5 Lives Saved by the Exact Right Person Randomly Showing Up
When the day needs saving in movies, the perfect hero for the job will swoop in at just the right moment to prevent tragedy while still preserving the maximum amount of thrilling suspense. However, this is generally not the case in real life -- if you get your shoelace stuck on a railroad track and just sit there waiting for Superman to appear at the last second to bend some iron and set you free, you're going to get hit by a train.
But on very rare occasions, a hero with the specific set of skills required to avert disaster will happen to be in the right place at the exact time their expertise is needed, regardless of whether or not their original plans for the day had anything to do with saving people. Look at the following stories and tell us you wouldn't call bullshit if you saw them in a movie:
A Toddler Has a Deadly Emergency Next to a Landing Rescue Helicopter
Two-year-old Draven Fornash was playing outside with his brother when a horse mistook him for a football and kicked him directly in the face. He suffered numerous shattered bones and was bleeding profusely. Draven's parents called 911, but were told that the closest ambulance was 20 miles away.
But Luckily ...
Despite what they'd just heard on the phone, the Fornashes had to have been impressed as hell when, just as they were leaving to take the boy to the hospital themselves, a rescue helicopter landed in a nearby softball field. As if the hospital has an army of them hovering over the populace at all times, just in case.
The reality was that the chopper was piloted by Brian Coleman, and he was there by pure, ridiculous coincidence. You see, Brian has two jobs: as a flight nurse for a company called Survival Flight, riding around in a bitchin' helicopter to swoop in and deliver emergency care to people, and as the manager of a youth softball league. Look, it's good for people to have diverse interests.
"Nothing screws with opposing batters like knowing your outfield has air support."
Anyway, thanks to a surge in popularity, Coleman's softball league was in search of a bigger field to host its annual tournament. Coleman found one in a nearby town, and rather than drive over there in a car to check it out like a normal human being, he decided to fly over in his rescue helicopter like an awesome human being. As it turns out, both his timing and his choice of vehicle were cosmically attuned, because at the same moment, Draven's parents came zooming up in their truck.
Coleman took one look at Draven and correctly decided that driving the boy to the hospital could go fuck itself. He intubated Draven and flew him to intensive care in his rescue helicopter. Draven was in the hospital for over two weeks (having your skull obliterated by a horse is serious business), but he recovered completely, and even reunited with Coleman a year later to inexplicably relive the most horrifying moment of his tiny life.
Second if he rewatched Superman Returns.
A Man Has a Heart Attack in Front of a Defibrillator Salesman
An 80-year-old man was taking a stroll through PlaceMakers, a big-box hardware store in New Zealand, when he suddenly collapsed in a heap on the floor. He was going into cardiac arrest, and even though a group of well-intentioned shoppers had gathered around him and started performing CPR, things seemed grim.
This is the kind of situation where you hope you've lucked out on that 1 percent chance that there's somebody there with medical training, or the one in a thousand chance that there's somebody there with the ability to jumpstart an 80-year-old's ticker. After all, it's not like people just walk around with defibrillators under their arm.
"Don't be silly. That's what the handle is for."
But Luckily ...
Stationed just a few aisles over was Gavin MacDonell, a motherfucking defibrillator salesman. With a big pile of them.
Selling defibrillators is a difficult job, made even more challenging by the fact that defibrillators perform exactly one function and rarely need to be replaced unless your old one has started setting patients on fire. MacDonell had set up a product demonstration in PlaceMakers for some inexplicable reason (imagine a guy setting up a defibrillator table in Home Depot and expecting to move a bunch of units), and in the chaos surrounding the collapsed old man, somebody finally remembered he was there. A panicked customer rushed over to request "that defib-y thing," and despite the fact that MacDonell sold defibrillators and not defib-y things, he nevertheless was able to decode the customer's message and spring into action (and this is the point at which at least one bystander must have thought the whole thing was staged as a crass publicity stunt).
