Freak Cases Of Minor Injuries That Took A Deadly Turn

Lethal Sprained Ankle It’s amazing how quickly things can take a tragic and deadly turn. In 2023, fifth-grader Jesse Brown was running on a treadmill when… Darren Ryding - February 28, 2024

Every day millions of people suffer minor injuries during their daily activities. Maybe they receive a papercut in the office or sprain their ankle when they’re walking their dog. Most of the time we move on with our lives as if nothing happened. But sometimes a tiny injury can take a deadly turn.

Let’s look at some harrowing stories of people who contracted deadly symptoms from innocuous injuries. This isn’t for the fainthearted but it’s important to realize how easily tragedy can strike. From dog bites turning septic to teenagers kissing slugs, this is a rollercoaster ride.



The Septic Leg Break

Alex Smith was living the dream as an established NFL quarterback. Smith was playing for Washington against the Texans when disaster struck. He badly fractured his tibia and fibula after a collision, which made him fall awkwardly. While this was very painful it wasn’t deadly.

But then things took a shocking turn when a flesh-eating bacteria took hold. Surgeons considered amputating his leg to save his life. In the end, after 16 surgeries, Smith made a full recovery. It’s an incredible story because he even returned to the NFL and won the Comeback Player of the Year Award (via Sporting News).

Live Science

Fried Rice Syndrome

Everybody reheats their excess food and eats it the next day. However, it’s crucial to store leftovers correctly to avoid things potentially taking a deadly turn. One Belgian student died after he left a bowl of pasta out for a few days. He didn’t refrigerate it and contracted a lethal bacteria.

Fried rice syndrome can happen when dry foods like pasta and rice stay at room temperature. The young man suffered diarrhea and vomiting before passing away. Scarily, these symptoms emerged within 30 minutes of eating the meal. That’s why it’s so important to refrigerate everything (via The Mirror).

Gold Coast Bulletin

Lethal Paper Cut

Ryan Taylor almost died after a papercut turned septic. It was a shocking story that shows how quickly our lives can change before our eyes. We know that everything in Australia is trying to kill everyone but most people wouldn’t think that includes office stationary. But that’s what happened after he contracted a deadly flesh-eating bug.

Taylor told the Gold Coast Bulletin: “It had spread from my finger to my elbow in 12 hours. They rushed me into surgery straight away and told me there was a possibility they would have to amputate my arm if it kept spreading, or there could even be loss of life.”

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Everyday Health

Fatal Blood Clot

Many people suffer ankle sprains when they’re doing innocuous activities like walking the dog. All it takes is a slippery surface or an uneven pavement to cause a mild but painful injury. Usually, they heal after a week or two but sometimes a sprain can take a deadly turn.

Callum Jones was strolling with his pooch when he slipped on a bridge. He sprained his ankle but after a few days, he felt chest pains and struggled to breathe. Finally, he collapsed and died after a blood clot caused an embolism. Jones was unlucky because this was such a tragic accident (via Daily Post).

Supreme Petfoods

Rat Bite Fever

This is a rare but dangerous condition that even pet rats can spread. Chris Hammond was feeding his friend’s rat when it nipped him on the hand. He didn’t think much about it until the bite hospitalized him. Bacteria from the rat’s saliva entered his bloodstream and left him fighting for his life.

It also confused doctors because they didn’t know what they were dealing with. Finally, they realized what it was when it reached phase four of the virus. This was very lucky because the next stage was organ failure and eventual death. Luckily, Hammond made a full recovery in 2013 after a course of antibiotics (via ITVX).

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Four Paws

The Cat Scratch

Moira Brady had no idea that one cat would change her life. Some felines were fighting on the trampoline in her garden when she moved in to separate them. One of them scratched her arm and she contracted a life-threatening bacteria. Brady spent a full month in hospital after it became septic.

Doctors amputated a couple of fingers while she also underwent skin grafts. They said that she was lucky to survive the incident because it was so severe. Brady was unlucky because the average person wouldn’t suffer this horrible experience (via The New York Post).

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Closer Pets

Nightmare Pond

It’s so important to treat open wounds properly. Many people don’t realize the risk they run when they have exposed cuts and scratches. Jeff Bova had a small gash on his arm but didn’t worry about it. One day he chased his dog into a pond with deadly consequences.

Lethal bacteria accumulated in the water after rainfall and he contracted necrotizing fasciitis. This horrible disease ran through his body and finally, he passed away. Bova had no idea that he was risking his life when he chased his pet. It rocked his family because it came out of nowhere (via NBC News).

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Too Much Pleasure

One Japanese man enjoyed himself too much and almost died. He pleasured himself over 50 times in quick succession and developed an unnerving headache. Then he decided to go to the hospital in Nagoya where doctors performed scans. They discovered that he had triggered a life-threatening stroke.

