At some point, most of us have probably gone to work despite being sick, or suffered a sports injury or kept right on playing. We tend to feel like a bit of a badass when we do, soldiering on through the adversity. And then there are people who take that to the next level by not even realizing that they’ve been hurt. Their injuries are less along the lines of playing on after getting bruised in a football match, and more along the lines of coming second place in Russian roulette and going back for one more round.
10. Dante Autullo Shot A Giant Nail Into His Brain
Some people are blessed with dexterity, grace, and agility. They sometimes become dancers, delicate surgeons, or creators of beautiful pieces of fine art. Other people are inherently clumsy, stumbling, and accident-prone. These people sometimes shoot themselves in the head with a nail gun. One such person (the only such person, we hope) is Dante Autullo. His fiance would often tease him about his clumsiness, joking that she wanted to get married before he somehow mangled his face, never knowing that one day he would get ridiculously close to doing that, and a whole lot more.
In January 2012, while standing on top of a ladder and working with a nail gun, Autullo momentarily lost his grip on the gun and ended up shooting a 3½-inch nail directly into his brain. To say that he took it well would be a fantastic understatement; he just kept right on working. He then drove his plow truck for eight hours, took his kids to a play rehearsal, and had a nap. The next day, he woke up with a nasty headache and decided that something might be wrong. One x-ray, and about a dozen extremely surprised doctors later, he went into surgery, where they carefully removed the nail and a section of his skull. To the surprise of everyone, he recovered completely, and seems to have suffered no lasting damage from either the surgery or having a giant nail stuck in his brain.
9. Alfie Tyson-Brown Broke His Neck, Found Out Eight Years Later
According to all the medical advice ever, there are certain activities that shouldn’t be done with a broken neck. These include – but are not limited to – riding rollercoasters, surfing, and playing rugby. Alfie Tyson-Brown managed to do all of these, despite having a neck injury that could have killed him at any moment. In 2007, the 14-year-old was riding his bike – something else you probably shouldn’t do with a broken neck – when a strange feeling came over him and he fell.
At the hospital, a scan revealed the problem pretty quickly. As a toddler, he’d broken a vital bone in his neck. The doctors informed him that, in their medical opinion, he probably should have died about sixty or seventy times by now with all the sports he’d been doing, and rushed him into surgery. According to his father, “Alfie is the luckiest boy alive … with all the sport and activities he has done over the years, it is nothing short of a miracle that he is still alive.” A nice sentiment, but if a broken neck is good luck, we’ll probably stick with the bad.
8. Man Shot In The Head, Keeps On Partying
In 2010 a Polish man living in Germany figured it was high time to see a doctor about getting a several-year old cyst removed from the back of his head. Instead, the doctors ended up removing what turned out to be a .22-caliber bullet. The man’s best guess was that it happened at a New Year’s party in 2004 or 2005. He remembers feeling a blow to the head and a bit of a headache, but decided it wasn’t a big deal. According to the police, he told them that he really wasn’t one for going the doctor.
Their best guess is that someone somewhere sensibly decided to engage in the age-old tradition of shooting into the air in celebration. Unfortunately, what goes up must come down, and in this case it came down right on his head. While you have to be horribly unlucky to be hit by a stray bullet, you also have to be amazingly lucky to walk away from it. In this case, the small-caliber round didn’t penetrate the skull, but instead lodged in the scalp, leaving this man with a cool souvenir of one wild party. If there’s a lesson to be learnt here, it’s that if you live in a place where people like firing into the air to celebrate, you might want to stay inside until it stops raining lead.
7. Joe Nagy’s Brain Leaked Out His Nose For Year-And-A-Half
Some things are just too minor to be worth going to a doctor over. A runny nose is one of them. But eventually, after 18 months of one’s nose running like a snotty river, even the most hardened among us would go see someone about it. One such person was Joe Nagy. After a year and a half of mucus and tissues, he decided to seek medical attention for what he thought was just a particularly vicious allergy.
One can only imagine his surprise when the doctors came back and told him that the “allergy” was actually a hole in his brain membrane, and the mucus turned out to be brain juice, also known as cerebrospinal fluid if you’re trying to impress someone. Nagy chose to go in for surgery, which basically consisted of having the hole glued shut. Once the hole was closed, the glue would dissolve in time and the body would heal itself.
Surprisingly, having a leaky brain isn’t as dangerous as one might think. Barring a nasty infection one can live quite happily, if messily, with a gaping hole in the cranial plumbing system. The average human brain makes about 12 ounces of juice a day, more than enough to spare a little bit dribbling out. But having said that, if your brain turns on the waterworks, you’ll probably still want to go see a doctor.
