Unlike dying a horrible death from, say, radiation poisoning or decapitation, learning what being stabbed is like is relatively easy, considering how many firsthand accounts are out there from victims fortunate enough to live through it. Death by stabbing just isn't as common as death from gunshot wounds, car accidents, etc., so there are plenty of survivors with stories to tell. The list below collects just a few of those stories.
What happens when you're stabbed? Many victims report a punch or slap feeling, with the real pain only coming once they realized they've been stabbed. But that's just one common account - read on to learn from a variety of firsthand accounts about what being stabbed really feels like.
'I Thought He Was Punching Me'
An Australian woman known in the press only as "Elizabeth" was stabbed an astonishing 31 times by a home invader in a "frenzied attack" in 2002. Amazingly, she lived to tell the tale. At first, Elizabeth felt like she was being punched. "I couldn't understand why he was punching me," she told Australia's Daily Telegraph in 2013. "I didn't realize that the blows were actually him stabbing me. I have read since that this is quite common when the sympathetic nervous system kicks in."
While her mother called for an ambulance, Elizabeth felt like "a cold wind was sweeping through [her] body." Upon seeing all the blood on her bathroom floor, Elizabeth, in a surreal moment, thought, "This is all going to need to be regrouted."
'I Felt Really, Really Hot and I Was Sick All Over the Floor'
Emily Spink was stabbed by her partner in 2012 in an uncharacteristically drunken rage. Spink said the knife to her back felt like a "really hard punch." When the reality of the pain set in, she felt hot and threw up all over the floor. Her partner called for an ambulance, saving her life, but not before she asked him, "What on earth did you do that for?"
Spink, a British citizen, says the Nation Health Service saved her life. "If there’s one thing that has come out of this whole sorry tale, I will not hear a word against the NHS," she told The Guardian.
'I Was Indeed a Stranger to What Was Going On'
When Eric Maurice Clark was stabbed 13 times, he said the pain made him feel "like a stranger to what was going on." He remembers hearing the nurses counting his wounds, thinking "nobody lives after thirteen times of being stabbed," like he was standing over the gurney. In a sick bit of irony, the doctors had to make another stab - a surgical incision, sure, but a deep cut nonetheless - to insert a breathing tube into his chest.
"I tried with every ounce of air that I had to tell the nurses that I couldn't breathe; they already knew anyways," he wrote.
'I Didn’t Feel Nothing at All'
MMA fighter "Lightning" Lee Murray told MMA Weekly that when was stabbed outside a London nightclub in 2005, he "didn't feel nothing at all." This, despite reporting "blood was literally shooting out of [his] chest" like a Mortal Kombat character.
"It was literally flying out of my chest like a yard in front of me," he said in an interview. Murray said when he noticed blood on his head, he thought someone had punched him. It wasn't until he saw blood squirting out of his chest that he knew he'd been stabbed.