"This is worse than the 'food poisoned' old woman during your Labor Day toilet sale."
When MacDonell arrived at the collapsed man's side, not only was the old man not registering a heartbeat, he was clinically dead. Unless you're a zombie and/or a wizard, that's tough to bounce back from.
MacDonell, deciding to try his luck anyway because it's not like he was busy sorting through a mountain of defibrillator orders, hooked up the life-saving device of his trade and administered a shock to the old man's chest. Almost immediately, the man began showing signs of alive-itude, and he was rushed to intensive care where he made a full recovery, despite the stress of having just had his 80-year-old heart electrocuted by a third-party salesman in a hardware store.
As for MacDonell, his act of heroism didn't translate into a spike in defibrillator sales, but we can pretty much guarantee that he worked the story in to every pitch he has delivered since.
A Woman Is Trapped in a Burning Car Near a Man With a Truck Full of Fire Extinguishers
In August of 2013, a woman named Shana Porter lost control of her car and crashed into a tree. That situation would've been dire enough, but the universe was evidently feeling particularly upset with her that day and decided to have her wrecked vehicle immediately burst into flames, with the seriously injured Porter trapped inside. All she could manage to get free were her arms, which she waved frantically out of her sunroof to try to signal for help. People pulled over to assist her, but because of the rapidly expanding fire, no one could get close enough to the car to pull her out.
Someone suggested peeing the flames out, but unfortunately everyone's urine had been allocated to their underwear.
But Luckily ...
As fate would have it, Eddie Hall was driving down that same freeway, at that same moment, with a jumbo van full of fire smothering chemicals.
Eddie installs portable fire extinguishers for a living, which sounds like the type of charmingly odd fake job that sitcom characters have but is in fact a real profession. After being flagged down by other motorists futilely trying to assist Porter, he triumphantly threw open the back of his truck to reveal his serendipitous bounty of 18 fire extinguishers and began handing them out to all the cops and good Samaritans on the scene, who began dousing the flames as quickly as possible. The only way Porter could've been in better hands during her time of need would be if she had crashed her car into the Hall of Justice.
"Is Aquaman there? I'm at least better than Aquaman."
Hall and his ragtag team of firefighters didn't have any protective equipment, which prevented them from being able to get in close enough to completely extinguish the blaze, but they managed to keep the flames at bay long enough for the actual fire department to show up and finish the job. Porter was rushed to the hospital in critical condition, but she survived. Hall could feel secure in the knowledge that he had done a hero's work, even though his actual job that day was a total wash.
A Truck Overturns in a Pond Next to a Big-Rig Crane Driver
Falling asleep at the wheel is one of the quickest possible ways to totally ruin an otherwise decent day, as Century College student Nate Anderson can attest. In May of 2013, he was driving his pickup truck to class when he dozed off with his foot on the gas. In addition to putting himself and everyone around him in immediate danger, it presumably also negatively affected his grade point average, because he was studying to be an auto mechanic.
As he was passed out behind the wheel, Anderson drove through a mailbox, swerved around on a driveway, and wound up capsized in a nearby pond. Worse yet, his truck's doors were stuck shut -- try as they might, bystanders could not pry Anderson's still-unconscious (and now drowning) body out of the cab.
"Five more minutes. Class isn't until 10:30."
Now this one is just ridiculous -- what could possibly be rolling by at that exact moment that would free a guy from a smashed-up, submerged vehicle? You'd need, like, some kind of huge mechanical hand to lift him out to safety. What are the odds?
But Luckily ...
A big-rig driver named Scott Rosenberg happened to be passing by, and unlike Anderson (and many of his fellow truckers), he was wide awake. Rosenberg also happened to be piloting a gigantic freaking rig with a huge freaking crane on the back. His day job was to haul concrete pipe from one place to another, meaning his truck could easily haul 10,000 pounds and/or Mighty Joe Young.
