However precise, sanitary, and increasingly painless modern medicine has become, there”s only so much it can do for patients on the brink of death. Sometimes it”s not so much medicine, but sheer human willpower, that allows victims to overcome prognoses that should”ve been fatal.
Here are a few stories of people surviving against seemingly insurmountable odds.
After flying though the windshield of his car during an accident, Carlos Rodriguez lost half of his skull and brain. He survived, and shortly thereafter, earned the affectionate nickname “Halfy” from his friends and family.
In the 1940s, Phineas Gage was in a severe dynamite accident that caused an iron bar to go straight through his head. The bar was found 30 feet from Gage with pieces of his skull still attached, and yet he survived — albeit with his personality completely changed.
A man in Oregon once tried to kill himself by firing 12 nails into his skull with a nail gun. Doctors couldn”t even see the nails at first because they were stuck so far in his head. The man survived and currently resides in a psychiatric center.
Truman Duncan was a railroad switchman who fell and was dragged 75 feet by a moving train, at which point its wheels effectively cut him in half. Even after losing both legs, his pelvis, and a kidney, he managed to call 911. He miraculously survived after 23 major surgeries.
In 1986, two-year-old Michelle Funk was found completely submerged under an icy creek. Her core temperature was only 66 degrees, as she had been floating in the water for over an hour. She amazingly made a full recovery.
A woman named Dianne Odell lived for 60 years in an iron lung after her polio diagnosis at the age of three. While confined to the machine, she managed to get a high school diploma. She even wrote a children”s book about a star named Blinky.
After a motorcycle accident, an Italian man said he had trouble feeling his heartbeat. When doctors took a look, they found that his heart had somehow jumped from his left side to his right. The displacement was caused by a rupture in the lungs. Once repaired, the man”s pulse returned to normal.
During a car crash in 2007, Shannon Malloy sustained extreme injuries that caused her head to be severed from her body, hanging on only by the spinal cord. This allowed doctors a small window to operate — and despite suffering sight and speech impairment — Malloy is alive and well.
Upon reading descriptions of these injuries, one could easily assume that these people died yet somehow they worked up the courage and stamina to pull through. This is just something to think about the next time you”re complaining about pain at the dentist”s office.