49 Times People Experienced 1-In-A-Million Situations And Shared Their Stories

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We like to feel like we’re in control of our destinies. There’s a certain sense of safety in the illusion that we’re in charge of, well, everything. Nothing could be further from the truth.

We’re definitely responsible for our actions and how we react to what life throws at us: it’s vital to take ownership for what we do. However, many things are completely outside of our control. What family we’re born in. What our genetics are like. How people treat us. What opportunities we’re presented with every day. Whether or not we get hit by lightning. A lot depends on luck and pure chance… and how we deal with surprises, good and bad.

Internet users shared their most epic one-in-a-million experiences in a viral r/AskReddit thread, and we’re featuring their very best stories with you, Pandas. The things that happened to these people are incredibly rare, and they make for great reading. So make sure you’ve got some popcorn ready. Which of these stories about incredible coincidences impressed you the most? Has anything similar ever happened to you? Tell us all about it in the comments.


I was diagnoses with leukemia i got a bacteria growth which killed the leukemia, a real 1 in 1,000,000 chance

Image credits: InNeedOfFriend


For my seventh birthday we went to Disneyland.
They just happened to be having a car a day giveaway when we were there.
For my seventh birthday, Mickey Mouse gave me a pontiac firebird.

Image credits: CaptchaGremlin


No sure about the odds on this one, but I survived a “non-survivable” plane crush. I was on an old po-2 (famous for being very safe and uncrushable) on a tour of the desert in western China when I was like 7, my father’s friend who hosted me and piloted the plane didn’t survive but somehow I got out with a concussion and apparently passed out for almost a day In the middle of the dessert, in the wreckage of the crash, 50 km from the town/airport, on the edge of the desert. The people who found me were some tree planters (they plant greens in the desert to protect towns from sandstorm, a lot of people live in these desert towns in China do this) found me on there way picking up a shipment, and the only reason they looked was bc they were making a bet on how fast the egg would cook in the sand and went off the road to test.

So, according to my dads, the theory that I might have lived was because the plane was mostly made out of fabrics and wood. So when the plane crashed, the front half collapsed and took the majority of the impact. Though I got knocked out, I was probably covered under the wreckage and in the shades, it cooled me off enough to survive for a day or so!

Image credits: yusenye

As paradoxical as it might seem—rare events happen all the time. Think of it as a math problem. There are countless things happening on Planet Earth every single day. It’s only a matter of time until something that we consider to be ‘rare’ occurs. Like someone getting struck by lightning and just walking it off. Someone surviving a plane crash. Someone winning the lottery. Or someone being born on a date that some would say bodes significance.

In other words, one-in-a-million events are at the same time extremely rare and very commonplace. This is something that one of the moderators at the r/nevertellmetheodds subreddit explained to Bored Panda earlier. You’ve got to keep an eye on probabilities and recognize the fact that many people believe in things like numerology magic.

"If you shuffle a deck of 52 playing cards, the arrangement you get is one in about 80,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. So it's super improbable if you look at it that way. But it's also kind of trivial, which is why we would remove a post that's just 'I shuffled this deck of cards and the result I got will never, ever happen again,'” they told Bored Panda.


I had 8 wisdom teeth, the dentist had never seen anything like it and called the whole office in to marvel at my teeth.

Image credits: IAdventureTimeI


A bird got into my room through a tiny hole in the ceiling and took a s**t on me.

Image credits: DuhRawChicken


I was struck by lightning while talking on a landline. This was in the early 90s. Lightning struck the telephone line and traveled through the handset to my ear.

My parents drove me to the ER. I couldn't talk very well. My brain knew what I wanted to say, but my mouth didn't want to say it. I had a terrible stutter.

My doctor told me that I had had a 'dose of good, old fashioned electro-shock therapy'. My speech was normal the next day, but I get a terrible headache whenever a thunderstorm comes through.

