5 People Who Lived Out Nearly Impossible Coincidences
A lucky day usually means finding five bucks on the ground, nabbing a really good parking spot, or getting a free Snickers from the vending machine when you only paid for chips. Conversely, an unlucky day might entail a flat tire, a forgotten wallet, or persistent buskers on your subway car who will simply not accept that you're not feeling a mariachi cover of Limp Bizkit's "Nookie" at that moment. But sometimes the coincidences start to pile up, and you're left to wonder if this is all down to dumb luck, or if the Universe is actually messing with you. Look at what happened to these people.
The Randolph Family Has Survived Multiple School Shootings
In 2006, lawyer Celia Randolph's 14-year-old daughter Chelsea was attending class at Platte Canyon High School in Bailey, Colorado when a gunman walked in and took six female students hostage. Chelsea hid under the table with a friend, and after four harrowing hours, she was able to escape when a SWAT team broke the door down. Shortly afterward, the Randolph family moved to Florida, thinking that the warm weather and convenient Disney World access would help get them away from the nasty memories.
All was well until 2018, when Celia's son Christian was a junior at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. As you may recall from before even more mass shootings pushed it out of the news, there was a shooting there. Christian had to hide in a cupboard, unable to reassure his mother that he was OK because he had forgotten to charge his phone. And while moms may get less nervous when its their second child performing in the school play, the same logic doesn't apply to a goddamn active shooter scenario.
The fact that the Randolphs had to live through this nightmare and its aftereffects twice over is undeniably terrifying, but it's also remarkable that both came through physically unscathed (Platte Canyon had one fatality, Parkland 17). And hey, because of all that previous experience, Christian's mom and big sister knew exactly what he was going through, and were better able to help him cope with the trauma! That's ... that's a plus, right?
Separated Sisters End Up Working At The Same Hospital
Holly Hoyle O'Brien and Meagan Hughes share the same father and birthplace, and both grew up in orphanages in South Korea. They didn't know any of that when they were hired by a Florida hospital just a few months apart. When Hughes was young, her mother took her away from her alcoholic father, but left the two-year-old O'Brien in the father's care. When O'Brien was five, her father was hit by a train and she went to an orphanage. Hughes eventually ended up in an orphanage as well. Both were adopted by American families who gave them Western names. Hughes went to New York in 1976, and O'Brien to Virginia in 1978. Both eventually went into nursing, and both ended up in tiny Venice, Florida.
At the hospital, the two women worked the same long shift on the same floor, and they started bonding after a patient pointed out some of their many similarities. O'Brien was aware that she had a missing sister out there somewhere, and while previous attempts to locate her had failed, she eventually suggested that the two take a DNA test. They were thrilled to discover that they were sisters. And if all of this sounds like too many coincidences to be possible, think of all the situations that must have occurred in which people with missing siblings strike up incredible conversations with eerily similar strangers, only to discover that they're totally unrelated.
We can only assume that the man shooting that video was also their long-lost brother.
A Stranded Fisherman Is Rescued By A TV Crew
Fisherman Tremine became separated from his boat and spent two days stuck on a remote rock, weathering heat stroke and dehydration in the brutal Australian summer. In that situation, your life hangs on the extremely remote chance that maybe someone will somehow turn up and save you, but you shouldn't count on it. And you also shouldn't count on your rescuers being part of a TV crew.
Luckily for Tremine, the sheer lethality of his country is a source of endless morbid appeal to audiences around the globe. When a camera crew with Animal Planet's River Monsters was out looking for a rare fish, they found an even rarer specimen: a naked man storming out of a cave and into the water, desperately yelling for help as he swam toward their boat. They hauled him in and found him to be in such rough shape that he couldn't even keep down dehydration tablets.
Tremine had been about a day away from death, and he'd known it. Upon his rescue, he resolved to start smoking again so that he'd have a lighter on him to make a cooking fire in case of another emergency. Why he couldn't just carry a lighter and not smoke is anybody's guess.
An Elderly Woman Hurts Her Back, Regains Her Eyesight
In 1993, Mary Ann Franco lost vision in both of her eyes thanks to a car crash and the stroke that followed it. 23 years later, the 70-year-old Franco lost her balance on a set of uneven tiles in her home, and broke her back when she fell. She went to the hospital, and when she woke up from routine spinal realignment surgery (trust us, you never want the non-routine kind), she found that she could see again.
The surgery had nothing to do with her eyes, but her neurosurgeon believes that it probably ended up restoring blood flow to a part of her spine where nerve cells had become dormant after the accident. Franco promptly went to work on getting her driver's license, and expressed a desire to visit grandchildren whom she hadn't been able to physically look at since they were babies. Think of all the tattoos and boyfriends she can now see and disapprove of!
Franco credited the phenomenon to her her faith in God, although the news report on her opened with the line "For a 70-year-old Florida woman, seeing came after believing," so we would argue that God is dead.
A Woman Survived Two World Trade Center Attacks, Then A Plane Crashing Next To Her House
In 1993, Andree Marshall was a young professional in New York, probably listening to Nirvana while spending her paycheck on Pogs. She was on the ground floor of the World Trade Center's North Tower to buy plane tickets when the ground shook, windows shattered, and black soot started pouring out of the vents. A bomb in the underground parking garage was meant to topple the North Tower into the South and destroy both, but "only" killed six people instead. America looked at the politically motivated attack and near-disaster, then thought about changing precisely nothing.
Eight years later, a pregnant Marshall again found herself in the North Tower.
Marshall escaped 9/11 unharmed, and gave birth to twins a few weeks later, probably while debating whether she should be considered incredibly lucky or incredibly unlucky. Two months later, she got more food for thought when a goddamn plane crashed next to her house. American Airlines Flight 587 hit the ground mere minutes after takeoff, killing all 260 aboard and five on the ground as it wiped out a row of houses.
The crash was eventually determined to have been caused by human error, but coming so soon after 9/11, there were of course concerns that it was another terrorist attack. Marshall couldn't be blamed for wondering if someone had it out for her personally. But she's lived peacefully ever since, presumably because Death has thrown in the towel and gone on to harass someone else.
Michael Battaglino is a new contributor to Cracked.com. Be sure to check out some of his other work if you enjoyed this article.
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