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1. Phineas Gage

Gage was an American railroad construction foreman. He was preparing a railroad bed near Cavendish, Vermont, when, unfortunately, the explosive powder that should be put into a hole detonated, sending the iron tamping rod into Gage’s left cheek and tore through his brain that exited his skull. He did not only survive with the injury, but he was able to speak and walk to a nearby cart that would take him to the doctor. What a miracle it was! He was mentioned as one of the most famous patients in neuroscience. Almost 12 years after his accident, Gage died after suffering from epileptic seizures.

2. Ann Elizabeth Fowler Hodges

Most people would love to see meteor showers or even want to explore outer space. But being hit by a meteorite is a different thing. Call it a lucky day for Ann Elizabeth Fowler Hodges. While taking her afternoon nap in their rented Alabama home, a nine-pound piece of black rock crashed through their ceiling and smashed her left hip leaving a football-sized bruise. She was uncertain as to what had just happened. Neighbors who witnessed the fast descending fireball rushes to Hodges’ house to offer their help or to look at the mysterious object that dropped from the sky. When Ann’s husband arrived, he immediately called a doctor and the local police. Ann Hodges might be lucky enough to have survived the incident with minor injuries, but the aftermath caused misfortunes in her life. All media wants to take a story about the first person to survive being struck by meteorite incident that she was being invited in interviews and magazine. With the newfound fame and the battle of ownership of the rock takes a toll in Ann’s relationship with her husband. They were not equipped to deal with publicity. They separated ways, and Ann’s health and emotional state deteriorated. She died alone in a nursing home due to kidney failure.

Image Credit: Jay Leviton / The Life Images Collection / Getty images

3. Roy Sullivan

Surely, luck is by his side. Meet Roy Sullivan. The Guinness World Record holder as the person struck by lightning several times but has survived. Sullivan is also known as the “ Human Lightning Conductor” and “Human Lightning Rod” for surviving a total of seven different lightning incidents but remained alive. Sullivan was a United States Park ranger in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. In all seven lightning incidents, the first one in 1942, he lost his big toenail, followed by the loss of his eyebrows on the second, he got burns on his left shoulder on the third, the fourth one burned his hair same with the fifth incident that also burns his again legs, injured his ankles on the sixth, chest and stomach burns on the seventh. He might have survived the lightning but not with love. They say too much love can kill you. Apparently, Sullivan shot himself and died over unrequited love.

Image Credit: National Park Service

4. Shannon Malloy

When death accidentally removed you from the list. Shannon Maloy, 30 years old, was critically injured when a car crash slammed her head into the dashboard, making her skull separate from her spine. Luckily, her skin, spinal cord, and internal organs remained intact. The condition is known clinically as an internal decapitation. Doctors even told the relatives to prepare themselves to say their goodbyes. But Shannon proved otherwise. Her willingness to survive was enough for surgeons to insert screws in her head and neck and attach a halo to minimize movement; it was not an easy task and a painful procedure for Shannon. A fund was raised to help Shannon for her long recovery process.

5. Ahad Israfil

At age 14, Ahad was accidentally shot by his employer at work. He survived after a five-hour operation. The doctors were amazed that after regaining consciousness, Ahad attempted to speak. The accident destroyed his brain tissue and damaged half of his skull. The skin of his scalp survived, and the underlying tissue was removed, leaving a hole in his head. Dr. James Apesos filled the empty part of Ahad’s skull with silicone. The scalp was repaired to allow the regrowth of his hair. Ahad regained most of his mental capabilities and successfully acquired a degree even though he’s been using a wheelchair. He appeared in some television programs like Ripley’s Believe it or not. On October 18, 2019, Ahad died while in a nursing home.