Image credits: anon

"That's obviously a trivial example, but think of things like, 'Yesterday I ate one egg for breakfast, found two pennies on the floor, passed three ambulances on my way to work, got four phone calls before lunch, and got five texts during lunch. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5!' It sounds like numerology magic but really that person just ignored the nine socks in their drawer and the eleven emails they got in the afternoon because those didn't contribute to the 'miracle.’ Wild coincidences are one thing. Genuinely interesting ones that aren't trivial like the deck of cards or reverse-engineered like the 1-2-3-4-5 day at work are different and special,” the mod explained to us.

The people affected by these rare events, however, tend to think that they’ve been either incredibly lucky or have bad luck. Professor Suzanne Degges-White, from Northern Illinois University, explained to Bored Panda during a previous interview that believing in fate and luck are interwoven into our history as human beings.

"As long as there have been humans, there has been a desire to imagine that somewhere some thing or some being or some force is helping direct us along our paths to a positive destination. Many people want to believe in luck because that gives us hope that one day maybe it will be 'our turn' to win the lottery, find true love, be at the right place at the right moment."


I have symmetric bilateral coloboma of the iris and retina! Essentially, my pupils are shaped like keyholes instead of circles. A single coloboma is pretty rare, double coloboma is even more rare, and double symmetrical... well, you get it.

Image credits: Rainingwaen


I slept wrong one night and pinched a nerve in my neck so severely I lost the right side of my body, it just went silent like it wasn’t there for months. I woke up in the worst pain I’ve ever experienced and couldn’t talk, move or do anything. The ER doctor thought I was having a stroke.

My doctor had never seen a case as severe as mine and it was purely a freak accident. Recovery took months but I have use of my leg and hand again, with some numbness. Other than pain and spasms I’m mostly back to normal.

Image credits: anon


I am allergic to the cold. like literally. i get intense hives, swelling, i pass out, and throw up. Doesn’t even have to be freezing. Below 45 degrees without a jacket and I can’t do it. I have to carry an epi pen with me in the event that I drink something too cold or have a severe reaction.

Image credits: person978

One upside of believing in luck is that it helps people handle the disappointments that they’re faced in life. What’s more, it can keep our hope alive that a better future awaits us! However, at the same time, someone might use this as an excuse to take responsibility for their actions: they might say that they’re a victim of bad luck and _totally_ aren’t dealing with the consequences of their actions. So believing in luck becomes a double-edged sword if you give up on the idea that you have any control over anything.

Furthermore, the professor pointed out that “life has a funny way of confirming our self-biases.”

"If we believe we're going to fail at something, we've already set ourselves up for failure. Believing that we carry bad luck around like a cloud gives us a reason not to do our best, not to try our hardest, and to make it 'okay' to fail. While we'd think that a strong belief in good luck would work totally in our favor, there are drawbacks to this belief, too," she explained how this sort of thinking works.


I once guessed a 6 digit random combination on the first try. It was the only try I planned to give, as a kind of scratchpad whatever moment.

Image credits: DawgzCookie


I have the rarest type of synesthesia, lexical-gustatory. It means I taste words.

Image credits: sunglasses619


I have completely unexplained hearing loss in my left ear. I had a cyst in it when I was 6, and the surgery to remove it and fix the ear was successful. When I was about 12, I woke up one morning with a killer headache and ear ringing, and after 3 days it went away and so did my hearing. Doctors did multiple examinations and an MRI and they said it should be totally functional, it just isn't. 1 in a million case.

Image credits: charliebucket99

"When we don't take ownership of our good choices, our effective actions, or our hard work, we are selling ourselves short. It's true that sometimes circumstances can 'work in our favor,' or we can meet the right person at the right time, but we still need to recognize our own part in taking advantage of positive circumstances or setting things up so that we can succeed." Taking ownership of good and bad decisions allows us to move past the idea that we’re ‘victims’ of life or luck.

"Research suggests that the people who have 'good luck' are just being more aware of their surroundings, making smart decisions based on current conditions, and actually 'believe' that good things will happen for them. That's a positive bias in our favor—we look for the good, so we're more likely to see it."


How I met my wife.

I’m from the Netherlands, she is from the US. We met in Israel.

