Life-threatening situations turn regular people into superheroes, letting them lift cars and punch wild animals in the throat to stay alive. And these individuals are deservedly lionized by local media. 

Others make the town paper not for heroic deeds but for the astonishing acts of luck or silliness that save them. The following people proudly and defiantly belong to that second group.

Kidnapped Boy Annoys His Way To Freedom

Many people say gospel music saved their lives. But none can say it as literally as young Willie Myrick, who bested his kidnapper with an unending audio onslaught of Hezekiah Walker. Yes, the brave, undaunted Willie Myrick annoyed his way to freedom. In April 2014, nine-year-old Myrick was abducted from his Atlanta driveway. The unidentified captor drove Myrick around for three hours, during which the youngster unleashed a torrent of gospel music, singing "Every Praise" by Hezekiah Walker over and over (and over) again like a water-damaged Walkman (remember those?) stuck on repeat. 

According the kidnapper, this was as annoying as "Let It Go" and "Baby Shark" combined

The abductor cussed and implored him to shut up, but Myrick kept on blasting away. And after three grueling hours, the situation deflated from a kidnapping to just a failed road trip, as the gospel-addled kidnapper let Myrick go, unharmed. To celebrate Myrick’s bravery, community leaders held a meeting at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, where they also dispensed advice on how parents and children could avoid similar scenarios. Hezekiah Walker, touched by the situation, paid a visit and led the entire church in a sing-along of "Every Praise."

Which was heartfelt and cool of him, considering many famous singers would probably just fire off (or have their PR person fire off) a quick tweet and maybe pimp out their latest project.

 twitter on phone

 freestocks/Unsplash

 “Best wishes to" (quickly glances over corporate note sheet) "Wilby, and be sure to check out the new album coming soon!”

Baby Saved By Ridiculously Poofy Cat

Russia’s first “science city,” Obninsk, boasted the world’s first grid-connected nuclear power plant, which opened in 1954 thanks to help from German (wink wink) scientists. It didn’t produce much power, but hey, when’s the last time your city built a reactor? Anywho, Obninsk fell out of the limelight for the next 70 years until it received global(ish) attention thanks to one exceptionally floofy resident:

When a toddler had been left outside in a box, in the stairwell of one of Obninsk’s bleak, innumerable apartment blocks, the infant found an unlikely, flocculent savior. Unable to resist a good box, Masha the cat climbed in and used her poofiness to keep the baby from freezing, like so many of the city’s vodka-saturated residents who stumble into ditches walking home from the bar.

The two-month-old child was in as good a condition as an abandoned child could be. He was well fed, well clothed, and clean, with a full kit including pacifier, bottle, diapers, winter clothes, and hat. But he still wouldn’t have fared well during the sub-zero Obninsk-ian night without Masha’s woolly warmth.

When paramedics retrieved the baby, Masha ran after them, meowing fiercely as if refusing to leave her new human behind. Though it’s possible she was just pissed to lose a perfectly good box.  

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Blind Women Partially Recovers Sight After Whacking Head

New Zealander Lisa Reid lost her vision at the age of 14 due to optic nerve damage caused by a tumor. Despite a 5% survival prognosis, she roundhouse-kicked cancer in the dick and became a teen spokesperson and motivator, raising awareness and money for organizations like those that trained her guide dog. Then, at 24, another stroke of bad (but good) luck helped her partially regain her sight. 

As Reid bent down to kiss said guide dog, Ami, before retiring to bed, she lost her balance and hit her head on the coffee table. The following morning, she experienced a momentous moment: she woke up to colors! She saw the white of her ceiling, the light streaming through the window, and her pup’s endearingly silly, slobbery smile.

“Who helped mommy partially regain her sight? You did! Yes you did!”

And just hours later, she called her mum and read her the health warning from a pack of cigarettes, possibly because the shampoo bottle ingredient list lacked a good plot twist. When asked about how Reid could regain 80% vision in her left eye, eye surgeon Ross McKay shrugged and said, basically, “well shit.” Her optic nerve hadn’t recovered because it can’t. Like your confidence after that high school prom rejection, the optic nerve has no power of regeneration.

Some people regain their vision because they suffered from psychosomatic or psychological blindness caused by, among other trauma, accidentally seeing your grandma exiting the shower. But Reid’s vision loss was undoubtedly physical, driven by increased cranial pressure due to her long-ago tumor, which damaged the optic nerve that connects eye and brain. 

coffee table

Najla Cam/Unsplash

Maybe "Every Praise" was playing in the background as she hit that table?

Regardless, Reid is living the hell out of life, not that she ever let a trifling little thing like blindness stop her in the past. She doesn’t live in fear that her eyesight will just as mysteriously vanish again, though she acknowledged the possibility. Instead, Reid enjoys the green grass, blue sky, and the many colors of the supermarket drink aisle. Though she’s presumably a lot more careful around coffee tables. 

Man’s Daily Domino’s Habit Saves His Life

“He ordered from Domino’s every day” is usually written on the wrong side of an obituary. But for Oregonian Kirk Alexander, this gross near-nightly habit kept him out of the obits. Alexander lived a mostly secluded life but was considered a good dude who occasionally fixed his neighbor’s computers. And, to be fair to Alexander, he didn’t just eat pizza. For nearly seven years he ordered salads, sandwiches, and whatever other starchy monstrosities were born in the febrile pipe dreams of Domino’s sadistic R&D department.

garlic sticks

Smriti Rai/pixahive

"Here's some raw dough, with garlic powder on top."
"This is the tastiest thing I've ever eaten."

