15 Athletes Who Almost Left Us, But Thankfully Survived

Remember that time you turned on the news, and you heard about that player who was harmed off the field? Or that time when you were watching television and one of your favorite athletes got into a severe incident. While we watch the great accomplishments that many of these athletes achieve, some of that have endured some of the most horrific accidents that put their lives into danger.

We care so much when an athlete is hurt and can’t perform, but we seem to forget when their life is at risk, and it’s more than just a sport at that point. Many of these athletes have families to come home to, and unfortunately, some of these athletes haven’t been able to return home to their families.

While we have seen many of these athletes lose their lives, many of these athletes have been able to survive some of these near-death experiences. These athletes are lucky to still be alive today. Many of these incidents have headlined stories on many sports networks, as they have shocked many from the sports nation. While there are so many near death experiences that athletes suffered, we will look at 15 specifically that have stood out above some of the others.


15 Jonny Gomes


Jonny Gomes many times is looked at as having the same amount of lives as a cat, with the amount of times he has survived a near death experience. Gomes was a former outfield who has played for multiple teams including the Kansas City Royals and the Boston Red Sox. When Gomes was younger, he was involved in a car accident where his friend passed away, but Gomes survived. He has a tattoo with the initials J.W. to support his friend. When Gomes was 22, he suffered a heart attack.

Another time, Gomes was sleeping in a sleeping bag, where he escaped just before it caught on fire. The last moment, and maybe the most bizarre, was a time when Gomes was almost killed by a wolf. To say that least, Gomes is very lucky to still be alive today.

14 Cam Newton


It seems like it was all but just yesterday, when we saw Cam Newton, quarterback of the Carolina Panthers, get into that car accident. Newton was a part of a two-car accident, on an afternoon nearby the stadium. An incident that seemed like it could possibly kill Newton, he survived. Newton is strong on the field as a runner, well he’s also strong off the field and survived a devastating accident.

Newton did sustain some injuries, including fractures in his lower back. Instead of killing Newton in what seemed to be a horrific incident, it turned out to help give Newton something to look back at and build off of. Newton came back a lot earlier than expected, and went back in at quarterback. No one was arrested in the accident.

13 Josh Brent


The Dallas Cowboys have a history of having problematic players on their team. From Randy Gregory to Greg Hardy to Josh Brent. Unlike the other two players who cannot keep illegal substances out of their system, Brent actually killed someone with his actions. In a tragic moment, Brent drove intoxicated after a party one night with other Cowboys players. Once police officers came to the scene, they saw that Brent’s blood-alcohol level is twice the legal limit with a .18. Some people that were at the party that night claimed that Brent had up to possibly 17 drinks.

With this accident, teammate and friend, Jerry Brown passed away during the incident. Unfortunately, the poor decision-making by one player, led to the death of another. Brent put himself in a situation where he also could have lost his life, but instead, he lost his friends’.

12 Michael Schumacher


Michael Schumacher is one of the most prolific F1 Divers of all time, but after suffering a traumatic brain injury in a skiing accident back in 2013, it's unlikely he'll ever be the same again. While skiing with his son in December 2013, Schumacher fell and hit his head on a rock. He was in a medically induced coma for six months. Thankfully, Schumacher was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident and it likely saved his life.

However even today, Schumacher has not fully recovered with an update last year saying Schumacher was still confined to a wheelchair and it's unknown if he'll ever be able to walk again.

Sabine Khem, his manager had this to say to Mirror when recently asked about the racing great's current condition:

"Michael's health is not a public issue, and so we will continue to make no comment in that regard," Kehm said.

"We have to protect his intimate sphere. Legally seen and in the longer term, every statement related to his health would diminish the extent of his intimate sphere."

11 Serena Williams


Is there even a such thing as women’s tennis without the Williams sisters? Well, Serena Williams has gone through some points in her life where her life was in danger. Serena has opened up about the time where she felt like she was on her deathbed.

Doctors informed Serena that she had blood clots in both lungs. Serena opened up and spoke how many people actually die due to blood clots because they don’t realize what’s going on, and never get the treatment they need. The incident she was suffering caused her to miss a lot of tennis, which didn’t make her so happy. But, with the severity of the injury, Serena needed all the time off that was possible for her to start feeling better. Serena claimed she was on her deathbed, but she survived.

10 Ben Roethlisberger

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Ben Roethlisberger is known for many things. He’s known for being the man who has brought the Pittsburgh Steelers to multiple Super Bowls. He’s been known as one of the strongest football players to hit the field. He even recently has been talked about as one of the next star quarterbacks to hit retirement. Well, Big Ben also got into a major accident on his motorcycle back in 2006. Roethlisberger immediately went into surgery after the incident that broke his jaw and nose. There were also some other minor injuries that he dealt with in response to the accident.

Another major injury that was a result of the motorcycle crash, was a 9-inch laceration to the back of his head. If this accident was any more severe, Roethlisberger could have seen himself as one of the young athletes to be gone too soon.

9 Dennis Rodman

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Dennis Rodman has been looked at for many antics that happened during his career, and another famous one was when he was driving on the wrong side of the road. It’s not difficult to know what side of the road you should be driving on, but clearly Rodman struggled trying to figure this one out. Rodman apparently drove into another vehicle, which caused them to swerve into a dividing wall.

Luckily, this incident was a lot less serious than it could have been. Rodman was charged as a misdemeanor, which is close to nothing with the damage he could have caused. If Rodman did go head on with this other vehicle, Rodman could have caused a death to himself, or the other party that was involved in the accident.