It was my first weekend in Israel, decided to go on a pub crawl to meet some people and have fun, as I’m buying the ticket my now wife walks up to the counter to also buy a ticket. The girl working there introduces us, we hit it off the first night but I’m leaving in 2 days to stay with friends of friends in the middle of the desert for 3 months.

2 days after I leave I lose my phone, don’t have any way to get back in touch with her. I had little money and could stay/work with the people in the desert. But I kept thinking about her so after a week I say I’m leaving. Take the next bus (goes 3 times a week, at 5am) and then a train to Tel Aviv. I had no idea how to find her, where to stay and very little money.

I email a couple hostels to find a work/stay agreement, those jobs are very popular and usually planned months in advance.
I get an email back when I arrive in Tel Aviv, I can come in for an interview because they have a spot (this is already ridiculously lucky).

Right after the interview and dropping of my belongings. I went back to the first hostel to see if they would give me information, they wouldn’t give me anything.

Now I’m at a loss, Tel Aviv is a city of more than half a million people, I don’t know anyone and have little more than the clothes on my back.

Kind of defeated I start wandering around/exploring the city. After a couple hours I get hungry and decide to treat myself to a restaurant. I’m well out of the tourist area and find a place that’s almost empty and rather cheap. I sit down, order a drink and something to eat. As I get my food I see my now wife walking past the restaurant, she sees me I see her. I’m literally dumb struck and just kind of grin and wave (remember how I lost my phone? She didn’t know that and just thought I ignored her) she waves and keeps walking. I throw like 200 shekels (way too much) in the table and sprint after her, explained and the rest is history.

Image credits: Dominusatrox


I was kidnapped when leaving work and held for 18 months, along with two other girls. The guy who took us claimed himself to be an ineffable lower god, and used cult tactics, manipulation and control to have us be his family. I was allowed to leave to the grocery store as an errand, but knew if I didn’t come back the others would receive my punishment. I finally got away by stabbing my captor when I believed he was going to kill me.

Image credits: tysonedwards


I'm allergic to potatoes. Never met someone else who is so I guess it's one in a million. Never eaten chips or fries

Image credits: Mannaminne


I've got the middle toes on both feet webbed.

So did Stalin.

Image credits: Notey22


Had two 11cm benign tumours growing in my spine, resulting in gradual paralysis from my chest down. They had no idea how the tumours formed. Surgery took 11 hours when they thought it would take 4 because the tumours were so complexly woven throughout my spine. I now have pretty much half a spine and chronic pain but I’d take that over losing my life from paralysis and being unable to breathe.

Image credits: erieberie


This is my mum's story and I've posted it before but, she once called her friend (back in the day on the lan line) and another lady answered, my mum asks if her friend was there and the lady says "sure I'll get her", my mum's friend hops on the phone and asks "how she now she was here", turns out my mum got a number wrong when dialing, called a random house were someone was hosting a Tupperware party and my mum's friend just happened to be attending it!! What are the odds of that s**t?

Image credits: king_with_a_k


No idea on the actual numbers, but I was born with 12 fingers. Identical extra digits on each hand

Image credits: Crippl


Technically only 1 in 530,000 but I won $75,000 from a scratchie. Gave half to my friend who was with me at the time.


Idk if this counts but i have died. One night around 11 pm i was trying to fall asleep but was just too hungry. I had just taken sleeping meds so i tried to cook some food fast before they kicked in. Unfortunately when I went to eat I accidentally aspirated a bunch of it and passed out. Everyone in my house was asleep but amazingly my sister just so happened to go to the bathroom at 3am and saw my light on underneath my door so she decided to investigate. She found me on the ground in full code and blue as a blueberry. She called 911 and they walked her through CPR. When the first responders arrived I was still in full code for another 2 and a half minutes but eventually was brought back. I spent 3 days in a coma and like 10 days in the ICU. If she wouldnt have gone to the bathroom in the middle of the night i wouldnt be typing this.


