The human species is wired with an instinct to survive in even the toughest of situations. Many people had to encounter life-threatening situations when all the odds were against them. However, their will to live was stronger than the circumstances, and they survived.
Here we have collected eight such stories of survival in the most formidable of situations. Read on!
1. Anna Bagenholm
In May 1999, Anna Bagenholm, who was a 29-year-old radiologist, went skiing along with two fellow doctors in the mountains of Norway. During this, she lost balance and fell downhill headfirst into a frozen stream of ice. Only her feet were above the ice.
Her two colleagues tried desperately to free her, but the ice was very thick. The rescue team arrived after around eighty minutes and by that time Anna was frozen solid. Despite the fact that she wasn’t breathing, her friends started CPR on her.
Anna was then transported by helicopter to a hospital. When she was taken to the operating room, it had already been around 2.5 hours since she had fallen into the frozen stream. Her body temperature was still at a low of 13.7 degrees Celsius.
Anna was kept on a heart-lung machine for a day after which her heart started functioning on its own. She gained consciousness after twelve days, but due to severe nerve damage, it took her a year to start moving and walking again. Anna became the first person to survive on such a low recorded temperature.
2. Mauro Prosperi
Mauro Prosperi was participating in a marathon in the Sahara Desert when a sandstorm occurred. Due to this, he lost his way and went far in the wrong direction. He walked across the desert only during the morning and evening due to the scorching heat.
He caught a few bats and drank their blood in order to survive. However, then he began to give up and tried committing suicide by slicing his veins. But his blood coagulated and he survived. Mauro took this as a sign that he was meant to live.
He continued his journey through the desert and luckily found an oasis. After another five days, he was found by a group of nomads who safely took him to a hospital.
Mauro was not dejected by this incident as he took part in another marathon after two years. He successfully and safely completed this one.
3. Steven Callahan
He was aboard his yacht in the Atlantic Ocean heading towards Antigua when he encountered a storm. His vessel sank during the severe storm, but he managed to get hold of his inflatable raft and survival kit. Steven was all alone on the open ocean.
After the food supplies he had finished, Steven resorted to harpooning fish from the ocean. Over the next seventy-six days, he had to endure the powerful waves, shark attacks, and his own weakening body and strength. After traveling for 2000 miles, it was then that Steven was spotted by a group of fishermen on a nearby island.
4. Coolidge Winesett
Coolidge Winesett, a 75-year-old retired janitor, owned an outhouse in Southwest Virginia. One day, the floor of the outhouse gave away due to the rotting wood, forcing Winesett into the pit beneath.
He could not get outside the pit on his own as one of his arms didn’t work due to a stroke, and part of his leg was amputated. He stayed in the pit for three days and was even bitten by rats.
It was then that his mailman, Jimmy Jackson, noticed his mail accumulating outside the house and went to investigate. He heard Winesett’s weak voice coming from the pit. Jackson immediately called for help and rescued Winesett.
5. Juliane Koepcke
In 1971, Juliane Koepcke was aboard the LANSA flight which crashed after being struck with lightning. Miraculously, she was the only survivor of the crash.
When the plane crashed into the Amazon rainforest, Juliane was still on her seat, with her seat-belt fastened. She had survived with only a broken collarbone, a swollen eye, and wounds on her arm. For the next 11 days, she had to wander through the forest and find her own food.
Luckily, she then found a group of local lumbermen who transported her on their canoe to a lumber station. She was then airlifted to a hospital.
6. Aaron Ralston
Aaron Ralston was trekking alone in Canyonlands National Park, Utah when a 660-pound boulder dislodged and fell downhill. It ended up trapping Ralston’s right arm against a canyon wall.
He had no hope of anyone finding him as he had come on this expedition uninformed. He survived for five days on whatever little food supplies in his possession. After having no other option, he chose to cut his own arm with some tools he had. He managed to escape and was found by a family vacationing there.
7. Katrina Burgess
Katrina survived a near-fatal car crash when she was 17-years-old. She suffered from multiple complications as a result, including broken ribs, back and neck, and punctured lungs.
The doctors feared that she would not be able to walk again. 11 metal rods were put into Katrina’s body through risky surgeries. In the next five months, she also had to consume strong painkillers. However, she was strong-willed and recovered. After this incident, she was offered a contract by a modeling agency.
8. Ricky Megee
This man spent three months lost alone in one of the most deserted areas of Australia. The last thing he remembered was that his car had broken down and then he had woken up in the middle of nowhere.
Having no other option, Megee had to eat frogs, snakes, and lizards to stay alive. He located a dam where he built a shelter using tree branches. When he was found by local farmers, his body weight had almost halved.
These stories are a source of inspiration for all of us that we have the power to face any kind of situation. These people prove that when there’s a will, there’s always away.