He remained in hospital for two weeks before they finally released him. Many people suffer brain aneurysms during acts of self-gratification with high death rates. In 2016, a Bronx Hospital staffer passed away from a heart attack while stroking at work (via The New York Post).

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Flu Escalation

Most people don’t think the flu is a big deal. Usually, rest and plenty of fluids are enough to get over this common virus. However, the Richman family knows how dangerous influenza can be. Jessica Richman lost her daughter Cayden in 2014 after flu complications.

Then her second daughter Layla almost suffered the same horrible fate in 2023. Luckily, Richman spotted the symptoms and rushed Layla to the hospital. Doctors stabilized her after she endured shortness of breath and fever. Now Richman works with charities advocating the flu vaccine. (via Families Fighting Flu)

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Sky News

The Slug Infection

Teenagers do dumb things but usually, they don’t have fatal consequences. However, one dare took a deadly turn after a 19-year-old ate a slug. Sam Ballard’s friends dared him to do the gross act so he duly obliged. Later, he didn’t feel well but assumed that was a normal consequence of eating raw slugs.

Sadly, he contracted rat lungworm disease and fell into a coma for 420 days. Finally, he suffered complications and passed away. It was a tragic end to an innocent beginning. Ballard endured paralysis and feeding through a tube before finally he succumbed (via Sky News).

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Infected Dog Bite

One innocuous moment can change the course of a person’s life. Christine Canon was playing with her dogs when one of them nipped her hand. The tooth broke the skin and left a tiny puncture wound. She cleaned and disinfected it without realizing that it was potentially deadly.

The dog bite spread a lethal bacteria that threatened to shut down her organs. Doctors amputated three of her limbs to save her life as she suffered from sepsis. It’s amazing how one tiny incident can cause so much damage. Canon said that she had worse bites before and never had any problems (via WSD).

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Brain-Eating Amoeba

There are some insane stories here but this is up there with the wildest. Ryan Perry was living his best life in 2019 as he jetskied and fished on his beloved Susquehanna River. Over the next few days, he developed a headache but didn’t think much about it.

After a couple of days, he wound up in the hospital and surgeons put him in a medically-induced coma. After much confusion, they discovered that he contracted an ultra-rare, waterborne brain-eating amoeba. Incredibly, Perry survived despite a 97 percent fatality rate. (via USA Today)

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The Bee Sting

45-year-old Jake Rudd was a huge cricket lover in his hometown of Eaton, Western Australia. Tragically, the 45-year-old lost his life after a fatal bee sting. It happens that people suffer anaphylactic shocks after bee attacks. In short, it instigates a drastic immune system reaction.

Rudd was in an isolated area and the ambulance didn’t make it in time to save him. There are many stories on the Internet of people dying after swarms of bees overwhelm them. But one sting is enough to potentially cause life-changing damage (via The Western Australian).
NY Post

Lethal Sprained Ankle

It’s amazing how quickly things can take a tragic and deadly turn. In 2023, fifth-grader Jesse Brown was running on a treadmill when he slipped and sprained his ankle. These incidents happen all of the time so it’s not that wild. However, his family noticed unusual bruising over the following days.

They brought him to the hospital and doctors realized that he had a deadly flesh-eating bacteria. Sadly, Brown didn’t recover because the condition caused his organs to shut down. It’s a terrible story proving that every moment of life is precious (via NBC Miami).

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The Broken Toenail

This is another sad story about a young person who suffered a minor injury. Alex Braes broke his toenail and didn’t think anything about it. But the New South Wales teenager woke up one morning with agonizing pain in his knees. His family brought him to hospital but the doctors didn’t discover anything unusual.

Symptoms worsened over the next few days and he went to hospital again. Finally, it became clear that when he broke his toe he contracted a skin infection. They flew him by helicopter to the leading hospital in Sydney but it was too late. Tragically, Braes died from a cardiac arrest (via ABC).

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Red Fin

Necrotizing Fascitis

This is one of the world’s most horrible conditions. We’ve spoken about sepsis but this is arguably even worse. Helen Harbottle contracted the infection after she cut her hand unloading boxes in Hawaii. Her hand blew up and she underwent multiple emergency procedures.

Initially, it baffled doctors who told her that her life was at risk if they couldn’t get it under control. They continuously cut away the dying flesh as she battled with the disease. It’s wild that such a crazy occurrence could come out of a minor incident like a tiny cut (via 7 News).

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New York Times

The Pet Rat

Here’s another case of a pet rat having tragic consequences. In 2014, a young San Diego boy showed the risks that domestic rodents present. The 14-year-old suffered a scratch when he was cleaning the animal’s cage. He developed many symptoms and initially, doctors thought it was a gastrointestinal infection.