Bought three dollars worth of pong balls at one of those games at the state fair. I think it was 10 balls, and the grand prize is in the middle and you have to land it in a small glass container. I was having fun and just decided to throw it by flicking my wrist in a weird way. It bounced around for awhile and landed right in the red glass container, which was the grand prize. Even the worker was surprised that I got it! Had to walk around the state fair with a giant charmander plush toy after that.

Image credits: jnb500


The first one I don't know about the exact odds, but I was born on 7/7/77 and weighed 7 pounds & 7 ounces. Sadly though I clocked in at 6:50 A.M.

The other is that around the age of 14 I started to notice the outsides of both of my feet starting to get much wider. After a couple of years of buying expensive custom made shoes they decided to perform surgery on my feet. Turned out I had extra muscle growth along with something else I don't recall at the moment. My podiatrist told me he submitted a scholarly article on it. May also have been genetic as when my Dad was 3, he developed an extra toe growing out of each one of his big toes.

Image credits: indiesnobs


I have type AB- blood. Thats something like 1 percent of the population. The people at blood banks get all excited when I donate blood, its cool


When I was a kid, I was chilling in the water of the Mediterranean Sea in Turkey. Suddenly I felt an awful burning sensation on my stomach and my legs. I looked like I had been brutally sandpapered and I got a 40°C (104°F) fever.

Turns out I made contact with a jellyfish, and later found out that it hadn't happened on that beach for 10 years or so. I was just extremely unlucky.

Image credits: FuriousFred


When I was 14 years old, I woke up one day with heavy stomach cramps. We called the hospital and they told us that i probably have a stomach flu and should go to the doctor next morning.
After one of the worst nights ever, vomiting and sleeping next to the toilet we went to the doctor. I had a fever of 40 °C and was aching a lot. The doctor told me I had to to go to ER and have it checked out because she thought my appendix was inflamed and causing the pain.

We went to the ER and I stayed in the hospital for about 2 weeks, but they couldn't find anything. They treated me with broad range antibiotics and after 2 weeks I was feeling a bit better and they told me to go home and recover.
The night i got back from the hospital I went to bed and started hallucinating that I lived in a retirement home and that pirates were coming to steal our food. So I was flailing around trying to fend of pirates when my mother came in and asked what all the fuss was about. I told her what was going on and she looked at me like I had summoned a devil. She took my temperature and she instantly took me to the ER again (I had a 41°C fever).

When we went back to the hospital I got treated immediately for inflammation and they did a wide range of test again. They saw that something in my body was inflamed but they couldn't find it. I stayed in the hospital for about 2 more weeks when they finally found what was going on. My appendix was inflamed and burst the night I was having the hallucinations but on all the scans they couldn't see my appendix. The doctor told me that if I came in 2 days later I would have died because of the puss flowing in my body. Apparently there is a 1% chance of all the appendix cases that the appendix is so stretched out that they couldn't see it on the scans or that the area was so inflamed they didn't see it.

So after staying on antibiotics for about 2 more weeks they finally removed my appendix and all the pain was gone. I stayed in the hospital for over 4 weeks just because of my appendix and my bad luck on being that 1%.


I was in 2 separate car crashes in 2 separate cars in less than 45 minutes apart.

I wasn't the driver for either crash.

First car was hit from the side. Friend came and picked us up, car lost traction and we slid off the road and hit a pole.

Neither was that bad, just poor timing.

Image credits: Delanorix


Was repairing a laptop charger and (I KNOW IT'S STUPID) it was still plugged on the wall outlet. And I was trying to cut the cable... With my teeths. (And the Darwin award goes to...)

The shock was immediate, I was on the floor, my vision was just, white, like the about:blank page on chrome, i was seeing nothing, hearing nothing, and wasn't able to talk, tried to shout for help but my brain was like on windows blue screen of death (more like white screen of death lmao)

Was on the floor for just like 30sec and it felt like it was really quick but had a little headache and went immediately to sleep.

Oh, roast me.


Got a rare but potentially deadly rash from a medication. I laughed when I first saw the bottle with the warning, and said knowing my luck I’d get it.

I did. Ended up in a burn unit with my skin sloughing off :( not a fun week.

