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Doctors Describe The Patients Who Made Them Ask, 'How Are You Still Alive?'

Updated March 3, 2021 926.7k views18 items

Doctors have their hands full and their work cut out for them. Many times, a skilled doctor is all that stands between a patient and the Grim Reaper. As such, it makes sense that certain wielders of medicine have seen many shocking things; the pay may be great, but theirs is no easy profession. A few doctors even relay their patient's last words. Medical care providers often encounter patients that are alive against the odds - given their physical state. Amassed below are the tales from medical professions on Reddit who've seen some extraordinary cases - and a patient with an upside down lung is only one of the astonishing anecdotes. 


  • He Had An Upside Down Lung

    From Redditor /u/CaptainReginaldLong:

    Pathologist here: Had a guy who had [passed] suddenly and unexpectedly. I soon learned he was the recipient of a lung transplant about 15 years prior.

    When I opened the man up, his transplanted lung was upside down. I flipped the lung into the proper position, and bloop. It flipped right back to upside down. That was quite alarming. The surgeons who originally performed the transplant incorrectly attached the organ. When he by chance entered the correct position, the lung flipped over, causing his pulmonary artery to seal shut, resulting in his [passing].

    The man lived for 15 years with a lung that was dying to flip upside down. And it was only by sheer chance he didn't move in such a way that allowed it to do so until the fateful day [...] It is one of the most fascinating cases I have ever witnessed.

  • A Car Fell On His Face

    From Redditor /u/xGiaMariex:

    A patient I took care of had a car fall on his face. He was underneath it working when it slid off of the jack. The only reason he survived was because he broke every bone in his face (he had a Lefort III) which allowed for his brain to swell (he also needed an additional surgery to relieve the pressure of cerebral edema, but the facial fractures did allow for a great deal of "give" in his skull). I was rotating through ICU so I first saw him just a day after the accident. His head was so swollen, he didn't even look human. Fast forward a few weeks later... I was rotating through a different unit in the hospital and came across the same patient. He was quickly recovering and had minimal neuro deficits.

  • One Patient Had A Machete Lodged In His Head

    From Redditor /u/Mojothewonderdog:

    [A guy] walked in with [a machete] lodged right in the middle of his forehead. Denied he was in any pain (yes, he was inebriated), neuro and physical exam were WNL.

    He sat in fast track for 6+ hours. We were super busy with an bad MVA with multiple victims, so he had to wait for a free trauma or neuro surgeon to see him. He sat on as stretcher, dozed and watched TV...his only complaint was that the machete was blocking his view of the screen.

    They finally took him to OR the next day. They removed it with a lot of effort, because it was really wedged in the bone. Minor swelling in the frontal lobe. No neuro deficit at all. Walked out 4 days later with a really [wicked] scar.

    Reason his brother went after him with a machete (which was a common weapon of choice in that city)? He was messing with his brother's wife and got caught in the act. I told him he was lucky that that was the only head that got chopped.

    Lost him to follow up, which I was super bummed about, because I would have loved to hear more of his family drama.

  • One Patient Survived A Chainsaw

    From Redditor /u/auraseer:

    Had a guy walk up to the front desk after hitting himself in the throat with a chainsaw.

    All the flesh of his neck was flayed open. I could see his trachea and his right jugular vein. If he had cut in just a tiny bit deeper, he would have sliced right into both.

    The only thing that saved him was that he was a big fat guy with a huge neck. A skinnier man would have [passed] very unpleasantly.