics and helped the carry their equipment back to the ambo. I pretty much and legged it out of there after handing my details over to the bar staff. I had blood and vomit all over my shirt and hands. A couple of days later I got a call back from the the place informing me that my actions had stabilized the man and brought him back to life, but unfortunately he passed away a couple of hour latter with further heart problems. He passed away surrounded by close family members. I sometimes go back to the same bar but its never the same. People dance over a spot where the man passed away. I couldn't walk over that spot again.
I didn't fully save the mans life but I got him back long enough for his family to say the last goodbyes which I think is special enough. This incident happened about 18 months ago now. I still think about most days. I don't think it's PTSD. It has also driven me to become a paramedic.
11/20 I don't expect you to understand. However, while wounded in Afghanistan I saved my corpsman's life who took a ton of shrapnel which almost completely severed his jugular. Then the DUSTOFF bird landed between us and the enemy, I carried him about 100m into enemy fire to our DUSTOFF bird. Bird had 15 positive rounds through it and 2 RPGs flew over. Shittiest day of my life.
12/20 So my friend had a boyfriend who was insanely cool. I never met him, but by looking at his Facebook profile and Tumblr (I'm not a stalker I swear), I could tell we had similar interests. Anyway, my friend was a total bitch to him. She treated him like he was a dog and I felt bad. One day I heard they had broken up, so I got his number from a friend of a friend.
At this point, I kinda liked the guy. As I said, we had very similar interests and I found him attractive. I decided to call him, and we talked for a few hours. We eventually started dating. One day he told me that the day I called him, he was on a bridge, about to jump. Apparently his father, who meant the world to him, had just died and couldn't cope. That, along with the breakup, sent him over the edge. He told me that talking to me made him realize there's things to live for, and he needs to live for his father. If I would have waited just another minute to call him, he would have been dead.
13/20 I pulled a guy out of a burning trailer once, he was burned badly and I wound up covered in his blood and skin (not fun for the hour drive home to change clothes).
14/20 A buddy of mine and I were stationed in Hawaii. We were trying to learn how to surf, cause we were new on the island and didn't know how much of an asskicking it was going to be. I'm 6'1" and about 220, so it was probably just awkward to watch. Anyway, I had just gotten my ass handed to me by another wave when i look over and see this guy and a young girl pop up outta the water about 40 feet away. He looks right at me and and just shouts "Help." Really monotonously.
I start swimming toward them, and watch as a wave rolls in, and the water level begind them recedes, creating this big bowl of rock that the wave would slam into, settle, and recede again. It was basically a big horseshoe facing north that water would just spin cycle against. As soon as you came above water again and started trying to get away, another wave came in to push you back down. And i was swimming right into it. Fack.
I finally reach them, and slam my board into this guy, and tell him to get to the rocks. I grab his kid as he paddles away. I see my buddy running along the rocks to grab him, and the first wave slams me under. I just held the girl over my head and started kicking. I made a little progress toward the rocks, before it happened again. This time, i was bounced off the rocks, and the wind just left me. I paddled again, and got her above water, but i had taken a bit longer. As soon as i broke the surface, i saw the next wave. I turned, and saw my buddy. I just remember that he looked scared. I screamed "Catch her!" And chucked her like a shot put as the momentum of the water surged me forward. He caught her, and I fell. I had the presence of mind to turn, so that my back slammed into the rock and coral, and I was run against it like I was a piece of cheese run along a grater with a firehose.
I genuinely didn't think I was gonna make it that last time. Just before I blacked out, I felt the rocks, and I clambered up them. My buddy grabbed my shorts, and I was out.
I never got their names. The father just said "Thanks," as was laying down, bleeding all over the sand. He grabs his daughter by the arm, and dragged her back to their spot on the beach. My buddy bought her an ice cream, and we left.
15/20 Chugging wine with some friends at a lake years ago, watching a kid swim out too far -- then not seeing him anymore. As realization set in, my friend ran out there first, dove into the water and I was about 45 seconds behind (I hesitated). We both swam out to the center of the lake and he pulled the kid up. I swam along side him helping him drag the kid back to shore. The kids family watched as my friend pumped his chest, choked on water and came back. It was a mother's day I never forget; the family didn't even thank us.
16/20 The red cross tells me I save 4 lives every time I give blood. So apparently I've saved somewhere around 24 lives.