Image credits: Sooodun


I lived in Florida for the first 18 years of my life and spent most of my free time outdoors, fishing, camping, what have you. The summer before my junior year of high school I found myself out hiking nearby by my home with a buddy. We were stomping around in some clay deposits inside of a little ravine (even minimal geographic relief is dramatic in a place as flat as the gulf coast) when it started to Florida rain (for those of you who can’t relate, imagine a torrential downpour). Our minds immediately jumped to the exciting possibility of a flash flood raging through the crevasses we were exploring. In an effort to make our day more exciting and not take any chances, we began to climb vertically out of the canyons versus take the lengthy path out of it horizontally. We got to the top, put our feet on the ground, and did pull up. As I stood up I felt the ground underneath me squirm. I had stepped on a snake.

I screamed and kicked the snake that was latched onto my foot off me by reflex. As an Eagle Scout, I immediately recognized the red on yellow pattern as the snake slithered away and knew it was a coral snake.

We rushed home, drove to the hospital, and was seen. The doctors informed my parents the nearest antivenin was a 3 hour helicopter ride away. The first symptom, lung failure, would occur after 2 hours. My parents called my friends and family and we all spent time together without me knowing my fate. My friends and family arrived and subsequently left together. My parents turned off the lights and we prayed together. Around 2 hours after being bitten, a nurse came in to our dark room with gurney to collect my dead body. I asked the nurse “has there been any developments?” to her surprise. The doctors came in, shocked I was alive, told me it was a dry bite, and that I should remain whatever religion I practiced.

Image credits: zildjiankill


I am a 19 year old male. In August of last year, I was driving with my sister, when suddenly her face turned cold. “Gavin your eyes are yellow”, I remember her saying. I quickly pulled down the passengers mirror, and to my horror, two yellow eyes radiated back at me.

Fast forward, I spent a month being sick, the initial diagnosis was Hepatitis A.

Went back to the doctor, nothing was better(things were worse in fact). Was sent to the ER, then to the liver transplant unit at UCSF. By this point my eyes had turned muddy orange, and my pee was the color of... a mahogany tree.

Anyways, the team of liver doctors at UCSF managed to save my liver. I was diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis. Oh, and my eyes are white again :)

Image credits: anon


When I was 13, a friend and I got into a BB gun war. He put 2 BBs in the chamber and pumped it a bunch of times (breaking the traditional rules of warfare). He shot me in the face and both BBs hit an eyebrow (one per side) and ricocheted off my orbital bones into my eye sockets...again, one in each eye. I could feel them rubbing against the back of my eyes and went through 2 hours of surgery to have them removed. To this day, I’ve maintained perfect eyesight.

Navy SEAL sniper couldn’t make that shot twice. So believe them when they say “you’ll shoot your eye out”...sometimes both of them.


A bullet was deflected away from my heart by a novelty dog tag I wore. Skipped sideways through my chest instead, missing every vital organ, bone or artery. Exited my chest and lodged in my arm. Was in the hospital for a couple hours and released with bandages and pieces of the bullet still inside me.


I was diagnosed with a rare cancer, that happens in males more often than females, usually happens to patients between 45 and 60, and happens in the abdomen or legs. I was a 34 year old female, and it happened in my right arm.

For the record im in remission, but I couldn't believe I defied everything about the stupid f****r.

Image credits: Tigergirl1975


I was on Tinder and was talking to this guy. He was supposed to meet me for dinner ,I texted him and no answer . Then I texted him on Tinder. Said that he couldn’t make it . However, I got a text back from the number . It wasn’t the guy that I thought I texted. It was the actor Gerard Butler. I thought he was lying until he FaceTimed me. Nice guy.

I didn’t go on a date with him instead. He lives on the west coast and I live on the east coast. I didn’t keep his number because I respect his privacy. When he FaceTimed me he was super casual and asked me why I was using Tinder and he wished me luck on it.

