Sandwiches save lives, people. In 2011, James Hobbs of Highbridge, Scotland had bought a doner kebab to go and was on his way home when he had a run-in with his neighbor, Jamie Edney. And by run-in, I mean Edney attacked him with a knife, stabbing him in the neck.
Hobbs, in a bout of quick thinking, held the sandwich to his neck to stem the bleeding. While he ended up losing more than six pints of blood, he was still alive when help arrived and managed to survive the attack. Good thing he was hungry.
Disclaimer: Shooting yourself in the head is not generally a great way to save your life. This story is a massive exception.
In 1988, a young man from Los Angeles, CA known only as George who was suffering from severe, debilitating OCD made the decision to end his life. He was washing his hands several hundred times and day and took so many showers he was forced to drop out of school and quit his job. George put a .22-caliber gun to his head and took the shot.
Miraculously, he not only survived, but the bullet got lodged in the left front lobe of his brain, destroying the part that caused his compulsions. Shooting himself in the head made him free of OCD. George's IQ was unaffected, and after recovering, he returned to school, got a job and eventually went to college.
It's an understatement to say we don't recommend trying this at home.
Kyra Kopestonsky was on a hike in a park near her home in Colorado one day in 2014 when she heard a twig snap behind her. "I turned, and there it was," she told 9News, "A mountain lion, standing ten to 15 feet away from me." Kyra knew not to run, but backing away slowly and swinging tree branches to make herself look bigger weren't doing anything. The mountain lion still advanced.
So Kyra started belting opera music.
"It kind of put its ears down and just kept looking at me, and it sort of backed away," she told 9News. Eventually, the mountain lion lost interest and retreated. That's when Kyra was able to calmly walk back down the mountain to the trailhead.
It wasn't reported whether Kyra was a trained opera singer or not. Maybe it helps to be terribly off-pitch.
The girl had been kidnapped by 45-year-old Floribert Nava who held her at gunpoint and insisted she drive to Philadelphia. As they were driving, they passed a police cruiser, which was pulled over. So the teen pointed her car toward the cruiser and drove into it. In the shock of the crash, the girl was able to get away and alert the police officer. Nava was arrested at the scene.
Jim Becker of Recine, WI is a big fan of the Green Bay Packers. A really big fan. Such a big fan, in fact, that in 2010, he started started selling his blood to buy super expensive season tickets. A lot of his blood.
During one prescreening, doctors found out that Becker's father died from hemochromatosis, also known as "the Celtic disease," which causes excessive amounts of iron in the blood. Becker was tested and he too had the disease that killed his father. Luckily for Becker, one of the only effective treatments for hemochromatosis is giving blood. By selling his blood for football tickets, Becker was, unknowingly, saving his own life.
Ronald Post (lower left) is the only death-row inmate to successfully stave off lethal injection with a claim of being too fat. His attorneys argued in 2013 that his weight (450 lbs.) at the time of his execution date prevented him from being able to be executed humanely.
Post may have won with "The Fat Defense", but he died seven months later at a prison hospital in Ohio. His weight may have saved him from the death penalty, but it most likely contributed to a whole host of health problems that eventually led to his death. Quite the paradox.
When an unidentified outdoorsman became lost in the frigid Saskatchewan wilderness in 2010, he did what any other genius would do: He caused a major blackout. After almost a week of unsuccessfully trying to send signals, he took the axe he had on him and chopped down four power poles. Hundreds of residents in the area lost power, and a helicopter was sent out to investigate the cause of the blackout. They didn't expect to find a shivering, desperate man. But that's what they found. Causing a blackout saved his life.
Calling 911 and ordering a pizza proved to be a genius move for this Portland, OR woman, who was stuck in a room with her violent, abusive boyfriend. If this story, which took place nearly ten years ago, doesn't give you chills, I don't know if your body's working correctly.
Sometimes people don't save their own lives in crazy ways. Occasionally, a dog bites your toe off. And this saves your life.
