Has Anyone Literally Saved Your Life?

I don’t mean lending you $20 to cover the bar tab when you forgot your wallet. I mean really saved you from dying.

When I was about 16 on a class trip to San Francisco, we were on the famous trolley car and being a stupid, Illinois 16 year old, I was doing like in the movies and hanging out of the trolley car as far as I could and mugging to my friends in the back of the trolley.

Suddenly, this rather large black dude in the trolley grabbed me like he was going to rip my arm apart and hauled me back into the trolley! I though he was going to beat me up or something!

No. Dumbass DMark had been leaning way out, looking backwards towards his friends, and didn’t notice the parked truck that would have splattered me to pieces as I was hanging out of the trolley. I would have left far more than my heart in San Francisco, had that dude not pulled me back in the nick of time! I hope he got years of good karma for that act.

So - has anyone really saved you from dying?


The day I asked my ex-husband for a divorce he responded by choking me and banging my head on the floor. The guy who was out in the back yard fixing our air conditioner ran in and pulled him off me. I don’t know if he saved my life, but considering that my husband also attacked the cops who came to arrest him, I think he might have.

I’ve been too embarrassed to ever contact that guy and thank him, but my mom did.

Wonder why you wanted the divorce.

Once as a kid (about 10 I think) in Florida I was swimming at the beach on a day when there was no lifeguards and pretty much no one else around. For some reason my parents had decided to walk down the beach with my brother and look for shells or something and left me alone muttering “be careful and don’t go out too far.” I was staying where it was fairly shallow and jumping over waves not knowing I was apparently wandering farther and farther out onto a sand bar. I jumped into a wave and it carried me sideways and the next thing I knew I was plunging down into water way way way over my head and taken completely off guard. I knew how to swim but I couldn’t figure out which way was up or which way the shore was and once I got to the top of the water another wave came along and knocked me back under again. Now I was totally freaking out and managed to call for help the next time I came up and went under crying and choking and flailing and I felt someone grab my arm and pull me up and then start pulling me ashore and as soon as I felt sand under my feet I started crying and crying and crying. Some woman had been walking by with her kids and heard me and dove in to save me - those kids must’ve been so freaked out. I told her I was ok and thank you and she left. I was still sniveling when my parents came back and they said: “what are you crying about?” and I said: “nothing.”

Team effort on this one.

I was hit riding my bicycle several years ago.

Local fire department were first on the scene followed by the ambulance.

I have no idea what they actually did as I was face down and not taking notes.
When I had a chance to meet them months later, they told me they didn’t think I would live long enough for the helicopter to arrive.

Helicopter crew.

Trauma team at the local hospital.

My Dad.

When I was 3 or 4, I fell off a pier into deep water.

Dad dived in after me.

I don’t know how to swim, but I like the water, and would usually go swimming with my family during my childhood summers. One of those times, while my dad and cousin were swimming on the other bank of a still river, I was trying to get to a rock in the middle by stepping on others between it and the bank I was on, but I underestimated the depth of the water and fell in, with one of those rocks obscuring me from my cousin and dad.

A stranger jumped in and pulled me out without either of them being aware of me being in danger, and they never would have known if I hadn’t told them about it when they came back to shore.

When I was little (five or six, maybe) I was an okay swimmer, but I got in trouble in the ocean once - I don’t remember exactly what happened, but I went under and couldn’t get back up. My grandfather dove in and pulled me out. He was a great swimmer.

Same here: I was hauled from a remote spot to a hospital in about half an hour - would have been at least 2.5 hours without the helicopter. It’s not certain this saved me, but it sure is likely.

Since then, rescue squads seeking donations have no trouble getting money out of me.

I nearly electrocuted myself* when I was about 10 years old. When I regained consciousness, my dad was giving me CPR, so I guess that counts as him saving my life!

*A truly Darwin-award worthy moment: I was washing the family car and decided to vacuum it–while wearing no shoes on the wet driveway.

The doctor who performed the c-section saved both me and my Mom.

