"I got a text from my girlfriend saying thank you for everything. I rushed home with the worst gut feeling I ever had. I found her on the ground squirming around with a giant pool of red around her. I called 911 and got a towel and tried to put pressure on her neck. She was telling me how sorry she was for everything as I tried to calm her saying it will be fine, no need to worry, they will get here soon. She passed away in my arms. I was planning to purpose the next day."
"When I was a kid, maybe 10 or so, my friend and I were playing football in his front yard. Meanwhile, the nanny of a neighbor of ours was taking a walk with my neighbor's baby in a carriage and their very large Great Dane. She thought, for some erroneous reason, that it would be a smart idea to tie the leash of the Great Dane to the baby carriage while she was strolling through the neighborhood. I saw her walking down the street and immediately thought about the consequences of this. So, she continues to walk by us, down the street and out of sight towards the cul-de-sac. We keep playing football and she comes back from the other direction, listening to her music, completely unaware of what was about to happen. Suddenly, the Great Dane stops and just stares down the street. There was a squirrel in the road. Next thing I know, this massive dog is flying down the street, dragging the baby carriage, which is now on its side with the baby in it. The nanny begins to freak out and she begins to chase the dog down the street. As she chases the dog, I see the baby fly out of the carriage and onto the road.
My friend, Matt, and I stood there in complete shock, speechless. Then I say 'Matt, call 911.' He doesn't move. 'MATT! CALL 911!' He runs inside and calls 911, then gets his mom who thankfully was a nurse at the time. The ambulance, fire truck and police showed up to handle the situation. Thankfully, the baby was fine, only a few scratches and bruises. The nanny was fired."
"It was a week until my 18th birthday and I was coming home from a friend's party across town. When I got home the entire house was dark except for one beam of light that cut through the house from the door that led to the garage. I made my way to the garage and as I stepped through the door I was faced with the sight of my father hanging from the rafters.
He was hanging from the dog's leash, but his heels were resting on the ground and so I immediately thought it was just another one of the horrifying jokes he liked to play on me at times. I leaned back against the washing machine and said 'Ha, nice try but your feet are still touching the ground.' No response. After twenty or thirty seconds I became scared/angry and walked over and gave him a good swat on the side of the arm and his body just slowly spun around, heels dragging on the concrete until I could see his purple splotchy face and his blood red dead eyes. I grabbed the hunting knife off the wall in a moment and cut him down. I tried to keep his head from hitting the ground too hard, but he was always so much bigger than me. I called 911 and they instructed me to give mouth to mouth CPR. I'd push, breathe air into him, and stale vomit, bile, and blood would gurgle up to my lips and mouth.
They resuscitated him at the ER, but he had been hanging too long. When I showed up the next day his breath came through a machine, his eyes permanently glazed over, a dark purple ring around his neck. The nurse told me he'd be that way for the rest of his life, and when we spoke later the doctor told me I had to make a decision - keep my father a vegetable or pull the plug. I told them to give the man what he wanted and pull the plug. The taste of a dead man's blood and bile is something I don't think I'll ever forget."
"Not one single experience, but a period of 12 or so hours.
My wife and I gave birth to what we believed was a perfectly healthy baby boy. About 9 hours later, the nurse thought he looked odd so she took him to the doctor for a look. Within 5 minutes we saw him with a breathing tube down his throat and hooked to a ventilator. An hour later, we had a doctor sit us down and say he was born with half a heart, and we could either subject him to a series of risky open-heart surgeries spanning the first 5 years of his life, or we could take him home and keep him comfortable while he slowly asphyxiated. We, of course, chose the surgeries, but then 10 minutes after the doctor left us to our thoughts are the darkest minutes of my life, bar none. 3 hours after the diagnosis, we were in a different hospital and a surgeon was telling us our son had a 50/50 shot of surviving his first procedure: a non-open chest surgery to open a hole in his heart to stabilize him for the first major reconstruction in 7 days. An hour later, we hear a code blue (flatlining) called for the cath lab (where our son was) called over the loudspeaker. This was the second darkest period of my life. The surgeon returned and said his heart was failing and they needed to open him up now. The odds were now less than 50%.