8 Jon Lester

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Whenever you hear about different injuries that MLB players face, you instantly start to think about injuries like shoulder or elbow injuries. But for Jon Lester, that wasn’t the case. Lester was diagnosed with cancer. Luckily for Lester, he was diagnosed with a type of cancer that is treatable, called lymph node cancer. For many pitchers, it’s tough to have to try and play through injuries that deal with your arm. But for a cancer patient, it may be extremely difficult.

Lester beat cancer, and also continues to have a very successful career. A situation that many people have succumbed to, Lester survived, and became a huge success story. Lester has had a great career pitching, with a career record of 159-92, and a 3.51 ERA.

7 Plaxico Burress


For some odd reason, it has been a thing that some NFL players occasionally shoot themselves. While Plaxico Burress was heading upstairs to a table area at a nightclub, his gun apparently came unhooked from his belt, which led Burress to shooting himself. Burress claims that he just accidentally dropped his gun and that his right finger pulled the trigger, but the story seems to sketchy to believe the truth.

Luckily, Burress only shot himself in the leg. If that gun was in the wrong spot, there’s a good chance that Burress could have taken away his whole life. This whole situation was weird as there was no real reason why Burress even needed a gun at a nightclub, but many players make poor decisions, and that was just one of them. Burress ended up spending 20 months in jail for his idiotic actions.

6 D.J. Hayden


The life of a NFL cornerback can be very scary, as some of the hits they take could end someone’s career, or possibly even their life within one player. Unfortunately, D.J. Hayden had to experience something like this during his college years. During a practice at the University of Houston, Hayden and teammate Trevon Stewart went up for an interception, where they both collided with each other. The hit seemed to be so unusual, that Hayden was transported to Memorial Hermann Texas Trauma Institute.

It turns out, that the injury dealt with the main artery that transports the blood to the heart, was damaged and Hayden had internal bleeding. After a scary few days, Hayden eventually felt better and was released from the hospital. Not too long after this accident, Hayden was drafted 12th overall by the Oakland Raiders.

5 Magic Johnson

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Magic Johnson was a great basketball player, but is also known for his battle with HIV. Johnson was known for having sexual intercourse with many women, which may have led to him getting this disease. Back in 1991, Johnson announced that he had contracted HIV. Now 26 years later, Johnson is still alive and seems to be pretty healthy. HIV can be very serious, and if not treated, could be deadly, and that was the scary part for Magic. With his disease, the future was always uncertain, and no one ever knew what to expect.

Unfortunately, because of his disease, Johnson was forced to retire early to avoid having issues which may lead to his disease getting worse. Magic has been very emotional and talkative about his disease, but as time goes by, Magic continues to inspire others with his story.

4 Chris Johnson

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It’s fair to say, that as a NFL player, there isn’t much of an upside to carrying around a gun with you. Many NFL players get in trouble or hurt when having a gun on them, rather than using it for their protection. You would think anyways that players with this type of money would just pay to have security protect them, rather than them having to risk their lives by using a gun. Johnson was shot and wounded as he was driving around Orlando.

Johnson actually posted a picture of the injury, which looks very disturbing and harmful. If the bullet aimed towards another part of Johnson’s body, there’s a good chance that Johnson’s career in the NFL would be way gone, and that many medical personnel would be talking about how to keep him alive.

3 Chris Bosh

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While many of the athletes on this list went to have a successful career after their incident, Chris Bosh did not. Like Serena Williams, Bosh also has a blood clot in his lungs. Bosh then discovered that he had a blood clot in his leg, which eventually led to his career in the NBA ending. Thankfully, the disease the Bosh has, has not taken his life away. But, there is a possibility as he deals with a disease that some people may not be able to survive. If the issue is treated correctly, then there will be no issue. But if not treated properly, this issue could be a life-threatening problem.

Bosh has been sidelined for quite a while due to the inability to come back from his horrific incident, but at this point in Bosh’s life, it’s better that he focuses on his personal health rather than trying to get back on the court.

2 Brock Lesnar

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Whatever your opinion is of Brock Lesnar, you can't deny he's one of the toughest men the sports world has ever seen. As was well documented during his UFC career, Lesnar was diagnosed with diverticulitis, a digestive disease in which the large intestine becomes inflamed. Lesnar had to have a good portion of his intestine removed to save his life and he feels the disease ultimately shortened his MMA career.

On top of that disease, Lesnar also suffered a motorcycle crash shortly after leaving the WWE in 2004, when he was training to begin an NFL career. In his motorcycle crash, Lesnar suffered a bruised pelvis, and had to have glass removed from his forehead. That didn't stop him from attending his tryout with the Vikings, despite the close call he had just experienced.

1 Tony Stewart

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A sport that is often overlooked is NASCAR. Well, that’s where we finish off, as NASCAR is one of the most dangerous sports. Car accidents are dangerous, well, this sport is pretty much a bunch of cars going 150-200MPH, occasionally hitting each other. Well, during a race in 2001, Tony Stewart was a part of a car accident on the track that involved 19 cars.

As the accident looked so grim, you would be shocked to believe that Stewart was still alive after creashing his car. His car continued to tumble around and flip over as it could not get back in a regular position. Looking at the video, you would think that you would never hear from Stewart again from the race. Luckily, the support inside these NASCARs are great, and Stewart survived one of the most horrific races we have ever seen.


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