People Share Their “I Dodged A Bullet” Stories
Some people have the blessing of looking back on an experience in which they were incredibly lucky. Whether it’s surviving a freak illness, missing a plane flight that later crashed, or not saying something extremely embarrassing to your boss, there are some moments where it seems like the universe was really working in your favor.
People who have had these types of experiences have come together to reflect on these life-saving situations together, to express their immense relief and gratitude for dodging these bullets in their lives. Some are simple strokes of luck; others are absolutely life-changing experiences. These stories are truly unbelievable…
Sticks And Stones Will Break Your Bones
One time, my friend dropped me off at my apartment after a night out. As I was standing at my door looking for my keys in my purse, she shouted at me to come back to the car because I had left something inside, so I made my way back over to the car.
Seconds after I turned back around, a giant stone fell off the facade and landed right where I was standing. I could easily have died that night. I am so grateful that my friend called me over to the car. I am forever indebted to her. Reddit User: OrangesInStereo
Saved From Death By Death
Once, I was traveling with my wife and kids in Guyana, visiting some extended family of mine. One day, we decided to take a break from the family and book a small plane to see some of the surrounding nature. That same day, we got word that a distant aunt of mine had passed away.
I was pissed that we had to cancel the plane flight, and I was really sad to hear that she had passed. However, it turns out that the plane that we were about to get on crashed and killed every single person on board. That was a very close call. Good thing my aunt died. Reddit User: poweroftheorthanc
Your parents probably warned you about stranger danger when you were a kid. Everyone knows the fear that comes over your mother when you disappear from sight for a minute or two in a crowded space. I bet you thought they were being ridiculous, but I actually almost got kidnapped in that setting when I was younger.
I was with my mom in a mall, when a man grabbed me and started towards the exit. I just screamed as loud as I could and he let me go, but boy that was scary. My mom was, of course, absolutely petrified by that experience. Reddit User: clynnec01
The Stall Is Occupied, Sir
Once, when I was about 15, I was on a road trip with my parents and siblings. We stopped at a truck stop and I went to the bathroom. While I was in the stall, an elderly man walked up, knocked on the door, and asked to come in. I thought it was weird, but initially just calmly said no.
Then, he started banging on the door and using his belt to try to undo the lock. I shouted for help and luckily the gas station manager came in and got the man out of the bathroom. That experience was terrifying. Who knows what would have happened if the manager hadn’t come in? Reddit User: throwmethrow17
Bad Blood Or Superhero Bones?
When I was younger, I had a period where I was pretty sick–always tired, getting random dizzy spells throughout the day, and generally fatigued. The doctor thought it was simple anemia at first, but then a blood test revealed a high white blood cell count, which probably meant either leukemia or sickle cell disease.
Turns out, I actually had a super rare condition where my bones are much more dense than usual, which produces both the symptoms and the odd test results associated with these scary diseases. They only realized when they had trouble getting a needle into my bones for a marrow test. Reddit User: Patches67
I matched with a super cute girl on Tinder a while back, and took her on a couple of dates. I was very into her, physically speaking, and every bone in my body was screaming to take her home with me after the second date. However, I ended up going home alone. It just kind of felt like an odd vibe.
Boy am I glad I trusted my gut on this one. I read in the paper a few months later that she had stabbed some guy who she went on a date with from Tinder. If I had just asked her if she wanted to come to my house, that probably would have been me. Phew. Reddit User: Kilen13
Literally Dodged A Bullet
Well, not quite literally, since I didn’t dodge the bullet myself. Instead, my organs did all the dodging. I live in metro Detroit, and was unfortunate enough to get caught in a crossfire situation a few years ago. I got hit in the torso by a bullet, but it didn’t strike any vital organs, and I survived.
The doctors told me that if the bullet had been literally just an inch in any other direction, I could have easily died. It had landed in the most perfect location to allow me not to bleed out. I can’t believe how insanely lucky I was. Reddit User: PhatonSiX
When I was growing up, I hated my stepdad. I always used to complain to my mom that he was evil. She would always reprimand me, and tell me not to talk about someone she cared about in that way. Well, my mom should have listened a little more closely to me. Turns out I was right after all–he ended up being a murderer.