He survived the surgery, but because of the massive trauma to his heart and chest cavity, they needed to leave his chest open to let the swelling subside. A translucent sticker covered the opening, but we were able to see our son's heart beating through the hole in his chest.
2 more open heart surgeries later, our son is a happy 9-month-old who is crawling and babbling. He has at least one more surgery, and he will never be cured, but he has a chance at a normal life and that's all we could ever ask."
"Boston Marathon Bombing. I was between the two bombs. I was on my lunch break from work nearby and wanted to see what the finish line was like (I had only lived in Boston for 6 months). I grabbed a smoothie and walked over. I was on the phone with my now-wife when the first bomb went off. I thought it was a cannon singling a finish or something. Right as I realized that made no sense, the second bomb went off. I remember the heat from the blast - it was this super strong HOT wind.
I've never been able to forget the carnage I saw when I regained my balance. I can't watch footage of it without losing my mind. This one guy stumbled into me with his arm just dangling right below his shoulder. The site of it gave me instant clarity. I told my now wife I had to go and hung up the phone. I did not want her to hear me die if there was another bomb. I ran for Fairfield street. I helped an older guy stumble out of the blast zone and saw how large the damage was. People crawling out of the glass from Max Brenner's. Just... parts of people on the sidewalk.
I then sprinted back to my job 2 blocks away. I was the General Manager and had college kids working for me. Sprinted back, got all my staff and customers in the back of the building away from windows until Boston PD gave us an all clear to leave.
Drank for that entire evening at my favorite bar.
Screw those guys. Worst day of my life."
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"As a police officer, I get to be traumatized daily. It would have to be about 6 months ago we get a call to a home with a strange odor coming from the address. Usually, this means a dead body (DB) nothing unusual most of the time they are older and don't have a family. So I get there with another officer as we get out you can smell it from the street, a good 25-yards away, and it was awful. The house is dark and definitely a DB so we make entry after I see the DB through the porch window. This body has to have been here for a month you could see it rotting in a day chair and there were her pet cats, about 4 of them, eating her. They had spent the last month eating this corpse. They had removed all of the meat from the legs and it was down to the bone."
"I was 7-8 years old and I was with my mom in our town's fish market. Usually, a small child holds on to mom's hand so they don't get kidnapped or lost but we somehow got separated and I just stayed near the one fishmonger who my mom kinda knew.
While waiting for mom I was watching two men argue over money and it started getting physical when one of the guys who had been packing blew the other guy's brains out. It was a horrifying mess all over the floor. The fishmonger immediately grabbed me but I kept looking at the guy on the floor - he looked very similar to a fish out of water due to the way he stared at me plus his mouth was making a motion as if he was gasping for air.
Lots of screaming, someone grabbed the guy who was shot, loaded him into his tricycle (tuk-tuk in some countries) then drove off. I told the fishmonger if he sees my mom to let her know I just walked home and he just let me go due to the ensuing chaos.
Mom didn't even realize someone got shot near me until she got home and proceeded to scream at me for getting separated in the first place.
But yeah, getting shot in the head doesn't seem to be the instant death I always believed it to be."
"My mom died in my arms. After a family dinner I drove my girlfriend home, I drove back to my parent's place, and as I'm parking the car my sister calls and tells me to head inside. My mom was lying on the floor barely conscious. She said she had puked, so I thought it was some food poisoning or something. I started the first aid drill I learned in the army, kept talking to her so she would stay conscious. My father had already called an ambulance, so I said it was on its way, it gonna be ok mom. She stopped breathing Just about then my sister came in the door and I and my sister started CPR until the paramedics arrived. They could not save her, her abdominal aorta had ruptured and she bled to death internally while I tried to keep her alive. While performing the CPR I was ice cold, it was another first aid training case in my head, but when the paramedics took over I broke down. Its been 5 months soon. I miss her very much."
"I used to work as an aide in a hospital in my early 20s. The patient was 21-years-old and had undiagnosed testicular cancer that was growing for 6 months prior to him coming to the hospital. The cancer metastasized into his gut and blood system. I performed care for him one morning with his entire family standing bedside, gut bloated from all the bile building up in his stomach. In the middle of it, he began to choke (common because of the bile build up) no big deal, the nurse grabs the suction we had bedside and starts suction to clear out what we thought was a minor amount of bile.
