Everyone dies eventually, and you can’t cheat death, but some people literally do. That’s the way life works.
Some people have looked the Grim Reaper straight in the eye, watched him without flinching, and lived to tell the tale. Even when things went wrong, all the possible scenarios should have led to death, but these people found a way out.
Whether it was through sheer skill and talent, the timely assistance of others, sheer luck, or simply because the Grim Reaper was feeling lazy that day, these are the stories of five people who probably cheated death.
1. Harrison Okene Odjegba
Harrison Okene Odjegba, a Nigerian cooking crew, was in the tugboat and peacefully listening to the call of nature in the bathroom. Suddenly the whole room was turned upside down. A massive wave knocked the RSS Jascon-4 and overturned the ship.
He immediately opened the door and saw his friends being dragged down the corridor by rushing water. Before he knew it, the entire ship was already black as tar and completely covered in water.
He tried to move to find an air pocket inside so he could dive in, groping randomly along the corridor walls. Luckily he managed to grab a mattress and a Coke. He found an air pocket large enough to breathe normally.
For three days, Harrison stood motionless, breathing slowly and trying not to listen to the sounds of sharks feasting over his dead friends. He stood face to face with death in the bottomless depths of the ocean.
Finally, he heard a knock and began furiously knocking on the door. Eventually, one of the rescuers found him. Harrison was put in a diving tank, lifted to the surface, and decompressed for two days.
2. William Duell
In 1740, Sarah Griffin came to London and wanted to stay the night. She met William Duell, a 16-year-old lad, who offered her his barn. Sarah agreed and made herself at home for the night.
That night Dewell went to a nearby pub and bragged about having in his bed a beautiful woman. Unholy Dewell led five men into the room where helpless Sarah was sleeping.
The men abused Sarah, who died of a stroke the next day. Dewell was convicted of rape and murder and pleaded guilty, earning himself the death sentence.
On 24 November 1740, William Duell was executed by hanging. His body hung for 50 minutes before the executioner cut the rope. For an autopsy, they moved the body to the Surgeon’s Hall.
To the horror of everyone, William Dewell woke up 10 minutes after the body was placed on the medical table. He can’t remember what happened recently. He was fed warm broth and allowed to rest. The next day he recovered as if he had not been executed the day before.
3. Vesna Vulovic
On 26 January 1972, a Yugoslavian stewardess, Vesna Vulovic, boarded a JAT-367. The plane was flying from Denmark to Yugoslavia. Forty-seven minutes after the plane took off, an explosion in the baggage compartment was strong enough to split the plane in two.
Vesna was thrown into the tail of the plane. The tray of food flew down the aisle, pinning her to the back of the plane, preventing Vesna from falling like everyone else. Due to her low blood pressure, she lost consciousness.
This part of the plane fell 9,800 meters into the densely wooded terrain around Srpska Kamenice. The dense trees covered the fall of the plan… just enough to keep Vesna’s limbs intact. A neighboring resident inspected the plane and rescued Vesna from the crash.
Vesna suffered many serious injuries to her legs, pelvis, and head but eventually survived. She was taken to a hospital for treatment. It turns out that the blackout prevented her heart from bursting and saved her life.
4. Angela Hernandez
Angela Hernandez was driving her 2011 Jeep Patriot on Highway One in Southern California. Suddenly, a small animal jumped in front of her car. She instinctively dodged it, but it steered her car down the cliff towards the ocean.
Hernandez woke up as her car sank. She broke her collarbones, broke four ribs, ruptured her lungs and eye vessels, and suffered a brain hemorrhage. Amazingly, she broke the window of her car and managed to swim out of it. She reached the surface but lost consciousness from overexertion.
She woke up on the beach, 80 meters below the highway on a cliff. She walked along the road despite the excruciating pain from her severe wounds.
After seven days of walking, she finally found a woman walking along the beach. The woman then called 911 to rescue Angela. A few hours later, she was airlifted to a nearby hospital and survived.
5. Brock Meister
A 22-year-old from Plymouth, Indiana, named Brock Meister, was returning home after dinner with his friends. Driving his friends’ truck, Brock hit an icy patch on the road home and spun out of control at 60km/h. His vehicle flipped several times but landed upright.
Brock’s friend, who was driving ahead of him, witnessed the accident and checked Brock’s condition. Despite a lot of blood, Brock was alive and responsive. Paramedics took Brock safely to a nearby hospital, where doctors were shocked by what they saw.
Brock was internally decapitated, and his spine was no longer attached to his skull. His head was attached solely because of his skin and muscle tissue.
Most people with internal decapitation either died instantly or died in an ambulance. Brock had a successful follow-up surgery to repair his spine with a rod.