A few years after he left my mom and remarried, he ended up killing his entire new family. Luckily, he’s in prison now, but we really dodged a bullet (or in this case, a knife) on this one. I still have nightmares about that man. Reddit User: [Redacted]
When I was deployed in Baghdad back in 2004, I almost died twice within a minute. A Chinese-made Katyusha rocket landed about 30 feet away from me and exploded, but miraculously, I wasn’t hit by a single piece of shrapnel. That alone is almost impossible to fathom.
Then, right afterwards, another rocket headed straight towards me out of the sky. I thought it was over, but the second missile struck the ground and failed to detonate. For those who don’t know what that means, the missile was faulty, and never exploded. This is beyond unheard of stuff, and boy am I thankful. Reddit User: AntonyLoveless
Forget Bullets, We Dodged A House
I had just gotten married and was expecting a child. My husband and I were living in a tiny, two bedroom apartment (one of the bedrooms was his office), and we didn’t think we had enough space to raise a child in that environment. We were looking at houses, but ultimately decided they were too pricey.
The year? 2005. Best decision of our lives. The recession came on full-force right after that. We waited out the first few years and then bought a ginormous house at the end of the recession. It was such a great call on us. The economy was looking out for us, I suppose. Reddit User: SwanFlu
Almost John Henry
My friend drives trucks for a living, and sometimes picks up loaded dumpsters from construction sites. He usually shows up unannounced, and isn’t always factored into people’s thinking about safety. One day, he was finishing hooking up the dumpster to his truck, and almost died.
A large metal spike had fallen from an elevated construction platform–it was so close that it grazed his face and he ended up having to get a bunch of stitches. An inch closer to him and it would’ve gone right through his head. Reddit User: xlv45
Dodging A Loveless Marriage
I was absolutely smitten with one of the girls who lived down the street from me in college. I spent three years working up the courage to ask her out, and finally ended up dating her my senior year. Turns out the entire time, she was cheating on me with her ex-boyfriend, and I only found out at the end.
I was horribly torn up about our breakup, but I recently reconnected with her on Facebook, after many years. She’s now a thrice-divorced mother of three who posts a ton of minion memes all the time. I would not have wanted to be involved with that life. I really dodged a bullet on that one. Lucky me. Reddit User: dropEleven
Playing Hooky…With Bandits
I used to skip class all the time when I was in middle school. I took the bus to campus and my parents usually left for work early, so they didn’t realize if I just stayed home. One day, I heard the door starting to open again after my parents had left, so I quickly ran down and hid in the garage.
Naturally, I thought that one of my parents had come home for some reason, and I didn’t wanna get caught. After the noise died down 30 minutes later, I went into the house to check. Turns out my parents were still out and we had been robbed while I was hiding. Who knows what they would’ve done if they had found me. Reddit User: Tynoc_Fichan
Close Call In Kuwait
I was born in Kuwait one year before the start of the First Gulf War. My family was fleeing to Jordan on a bus when the fighting started and got stopped at a checkpoint. Apparently, one of the soldiers grabbed me out of my father’s arms and started walking away while the other soldiers told the bus to move on.
My dad started crying and begging and then, lo and behold, the soldier just started laughing with absolutely no explanation, and gave me right back to him. Maybe it was some sort of sick joke, but I’m glad I made it through with my family. Otherwise, I’d probably be a child soldier right now. Reddit User: danonamacbook
A few years ago, I was in a head-on crash in my Honda. I saw the other car coming maybe one second before the impact, and instinctively swerved to the side to try to get away. I ended up with a concussion and some broken ribs, but I survived and wasn’t even in the hospital that long.
The doctor told me that if I hadn’t swerved, I’d have been crushed by the engine block, and if I had swerved more, I would’ve been crushed by the other car. I got the perfect angle to save my life. My body just knew exactly how to save my life. Reddit User: TheAbyssGazesAlso
A Severe Lack Of Protection
Honestly, the short version of the story is that I thought back on the last 20 years of my sexually-active life a few days ago, and realized that I just haven’t used contraception as much as I should have. I was in relationships, sure, but I also did have a reasonable amount of casual meet ups in my day.