As soon as she begins to suction the patient begins vomiting violently up more and more and more and starts to seize, all while still choking. The bile in his stomach had gotten too full so the body attempted to remove the bile by pushing it back up the food tract. All the while the family is watching this event unfold.
We slam the code alarm and usher the family out of the room, no one needs to see their son choking like that. We tried everything we could to stop the bile from coming up as much. The amount of fluid and the smell is something I won't ever forget. I watched a 21-year-old patient go from cracking jokes to literally choking to death on his own vomit in a matter of minutes.
The worst part about it was about an hour or so later the mother of the patient came up to me, obviously she was hitting the bottle hard, and hugged me and said she was sorry I had to witness that as I was younger than him and it isn't right. The mother of the dead patient apologized to me because her son died. I will never forget that day, those smells, the sounds, the picture is burned into my brain."
"When I was a kid, we had a house right on our town's main road. It was very busy and had a lot of businesses around it. With all the comings and goings there were, of course, many car accidents.
One day, when I was about 12, there was an accident right in front of my house. I was playing in the yard, and when my mom rushed out to see if she could help anyone, I followed along. This dude had gotten rear-ended pretty badly. My mom was talking to him and he seemed pretty shaken up but not hurt. He excused himself, saying he had to call his daughter because he was supposed to pick her up.
He is talking to her, and he's laughing saying: 'You're going to kill me but I'm not gonna be able to pick you up for a while, someone rear-ended me!'
'I'll be there as soon as I can. I love you.'
Maybe two minutes later, the dude collapses right in front of me, maybe 10 feet away. Paramedics arrived very shortly after and the man is dead; probably from a heart attack, they tell my mom.
I never even look at accidents now, even when passing them on the highway. You may want to see what happened (no one can turn away from a trainwreck) but sometimes it's best not to look."
"I was sitting next to my brother watching Netflix. I went to say something about whatever it was we were watching, and he didn't respond. So I call out his name even though he was sitting right next to me. So I call his name again and shake him a little bit, his head rolls over. I thought he maybe fell asleep, so I kept shaking him. It quickly became apparent that he wasn't breathing.
I dialed 911 while trying CPR, I had recently been certified to do so, but it was like all my training had gone out the window. I'll never forget his pale face turning blue, spit drooling from his mouth. I was sure I was going to lose my brother. I can still vividly see it whenever I close my eyes and think of it.
The paramedics got there very quickly, gave him Narcan and he woke right back up. He's still struggling with his addiction today, and it scares me that he could fall out at any moment, and if I or nobody else was there to save him, he could die. I guess I just don't understand if something brings you that close to death, why would you keep doing that thing?"
"I'm Mute. If I were able to speak, this happening wouldn't have gotten to me so much. This is something I wrote soon after on the day it happened:
It rained a lot today, making the stairs on campus slippery. I didn't think much of it, I never do. But then I saw a man go tumbling backward down a flight of concrete stairs.
I don't think I'll ever be able to forget the wet crisp crunch his back made upon impact with the concrete. We were behind one of the lower buildings on campus, a really old one that only holds a few classes.
We were entirely alone.
I know I've read about this feeling in the past, the absolute and total defeat of helplessness and uselessness. It had never occurred to me. at that moment, the fact that calling 9-1-1 required one to speak.
He began to panic when he realized he couldn't feel his legs and that his head was bellowing blood onto the sidewalk. I knew that he shouldn't move because he probably had a back injury and moving would make it worse, but I couldn't tell him. He said his vision was blurry so typing to him wouldn't work.
I called 9-1-1 anyway and could only hope that they would realize from his incoherent yells that something was terribly wrong. I did everything I could to try to keep him from moving and eventually someone in the building came walking out to be horribly surprised. The paramedics came and left with him, saying that his life wasn't in immediate danger, despite how bad it looked.
It took me a while to wash his blood off of my hands, something I had no idea was so hard.
That made me realize just how useless I can be because I cannot speak. He would have gotten help sooner if I could speak, I would have been able to try to calm him down if I could speak, he wouldn't have had to suffer in silence if I could speak, I could have told him not to move if I could speak. Of course, the sound and the sight and the metallic smell of the blood all get to me still, but the utter uselessness, that's what really messes with me."