6. Juliane Koepcke

While on board an airplane, passengers will always pray for traveling mercies that nothing will happen in mid-air. Anything can happen during the flight. Passengers of LANSA flight 508 bound for Peru experience the worst thing that could ever arise during the trip. Christmas Eve of 1971, Juliane, with her mother, Maria, is traveling to Peru when lightning struck the plane during a severe thunderstorm and broke up mid-air. All passengers died except for Juliane Koepcke, who survived the plane crash. It was indeed a miracle to have survived the crash. All alone in the middle of the dangerous Amazon rainforest, she was able to escape again for 11 days before reuniting with her father. Luck must be on her side throughout her ordeal.

Image Credit: Cancillería del Perú

7. Vesna Vulovic

Surviving a fall from a height of 33,330 feet without any parachute is unbelievable, but Vesna Vulovic, a Serbian flight attendant, holds the Guinness World Records for surviving the highest fall. When a briefcase bomb inside the baggage compartment of JAT Flight 367 on January 26, 1972, exploded, the aircraft broke apart mid-air. Not only she survived from the highest fall, but she is also the sole survivor out of 28 passengers and crew onboard the plane. Bruno Honke, a medic during World War II, discovered Vesna among the wreckage wearing her bloodstained flight attendant uniform and no shoes. Vulovic suffered two broken legs, three broken vertebrae, a fractured pelvis, broken ribs, and a fractured skull. She spent days in a coma and was in the hospital for several months. Doctors did not expect her to live that long, but Vesna proved the opposite. Her recovery was incredibly successful.

Image Credit: Photo distributed to the press by JAT Airways

8. Reshma Begum

Trapped for 17 days under the rubble, Reshma Begum was able to survive the horrific accident that claimed the lives of more than 1,000 people. Begum was working in a garment factory located outside the capital city of Dhaka. Rana Plaza building where the factory is located already had cracks on it, but the management still insisted on continuing its operation. On April 24, 2013, the building collapsed and trapped more than 1,500 workers. Relatives and rescuers have given up hope to see survivors anymore as the days passed by. However, on the 17th day, the rescuers heard a metallic tapping as they were moving slabs from the collapsed building. Begum used a pipe for breathing underneath the wreckage. She by using rainwater for drinking and rummage the leftover foods of her dead colleagues.

9. Lincoln Hall

Hall was a mountain climber that took part in the first Australian expedition to climb Mount Everest in 1984. On his second attempt in May 2006, he suffered altitude sickness on his trek down from the summit. He was left for dead alone at an altitude of 8600m but survived. During his trek, he began exhibiting bizarre behavior and suffered life-threatening brain swelling that caused him to hallucinate and become confused. The Sherpa guides attempted to rescue him for hours, but their oxygen is already low in supply that they were ordered to return to the camp, leaving Hall behind. They later released a statement informing his friends and family about his death. The next morning, Hall was found still alive by a team making a summit attempt. Hall was brought down the mountain to Everest’s North Col, where he was treated. The next day at the Advanced Base Camp, he was in good health, although he was still suffering from frostbite and the effects of cerebral edema.

10. Aron Ralston

The man behind the true story of 127 Hours starring James Franco. Ralston was a mechanical engineer from Denver. After five years of working in the corporate world, he decided to quit his job and pursue his passion for mountaineering. He wanted to climb the highest peak in North America, Denali. As preparation for his goal to climb Denali, he planned to solely climb all of Colorado’s “fourteeners” or mountains that are at least 14,000 feet tall. In 2003, while skiing on Resolution Peak in Central Colorado with two friends, Ralston almost died because of an avalanche. Fortunately, his friends were able to save him. The incident did not falter Ralston's goal to keep climbing and explore hazardous terrain.

Just a couple months after the avalanche accident, he decided to climb Bluejohn Canyon without telling anyone. While descending, a giant rock above him slipped, and he fell with his right hand lodged between the canyon wall and the 800-pound boulder leaving him trapped for five days. He even drank his urine after running out of food and water. Ralston amputated his arm to break free. His dream of playing with his child with only half of his right arm gave him the adrenaline and the will to live. Ralston is lucky enough to have survived these two incidents.

Image Credit: Aron Ralston