My sister may have saved me–hard to know for sure. We were playing out in the woods behind our house right after a few days of heavy rain. The creek was very high and very fast, but like typical stupid kids we decided to go ahead and try to cross it by walking over a fallen log. I, of course, slipped, and my sister just barely caught my hand. I remember looking down and seeing my toes dangling just inches above the swirling, churning water. Somehow she managed to pull me back up. I can’t say for sure she saved me…as young as I was (5 or 6, I think), I did know the basics of swimming. But it would have been an iffy thing in water like that.

Another saved from drowning here- by my Mom in a hotel pool.

Probable deaths resulting without interference:

When I was grade school age and swimming in a small lake with relatives, I slipped into a sinkhole or dropoff. I went under a few times, couldn’t touch bottom, and felt like I couldn’t get out of trouble. My uncle saw I was in trouble and pulled me out of there into the shallow, stable area nearby.

I’ve told the second story before, so the condensed version is that - on a one-lane-each-way highway (~45 mph speed limit), my husband was driving us along when someone in the opposite lane decided to pass illegally and swerved into our lane, coming head-on at us, with maybe (I’m guessing) two carlengths between the front ends of our two cars. My husband near-instinctively swerved our car onto the narrow, unstable gravel shoulder and then back onto the road, while the passing car swerved over into his lane, cutting off the car he was passing and running them onto the shoulder to avoid a collision. He saw that in the rear view as we were both practically panting from the shock, and almost didn’t believe it had happened, that’s how fast it all went down and how quickly he reacted to the danger.

My buddy Blue Elk saved my life when I had a bad wreck snowboarding at Mammoth back in 2000.

Last year, I saved my GF’s life when she dumped her kayak in the middle of Green River during a Thunderstorm.

Yes, though not dramatic.
Back in college I lived with a girl in a trailer just off campus. We returned from a Christmas trip home to discover the trailer filled with smoke. The oil heater had plugged up its vent with soot and choked out its own flame, which resulted in oil slopping out all over the kitchen floor.
I wanted to clean the floor right away so we could get in and unpack, but she insisted I wait until the smoke had cleared completely. So we opened the windows and went to a restaurant. Where I started getting woozy and spitting soot and blowing my nose with sooty results. The EMTs gave me oxygen. I had already got an unhealthy dose of soot, but also CO and CO[sub]2[/sub] which I’d completely forgotten about.

When I was 2 years old, I fell into my grandfather’s pool and nearly drowned, and then my grandfather jumped in and saved me. After he cleared my lungs, he gave me whiskey to revive me – that’s one of my earliest memories (not the drowning part, thank God).

Another near-drowner here. My dad and I were in Puerto Rican surf when I was 9, and a rip tide got a hold of us (us ignorant Ohioans didn’t know what they were at the time). Last thing I remember is my mom freaking out on the beach-she ran over to some PR surfer kids who at first laughed off her hysterics, until they grasped what she was trying to tell them and got them out to get me. I recall waking up on a surfboard, with about a lost minute in my consciousness (no mouth-to-mouth was necessary-my father was a physician if it had come to that). In any event, wherever you are now amigos, muchas gracias.

When I was a toddler, my family were houseguests at some old family friends who happened to have a swimming pool. My parents and the hosts were getting ready for a formal wedding reception.

somehow, during pre-event cocktail hour, the only person to see me fall into the pool was our hostess, who was in a evening dress and brand new hair-do.

I sank to the bottom, the hostess dove in and saved my life.

After my Mom realized that I was all right, I think she wanted to kill me.

I have no recollection of the incident.

I was between 4 and 5. All of us kids (5) were out back on the ranch at the pond. I think I was on a wooden raft playing. As it was time to head back to the house my sister noticed that I was nowhere to be seen. She asked where is Len? Then she noticed blond hair floating just under the surface of the water. She jumped in and grabed me by the hair and pulled me out.

I’ve told this story before, and I’m too tired to go into all the details again. So here’s the short version:

I was driving on the island of Guadeloupe, and pulled over onto what I thought was the shoulder. My car started rolling sideways, toward what looked like a very deep drop, like rolling off the top of a cliff. It got to the point where the car was actually teetering. There was nothing I could do to save myself, and I didn’t want to go over the edge without a witness . . . so I started honking the horn to attract anybody’s attention. Suddenly, a group of French tourists appeared, steadied the car and helped me out. Then they found a truck with a heavy rope and hauled the car back onto the road.