Everyone has heard of tales where something horrific happens and people don’t make it but that is not the story here. These are the stories of people who faced dire of situations and came out on top. These are amazing survival stories.
1. March 15, 1915 was the day when a man defied a bullet, in fact not one but nine. Wenseslao Moguel was a Mexican revolutionary and was captured by the enemy. He was sentenced to death and was shot, not by fools but by a trained firing squad. To the disbelief of the squad he survived all eight shots. To make sure they ended his life, the ninth was to the head from close range. He survived that too.
2. It’s not often that you hear of a person skydiving, whose parachute failed yet they survive. One such case is that of Lyndi Harding, a sky diving fanatic. It was in April 2001 that she took the dive that almost, and in most cases should have, taken her life. After diving out of a plane, at 8500 feet above the ground, to Lyndi’s horror, she realized that her parachute had failed to open. For 40 seconds she plunged towards the ground at 70 miles per hour, but to everyone surprise she sustained only two fractured ribs, a punctured lung, a broken nose and a chipped tooth. Doctors were shocked with the minimal damage she entered the hospital with considering what happened and said that she probably passed out during the fall which made her body relax, decreasing the force of collision with the ground.
3. Termed a medical miracle, Fabrice Muamba who played for Bolton Wanderers collapsed on the pitch after being struck down by cardiac arrest. His heart had stopped beating for a little more than 70 minutes and doctors assumed he was dead when he arrived at the hospital. Shockingly he arose from the dead and went on to have a long rehabilitation but never returning to his love, football.
4. Aron Ralston was a canyoneering fanatic, but once incident in the year 2003 questioned his will to survive despite all odds. On one of his hikes, Aron got his hand stuck in between a bolder and a rock. For 5 days and 7 hours he remained in that exact position until he took the most extreme decision ever, to cut off his hand with a pocket knife. After self-amputating his arm he rappelled down a 65 foot rock. His main fear was that he was going to bleed to death but luckily he bumped into a Dutch family who got him to safety. His story was immortalized in the movie ‘127’ starring James Franco.
5. Mauro Prosperi is a Sicilian policeman and an Olympic Pentathlete. This determined Italian marathon lover took his enthusiasm to such a level that it almost killed him. While participating in the six day long Sahara desert marathon in southern Morocco, Prosperi and the other participants were hit by a sand storm. Although strict instructions were given to pause if in case a storm hits them, he ignored the instructions and continued. Then seventh in the race, he paced himself although being blind and disoriented by the storm. Six hours later when the storm subsided he realized that he was going in the wrong direction and flares shot by him brought no help. In the midst of the most inhospitable places in the world, he decided to keep walking. He was so dehydrated that he even saved his pee to drink. When he reached an abandoned shrine he ripped the heads off two bats to drink their blood and slit his wrists to do the same. His blood was so thickened that the next day all he was left with two scars. Seeing this as a sign to keep fighting to survive, he kept on walking. For the next five days he continued to march on without giving up and drinking the dew off leaves and eating lizards and scorpions. Finally, he came in contact with nomads who informed him that he had travelled 186 miles off course into Algeria. They took him to a military camp from where he was sent to a hospital. Two years later he was back on the very same track.
6. Juliane Koepcke was the only survivor among 92 passengers, including her mother, on the LANSA Flight 502 that was flying over the Peruvian forest. When the aircraft broke apart in the air, her seat was thrown out with her still strapped in it. She fell 3 km to the earth and was only saved because the foliage of the forest cushioned her landing. Once the ordeal of falling was over she gathered her belongings, a few sweets, and decided to follow a river downstream. Her situation was made worse because of all the insect bites she had already gathered and the fact that the bites had gotten infected. After 9 days she found a boat alongside the stream and in it fuel which she poured over her bites and injuries. Eventually the owner of the boat arrived and helped her to safety.
7. Nando Parrado was one of the sixteen survivors of the Uruguayan Air force flight 571. While the rest died, only 16 survived and were trapped on a glacier in the Andes Mountains. They were stuck there for two months and as the situation became extreme, the survivors resorted to cannibalizing the dead passengers to stay alive. Nando decided to do the extreme, he and his compatriot Roberto Canessa devised a way to trek the 17,000 foot peak that separated them from the rest of civilization. Once done, they marched on for ten more days until rescue found them. These 72 days of survival have been depicted in books and movies as well.
8. Chris Stewart was a racing fanatic and when he was 12 he met with a grave accident that almost claimed his life. He rammed into a barrier at 40mph causing his head to be detached from his spine. It took the fire crew an hour and a half to get him out of the wreckage and doctors had to perform an operation immediately to attach his head back to his spine. Doctors used metal plates and graphs from his hip during the surgery to attach his spine to his head. Amazingly he recovered only to be back on the track in a few years. What surprised the doctors even more was the fact that he even survived the accident, as such ones tend to kill the crash victim instantly.
9. Colby Coombs can officially say that his life in fact hung from a thread. An outdoor instructor, Colby and two of his friends headed out along the Alaskan range to hike. Their goal was the 17,400-foot Mount Foraker and on almost achieving it, terror struck as an avalanche hit them. The rocks pushed Coombs and his friends 800 feet down the face of the mountain. Six hours later he woke up to find himself hanging off a cliff with only his leg held by a rope. He survived although having a fractured ankle, shoulder blade and two vertebrae in his neck.