Jerry Douthett of Grand Rapids, MI had some foot trouble in 2010: a clearly infected, oozing big toe that he refused to have seen by a doctor. After a night of heavy drinking, Douthett went to sleep, and the family dog, Kiko, went to work. He ate Jerry's infected toe. Waking up with no big toe is enough to rattle anyone, so Jerry finally went to the doctor. He found out he was suffering from type 2 diabetes and his big toe had a dangerous infection, which, if left untreated, could have spread and killed him. Luckily, Kiko didn't let that happen, chewing off the infected part and only the infected part.
I think this is the perfect pitch for a new show, Doggie Howser, M.D. Coming to CBS this fall!
Ellie Lobel contracted Lyme disease in 1997 at the age of 27. Many people don't understand that a tiny tick bite can ruin your life. Lyme disease left Ellie with constant flu-like symptoms and horrible body aches; she could barely move. After fifteen years of suffering, she was ready to give up. She stopped treatment and moved from the midwest to California to die.
Three days after moving, she was attacked by a huge swarm of Africanized killer bees. And Ellie was severely allergic to bee stings. Just her luck. Lobel, knowing she was bound to die anyway, refused hospital treatment after the attack. She told Mosaic Science, "I locked myself in my room and told [my caregiver] to come collect the body tomorrow."
But Lobel didn't die. On the contrary, it seemed after a few weeks that the bee venom was curing her Lyme disease. And it was. Today, three years later, she's as healthy as ever. Well, this story is just unbeelievable, don't you think?
The man in his care was suffering from the same symptoms as the character played by Candice Bergen in an episode of the show. Turns out, like Murphy Brown, Schaefer's patient also had cobalt poisoning from his hip joint replacement. Schaefer's memory of the episode led him to successfully diagnose his real life patient in a matter of minutes.
This is much better than when one of Hugh Laurie's other roles made a bunch of people start adopting and dressing up mice.
In 2012, a neurologist suggested a high fat, low-carb "ketogenic diet." Basically, it means lots and lots of cheese and butter and all things delicious. Charlie hasn't had an attack since he started the diet.
What should you reach for when you're a doctor on an airplane and someone is suffering from a collapsed lung? Why, a coat hanger and some brandy, of course!
This is exactly what happened on a long-ass flight from Hong Kong to London in 1995. Passenger Paula Dixon had been in a motorcycle accident on the way to the airport and got on the plane anyway. When she started complaining of breathing problems, two doctors who happened to be on the plane came to her rescue.
It quickly became clear that Dixon was suffering from broken ribs and a collapsed lung, and the doctors decided they had to perform surgery to drain the lung. The airplane medical kit proved pretty useless here. The doctors made an incision in Dixon's chest. They used a coat hanger covered with a catheter tube, and they pushed it into the incision and through the chest wall in order to drain the lung.
The brandy was used for disinfecting purposes, and, I assume, a post-successful-surgery celebration drink.
In the early 1990s, A 65-year-old man in San Francisco who had had three heart attacks collapsed one day while watching TV with his son. Untrained in CPR, the son reached for a toilet plunger and applied suction to his chest successfully until paramedics arrived. His father recovered.
This inspired the development of the Cardiopump, a new suction device some say works better than CPR. The far-reaching effects of this story just clog my heart with happiness, if you know what I mean.
Pizza comes to the rescue again. In early 2015, a man with a knife was threatening to jump from a Silicon Valley freeway overpass. It was only when a robot delivered him a pizza that he turned himself in peacefully.
The San Jose Police Department negotiated with the man for hours. Eventually they decided to deliver him a phone in order to better communicate with him. The safest way to do this was to use a robot. Chris Sciba, a sergeant with the SJPD Mobile Emergency Response Group and Equipment Unit told IEEE Spectrum, "[Because] delivering food is a way of encouraging someone to do something we want them to do, we sent a pizza with the phone. We [instructed the subject] that if he wanted the pizza released, to pick up the phone." The subject picked up the phone, got his pizza, and eventually surrendered himself to officers.