drama in real life

How a Chicago Hospital Pulled Off Back-to-Back Triple Organ Transplants

Before 2018, only 15 triple organ transplants—heart, liver and kidney—had ever been performed in the United States. Then, over the course of 48 hours, the team at UChicago Medicine completed two back-to-back.

Drama in Real Life: Rogue Bear on the Rampage

A tragic true story of heroism in the face of horror from the Reader's Digest archives, originally published in 1999.


Drama in Real Life: A Collection of Reader’s Digest’s Most Gripping Survival Stories

Can’t get enough of the heart-stopping survival stories in Reader's Digest's Drama in Real Life section? You’ll be on the...


This B.C. Skier Got Lost in a Snowstorm—Could Rescuers Find Him in Time?

Mark Gayowski took an unmarked ski trail into a deep ravine. Every attempt at escape only left him more lost.


After Her Husband Fell Into a Dormant Volcano on Their Honeymoon, This Woman Had to Carry Him to Saf...

A dream honeymoon hike to the rim of a jungle crater ends with a terrible fall. Now a young bride...

How a Group of Tourists Survived a Devastating Avalanche in the Italian Alps

Forty people gathered at a hotel high in the Italian Alps. Then came the earthquake, the devastating avalanche—and the race...


How a Pocket Knife Saved This Man During a Grizzly Bear Attack

Alone on a mountain and pinned under a grizzly, Colin Dowler reached for a pocket knife and struggled for...

He Was Dangling Upside Down From An Airplane When Two Pilots Came To His Rescue

When Walter Osipoff’s parachute caught on his plane’s tail, leaving him dangling high above San Diego, his only hope was...


The Woman Who Wrestled a Cougar

With no one to call for help, Larrane Leech put herself face-to-face with a young cougar to protect the children...


To Get Help, This Man Had To Leave His Kids on a Cliff. He Prayed They Would Survive

God asks us to forgive others, but if you’re responsible for your children’s demise, how do you ever forgive yourself?


This 10-Year-Old Got Impaled By A Skewer. Could Doctors Remove It In Time?

Xavier Cunningham fell onto a rotisserie skewer and impaled his face. Doctors couldn’t believe he was still alive.

After a Horrific Car Crash, Her Odds of Survival Were Just 100 to One

A devastating collision left Molei Wright's head attached to her shoulders by nothing but skin and muscle. Even if her...


A Snakebite Turned This Woman’s Thailand Vacation Into a Fight for Her Life

Doctors raced to find an antidote as the snake’s venom spread through Shalabha Kalliath’s body, attacking her organs and inching...



The Chilling Story of a Wolf That Tore Into a Family’s Tent During the Night

"Backing out was a wolf, dragging something in his teeth. That thing was a man."


How A Facebook Thread Saved Two Friends Who Were Gravely Injured in the Bali Jungle

Michael Lythcott and Stacey Eno’s scooter ran off the road, leaving them broken, bleeding and trapped in a Balinese jungle....

What It’s Like to Survive a Fire Tornado

Unstoppable wildfires are becoming the new normal. In 2018, an inferno that reached 1,500 degrees Celsius left a trail of...


How This Climber Survived a Treacherous Fall in Wyoming’s Death Canyon

Her climbing rope had malfunctioned. Now, 275 metres above the floor of Wyoming’s Death Canyon, Lauren McLean clung to a...


This Scientist Fell 20 Metres into a Crevasse and Managed to Climb Out—with 15 Broken Bones

Mountain climbers often fall through cracks in the ice, but those who survive haven't fallen a long way, aren't by...


I Was Pinned Under a 10-Ton Trailer—and Used My Pocket Knife to Escape

The sugar-cane paddock was quiet as Barry Lynch’s scream pierced the air. The farmer was pinned to the earth by...


Shark Attack

"Something huge hit me with tremendous force on my left side and heaved me through the water. I realized I...


This Man Was Bitten By a Rattlesnake—After It Had Been Decapitated!

When Jeremy Sutcliffe decapitated the poisonous snake, he assumed that would be the end of it. He was wrong.


Saving the White Helmets, Syria’s Brave Rescuers

The true story behind the daring international rescue mission to save Syria's White Helmets


Drama in Real Life: Failure on Flight 516

High over northern Russia, an airplane's control systems begin switching off, one by one. Read on to find out exactly...

Drama in Real Life: Stalked By a Polar Bear

After crash landing in the frigid waters of the Davis Straight, Russian helicopter pilot Sergey Ananov must battle severe hypothermia,...


Drama in Real Life: Stranded on Mount Logan for Four Days

Natalia Martinez's ambition to stake a claim for female climbers took her to Canada's highest peak. That same determination would...


I Lived Next Door to a Mob Boss for Years and Didn’t Know It

For four years, this hotel manager knew legendary mob boss Whitey Bulger only as the friendly old man who lived...


Drama in Real Life: Stranded in a Manitoba Snowstorm

The day had dawned crisp and clear, but early spring can be an unpredictable time on northern roads. Ernest Castel...


The River of No Return

When a rock-climbing trip goes disastrously wrong, a 13-year-old boy is forced to make a heartrending decision: should he leave...


Back to Life: The Incredible Story of the Boy Who Died for Two Hours

When two-year-old Gardell Martin fell into his backyard creek, his heart stopped. Dead for over two hours, it would take...