"I was 15 at the time. Had gone to Guatemala to visit family. Right before the trip, I was part of an EMT explorer class, similar to the police explorer programs.
Anyway, we were at my cousin's house in the rural country when we heard tires squeal and a big crunch. Then we saw a big group of people running up the street. Naturally, we went to look too.
By the time we got there a cop was already on the scene. A car apparently hit a scooter. The rider was on the concrete. Head cracked open, blood gushing. The cop literally stood over the body and started scolding the crowd saying, 'This is why you use helmets,' when I got the urge to check his pulse. The cop was confused but I immediately yelled, 'HE'S STILL ALIVE! We need to get him to the hospital!' Suddenly a group of guys started to pick him up when I yelled to stop so I could grab his head/neck. I'm getting blood all over me. We lift him and put him in the back of the officers truck. The cop is visibly uncomfortable and gets on the radio and says the ambulance is on its way and to take him down. So we do. We waited for what felt like an eternity. I said screw it, we have to go or he'll die. So we put him back in the truck when the paramedics arrive. They do a once over, say he's still alive, place a board under him and took over.
I walked back to the house covered in blood looking like a murder victim. My mom was confused, then angry while crying the whole time. I washed up. An hour later a dude came up to me and shook my hand. It was his brother. He thanked me for giving his brother a chance but said that he died just as they pulled into the hospital. It screwed me up to see it but also made me so mad that I wasn't harsher on the cop to just drive. Maybe we could have saved him. I'll never forget it."
"I was walking downtown, and there seemed to be something going on ahead, lots of honking. When I got there I saw a 20-something guy lying down in the middle of the street, blocking the cars. He was crying, obviously in some sort of mental distress.
People kept honking and yelling at him to move. At some point, two guys got out of their car, grabbed him and tossed him on the side of the road. When the cars started moving again, the guy on the ground deliberately threw his legs under a car. One ran over his ankle and he screamed.
At this point, I heard an ambulance making its way through the traffic. Someone had obviously called 911 before I'd gotten here, and help was finally coming.
That was about 12 years ago and I still think about that guy, how much pain he must have been in to just lie down in the middle of the street and get run over on purpose, and how the drivers kept just swearing at him, how they just freaking threw him on the side so they could get to whatever thing was so important they couldn't wait a few more minutes for an ambulance to come."
"My dad picked me up from school one day. We got onto the interstate and after a few miles, this car comes flying by us.
We move into the other lane so we can exit the interstate onto another loop. This exit goes off the interstate and onto an overpass curve. You really do have to slow down while exiting. There are signs around, but most don't listen.
Anyway, I saw the car exit and turned too wide going up the curve. It went right over the edge. We pulled over to the side. My dad and I ran down the embankment to go help. A couple of other cars that were already on the loop had stopped as well.
The car was upside down and the trunk was wide open. I remember seeing cans all over the ground. The car was leaking the radiator fluid and water and whatever else. I remember the smell of it all.
The roof was caved in some and the seats were pushed up and mangled. The driver looked dead already. He didn't appear to have a seatbelt on, and he was just limp against the roof. His passenger, a lady, did have her seatbelt on, but was still pushed forward and in a pretty awkward position upside down.
My dad laid down on the ground and started talking to her. She was hysterical and he was trying to calm her down. She couldn't feel anything, but she was conscious and knew she was upside down in a car that flipped over the side railing. My dad started to hold her hand, kind of gently rubbing his thumb on the top of her hand.
I could hear sirens coming.
When they arrived, they saw the man first and tried to help him. The firemen came around to the other side and talked to my dad. He told them he believes she had died maybe 2-3 minutes ago. He was still rubbing her hand at the time.
We stayed for a little while for him to answer questions from the police. The lady had a huge gash on her back from something that came through the seat which we hadn't noticed before. I could hear the paramedics saying they could see her spine and it looked like it was severed completely.
That lady dying right there in my dad's hand is one of the most unnerving things I have ever seen. Cuts and bruises were all over her. That was pretty brutal.
It was in the paper a day or two later. The man had been drinking and they were in some argument."
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