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17 Near-Death Stories That Will Make You Happy To Be Alive

Guys, please wear seat belts and go to the hospital when your stomach hurts. We love you.

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We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to share their near-death experiences. Here are the most extraordinary responses.

1. Submitted by Alexis Barnhart (Facebook)

I almost choked to death on a jumbo marshmallow. In sixth-grade biology, we were going to do an experiment where we made cells out of food and I brought in jumbo marshmallows for the nucleus. While we were building our "cells," we were given instructions NOT to eat anything. I was effing starving, and swallowed a jumbo marshmallow whole. I started choking and panicked. I was so scared of getting in trouble for eating that damn marshmallow that I tried to act as normal as I could while choking. Somehow I managed to swallow the whole marshmallow and no one but my lab partner really noticed anything.

3. Submitted by Morgan Rispoll (Facebook)

I was drinking with three of my friends and we decided to visit the graveyard down the street where we used to try to scare each other — this is a graveyard out of a horror movie with an iron spiked fence and a creepy old church next to it. It was raining and around 1 a.m. We got creeped out and decided to leave. When we were hopping the fence, something my friend and I were leaning on broke and we landed straight on the spikes. We were dangling there like deer. I was in shock. The next thing I remember is my friend pulling me off of the spikes and laying me down to apply pressure to the wound, while he was bleeding just as much as I was.

As I was in the ambulance, I remember asking the medic if I was going to survive. When he didn't respond, I really lost it. We ended up both getting surgery. We have matching kick-ass scars going up and down our stomachs, and three little holes where the fence actually punctured us. I am happy to be alive and have never gone back to that graveyard since.

4. Submitted by Saara-Elina Kaukiainen (Facebook)

In 2007, I had an eclampsia seizure. I had an emergency C-section and lost two pints of blood, but didn't die even though it was close. What saved my life and my daughter's life was that I was already in the hospital when I had the seizure. Had I been at home, we would probably both have died.

My daughter just started her first year at school. ♥

5. Submitted by paperbucketgames

When I was about 5 years old, I went hiking with my family. When we got to the top of a cliff, I stood at the edge and, like in a cartoon, the rock crumbled under my feet and I dropped. My mother caught me by my wrist so I was literally dangling over this giant cliff. I was crying, my mom was yelling at my dad to help, and the guide fainted. To make things worse, someone broke into our car and stole my mom's purse. The only good thing that happened that day was that I learned how to count to 100.

6. Submitted by Marie-Chantal Elizabeth Ingrid-Adriana Farmer (Facebook)

Sasha / Via Getty Images

One night after getting completely wasted, I thought I'd take a swig of Listerine because my mouth tasted like a rancid sock. I was so drunk my eyes couldn't focus and all I saw was a green bottle. I stupidly assumed this could only be Listerine. NOPE! It was drain cleaner! I only realized my error when it started burning my mouth more then normal. Thankfully I only ended swallowing a tiny bit so only managed to make myself ill for a week.

7. Submitted by karenm143

A few years ago while white-water rafting, my family's raft slammed into a rock and I went flying out. I briefly blacked out, and when I came to, the raft was easily 15 yards ahead of me. I'm no athlete, but I swam as hard as I could. The current kept pulling me under, but after a grueling several minutes I finally made it back.

Now, this story is probably pretty run-of-the-mill for white-water rafting, but it gets worse. Not only did the current pull me under, it managed to pull my pants completely off. Of course, I didn't realize this until hoisted myself up onto the raft, giving the others quite a view. It gets worse. There was a photographer for that rapid who managed to catch several of me flailing around helplessly, and was nice enough to keep my bare ass out of these photos. My mother bought all of them.

8. Submitted by Amanda Lorenza (Facebook)

In 2011, I went to Bermuda for a DJ'ing gig a few days after getting a root canal. After we landed, my throat started to swell up. I could barely swallow any food or drinks. After spending two days in the hospital with no info about what was wrong, I hopped the fuck back to Toronto, despite not being able to breathe properly.

In Toronto, I passed out a few times at the hospital. I remember looking DOWN at my body. I woke up three weeks after with a tracheotomy tube inserted into my neck. I was told I had passed away not once, not twice, but three times. My parents were told I was "gone," or would have brain damage. What happened was the root canal I'd had became infected mid-flight and the altitude sped up the rate of infection.

9. Submitted by Bill Clinton (Facebook)

Justin Sullivan / Via Getty Images

When I was around 5 years old, I was in a car crash with my mom and my sister. I don't remember a single thing, just some images. My mom and my sister were fine. My ear broke, I had scars in my head, my face, and my hands, but nothing happened.

The strange and unbelievable thing was that my dad was going to travel that day from Cuba but decided to go back home after my cousin called to tell him about our crash. Well, my dad came back with his traveling companion and that plane they never went on...crashed.