Maybe if they detected the real illness earlier things wouldn’t have taken a deadly turn. Sadly, the youngster passed away after he became unresponsive. It was terrible but it also shows how Rat Bite Fever can quickly take hold of someone. It’s rare so the medics didn’t know what they were dealing with (via CBS News).

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Men’s Health

Crazy Paralysis

Some stories are so ludicrous that it’s almost impossible to believe them. In 2023, a man suffered spinal paralysis in Australia after he blew his nose. It was a freak incident that changed his life forever. Kirsty Bronner said that her husband fainted after blowing his nose and fell.

He smashed his neck off a bench and this damaged his spine. Then he underwent a grueling six-hour surgery and faced hours of rehab. Doctors say that it’s unlikely that he will ever make a full recovery. This was such a simple situation but one that took an insane turn (via The New York Post).

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The Spruce Pets

Septic Poodle

Stacey Alexander-Harriss fell victim to a poodle in 2021 after a dog bite became septic. The 42-year-old author was walking her pooch in London when they encountered another dog walker. She pulled her dog away from the aggressive poodle but suffered a nip on her hand.

Harriss already had a tetanus injection so she cleaned and washed the small gash. However, it still became septic and an ambulance took her to ICU. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to diagnose the bacteria that eventually killed her. It was a tragic story after a minor incident took a deadly turn. (via The Sun)

Huff Post

The Hairball

Everybody has seen cats regurgitate hairballs. It’s disgusting but a relatively common event. But most people don’t realize that humans can have hairballs too. They can even have deadly consequences if they pass unknown. In 2017, a 16-year-old girl died as a consequence of a hairball.

Jasmine Beever had a tragic habit of chewing her hair. Experts call this ‘Rapunzel Syndrome’ but nobody knew that it would ultimately end her life. One day she collapsed at school so she went home to rest. But her symptoms escalated and eventually, an infection took her from this world (via The Sun).


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Fatal Flu

Here’s another case when the flu took a deadly turn. Kyle Baughman was a young Pennsylvanian in his physical prime. The 21-year-old bodybuilder was training to become a personal trainer. He was at peak fitness but he became one of the flu’s most shocking victims in 2018.

Baughman complained that he wasn’t feeling well around Christmas time. He dismissed it as just the flu and thought rest would help him recover. But flu also makes people more susceptible to lethal bacterial pneumonia. Tragically, he passed away after the disease spread through his bloodstream (via Time).

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Columbus Dispatch

Hockey’s Tragedy

Brittanie Cecil was watching her beloved Columbus Blue Jackets host the Calgary Flames in 2002. During the game, a puck ricocheted over the glass and hit her below the nose. It was a freak accident and she went to hospital for treatment. Cecil responded well to tests and it appeared that she was fine.

However, she died within 48 hours of the puck striking her. The tests failed to spot a torn vertebral artery and she succumbed to brain swelling. She remains the only fan fatality in NHL history. The Blue Jackets paid tribute to her and created a scholarship in her name (via Columbus Dispatch).

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Hillsdale Hospital

A Tiny Cut

One British grandmother lost all of her limbs after she contracted sepsis. Doctors even told her family that they should say goodbye to the 54-year-old because they didn’t expect her to survive. Incredibly, she did but it came at a very high cost as she underwent four amputations.

Her daughter said: “She noticed she had a tiny cut on her index finger on her right hand. It was minuscule, she doesn’t even remember how she got it. It was just the size of a paper cut.” This proves that even a tiny injury can take a deadly turn if we’re not careful (via The Sun).

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Daily Star

The Stubbed Toe

One UK family went on their dream vacation to Florida but it quickly took a deadly turn. Keith Clarke stubbed his foot on some live coral in a swimming pool and didn’t realize that he contracted an infection. He developed brutal shoulder pain and collapsed at the airport ahead of his return to Manchester.

An ambulance rushed him to hospital where surgeons amputated both of his legs to stop the infection from spreading. However, it wasn’t enough and sadly the father-of-two passed away. Reportedly, he was a hemophiliac and this caused complications with the viral infection (via Manchester Evening News).

Pet Turtle

Don’t Kiss Turtles

In 2023, the CDC issued a warning to turtle owners not to kiss or cuddle their pets. This came after a salmonella outbreak hospitalized dozens of people across 11 states. Early symptoms of salmonella include vomiting and fever. Usually, it disappears by itself but it can progress and affect people with vulnerable immune systems.

In 2007 a young girl died after she contracted salmonella from a pet turtle. Reportedly, smaller reptiles are more likely to spread the condition than bigger ones. It’s important to buy them from licensed sellers too because there’s less chance of things taking a deadly turn (via East Idaho News).