And, for context, “my day” was in the late 1990s and early 2000s (before my current relationship), and I could easily have contracted HIV back when it was actually a death sentence, unlike today. Somehow, I’m completely clean today. Seems like a miracle. Reddit User: [Redacted]
World Of Warcraft Got Me Into College
The summer after I graduated high school, I was supposed to go to a big party at one of my friends’ houses. I was late to the party because I was at home stuck to my computer screen (I was playing World of Warcraft). I ignored a solid 30 minutes of texts from my friends and was an hour late.
Finally, I pulled myself away from the game, and went to the party. Right as I walked up, I saw that the cops had busted the party and were handing out citations to my entire friend group. A few of them even got their college admissions revoked. Thank god for World of Warcraft. Reddit User: [Redacted]
Controlled Flight Into Terrain
Apparently, “Controlled Flight into Terrain” (CFIT) is the leading cause of airplane fatalities in the world, and refers to incidents where the plane is under pilot control but still crashes, usually due to pilot error. I know this because my grandfather was almost on Widerøe Flight 710.
But by a stroke of luck, he didn’t get on. It was the deadliest crash in Norwegian aviation history, killing 30 people. My grandfather had tried and failed to get last minute tickets. What a lucky guy. Reddit User: Baconlightning
The Navy Saved My Life
Back in college, I was in the Navy ROTC, and my emotionally abusive boyfriend sat me down one day to give me a lecture. The short version of it was that I was spending too much time with ROTC and not enough with him, and that I needed to choose between the two or he was going to leave me.
I chose the Navy. When I got back from my most recent deployment, I found out that my old boyfriend was in jail for beating up his wife. Thank god I listened to my intuition when he put me on the spot like that. That could have been me. Reddit User: AshLyn32
Leaf Pile Disaster
Back when my friends and I were just learning to drive, we would take turns cruising around our neighborhood looking for leaf piles every Autumn. We would then accelerate through them causing a leaf explosion (which looked pretty cool). Yeah, it was stupid, but we were stupid kids.
One day, we were driving at a pile when we saw an old lady backing out of the driveway across the street. I yelled “abort!” just in time, and we slowed down, narrowly missing the old woman but only a few feet. We almost ended multiple lives that day. Reddit User: stealyerface
No Nuclear Babies Please
My friend’s mom found out she was pregnant in the mid 1980s, and decided to take one last big trip with her husband before she was stuck at home with the baby for a while. Their destination? Chernobyl in April 1986, the same weekend the reactor was destined to melt down.
Luckily for my friend, she was denied boarding on her plane because her doctor’s note saying it was okay for her to fly was from a naturopath. Turns out that the airline doesn’t accept naturopaths as credible sources. So she didn’t wind up going. How crazy is that? Reddit User: habloconleche
Books Save Lives
Back when I was in high school, I was walking through a bit of a rough part of town, when a guy tried to mug me for my phone. I was an idiot, and tried to fight him off, then took off running down the street. I heard a gun fire behind me but didn’t feel anything and kept sprinting all the way home.
Once I got there, I noticed that there was a bullet hole in the center of my backpack. It went right through my textbooks, but then stopped midway through, with the bullet sitting right inside of one of the books. The giant stack of textbooks I was carrying literally saved my life. Reddit User: HatatachiN1nj4
Just One More Step, And…
I was out skating with a friend of mine in the neighborhood (we were about 13 years old at the time), and it started to get dark, so we headed home. We were about to cross the street–my buddy just a step ahead of me–when I heard a loud crash, saw a blur in front of me, and he was gone.
Luckily he survived with just a few broken bones, but it turned out some lady talking on her phone had hit him in a Toyota Corolla going 45 mph in a 25 mph zone. Talk about a close call. Reddit User: KAsInKnife
Fourth Of July Gone Wrong
I love fireworks. I know they’re dangerous, but I still love them. Anyway, I was out in my backyard when I was a kid setting up for my family’s annual Fourth of July extravaganza, when I decided that I couldn’t wait another minute and wanted to test a few of the rockets myself.
