What's the closest you've come to death?


#1

I’ve never really been at risk of dying of any cause whatsoever so far in my life, I guess. But thirteen years ago today I came close

I would get the Piccadilly Line to work from Turnpile Lane. Most days I would see my old mate Graham on the platform of Finsbury Park station (two stops further on), who would get on the same train, further back. I would always take the first carriage by the second doors because that’s where the exit is at Russell Square tube station.

On this particular day thirteen years ago I was late getting up due to a gig I went to the night before in which far too many beers and tequilas were consumed. I walked up to the tube station and got on a train just when the entire Tube system was shut down - due to “a power failure”, they said.

My mate Graham had to get off the train he was on, with hundreds of other passengers,and walk through the tunnel back to Kings Cross after a bomb exploded in the carriage where I would normally be, just before it reached Russell Square.

My life was saved by rock’n’roll.


#2

Climbing down a boulder field on carrauntoohil. Got about halfway down, and somebody jumped right at the top. They loosed a boulder that started to roll down the mountain. Me and my mate heard people shouting “Get down”. Turned around to see a huge boulder fly past about 5ft away.

Either that, or the countless times I have almost been knocked off my bike.


#3

About a month ago I was walking home about 9pm near a big roundabout when I heard a bang. Looked at the road to see a white car spinning out of control towards me (a fence was behind me) and I was paralysed with fear as it spun towards me but at the last second I stumbled ahead. Would have been squashed anyway if it hadn’t been for the fact that just on the kerb the woman got her car into control. I was shaking so badly, it would have been a very messy splattery death and also a really annoying way to go so I’m v grateful if didn’t happen


#4

Was on a boat owned by some friends of my parents when the guy steering misjudged the strong tide and hit a bridge pillar. I was sat out on the front deck and realised just in time we were going to hit it and dived into the cabin. If I’d stayed where I was I’d probably have been thrown into the water and carried away.

Had a couple near misses driving (or being driven) over the years.


#5

Probably this heat


#6

Span my my car on the outside lane of the m62 and ended up facing the wrong way on the hard shoulder. Fuck knows how I didn’t hit anything as I span across 3 lanes


#7

Got a blood clot between my eye and brain when someone chucked a rock at me, nearly died


#8

closest would be when I decided it would be a good idea, whilst coked off my tits, to run from the pub to the nightclub we were going to. In doing so I tried to leap a traiffic island and tripped into traffic, I managed to do a gymnastic roll out of the way and merely brushed a car going about 30 - 40mph along the seafront (late at night, not much traffic so going faster than usual).

Dumb on so many levels, thankfully I was still athletic then, if the lumbering lummox that I am now today attempted that I would’ve been squished.

Oh and also went night swimming in a storm and got repeatedly slammed on the shore and getting dragged back in, that could’ve ended badly.


#9

Nearly got run over a few years ago.

The car didn’t stop at a zebra crossing and kept going. I saw the car screeching at me. I jumped straight up and landed on the bonet. If I hadn’t jumped, I’d be hit (perhaps not too hard but not by a car nonetheless).


#10

When I was little I dropped my teddy in the middle of the road in the US and tried to run back for it as a car was coming :grimacing: my Dad grabbed me and explained why it was a bad thing to do. Phew.


#11

Was in a bad car crash when I was about 12 - driving along the banks of Loch Lomond at Christmas time we skidded on some ice and did a 360 spin completely wrecking the car. If we’d spun the other way we would’ve gone into the icy loch, or if a car had been coming in the other direction I doubt we would’ve made it.


#12

Collapsed in my bathroom at 5am on a Sunday, May 2013 with massive chest pains

When I came to I was sat on a chair in my hallway with the tv & 2 ambulance staff. After asking me a couple of questions they put me in the back of the ambulance, gave me a shot of morphine, hooked me to an antibiotic drip and took my ecg. They were communicating with a doctor at the hospital, trying to send my ecg results but I live on the top of a hill and we were in some kind of radio shadow so the results wouldn’t send. They slowly drove the ambulance around the top of my hill to find a better signal and the second that the results showed at the hospital the doctor’s voice came over the little loudspeakers in the back of the ambulance :ambulance: and he said something like “fucking hell, get him here as fast as you can”

They banged on the lights and sirens and screamed through Stockholm to the hospital and just as we were arriving in the emergency bay I lost consciousness again for about another minute due to the pain & they gave me another shot of morphine

I was in hospital for 6 days & five nights. It took them 3 days of all possible tests to find out what was wrong with me. I had a chronic embolism in my chest, a huge infection that had very nearly killed me but I was lucky because the infected tissue happened to be between my heart and my left lung - had it been in either of those organs I wouldn’t be typing this


#13

In Bali, backpacking, years ago. Got sucked off a surfboard by a wave waayyyy beyond my (modest at best) ability to catch, after getting caught in a riptide and ending up much further away from the beach than intended. Ended up treading water coughing seawater out of my lungs a very long way from the shore. No idea how long I had to swim for to get to the shore, but it felt like at least 15 minutes. Developed a certain respect for the idea of not doing stupid things in water.


#14

appendix burst


#15

blood clot in the thigh nearly took me off the board at 16


#16

had a bad back so started taking ibuprofen, seemingly coincidentally started getting a bad chest which made my back feel worse so I carried on taking ibuprofen, don’t bother going to the doctor’s obviously.

back and chest continue to get worse, continue to take ibuprofen. get to the point where I can only breathe without huge hacking noises if I’m lying in a hot bath. still don’t go to the doctors.

collapse on the 20 yard walk to the pie shop. rushed to hospital. got told I’m asthmatic, had the lung capacity of a 90 year old woman and that I was very close to dying because I’m allergic to ibuprofen.

also nearly hit by cars all the time.


#17

And that’s why 12 year olds shouldn’t drive


#18

fell about 20 foot off a rope swing into a pile of junk metal and bushes. missed the metal somehow, but escaped with a bad concussion (couldn’t remember about 6 month’s worth of events for a few weeks after).


#19

got into an unlicensed cab in Bolivia and the driver promptly pulled out a gun, got blindfolded and taken to an office to get robbed.

Luckily I had absolutely nothing of worth on my person and I was in the habit of leaving my wallet in my hostel and carrying cash only so they took my £20 and called me a son of a bitch when they found out my bag had a sweatshirt, a flask and a pack of nuts in it. They didn’t even bother to re-blindfold me and dump me somewhere, just got a slap and sent on my way.

Key lesson here is be very careful getting cabs in countries where your mere Western-ness marks you out as a walking bag of gold

This wasn’t a near death experience per se but there was definitely a tense 5 minutes where I was considering that I was about to die and it was not, shall we say, relaxing


#20

wait what