Have you ever saved anyone's life?

Have you ever saved anyone’s life when you weren’t responsible to? (I.e., you weren’t a doctor/paramedic/firefighter who was being paid to do so.)

My story: About 6 years ago, a drunk driver smashed into a couple trees in front of my house. I called 911 and then I, my next door neighbor, and the driver who’d been following him took turns talking to him and keeping pressure on a serious neck wound until the paramedics arrived.

Nothing quite as dramatic as that, but I saved my brother from drowning when he was a kid. If I hadn’t been there, he wouldn’t be here now.

I saved a little kid from drowning, which is funny, cause I don’t swim.

I was wading about in a pool, and this little kid tossed her ball at me. Being a friendly person, I tossed it back. Apparently this was some signal that I had nothing better to do but play with this strange kid. :smack:

So, she followed me around, kept wanting to play. I kind of half-paid attention to her, hoping she would go away. Then I turned around and she was gone. Only she didn’t tire of my half-hearted attempt at play, I looked down into the pool and there she was, at the bottom, just looking up at me. She had this horrified look in her eyes, true, unbridled fear. (If you’ve never seen real, raw fear, it’s a scary thing to witness)

Anyway, I reached down and scooped her up above the water, and she took a deep breath. I’m sure a few moments later and she would have passed out and drowned.

When I was a kid, I had a ton of Boy Scout first aid training. More first aid in the Army.

I used it once, to help a guy who was choking. It was all worth it.

A few years ago I was crossing a parking lot (on foot) when a shopping carriage rolled across the aisle I was in, heading for the street. There was a kid (three, maybe four years old) in the child seat. I bolted after it and caught it just as it reached the traffic zone. The kid’s mom had been struggling with a heavy package and the cart had gotten away from her. Turns out she was a few steps behind me chasing down the runaway carriage.

Another time, my dog might have saved a life. I had a big amiable yellow lab named Leo who adored kids and swimming (not necessarily in that order). We were walking along the beach and there was a woman and her little daughter in the surf. Mom was holding the little girl’s hands and “jumping” her over the waves when a freakin’ huge swell rolled up and broke right on top of them. Mom lost her grip on the kid and before I could even react, Leo was charging into the water. He came up holding the little girl by the straps on the back of her bathing suit, and she was choking and spitting seawater, but she was OK.

Nope. So far they have all died.

This isn’t much of a heroic story, but I did help save my dog from drowning (he was really young) when he hadn’t learned to swim yet. Actually, I don’t even know if either of my dogs know how to swim yet… :smack:

Me too.

I was over at my older brother’s place once, and his roommate was there. The friend was, at that point, a raging alcoholic, so bad that he was jaundiced. You could even see his liver bulging out.

All he wanted to do was die, so he decided he’d carve both his wrists. With a bread knife. Right in front of me and my brother.

There was blood everywhere: on the floor, on the ceiling, on me. Arterial spurt is a sight to behold. I applied pressure on both wrists, and since my hands were kind of occupied, my brother called 911. The guy lived through that, but his liver was so shot that he wound up dying a few days later.

Oh yeah, it was my 18th birthday, too! I had driven over to pick my brother up to bring him back to my house, where my mother had dinner and half the family waiting. Needless to say, we were waaaaay late. My mother started yelling at me for not calling and being late for dinner, until we explained what happened. All I heard was the sound of forks landing on plates, and moans of disgust.

And so went my official entry in adulthood. :wink:

I was visiting my mother from out of town. We were driving along the street when we pass a woman lying by the curb with a young woman kneeling next to her. The young woman seemed to be at a loss as to what to do and was just wringing her hands. I stopped and got out and saw the woman was out cold. I gave mouth-to-mouth and CPR until an ambulance showed up.

About 2 weeks later my mom was telling her sister the story and the sister says, “That was my friend, [Jane]!”. She then goes on to tell my mom how the doctors said she wouldn’t have survived the heart attack without CPR. So I saved my aunt’s friend. :smiley:

When I was about 17, a bunch of us were hanging out at a friend’s place. Suddenly, he shuts us all up and says, “Did you hear that?” We all look around, with that “Huh?” look.
He says, “It sounds like a car accident.” We go outside and look to the end of the block. Sure enough, two cars collided and one of them veered into a building.
We run down the block and see a woman is pinned behind the wheel, banged up, bleeding from various cuts and going into shock. We unhook the battery from the car and funny enough, I had just read an article on people and shock, so I start to do all the things I read, keep her warm, talk to her, reassure her. I don’t know if she would have died, but she was conscious and coherent when they took her away.

Yes - I Heimliched my roommate in 1989. He made this weird sound from the living room as I was leaving out the back door. If I hadn’t heard him he’d likely be gone now.

Moral of the story - if you eat by yourself, don’t play the TV too loud…

Well, its not like I had too much to do with it and I’m not sure the kid would have actually died (but maybe).