6. Mick Bedford Had No Idea A Great White Shark Had Just Bitten Him
The very idea of being attacked by a shark is enough to fill most of us with dread. Fortunately for him, Mick Bedford isn’t most of us. In 2007 he was surfing with a friend at an Australian beach, just as he had done so many times before. The difference was that this time he was sharing the water with a great white shark that decided it wanted a piece of him. It came at him several times, but Bedford fended it off with a punch to the nose each time
Eventually the shark lost interest and decided to go pursue prey that didn’t fight back quite as much. Bedford caught a wave back to the shoreline, where bystanders helped him out of the water. It was only then that Bedford realized he had been bitten. And it wasn’t exactly a little nibble either. He suffered some muscle damage, and needed 300 stitches to close up the wound in his leg. In something of an understatement, presumably because this kind of stuff happens all the time in Australia, one of bystanders described the scene as “a little tense,” saying that “the guys were a bit hyper and understandably so because their mate had just been chewed on by a shark.”
5. Phil Loveday Went 43 Years With A Snapped Vertebrae
At the age of 16, in the middle of a game of rugby, Phil Loveday suffered a tragic accident. A bigger player fell right on top of his neck, followed by a loud snapping sound that usually indicates a broken bone. He was rushed to the hospital, x-rayed and then, much to everyone’s relief, he was found to be all right. The only problem is that he wasn’t all right, not by a long shot. He had actually fractured a vertebra, and the x-ray was just too unclear to make it out.
Without even knowing it, Loveday was in a very precarious position – quite literally one solid sneeze away from never walking again. It’s insanely risky to spend even a day going around with that kind of injury, but Loveday managed to do it for 43 very busy years. He kept on playing rugby and even joined the Army, seeing active service in Northern Ireland and the Gulf … all with a broken neck. Think about that the next time you’re planning to take a day off work because of the sniffles.
It was only discovered that he had this injury when he dislocated his shoulder in 2012, and went to the hospital. After some scans, the surprised doctor asked if he knew he had a broken neck. Loveday credits his continued health to the tough Army requirements. Before he could join he had to bulk up and, in the process of doing so, his neck muscles got strong enough to laugh in the face of that puny broken spine. So remember, someday going to the gym might just save your life.
4. Audreyonna Goodison Had To Be Told She Was Was Shot In The Head
In February 2013, Audreyonna Goodison arrived home from her work as a nurse to find her abusive ex-boyfriend, Jerry McNair, in her house. A fight broke out, and McNair first strangled her with a USB cord until she passed out, then shot her point blank in the back of the head. But Goodison, it turned out, was a hell of a lot tougher than McNair thought. She regained consciousness a few hours later, and despite the pain managed to call someone to take her to hospital. It was only after being examined by doctors that she discovered she had a bullet lodged squarely in her brain.
According to doctors, her survival and recovery was nothing short of a miracle. It was too risky to surgically remove the bullet, so it’s still there. The only lasting damage was some vision impairment, but even that’s getting better with time. As for McNair, he found himself in a standoff with police only a few hours after trying to kill Goodison, but ended up committing suicide before he could be arrested.
3. Olivier Faure Lost His Arm And Never Noticed
It’s often said that the shock of an accident, and the pumping adrenaline, is enough to keep people from noticing even the most grievous of injuries. In 1999, a young Frenchman named Olivier Faure really put that theory to the test after getting hit by a car. As the driver sped away, Faure picked himself up and started on home, assisted by a passing motorist who gave him a lift.
It wasn’t until he arrived home and his mother was helping him remove his coat that he realized he was missing his entire left arm below the elbow. The person who kindly gave him a ride home hadn’t noticed it was gone either. After presumably muttering something along the lines of “sacre bleu!” he decided that slapping a bandaid over his stump probably wasn’t going to cut it, and opted instead to hit up a hospital. Emergency personnel searched the highway around where he was hit and found his arm – no word on whether or not it waved hello to them – and managed to reattach it without any problems. The final score left Faure with four fully functional limbs, and one hell of a story to tell.
2. Paul Marwin Got Shot In The Stomach And Figured It Out Hours Later
Have you ever been so drunk that you didn’t know you’d been shot in the stomach? If not, then perhaps you just aren’t cut out for the high stakes world of international politics. At about 4:25 am in May 2013, two American embassy workers in Venezuela were caught in a shootout that started following an argument between strip club patrons.
Everyone took cover until the bullets stopped flying, then checked they all still had all their limbs. One of the embassy employees, military attaché Roberto Ezequiel Rosas had been shot in the leg. The other, Paul Marwin, had been shot in the stomach. But in his case, he didn’t even realize that he’d been shot until arriving home. Doctors took a look and patched him up. Both would live to drink another day.
1. Li Fuyan Spent Four Years With A Knife In His Throat
There are a few distinct symptoms that normally characterize knife wounds. Excessive bleeding, heavy scarring and badass nicknames are some of the most common. What you don’t expect is for a knife in the throat to give you bad breath and a bit of a headache. Such was the case of Li Fuyan, a shopkeeper from China who spent four years living with such symptoms after being stabbed in the jaw during a robbery. It was only when the tickling from this stabby present got to be too annoying that he went to a doctor.
Amazingly enough, the knife blade had actually broken off into his neck during the attack without him realizing, and he had spent four years going about his business with a jagged, rusting four-inch long piece of serrated metal stuck in his throat. According to a hospital official, he didn’t even have a scar or wound to indicate where the knife went in. Doctors removed the blade without trouble, and Li Fuyan recovered perfectly to get on his with life, albeit with better breath than before.