17/20 We went to pick a photo that we had developed and framed for our friends that where graduating during lunch time. I was in the back seat passenger side, my buddy A. was driving, and D. was in the front seat. We had just gotten our years books so we where exchanging them. I was like "D. put your seatbelt on.""I don't want to." "Yo A. pull over until she puts her seatbelt on, I don't care if we are late." She huffs and puffs but she complies. Thirty seconds later a car drives out in front of us. We hit t bone him going 45mph. Can't be for sure if I saved her life but I saved her from more serious injuries.
18/20 My friend had never been swimming before, ever, so when a group of friends and I went to a river to hang out for an hour or so, I taught my friend a quick version of doggy paddling and quickly how to float on his back. I also showed him where the bank cut out (aka where he wouldn't be able to safely stand).
We're swimming, having a good time and he's got the hang of it. But then he floats on his back for too long and slowly gets dragged out past the bank and into the current. I shouted his name to get his attention, and once he realized he couldn't stand he began to FREAK OUT, splashing and flailing and screaming, and soon he went underwater.
The first girl closest to him immediately went down under to save him, but he was in such a state of panic that he began pushing her down in an attempt to get air. After 15 or so seconds of this the girl came back up for air for herself. I watched him go under again, and the water flattened out. I was next closest.
I saw what he'd done to the girl so I took in the biggest breath I could and prepared to get thrashed. I dove down and scrambled to find him, and once I grabbed him he shoved me down to try to get his own air. I was swimming as hard as I could to get him back to where he could stand. He wasn't making it easy. He was wildly swinging his limbs around and kicking me so hard.. It took about 2 whole minutes to get to a point where I knew we were out of the current. Once we could stand he SPRINTED out of the water and curled up in his own little cocoon, coughing and taking in huge gulps of air. Everyone was so relieved.
There's a second part to the story: I had just lost a bunch of weight, and my class ring had fallen off of my finger in this struggle. I figured it was a lost cause, and that I'd never see it again. A whole four months later I get a call from an ex's mother... My ex's little sister was at a banquet at the river and a man had come up to her asking if she knew someone by my name who had graduated the year I did. His son was diving in the river and found my ring! I got it back! Karma is real.
19/20 Okay, I was at my grandparents' house, just chilling with my cousins, one being four, the other twelve. We went outside on the porch for awhile. Twelve year old (let's call her 'H') and I went in to grab something to drink. When we came back out, the four year old (let's call him 'B'), had ran into a narrow street right next to a larger one. An old man drove around the corner and since B was so small, the man couldn't see him over the hood of his car. I sprinted into the street, grabbed B, and dove into the grass. H ran into the house yelling "'They just saved B's life!" Feels were had.
20/20 I'm not quite sure, but I like to think that I saved my sister's life. I didn't save it in the literal sense. My sister had depression her junior year of high school, and attempted suicide multiple times. She was basically institutionalized, but in a hospital, not a ward, a ward for depressed kids who needed help but wasn't a mental institute, if that makes sense. She wasn't getting any better with therapy or anything, they had to make sure there were not sharp objects, keep a close watch, etc. I didn't see her for about 6 months. My parents basically put her in a hospital because they couldn't trust her at home. I was 13 or 14, and I didn't know too much about what was going on, the family therapy was the 3 of them. A lot of the issues with her depression stemmed from the relationship with our parents, and they just weren't getting through to her, I mean how can you after years of perceived bullshit?
So this was happening outside my reality, I still went to school, did my homework, etc. My sister and I never had the closest relationship, but I knew she was seriously f*cked up, on the verge of being institutionalized. So I wrote her a letter, telling her how much I loved her and how much I missed her, and how much she meant to me and the family. After that letter, there was like a total turnaround, like within a week or two. Only once she told me how much reading that letter meant to me, and it seemed to me like everything was different after that, just total turnaround. Maybe I just want to think I really made a difference, but she was on the path to being institutionalized but then she came home. So I feel I saved her, reaching out to her in a way that our parents couldn't. Maybe I'm wrong and it meant nothing. But I like to think it did.
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There comes a time in our lives when we have to cut people out because of their toxic, negative, or destructive behavior. And there's no shame in doing it - tolerance and acceptance can only go so far, and there is always a last straw.
The785 asked: What was the incident that made you cut somebody close out of your life?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.