It was just not our turn.

10. Submitted by Afiq Mao Mao (Facebook)

When I was 12, I agreed to a race with a friend to see who could reach the cake shop at the opposite side of the road first. The loser would have to treat the winner to one slice of cake. When the pedestrian light turned green, I immediately sprinted across without checking for passing cars. A guy rushing to beat the red light hit me. I rolled over the front of his car hood, over the roof, and fell on the road. Fortunately, I escaped with only minor scratches. The guy who hit me drove me to the nearest doctor, but the drive was reaaaaaaaaaaaaally awkward.

11. Submitted by Maddie Mechem (Facebook)

In 11th grade, my advisory went on a hiking trip. One of the attractions was Panther Cave, a 2x2 tunnel that led to the top of a ridge. I had recently got a pair of aviator sunglasses, so at the top I thought, Oh, if I was leaning on a rock up here with those glasses on, I would be so cool!

I fished out my aviators and began to put on my shades while leaning back. The problem was, there was no rock. I fell back, and off the cliff. I blacked out. The next thing I knew, I was on a bench. I had fallen off a 20-foot cliff and landed headfirst on a rock. I had a severe concussion, dislocated my shoulder, and sustained multiple skin punctures across my body from various rocks and sticks. But on the bright side, I was left with no brain damage and a great story. :)

12. Submitted by alliem43c14a32f

Via buzzfeed.com

This was my trusty 1993 Acura Legend that I owe my life to, after being run off I-95. I rolled up a hill. That’s right, up the hill. I took out a tree and then the passenger side slammed into another tree. I was out of my car and had called my father for help by the time anyone got to me. A few bruises, a trip to the hospital, and all I lost were my clothes that they “had” to cut off. The state trooper said it looked like my car had played pinball among the trees. Some of those trees were missing bark as high as 7 feet up.

13. Submitted by Esther Grace (Facebook)

When I was 5, my mom, brother, and I were in a pedestrian crosswalk and a woman driving did not see me. My mom tried to pull me away, but my leg was pinned under the car because the driver STOPPED on my leg! My mom banged on the woman's windshield and finally she reversed...then drove over my leg AGAIN.

At the hospital, the doctors told my mom that if she had not pulled me away when she saw the car coming, I would have been pulled under the car and died. But in the grand scheme of things, going to space camp in a wheelchair is WAAAAAY cooler than being dead.

14. Submitted by Seth Eisner (Facebook)

Christopher Furlong / Via Getty Images

When I was 16, I worked as a host in a restaurant. We had a disgruntled former employee throw a fit in the restaurant. He flipped tables, threw candles and customers' meals into the walls, and was eventually escorted out. He showed up again 20 minutes later. He drove by the restaurant and fired four shots from a .45 into the restaurant. I ducked after the first two shots passed just by my head, close enough to hear the whiz. I chased him to get his plates. He didn't fire anymore but did jump out of the car and flash the gun at me. I didn't realize how close I had got until the police showed up to take the report and noticed that I had burn marks in my hair where a bullet went through.

15. Submitted by Chelsea Hunt-Williams (Facebook)

About eight years ago I was driving with my mom, three siblings, and dog. I decided to sit in the middle backseat and loosen my lap belt to lean over on the left seat to sleep. I suddenly woke up to the car swerving. My brother lost control and we ended up flipping about five times in the wide grass median. People pulled over and started pulling us out through the windows. We were all OK, only bruises and minor cuts from glass. Our small dog, who was thrown from the car, was also fine. It was really lucky I moved to the middle seat before it happened because the left seat was completely gone, smashed to nothing, with a chunk of my hair pulled out at the roots in the crunched metal. The police officer told us, "This is when we usually pick up body parts."

16. Submitted by Jake Skelly (Facebook)

Four years ago I came home and just had the worst body aches ever. My legs and knees ached, and after sleeping a few hours, I started to vomit for the next few hours, on the hour. Not possessing health care coverage at the time, I weighed the options. I called the local hospital, about 2 miles from my apartment. They demanded I come in. A couple hours later, I'm in surgery to remove my appendix, which the doctor was convinced had burst, or was at the very least about to.

Nope. My appendix was just fine. Turns out I had a benign tumor that was gangrenous. Had I not gone to the hospital when I did, and tried to self-medicate, the gangrene would have spread rapidly, according to the doctor, and I would have been dead within the week.

17. Submitted by Tayllor

Via buzzfeed.com

I was sitting in this car [pictured] in the back. A truck hit the back going 50 mph, pinning my head between the back of the seat and the trunk. A couple inches tighter and I wouldn’t have made it. Luckily, I walked away with only a shattered jaw, instant memory loss, and night terrors. Every time I see this picture I feel like I have purpose. Why else would I have survived?

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