Until he didn’t. In late April 2016, his regular late-night calls ceased. What was going on? Did Alexander move? Was he on a diet? Did he stop smoking weed? After 11 days with no orders, the local Domino’s staff became worried. So on May 8 at around 1 a.m., general manager Sarah Fuller sent delivery driver Tracey Hamblen to check on Alexander.

Domino's delivery

Elliott Brown

They'd have sent her at a more convenient time, but hey. Deliveries come first. 

Alexander didn’t answer the door, but Hamblen noticed the lights and TV were on and called the police. When Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived, they could hear Alexander yelling for help. They busted in and saved him, and not a day too soon, as paramedics believed he’d suffered a stroke

The only people more pleased than the life-savers and the life-save-ee? Domino’s corporate, who jumped on the story with the ol’ “Domino’s is a neighborhood family pizza” spiel. And to answer the question you’ve been asking about Alexander in your mind this entire time: no, no he isn’t, surprisingly. Maybe about 170ish.

Songs Awaken Coma Patients

So many coma patients have been awoken by songs that doctors have had to (potentially with begrudging jealousy) acknowledge that musical therapy is totally not bullshit for patients suffering from “disorders of consciousness.” 

In 2008, 60-year-old Sam Carter of Stoke, England, lapsed into a coma due to severe anemia. Doctors only gave the retired baker a 30% chance of survival but suggested that his wife equip her comatose husband with earphones and groovy tunes, à la Weekend at Bernie’s. She didn’t believe it would work, but three days later, Carter awoke to The Rolling Stone’s "(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction." He described a “sudden burst of energy,” and at that moment he knew he had “more life left in ” and that he was “feeling champion.” The song, his favorite, took him back in time to a record shop in the mid-1960s—it was the first single he'd ever bought.

"Doc, is it normal that he awoke with a full erection?"
"It'd be weirder if he didn't."

Similarly, in April 2012, seven-year-old Charlotte Neve fell into a coma after suffering a rare brain hemorrhage. Like with Carter, doctors said her chances looked slim. Until one day, about a week later, Adele’s "Rolling in the Deep" came on, and Charlotte’s mother began singing along. Little ass-kicking Charlotte responded with a smile. And within a couple of days she was speaking and getting out of bed, making this one of the few times that "Rolling in the Deep" made someone want to live.

Coincidentally around the same time, Robin Gibb of The Bee Gees awoke from a coma after hearing a composition of his own, called "The Titanic Requiem." At the time, Gibb had been given a 10% chance of survival. Family members sought to ease his burden with various Bee Gees hits, and he showed signs of recovery by mouthing the words he knew so well. Though it wasn’t a Bee Gees hit but his own latest symphonic, composed with his son, that roused him and put him in “fantastic form.” Alas, it was only a reprieve from his illness, and Gibb passed on to the big recording studio in the sky about a month later.

Maybe a different hit would have had a more lasting effect. 

Musical therapy works because of the innate connection that patients have formed with the songs. They’re a “salient stimulus,” something that evokes emotion and memory in a deep part of the brain. The attachment is apparently so strong that it bridges the gap between consciousness and the ethereal worlds beyond. 

Interestingly, doctors didn’t say it had to be a positive attachment, like that Ying Yang Twins club-banger you vibed to while receiving (or giving) your first sweaty, dance-floor handy. It could theoretically be your least favorite song saving your life one day. 

Uh, we’d rather stay in the coma.

Whale Biologist Seemingly Saved By Whale

Nan Hauser, head of the Center for Cetacean Research and Conservation, has spent more than 28 years studying, helping, and advocating for whales. And with a neat karmic plot twist, whales repaid the favor by possibly saving Hauser from the business end of a tiger shark.

Hauser was diving in the Cook Islands in September 2017 when she was approached by a 50,000-pound humpback making sexy eyes at her. She thought for sure she’d die. But to her complete surprise, the whale spent the next ten minutes nudging her, trying to gently lift her onto its back and out of the water, and tucking her under its pectoral fin. Fortunately, she was making a nature film and recorded the encounter: 

When Hauser made it back onto the boat, she first noticed that the asshole whale had scraped her up with his barnacles. Then she noticed something else: another tail in the water … belonging to a 15-foot tiger shark. And then she saw a second humpback, who was swatting at the shark while Hauser was preoccupied with her touchy cetacean chaperone. The duo, inadvertently or not, potentially saved her from the shark.

There is previous evidence of humpback whales displaying altruism—actually, a lot. A Marine Mammal Science study logged 115 instances in the past 62 years of humpbacks saving others from predators. They protect their calves but also other species of whales and various marine mammals. 

Tiger shark, Bahamas

Albert Kok

The don't like humans. They just really hate sharks. 

But not all scientists are convinced that the whale displayed intentional altruistic behavior. Even Hauser says she wouldn’t believe it if it happened to someone else. Hell, one marine scientist even says the whale could have been a female who may have lost her calf, experiencing a confusing flux. Ah yes, dismissing a heroine as just a hormonal mess. Typical scientist. 

 

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