7. Truman Duncan cut in half by train
In June 2006 38 year Truman Duncan from Cleburne, Texas was working at his job on the railway. He was in the process of connecting two rail cars when he slipped and ended up falling under the wheels of the moving railcar which effectively cut him in half. He lost part of his pelvis, his left leg, kidney and his right leg from below the thigh.
When most people would have just passed out during this horrific accident he managed to hang the train until it came to a stop and then rang 911 on his cell phone to alert the emergence services.
It took them a further 45 mins for them to arrive and remove him from under train, during which time he remained conscious and even rang his family whilst waiting to be rescued.
During this time the father of three said that he never thought that he was going to die.
At the hospital surgeons spent 3-1/2 hours saving his life and removing dirt and debris from his wounds. He went for have a further 23 operations over a four month period before being released from hospital.
He went on to make a remarkable recovery and although he is wheelchair bound he returned to a desk job for the same railway company that he worked for when he had the accident and he was learning to use prosthetic limbs to get around on.
6. Dean Bousfield shot through the brain
Being a British solder in Afghanistan is a dangerous occupation at the best of times but for combat medic lance corporal Dean Bousfield the 2nd July 2010 would become a life changing day.
He was 3 months in to a tour of duty when out on a routine patrol he was shot in the head by a sniper.
The bullet went straight through his helmet and passed right through his brain before exiting his skull above his right ear and lodging in the helmet on the opposite side to which it entered.
He was evacuated by helicopter to the British camp bastion before being transferred to an American hospital where he was operated on by an American neurosurgeon.
In 99.9% of cases where this sort of Traumer occurs to the brain, the outcome is fatal but for Dean Bousfield he survived but was not expected to live and was sent back to England to die surrounded by his family.
However, he didn’t die, and his recovery has astounded doctors
The bullet destroyed a large part of his brain including the speech cortex, doctors believed that he neither move or talk but he went on to do both.
Talking afterwards he said that all he could remember was firing his rifle then waking up 4 weeks later in hospital
Although he suffered some paralysis he has gone on to take part in a host of grueling physical challenges including the help for heroes big battlefield ride in 2014 where he hand peddled 335 miles from Brussels in Belgium to Paris France and in the same year he also won a bronze medal for the seated shot put in the invictus games for wounded service personnel.
5. Joseph Guzman shot 16 times
Getting shot by one bullet can be fatal but getting shot 16 times and still living to tell the tale is more like a miracle than a recovery but thats what happened to Joseph Guzman as he was leaving a bachelor party in Queens, New York on Nov 25th 2006.
Guzman said that he was leaving the party with two friends, Trent Benefield and Sean Bell who was getting married later that morning. The three men were driving away from the party when they were hit by a minivan, then according to Guzman a black man with a silver gun started shooting at the car, then more people started shooting at as well.
The men doing the shooting were three plain clothes police detectives who had been undercover at the party. They said they witnessed Sean Bell arguing outside the club with the driver of an SUV when they overheard Guzman saying he was going to get his gun.
The detectives followed the three men and confronted them as they headed to their car, it was when they got in the car and the driver sean bell bumped one of the detectives with the car as they tried to get away and that’s when the officers opened fire on the car.
In all they shot 50 bullets in the car between them killing Bell and injuring Guzman and Benefield.
When Guzman was admitted to hospital the doctors counted 19 bullet holes caused by 16 bullets, 7 of which were found in his body. He was shot in the legs, chest and face and had multiple wounds to his abdomen and intestine.
Guzman went one to make a full recovery and the incident sparked fierce criticism of the police and three officers were charged with manslaughter which they were later acquitted of on all charges.
4. Phineas Gage shot through the head with a 4 foot tamping iron
Phineas Gage is the one earliest documented cases of a severe brain injury and in many ways kick started modern neurology because of the ongoing study of the major personality changes he suffered after the accident.
Gage was a foreman of a railroad crew and on the 13th Sept 1848 was excavating rocks to make way for a railroad track. They did this by drilling holes in the rock and placing explosives in them.
On that day he was compacting explosive powder in to a hole in the rock with a tamping iron, a large iron rod about 4 feet long and 1-1/4” inches in diameter, blunt at one end and pointed at the other when a spark ignited the explosive in the hole and fired the tamping iron out at high speed and through gages head, entering below the cheek and exiting completely out of the top of his head before it landed some 30 yards away.