Image credits: Grkitaliaemt


I was so freakishly allergic to ant and bee venom as a child that a single sting from a single little common black ant put me into anaphalactic shock. When my allergist was preparing to start immunotherapy for me, he found that the in-office lab equipment wasn't sensitive enough to measure the infinitesimally small amount of allergen with which to start my titration, so he had to send a sample of my blood to Johns Hopkins so that *their* lab could determine how much to give me. I did immunotherapy for several *years* to reach an immune response level at which it would be safe for me to basically exist in a nonfrozen climate.

Good news, though: I'm good now. I've had a few run-ins with ants and wasps since my immunotherapy and my body didn't freak out and shut down, and research indicates that if it hasn't done that after this long, I'm *probably* safe for...maybe forever? I don't have Epi-Pens and I'm not overly afraid of ants or bees.

Image credits: Unsolicited_Spiders


I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia on my 12th birthday. It turned out that my sister was almost an identical match for the bone marrow transplant I needed (99.7%) and she is 14 years older than me. From what I was told this type of match can only be found with identical twins. A year later after remission I developed a disease (GVHD) because of the bone marrow transplant I received . The same thing that saved my life also made the rest of it extremely difficult.......but I'm still here.


Uterus ruptured into my bladder after birth of my youngest. It was 1/4 in. away from a major artery. Nearly died.


My fang teeth are switched with my molars on both sides of my mouth. I guess it’s rare because it confuses every dentist I’ve ever been to, they always want to drill the molars down or surgically switch the teeth to the normal positions. It doesn’t bother me so I’ve never done anything with them.


When I was born, I grabbed onto my mom's ribs and it took 2 doctors to get me out (C-section). I have no idea how often it happens but it's pretty funny.


I have a very rare skin disease that only one in a million people get. I've been told that I'll probably never meet another person in my lifetime with it.

*Hailey-Hailey disease for those interested.*

For those asking:

1. I was diagnosed by a team of dermatologists. They had to take a biopsy of one of my many outbreaks. A picture of that particularly horrible rash is currently in a medical journal, or so I've been told.

2. Yes, it is a very painful disease.

3. Yes, I get steroid injections for it. I also get Botox injections to control sweating and prevent some of my outbreaks.

4. No, I don't know if you have this disease. You have to get a biopsy.

5. Yes, it's inherited. My mother was a carrier, and I've been told my grandmother had the disease for more than half her life.

Image credits: StevesMcQueenIsHere


Diagnosed with an extremely rare liver disease, Primary Hyperoxaluria. Some 300 people in the United States currently have it. Basically pass a lot of kidney stones and need a double transplant to fix.


I went to Antarctica a few times. About 4000 go a year, and there are 8B people, so that’s like 1 in 2,000,000.


When I was a teenager I had just started working at the local Sears auto center Express lube shop and on day one did a quick orientation and my first oil change. The manager walked away when he felt I was good to go and the oil change went well. Fast forward a few days later my manager asked me to come into his office and he explained that the oil filter I had used had one huge flaw. I didn't know what that was and it turned out the filter was pressed on backwards into the filter can and it wouldn't allow oil to flow in and it damaged the motor. They had to purchase a new motor for the person and I still kept my job. He said it was a 1 in a million chance that would have happened and it did on my first oil change.


I fell of the edge of a cliff once (not the kind with a sheer drop at the edge but a cliff nonetheless). I fell backwards (lost my balance from carrying a large rucksack) and fell 15 feet head first. My head landed 2 inches beside a rock. Whenever I think about it, I could've been probably badly injured (or even died) if my head smashed that rock.


I go skydiving on weekends, so I hope I'm never that 1 in 1.000.000 because I wouldn't be able to tell the story...

I'm also a hobbyist pipemaker though, and since there's less than 10 in Belgium afaik, that makes me at least 1 in 1.000.000


I was on the list of a serial killer but turns out he was captured just after murdering the person listed before my name.