One of them was defective, and exploded in my hands as soon as I lit it. A piece of hot debris struck me less than an inch under my right eye, but just missed the eye. That could’ve easily ended much, much worse. And I could’ve been blind. Reddit User: MaxReegans
Back when I was in college, I was super interested in woodworking. I think I took the one carpentry class my school offered every single semester. At the time, the professor seemed like a lovely (yet quirky) fellow. He used to invite people to go to his house to work on projects, and I always accepted.
Later, I learned that he had been convicted of murdering his former girlfriend and father in law, and that the murders had happened during the time I was in school working with him. I was at that guy’s house. Reddit User: OxFromGant
Not The Best Camping Neighbors
A few years ago, I went camping in the woods near my house with some friends. We had just set up our tents when we noticed that another campsite had popped up about 100 meters away. We were super excited–I always love meeting people out in the woods, hanging out, drinking some beers, etc.
We hadn’t talked to them yet, but thought we would go over and introduce ourselves later. Later that day, they decided they wanted some target practice (they hadn’t noticed us), and started firing rifles into the woods. One of the bullets nicked our tent before we managed to run away. Reddit User: cmnd_ctrI
Wrong Plane, Right Day
United Airlines 232 was a flight from Denver to Chicago that crashed on July 19, 1989. I lived in Denver at the time, and had a long distance girlfriend in Chicago, so I flew that route all the time. Turns out, the day before the fatal crash, I had been on the exact same plane, on the same route.
When I heard about the crash, I thought back to the decisions that led me to book my flight for they day before, not the day of the crash. Someone, somewhere, must have been looking out for me. Reddit User: LabKitty
A Titanic Coincidence
My great great grandfather had booked a ticket for the Titanic and that was almost the end of his story. Luckily for him and all his descendants, he met my great great grandmother a few months before, right before she left for America herself. My great great grandfather was absolutely smitten.
Deciding that he couldn’t wait any longer to leave the old country, he sold his Titanic ticket to a poor sap and booked a passage on an earlier boat. They sailed to America together. Unfortunately, the guy who got his ticket likely didn’t make it. Whew. Reddit User: rumple_mcforeskin
A Close Call
I went to one of my friends’ weddings a few years ago, and ended up having a really fun time chatting with the wedding photographer (who my friend had found through an agency). He asked for my number and we went on a date the next week. It was an alright date, but I just never followed up with much gusto.
Later, it turned out that he was in the news for having one of the largest collections of illegal substances ever seized by the police. He’s now serving quite a bit of time in jail, and I’m counting my blessings. Reddit User: [Redacted]
It’s Just A Routine…Tumor?
A little while ago, I started having some breathing problems–you know, coughing, some phlegm, some wheezing. I figured it was nothing to worry about. Everyone gets bronchitis from time to time. When I saw a doc at an emergency clinic, he agreed, and gave me some antibiotics.
Short version is, I didn’t get better and got some bad vibes from the clinic doc, so I got a second opinion. Turns out I had a tumor the size of a grapefruit wrapped around my lungs. I don’t know how the first doctor didn’t even question anything. All good now, but glad I caught it in time to make a difference. Reddit User: NSippy
Seizures Are Best When Not Driving
I live in Colorado, and one weekend, I decided to take a day trip to see Wolf Creek Pass. I was in the car alone with just my dog for company. At the top of the pass, I felt a little bit woozy, so I decided to stop driving and take an hour or so to hike around. Near the end of my hike, I collapsed and had a seizure.
Looking back, I feel so blessed that I decided to pull over. If I hadn’t decided to stop, I would’ve been driving when the seizure happened and could have easily had a major accident, potentially killed both my dog and me. Whew! Reddit User: GuruBushHippie
When A Headache Is Not Just A Headache
I woke up at 2:30 in the morning one night with a pretty severe headache. Normally, I would just pop an Advil and go back to sleep. Something this night felt off though, and I decided to trust my instincts and brave the emergency room. An hour later, I was having a spinal tap done, as the pain had gotten so intense.
