5 Medical Urban Legends (That Actually Came True)

#2. The Corpse Who Had a Baby (Then Came Back to Life)

Scott Rothstein/iStock/Getty Images

Erica Nigrelli, a high school teacher, was three weeks away from delivering her baby when something went terribly wrong. Nigrelli had been walking around with undiagnosed hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which is kind of an inverse Grinch disease, causing her heart muscle to be extra thick. No, it doesn't make you more giving; it kills you with heart attacks. And so it did. One day, in the middle of class, Nigrelli's heart gave out on her.

Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images

At first, Nigrelli's symptoms seemed like normal late pregnancy illness. She just felt faint, maybe a little tingly and blotchy -- none of which is completely unheard of when you're weeks away from firing a new human out of your genitals. Just to be safe, Nigrelli lumbered over to another classroom to alert a teacher, then passed out, seized up, and started frothing at the mouth. It just so happened that her husband worked down the hall as well, so three different adults attempted CPR while calling 911.

By the time Nigrelli made it to the hospital, her pulse was gone, but there was still another life on the line. Doctors performed a C-section right away. Welcome to the world, baby! Your mom is dead. Avenge her, we guess?

3pix Studio Associato di Garelli, Maccolini e
"Hey, your dad didn't happen to make any deals with the devil to boost his acting career, did he?"

Then something amazing happened: Doctors were astonished when Nigrelli's heart suddenly began to beat again. She was placed into a medically induced coma for five days, but made a complete recovery. Medical professionals are currently checking her for highlanderism, but otherwise report that she is in good health.

#1. The Case of the Curious Stomach Pain

jim pruitt/iStock/Getty Images

You, dear reader, are a 66-year-old bearded man, standing roughly 4.5 feet tall and rocking between your legs what is sadly but accurately referred to as a micropenis.

We are sorry, but that's just what life is for you now.

Brian Dixon/iStock/Getty Images
Everything's coming up [your name]!

You were also raised as an orphan and, because the universe has decided it's not quite done screwing around with you yet, you have a serious case of bloating and abdominal pain completely unrelated to the previous night's Skittles and Schlitz blitz. As if your life story didn't already sound like a goddamn gypsy curse, the doctor tells you that the discomfort you are experiencing is because of an ovarian cyst.


Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images
Perhaps this word does not mean what you think it means.

That's the exact news this unfortunate elderly Chinese man received. After further tests were done, leading doctors agreed with Steven Tyler's initial assessment and concluded that this dude, indeed, was technically a lady. The condition is called congenital adrenal hyperplasia, which is fancy medical-speak for "seriously ambiguous genitalia." While this is a rare disorder on its own (only about 1 in 14,000 unlucky bastards/bastardinas currently have it worldwide), doctors also found that the patient had Turner's syndrome. Women afflicted with Turner's syndrome are short in stature and have ovarian conditions that render them incapable of fertility. Only six other possibly gender-confused people in history have been diagnosed with both CAH and Turner's syndrome. We will leave it to the comment section to cruelly speculate about their identities.

Along with the removal of the ovarian cyst, doctors removed an atrophic uterus and fallopian tubes, because the patient wants to continue to recognize himself as a man. He is reportedly taking testosterone replacement treatments for the hormone imbalance and 6,200 ccs of bright red Corvette for the micropenis.

Related Reading: Feeling the least bit ill? Read about the five kinds of people you meet in any hospital. If you end up staying the night there, you might even get to meet a horrifying android stalker. She'll stare at you until you feel better! And if you still feel like hospitals aren't murderous nightmares, read about all the ways they can kill you.

Recommended For Your Pleasure

To turn on reply notifications, click here


The Cracked Podcast

Choosing to "Like" Cracked has no side effects, so what's the worst that could happen?

The Weekly Hit List

Sit back... Relax... We'll do all the work.
Get a weekly update on the best at Cracked. Subscribe now!