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Real Life Stories

You’ve got to read it to believe it! These true stories seem almost too good to be true, but we promise that we couldn’t make these up. From love to loss and from survival to unbelieavable coincidences—we’ve got the wildest stories to keep you informed, entertained, and inspired.

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My “Abdominal Pain” Turned out to Be Colon Cancer

Amy Driben-Salcedo dismissed the burning in her abdomen as an ulcer—until a colonoscopy revealed she had colon cancer.

11 People Who Came Back to Life Reveal What They Saw on “the Other Side”

It's the question we've all asked: What happens after death? These people say they have an idea.

I Suffered from Severe IBS for 18 Years till One Treatment Changed Everything

Nearly 16 million Americans suffer from IBS-D, or irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea. Dawn Cobb suffered for almost two decades...

My “Nagging Headache” Turned out to Be a Stroke

Her "headache" was a stroke, and it almost killed her. Now she's on a mission to save the lives of...

I Was About to Lose My Battle with Kidney Cancer—Until This New Treatment Saved My Life

After Ed Doelp was diagnosed with kidney cancer, he had no idea it would take several surgeries, failed treatments, and...

How I’ve Outlived My Incurable Kidney Disease for 30 Years

Polycystic kidney disease is a chronic kidney condition that hits more than half a million Americans. Here's what it's like...

My Vertigo Turned Out to Be Multiple Sclerosis

When Michael Weiss couldn't stay upright in the shower, he knew something was wrong. But he still had to see...

6 People Who Froze to Death—and Came Back to Life

Once you freeze to death—that's it, right? Not always. With the right techniques, doctors may be able to bring a...

This Dog Fell Off an 800-Foot Cliff—Weeks Later, He Was Found Alive

On a run in the 
Rocky Mountains, Eric Wagenknecht's dog, Merle, 
fell and was injured beyond hope. But he wasn’t...

13 People Who Faked Their Own Deaths

People often fake their own deaths to get out of trouble, whether they're escaping a threat, debt, or a prison...

The One Thing Natural Disaster Survivors Wish They’d Done Differently to Prepare

If you're in the path of a hurricane or another natural disaster, what's the one thing you should always do?...

8 People Who Fell from Incredible Heights and Survived

We've all had nightmares where we're falling, but for the people profiled here, it was their reality. Read on to...

A Brutal Storm Turned This Regatta into a Sailing Disaster

"The pair watched as one of their sails ripped in slow motion, as if by some invisible hands."

These Two Cave Divers Were Trapped Underwater—with Only Enough Oxygen for One

They were the first ones to see the underwater caves. But when it was time to return to the surface,...

This Man Was Almost Swept Away in a Flood—Then a Stranger Stepped In

Unexpectedly, rushing waters grabbed hold of his vehicle and swept him away. He thought he was going to die.

This Climber Was Stuck in a Crevice for 22 Hours—Here’s How He Survived

Seth Rowe had descended into impossibly small crevices countless times without a problem. This time, he feared he wouldn't resurface...

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How a Man Survived a Plane Crash—and a 15-Hour Swim with Sharks

Adrift in the stormy waters, his only weapons a leaky life vest and a desperate resolve, the downed airman prepared...

This Fisherman Was Attacked By a Shark and Lived to Tell the Tale

Cue the "Jaws" theme. This article, which appeared in the August 1965 edition of Reader's Digest, is a firsthand account...

This Guy Was Bitten by a Snake, a Bear, and a Shark

What do a bear, shark, and rattlesnake have in common? They have each sunk their teeth into Dylan McWilliams of...

Six Men Adventure Into a Very Dangerous Cave. Only Four Come Out.

With its narrow passages, flowing streams, 
and chambers studded with stalagmites and stalactites, Cascade is a caver’s dream. But for...

The Computer on This Plane Malfunctioned, Putting 315 in a Life-or-Death Situation

When a “psycho” computer on a jumbo airliner goes rogue and grabs control from the pilot, 315 people find themselves...

How One Farm Saved This Tiny Town’s Survival Rate

A church community looks to feed itself 
with the help of an old foe: the land.

A Family Almost Drowned—Until Beachgoers Formed a Human Chain to Save Their Lives

When two boys are sucked into a rip 
current off Florida’s Gulf Coast, their fellow beachgoers crowdsource 
a risky scheme...

This Plane’s Engine Failed, and the Only Place to Land Was the Busiest Highway in America

After the plane clipped his car and crash-landed on the freeway, 
John Meffert doubted that anyone could have survived.

When a Wildfire Engulfed a Mountain Full of Tourists, These Men Sprang into Action

Matthew Layton and Brian McGee owned rental cabins on Shields Mountain in Tennesse. But one night in November 2016, the...

When a Man Was Drowning, These Three Strangers Risked Their Lives to Save Him

Jumping in the river was easy. Getting back on land? Not so much.