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.'"
Dislocation... Of Your Head
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.