I was wading in the surf off the California coast (had some good rip-tides) when a little kid, maybe 4-5 washes up on a wave and then is getting pulled back out. He washes right into me and grabs onto my legs, tight. He looks very scared, eyes as big as silver dollars and is shivering pretty badly. I try to peel him off me (not a chance!) and walk to shore. It took some effort to get him to let go. Poor little guy was totally being beaten by the waves. Once on shore, he finally let go and toddled off up the sand all wobbely to his parents, who had not a clue what just happened. Neither one of us said a word to each other.

I’ve always wondered what ever happend to that little guy.

I hope you fed him nothing but sirloin for the next week. :slight_smile:

The most I’ve done is not much: when a terrible wreck occurred right in front of us, I directed traffic around the accident (until the police arrived and took over) while the paramedic-trained guy who just happened to also be in our car jumped out and ministered to the heavily bleeding fellow.

I like to think I’d rise to this kind of occasion, but so far I haven’t been tested.

I saved my mother from burning to death when I was 10 or 12.She was washing dishes ,and behind her on the gas stove something was cooking.Her night gown caught fire on her back ,I heard screaming and quickly extinguish it with my hands and and towel.
Funny thing is before this fire I wanted to leave home but something disstracted me and I stayed for a minute longer.

Possibly. Late one night my freshman year of college, a very screwed-up and ddepressed friend called me and said her parents were asleep, and she had just swallowed an entire bottle of her mom’s heart medication and washed it down with half a bottle of Tylenol. This friend was prone to dramatic statements, but I figured it wasn’t worth taking chances, and tried to call 911. That was how I discovered you can’t call 911 from another area code (I was 800 miles away).

So I called the police nonemergency number and explaned the situation, and they sent a squad car to her house. She talked her way out of it, but by then her parents had waken up. They figured out what had happened and tok her to the hospital to have her stomach pumped.

That was a long time ago, and I haven’t heard from her in probably 15 years now…I wonder whatever happened to her?

I tried.
I performed CPR on my MiMi.
I couldn’t save her though.


I was nine years old when Hurricane Andrew slammed into south Florida. To make a long story short, my dad ended up with some pretty serious lacerations in his arm in the middle of the storm. I was a Cub Scout at the time and made a makeshift tourniquet out of my shirt. He lost a lot of blood, so it’s possible that if I hadn’t things might’ve been different.

It’s more likely, though, that the handiwork of a terrified child in the pitch black did very little to stop the bleeding. It was my nextdoor neighbor (a cop), who rounded up everyone in the neighborhood during what we all thought was the eye of the storm, and drove my dad to the hospital afterwards, sirens blazing, who surely saved his life.

Well, saving the life might be overstating it…

At a beach bonfire, a forgot where she was standing and tried to step back. Her foot hit the fire pit and she started to sit down and tip over backwards into the fire. It seemed to move in slow motion to me, and from that perspective it isn’t remarkable that I was able to react in time, but I suppose to others it must have seemed pretty quick.

I grabbed toward her chest and got a handful of coat and shirt and yanked back. Fortunately, she must weigh all of 110 pounds, and I wasn’t trying to lift her entirely off the ground. It didn’t even really seem like much of an effort. But she would have gone into the fire on her back.

Twice I have saved people from choking; one adult & one infant, by “performing” the Heimlich maneuver*.

The adult had a huge chunk of hotdog and bun lodged in his throat. We were at a baseball game, so imagine the configuration of stadium seats. He was more than twice my size (him; at least 225-250, over 6’, and me; 5’ 4" and all of 110lbs), sitting immediately next to me, and wearing a big, down-filled vest. It was not easy getting my arms wrapped around him in the first place, let alone from that position, nor was it easy to try to get the guy on his feet. But eventually I guess I’d put enough pressure on his abdomen while trying to pull him up to a more accessible position, and everything came flying out.

The infant was sitting in one of those bouncy seats next to me on the floor, and next to her was her 3-year old brother. We were watching TV and eating popcorn and I happend to catch, out of the corner of my eye, the little boy put some popcorn in his sister’s mouth. Of course she can’t swallow the stuff and starts to choke. I picked her up, flung her face down over my forearm, and bouned her as I ran through the room to get to a phone to call 911. Once again, the pressure, even applied in that manner, was enough to dislodge the obstruction and open her airway.

*The moral of the story is, learn the proper technique(s) in performing the Heimlich maneuver – it could save someone’s life. But if you don’t (or can’t) do it just exactly textbook perfectly (I didn’t know the infant procedure at the time the baby was choking and I simply couldn’t get myself or my hands into the exact right spot with the guy with the hotdog), it can still be effective, so don’t be afraid to try whatever you can.

All in all, God bless you Mister Heimlich, wherever you are. Remarkable how many choking deaths we (collectively) have saved.

Good for us!

I saved my daughter when she was about 2 years old. We were at a party at a neighbour’s house, with lots of people around the pool, and I saw her lying still at the bottom of the pool – I don’t know how long she had been there, but thankfully it was not long enough to cause any harm. I was fully clothed, so someone else in a swimming costume got her out of the pool, but my seeing her in time saved her.