11Leonid Ivanovich Rogozov
In the 1960s, a Soviet doctor named Leonid Ivanovich Rogozov had to remove his own appendix after it burst because he was the only doctor stationed in a remote Antarctic facility with no option for evacuation. The operation lasted one hour and 45 minutes and he lived to tell the tale.
A former Cambodian Khmer Rouge conscripted child soldier named Aki Ra has dedicated his life to removing landmines in Cambodia after the Cambodian Civil War. He has removed and cleared over 50,000 landmines all by himself with little more than stick and a knife over the course of 20 years.
In 2011, when three robbers broke into the house of Lance Corporal Wayne O'Mahoney, he woke up and wrestled with two robbers who later fled. The soldier then stopped the third knife-wielding robber from stealing his new car by smashing his car window with a metal crowbar. The terrified robber fled the car from the passenger door. This was when Wayne O'Mahoney realized he had no clothes on.
US Park Ranger Roy Sullivan holds the record for most survived lightning strikes. He was struck 7 times by lightning during his lifetime. He was struck once while operating a truck, once inside a ranger station, on two separate occasions after running/driving away from the storm, and immediately after the seventh strike he had to fight off a trout-stealing bear with a tree branch. He claimed that this was the 22nd time he had hit a bear with a stick in his lifetime.
In 1959, pilot Lt. Colonel William Rankin ejected from his plane directly into a violent thundercloud. The storm winds kept him aloft for 40 minutes, pelting him with hailstones and so much rain that at times he had to hold his breath to keep from drowning in mid-air.
In 2013, when an 80-year-old Russian villager named Yusuf Alchagirov came face to face with a bear, he chose to fight it. He head-butted the bear in the face and then kicked it in the balls a lot. Then, when the furious bear threw him over a cliff, he plummeted dozens of feet, slammed into the rock below, and fell unconscious, but survived to tell the tale.
New Zealand rugby player ‘Buck Shelford’ had 4 of his teeth punched out and took a cleat to the testicles during a game in 1986. This ripped open his scrotum leaving his testicles hanging. He got them stitched up on the bench and continued through the game and won the match.
In 1981, NFL running back Joe Delaney, who could not swim, died attempting to save three children from drowning. Delaney told a bystander there: “I’ve got to save those kids. If I don’t come up, get somebody,” before rushing into the water.
Italian adventurer Reinhold Messner has climbed Mount Everest without oxygen. He also climbed Nanga Parbat (8000+ meters) three times. The first time he lost his brother and 7 toes in the process. He then climbed it again to become the first person to solo climb it and climbed it the third time to retrieve his brother’s remains.
In 2012, Anthony Omari took a machete to the face while defending an under-resourced Kenyan orphanage his family runs from attacking robbers. He saved 37 orphans that day. The attack was in revenge to the previously foiled robbery when Anthony threw a hammer at one of the thieves.