Though now blind in one eye and with a gaping hole in the top of his head, incredibly he was able to walk to an oxcart within minutes of the accident and was transported to the boarding house where he was staying to be treated by the local doctor
Having survived what many thought should have killed him outright, he became a bit of a celebrity especially in medical circles. Although he seemed to have recovered as well as could be expected, those close to him said he was no longer the same man.
He lost the lost all his social inhibitions, he couldn’t stick to plans, was often drunk, bad tempered, uttered “the grossest profanities” and showed “little deference for his fellows.”
The damage to his frontal cortex caused by the tamping iron had effectively performed what we know as frontal lobotomy on him and lead many advances in the study of the brain and what effect this sort of damage could have on the personality of the injured person
The railroad company that once called him a model employee refused to take him back. He drifted from one job to another before ending up with his relatives in san Francisco where he died in 1860 after a series of seizures at the age of 38.
3 Shot in the head 12 times with a nail gun
Sometimes even when you think you’ve had enough of life, a higher power may well choose that’s its not your time go and you have to carry on living.
That’s pretty much what happened to an un-named Oregon man who tried to kill himself with a nail gun… 12 times.
The man was high on methamphetamines and in a suicidal state when he turned the nail gun on himself and fired the 2 inch long nails in to his own head.
Doctors only found out what he had done when he admitted himself to hospital complaining of a headache and saying he had had an accident with the nail gun but then he later admitted that it was suicide attempt.
Initially the nails couldn’t be seen but when they x-rayed him it revealed six nails clustered between his right eye and ear, two below his right ear and four on the left side of his head.
Some of the nails were close to the brain stem and major blood vessels but none pierced them.
Surgeons removed the nails with pliers and a drill and the man survived with no long lasting effects.
According to a report written by Dr. Alexander West, the neurosurgeon who oversaw the treatment, no one is known to have survived after deliberately firing so many foreign object in to the head.
The man was transferred to a psychiatric care center under court order for a month before leaving against doctors orders.
Resources : http://www.nbcnews.com/id/12425803/#.VqOOWfmLSUk
2. Man shots nail in to his own head and doesn’t know it
In the previous story we had a man trying kill himself with a nail gun, but in this one the man in question Dante Autullo from Chicago, was building a garden shed and had no intention of trying to kill himself, so when the nail gun he was using misfired, he thought he had just grazed his head as the nail flew past.
He carried on building the shed and even did some snow ploughing, It was only when waking up the next day and feeling sick that he decided to go to the hospital.
When doctors x-rayed him they found a 3-1/2 inch long nail embedded in the center of his brain just millimeters from his motor cortex.
When he first saw the X-Ray, he thought that were having a joke with him until the doctors said “No, that’s what’s in your head”.
He was rushed to another hospital for surgery to have it removed.
Afterwards, Dante said that it felt like he had been punched in the side of the head but though that the nail had just grazed his head as it flew past his ear.
Although there are pain sensitive nerves on the skull there are none in the brain itself which is why he only felt the pain of the nail going through skull but not the nail actually in his brain.
After the operation he made a full recovery with no lasting effects and remembers everything, even though it might be something he wishes he could forget.
Resources : http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/jan/21/man-survives-shooting-nail-brain
7. Ron Hunt 18″ drill right through head
To round this up video and still on a construction tool theme, California electrician Ron hunt was working up a ladder drilling in to an over head surface on August 15 2003 when the ladder started to gave way.
He immediately threw down the drill but as he fell of the ladder he ended up falling face down on to the 18-inch-long, 1.5-inch diameter drill bit that went in through his right eye socket and out through back of his head.
All this time he was still conscious and felt no pain. He said that the ran his hands up the drill bit to his eye, then the put other hand to the back of his head and felt it coming out the back of his skull, that’s when he said the shock set in.
He was flown by helicopter to Washoe Medical Center with the drill still lodged in his head. When his family arrived to see him in hospital and saw him with a with the huge drill bit through his head, he was laughing and joking.
His nephew Ben Hunt said that did just didn’t seem possible for him to be alive let alone cracking jokes and telling tales.
Ron escaped death because the drill didn’t actually go through his brain, it just pushed it to one side as it went through his skull.
The surgeons wondered how they might remove the drill from his skull but in the end, they twisted it and effectively unscrewed it out of his head.
He lost his right eye and had titanium plates screwed in his skull but was healthy enough within weeks to be interviewed by the news media.
He subsequently returned to his job and is getting on with his life.