Turns out, I had bacterial meningitis and even at the hospital, the doctors gave me a 15% chance of survival. Meningitis, for those who don’t know, is extremely fatal. I made it through, but I would’ve died for sure if I had stayed in bed. Reddit User: beautifulmutant
Insurance In The Nick Of Time
I was uninsured a few years ago (I had just quit my job), and decided to lose some weight before buying my own insurance so I could get lower rates. I did, much faster than expected. I got a clean bill of health from my doctor, and signed up for a new insurance plan. Figured nothing was amiss.
When I went home to visit my dad, who is also a doctor, he said I looked way too thin and sent me to the hospital for some scans. Turns out I was losing all that weight because of stomach cancer, and it was progressing very quickly. Luckily, I now had insurance. Thank god. Reddit User: Bn_scarpia
Ever find yourself driving behind a truck on the highway and praying to god that the driver fastened everything in the bed securely? Well, one time I was driving behind a truck carrying a bunch of full tree trunks, presumably to be turned into some kind of paper product.
I’m sure you can guess what comes next. One of the logs slipped off the truck and came hurtling down the highway right towards my car. It missed me by no more than a foot. If my position had been just slightly different, I could have been crushed right now. Reddit User: TheSiegeHowitzer
Lying Men Lie
I have a rule: if someone really doesn’t want to use protection when you sleep with them, they are the person you most want to use protection with. I had an ex-boyfriend who would try to convince me every time to not use protection, and used the justification that he was infertile, so we couldn’t have kids anyway.
I obviously would not let this happen, but I’m a smart girl. And thank god I didn’t. Years later, I found out that he’s happily married now, and has two kids, both biologically his. Turns out he was lying the whole time. Reddit User: IzarkKiaTarj
When I was in high school, I was on the track team for all four years. Our school’s track looped around a large field where the “field” people on the track and field team practiced. One day, I was doing intervals on the track when one of the discus kids let go at the wrong moment and sent a two kg disc flying right at me.
One of my friends shouted “duck,” and luckily, I instinctively just listened. The discus missed me by a few inches. The kid was super apologetic, and felt horrible that it happened. I was just happy to still be alive. Reddit User: whothiztho
I Think Batman Sucks…Thankfully
When The Dark Knight Rises came out, a bunch of my friends really wanted to go see it in theaters. I hate superhero movies and emphatically vetoed their suggestion that we go see the new film at the Aurora theater in Colorado. I think you can guess where this one is headed.
The night they wanted to go was the same night an active shooter killed a ton of people in the theater. We all could have died. Thank god I convinced my friends to do something else with me instead of going to the movie without me. Reddit User: Elite_Spartan10
Condolences (Almost) Gone Wrong
An old friend of mine who I hadn’t spoken to in ages posted a new profile picture of himself and someone who appeared to be his mother on Facebook a little while ago. Figuring this was a good chance to reconnect, I thought about posting something like “Wow, who’s that gorgeous stunner next to you?”
Luckily, I felt awkward, and decided not to leave the comment. And I’m really glad I didn’t. A few minutes later, the photo started to fill up with comments praying for him and wishing him strength–his mom had just died the day before. That would’ve been awkward. Reddit User: ibrasamovic
I went bouldering years ago in the Owens Valley. Usually, I wouldn’t refer to anything above 20-30 feet in the air as bouldering, nor would I usually do anything like that without a rope, but this time I found myself 60 feet in the air with only a tiny ledge below me, roughly 10 feet down.
Of course, I slipped and fell, landing on the ledge and just barely managing to stay on. I held onto what I could for dear life, and prayed that I would survive. Had I slipped again, it would’ve been a 50 foot fall to my doom. I know I wouldn’t have made it. I’m never bouldering that high up again. Reddit User: thobjorn444
Never Empty The Trash
Once I was working on a temp job and was assigned to implement tons of corrections in a 100-page-long document. I saved copies as I moved through the work, but when I was done, I decided to empty the trash and just keep the original and the updated document.
Of course, I accidentally deleted all of my changes and just kept the original. Just then, the manager walked in, announced that the project’s funding had been cut, and that we were all fired, but would be paid for our work that day. That was a super close call. Reddit User: rob5i