For context, I regularly spend my time at a soup kitchen, where I caught the ire of an apparently deranged person that would ask me for ridiculous sums of money on a daily basis as I would dole out healthy portions of soup. He would start by asking for a million dollars, which I would laugh and then the next day ask for $100,000 dollars. He would always give me weird eyes after I would say no, but after 6 days of going through the exercise of asking for money, he finally came down to a number I considered realistic. As I smiled and started pouring the soup, this deranged homeless many asked for three fifty and it was about that time I noticed, this hobo was about 8 stories tall and a crustacean from the protozoic era. I said damn it monster get off my lawn i ain't given you no treefiddy. Must have been 1 in a million.


I have an unknown type of autosomal dominant centronuclear myopathy. My type of it is so rare that they haven't even seen it before. Getting diagnosed was a multi year struggle. They pretty much had to rule out everything else. It doesn't feel great to be in this club by myself. Countless blood draws, MRIs, cat scans and a biopsy and genetic test. So far, it looks like my father and I, are the only ones with it. Yay.


Not me, my wife.

We lived in Jacksonville, Florida. She rarely gets sick, but has mild insomnia. Around Wednesday, she had a low fever, and complained of aches and sweats at night and trouble sleeping. That weekend she wanted to see the Doctor... I told her she probably had the flu, just wasn't used the aches, and she always has trouble sleeping, but if she was still feeling bad Sunday we'd go to a clinic.

Saturday night she couldn't sleep so we made an appointment for Sunday afternoon. But on our way there, sure enough she's feeling better. Doctor checks her out, she's feeling fine now, no fever, he says she probably had menangitis but is recovering. I'm due to go on a business trip to California the next day (Monday) and ask him if he thinks it's fine I go. He says, yeah, no problem. That evening, wife is eating and laughing and all is good.

Monday morning I leave early. That afternoon, my neighbor calls, and lets me know my wife was wandering in the street in a delirium. My wife didn't know where she was, so the neighbor drove her to the ER. I book a flight home that night.

The hospital checks her out. She has a fever, her blood cell count is in the basement, and she is completely out of it mentally. They're not sure what's wrong, and a bunch of specialists start descending on her. I have to fill out a bunch of paperwork on her medical history, where we've been, etc. They think maybe it's some weird auto-immune disorder. Not good. She gets a bunch of transfusions and put on a cocktail of meds while they figure it out.

Third day in the hospital, the infectious disease guy comes in. Blood parasite. Maybe tick born, she'd been to the mid-West recently, coulda caught it if she went walking in the woods or a park. Next day he comes in. Figured out the parasite.

"Why didn't you tell me she left the country?" Huh? She hasn't... "Well, she has malaria." Malaria? I thought you couldn't get that in the U.S. "You can't, you need to go home and bring me her passport." What the hell?

I retrieve her passport... CDC comes, does a whole case study on her (which they wouldn't release to us). Mosquito traps setup around the neighborhood, mysterious vans start driving by spewing clouds of stuff.

My wife stays in the ICU for a week, but recovers just fine. If you look at the 2010 CDC Infectious Disease report you'll see a discussion of malaria, and how the XX number of cases all are related to people recently returned from endemic areas, except for one woman in Duval County, Florida who received it from a cryptic vector...

Found a CDC Malaria Surveillance report from that year:

**Case 2.** In November 2010, a woman aged 31 years sought treatment at a hospital emergency department for fever, severe headaches, nausea, vomiting, and malaise. She was admitted to the ICU for severe hyponatremia, thrombocytopenia, tachycardia, borderline splenomegaly, and epistaxis. Both the hospital and CDC confirmed a *P. falciparum* severe malaria infection with approximately 10% parasitemia. She was treated with oral quinine, clindamycin, and oral doxycycline, and recovered successfully. Probable routes of transmission were investigated. The patient stated that she had not traveled outside of the United States during the preceding 2 years and had no history of malaria. In 2008, she traveled to Nicaragua and stated that she had received malaria chemoprophylaxis at the time of her trip. She reported no history of blood transfusion or IV drug use. Mosquito trappings conducted around her home in Florida revealed no *Plasmodium*-infected mosquitoes, and no additional malaria cases in close contacts or persons residing in the area near her home. The origin of the infection remains undetermined.

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