Alright, so how does a guy top the whole "spike in the brain" thing? Two spikes?
How about 12?
Back in 2006, a guy in Oregon got really depressed, probably because he realized he lived in Oregon. He decided it was time to end his life and after ruling out faster, better, more proven alternatives, he decided he would end it all by shooting himself in the head with a nailgun (we've all been there, right?). We're going to go out on a limb and assume that he was probably a bit disappointed when the first nail pierced his skull and he found himself still alive and in Oregon.
He was serious about ending it all though and kept pulling the trigger on the nail gun like a guy waiting for an elevator. By the time he was done, he had a dozen nails embedded in his head. It's unclear why he stopped but a good guess is because it really hurts to shoot nails into your skull.
"Eh, a gun is a gun, right?"
He finally went to the hospital and complained to the doctors that he had a headache. While this was technically true it's kind of like telling someone your buddy is a bit of a douche bag and then the guy turns out to be Spencer Pratt.
The nails had gone so far into his brain that the doctors couldn't even see them until they X-rayed his head. Not only did they find 12 nails, but the nails were fired into both sides of his head--which meant he had to switch hands at some point (apparently nailguns get pretty heavy after a while). Doctors had to remove the nails with needle-nosed pliers and a drill. Yeah, the whole scenario was pretty much sponsored by Home Depot.
The tale probably involved caulk at some point as well
We'd like to say he is doing fine today, but last we heard he left the pysch ward against his doctor's wishes. Damn, we were so sure the 12 nails to the head story would have a happy ending.
Your body has some pretty basic needs: food, water, air, some basic broadband Internet access. Of these the most important is without a doubt air. While you can go for weeks without food and days without water, most people get a serious case of death if they go for more than 15 minutes without breathing. Even guys who spend all their time training to hold their breath only last about 11.5 minutes and they need two months to recover afterward to ponder whether they need a different hobby.
This is why Michelle Funk caused the Journal of the American Medical Association to use the word "miraculous" when she was pulled out of the water after she staying under for more than an hour. A medical journal using the word "miracle" is the equivalent of "WTF?" in non-medical speak. If her awesome last name and amazing mutant half-fish abilities weren't impressive enough, consider she was only two-years-old when this happened.
"What the fuck?"
This was back in 1986, she had been playing near the creek when she fell in and by the time they found her an hour later, she had a core body temperature of 66 degrees and no heartbeat, both of which is supposed to mean "dead" according to everything science thinks it knows about the body.
Doctors warmed Michelle's blood with a heart-lung machine (it actually removes the blood from the body to do it, which to the untrained eye would also seem like something you wouldn't live through). We assume that Michelle's blood was the consistency of a Slushie when it first came out.
It took more than three hours before doctors were finally able to detect a heartbeat. No one is really sure how she survived, although one of the doctors thinks the cold water helped to freeze her so that her brain didn't suffer any permanent damage. This basically means she survived drowning to death by freezing to death first.
Michelle has fully recovered and is living somewhere in Utah, pretty much a living "fuck you" to the world of medical science.
"Screw it, we're going with 'miracle.'"
Alright, so we've confirmed that you can survive a whole range of foreign objects in your skull. How can we top that? Well...
The word "decapitation" is one you never want to hear in your prognosis. It usually signals something really bad has happened to you, like a teen horror movie, or a French revolution. Shannon Malloy, however, was past her teens and nowhere near France when she was in a car crash a few years back, but still had the word "decapitation" turn up in her medical charts. OK, so her head didn't go rolling away like a bowling ball, but it was pretty close.
When she was brought to the hospital after her accident, doctors discovered that she had severed every single ligament and tendon connecting her skull to her spinal cord. Her head was basically flopping around, connected to her body only by skin and muscle tissue (they call it an "internal decapitation"). The spinal surgeon who treated her said he had never seen anyone survive such an injury, because the head is a fairly important part of your body.
Yet her child remains unimpressed
However there was some good news for Shannon. Her spinal cord itself was actually still in good shape. Doctors worked hard to set her skull back on to her spine which is apparently no easy task as she told people she felt her skull slip off about five times during the procedure. We don't know what is worse, the fact it took them five tries to get it right or the fact that she was awake while they tried.
Actual photo of the surgery
Doctor Butter Fingers finally managed to get her skull in place though and they screwed everything in good and tight. Eventually she recovered from the ordeal and even avoided being paralyzed. She has suffered from some sight and speech impairment, but really what can you ask for considering, you know, decapitation.Son Tran can also teach you about Babies, at his Cracked Topics Page.
For more people who laughed at death, check out 7 People Who Cheated Death (Then Kicked It In The Balls). Or find out about some straight bizarre ways people have died, in 5 Historical Figures Who Died The Weirdest Deaths.
And stop by Cracked.com's Top Picks to see what being boobed to death looks like.