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Survival Stories

In times of struggle and strife, humanity always finds a way. When the the clock runs low and the chips are down, these unbelieavable stories of survival will remind you of the strength of the human spirit.

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    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.


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    A Hurricane Sunk Their Ship. This Rescue Swimmer Was Their Only Hope of Survival

    A hurricane sank their 212-foot 
freighter and was about to claim their rescue raft too. The last 
hope for the...



    Why These Holocaust Survivors Say Their Life Was Saved Twice

    Because of their horrific early experiences that created nutritional deficiencies, many Holocaust survivors are in need of extreme dental repair...


    How I Got Run Over by an Eighteen Wheeler—and Survived

    The last thing I remember before actually being run over was the hollow sound of my fist banging the side...


    Two Pilots Save a Man Dangling from Another Plane in History’s Most Spectacular Mid-Air Rescue

    Second Lieutenant Walter Osipoff was a seasoned parachutist. But one day, everything that could go wrong, did.