If you put a quarter in the cab, he'll give you three chances to pick up a toy store.
Rosenberg spotted Anderson's submerged pickup, realized his vehicle was more than capable of pulling it out of the pond, and quickly took action. He hooked his trailer's boom crane to Anderson's truck and flipped the thing completely around like the claw machine at Showbiz Pizza. By the time Rosenberg had finished his blue-collar rescue magic, Anderson had been underwater for over five minutes, which is more than enough time for severe brain damage to set in. Miraculously, a rescue crew was able to resuscitate Anderson before he suffered any permanent damage. Thanks to Rosenberg's quick thinking, Anderson escaped with only a broken vertebra, a few severed tendons, and a new-found appreciation for midday power naps.
Rosenberg got a medal and presumably a lifetime of free maintenance once Anderson graduates automotive school.
Holy shit, how do you top that story? By scaling it up ...
A Bus-Load of People Crashes Into a Lake in Front of a Champion Swimmer
On Sept. 16, 1976, a trolleybus driver in Armenia lost control of his vehicle and careened into Yerevan Lake, quickly sinking more than 30 feet beneath the freezing water. Of the 92 passengers inside, exactly none of them were able to open the doors or windows and escape. There was nothing they could do but sit in the rapidly submerging bus and wait to either drown or freeze to death.
But Luckily ...
A man happened to be out jogging along the lake's dam, and had heard the crash. Now, that wouldn't have done much good considering A) this was pre-cellphones, so he couldn't just call in a rescue and B) the average person can't do a hell of a lot about getting almost a hundred people free of a submerged box deep under freezing water.
"The other guy got a crane. At least give me a damn fishing pole or something."
But this was no average person -- the jogger was Shavarsh Karapetyan, a professional finswimmer who had set multiple world records and held dozens of national and international championships, many of which he is presumably holding in this picture:
"Screw steel; my balls are solid gold."
Though the bus was 80 feet offshore, Karapetyan had neither time nor interest in calling for help. We're talking about the record-breaking finswimming champion of the entire fucking planet here -- Karapetyan was the help. He immediately dove into the lake and swam deep below the surface to save him some entombed public-transit passengers, because let's be honest, nobody deserves to die in a bus.
It's important to note that, even for a freediving Armenian Hercules like Karapetyan, there were several impossible obstacles in play that day -- it was dark; the water was murky, polluted, freezing, and filled with broken glass; he had just run 12 miles as part of his daily exercise; and unaided 30-foot dives are the swimming equivalent of marathoning The Godfather trilogy without taking a bathroom break or fast-forwarding through Part 3. Nevertheless, Karapetyan successfully reached the bus, kicked out the back window, and started dragging people to the surface like he was fishing coins out of a fountain. Once one person was safely on shore, Karapetyan went right back down to grab another.
"At that point my nipples could cut glass, making me more hydrodynamic."
All told, he dove 30 times and saved 20 lives before finally succumbing to exhaustion, blood poisoning, and hypothermia. He fell into a coma and didn't wake for 45 days. When he finally came to, his body had suffered too much damage for him to ever swim professionally again. Even so, he had only two regrets -- one, that he hadn't been able to save more people, and two, that on one dive he mistakenly rescued a dislodged bus seat that he thought was a passenger.
As it turns out, Karapetyan didn't need to be able to swim anymore to tear people free from the jaws of oblivion. Nine years after the bus incident, Karapetyan saved a bunch more people by dragging them out of a burning building. After losing the ability to compete professionally, he'd apparently decided to just double-down on the whole heroism thing.
Peter Chung want's everyone to spam his girlfriend's Instagram, but to follow and love his awesome, sexy Instagram. Also, buy his friend's amazing game Ascendant and help provide Liberty in North Korea.
For more remarkable strokes of good fortune, check out 4 People Whose Good Luck Defied the Laws of Reality. And then check out The 7 Most Bizarrely Unlucky People Who Ever Lived.
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