10 Stories About People Whose Will to Live Was Stronger Than Circumstances

There are moments in every person’s life when it seems that the entire world is against them. In such situations, the most important thing is not to give up or let difficulties win.

We at Bright Side have found 10 stories about people with an unbelievable will to live. These people showed the world that it’s possible to deal with any problem under any circumstances. The most important thing is to believe in yourself and your abilities.

1. 310 miles in the cold desert of Antarctica

In 1912, 3 Australian scientists went on an expedition to Antarctica. On their way back, one of them fell into a cleft along with his sleigh and most of their supplies, and he died. In order to return to the base, the 2 scientists who survived (Douglas Mawson and Xavier Meritz) had to walk 310 miles in the cold desert.

They only had food for a third of their journey, so the scientists had to eat their own dogs. Meritz died of hunger and exhaustion. Mawson got terrible frostbite, his skin and hair shed, his feet were bleeding, and the wounds festered. But the scientist kept going and finally got to the base!

However, there was another bad piece of news waiting for him there: the Aurora, the ship that was supposed to take him home, had left 5 hours earlier. Mawson had to wait for the next ship for 10 months.

2. 80 minutes in freezing water

Anna Bågenholm was skiing on a steep mountain when she lost control and fell into a frozen water current near a waterfall. Her head and body were under a thick layer of ice, while her legs and skis were still outside.

The girl spent 80 minutes in freezing water. She found an air pocket between the ice and the water and was able to breathe. The temperature of her body was as low as 56.6°F. This was the lowest temperature that a human being is ever recorded as having.

Anna’s rescue operation took 80 minutes. The girl was transported to the hospital, and she was clinically dead. But 3 hours later, her heart started beating again. Doctors think that the reason Anna survived is that her body was in a “hibernated” state.

3. 10 days in the Sahara Desert with no food or water

Mauro Prosperi survived more than a week in the Sahara Desert without food and water. He was running a marathon, but he lost his way during a sandstorm. He went about 180 miles in the wrong direction. Because of the heat, Mauro could walk only in the morning and the evening, and he took the daytime to rest.

He found a small chapel, caught a few bats, and drank their blood. Prosperi even tried to commit suicide by cutting his veins, but his blood coagulated, and he didn’t die.

This was a sign to the man that he should continue on his way. 5 days later, he found a small oasis. 2 days later, he was found by some nomads who transported him to the hospital. He had lost 40 pounds.

2 years later, Prosperi took part in another marathon. He completed it and returned home safe and sound.

4. Falling from a height of 32,000 feet

On January 26, 1972, flight attendant Vesna Vulović got on a flight from Copenhagen to Belgrade by mistake. When the plane was at an altitude of 32,000 feet, a bomb exploded in the back of the plane.

The plane fell in the mountains, and 27 people who were onboard died. Vesna Vulović was the only survivor, and she was in the back of the plane. She received a brain injury, and her legs and 3 of her vertebrae were broken. She was paralyzed.

The woman spent a long time in the hospital. She had many surgeries and was able to walk again. Her name is in the Guinness World Records as the person who survived the longest fall without a parachute.

Vesna Vulović died in her apartment at the age of 66. After she left her job, she dedicated her life to fighting nationalism.

5. 3 months in the Australian desert

In 2001, Australian Ricky Megee woke up in the middle of the desert. He had no idea how he got there.

For 10 days, he walked barefoot in a random direction, not even hoping that he would be saved. Finally, he found a dam, where he built a small shelter using tree branches. The man lived there for 3 months, eating leeches, grasshoppers, and dried frogs.

In the end, Megee was found and saved by local farmers.

6. This mountain climber cut off his hand to survive.

In April 2003, in Canyonlands National Park, Utah, a 660-pound boulder fell onto climber Aaron Ralston and trapped his right arm.

Aaron spent 4 days under the boulder. He even carved his name and his estimated date of death. But he decided to fight, and he cut his trapped arm with a knife he had in his backpack.

After that, Aaron was able to climb down a 65-foot wall. Fortunately, he met some tourists who transported him to the hospital. The climber was saved.

7. A childhood among apes

Marina Chapman was kidnapped at the age of 4. She woke up in the Colombian rainforest. The girl was found by apes that let her into their clan. She learned from them how to get food, how to climb trees, and how to steal rice and fruit from nearby towns.

A few years later, she was found by a family who used her as a slave. Marina managed to escape, and a woman took her in and raised her like her own daughter.

Marina managed to adapt to life in society, moving to England and getting married. The wildlife in the rainforest is now all in the past.

8. 76 days in the open ocean

In 1982, in the Atlantic Ocean, US yachtsman Steven Callahan’s boat sank during a storm. Steven managed to save an inflatable raft and a bag with a survival kit. He was adrift in the open ocean. He used a harpoon to hunt fish, he fought with waves, and he even survived a shark attack.

76 days later, the raft came close to the island of Marie-Galante in the Caribbean Sea. Steven, who had lost a lot of weight, was spotted by local fishermen. The yachtsman had traveled over 2,000 miles on his raft.

Steven Callahan was a consultant during the filming of Life of Pi by Ang Lee.

9. A body with 11 metal rods

Katrina Burgess’s car was going at 60 miles per hour. She lost control of the car and fell off the road. Katrina’s neck, back, and ribs were broken. Her lungs were punctured, and her pelvis was damaged.

Doctors put a metal rod into the girl’s left hip. It was connected to the bone with 4 titan spikes. There were soon 6 more horizontal rods in her body to support her spinal cord, and there is another titan screw that connects her neck to her back.

The girl spent the following 5 months taking extremely strong painkillers. After she recovered, she gained a contract with a model agency.

10. 3 days waist-deep in the outhouse

Coolidge Winesett, a retired 75-year-old man from Virginia, owns a house with outside utilities. One day, he went to the outhouse, and the floor below him broke because the wood was rotten. Winesett was in the pit.

He couldn’t get out of the pit on his own because part of his leg had been amputated, and one arm didn’t work after a stroke. He spent 3 days waist-deep in the pit. Mr. Winesett was saved by a mailman who came by and heard a weak voice crying for help from the backyard.

The elderly veteran almost died because he had to breathe poisonous fumes. He was bitten by rats and exhausted by a 3-day lack of sleep, hunger, and stress.

You might think that these people are extremely happy and believe they were saved by a divine intervention. But you can’t disagree that every one of them fought for their life. And these stories prove that all of us have a hidden and unlimited power.

You can find your own reasons to win. And who knows? Maybe your way will motivate other people as well.

Do you know any other stories about people with an unbelievable will to live? Tell us in the comment section below!

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