People From Around The World Share Memorable Last Words They've Heard

People From Around The World Share Memorable Last Words They've Heard

It's hard to say what's worse: being there when someone you love dies, or missing it. Both tend to bring on regrets.

One of the things you might miss if you're not there is the person's last words. Sometimes they're funny, sometimes they're insightful, sometimes they're frankly a little bit spooky. But as a culture we tend to set great store by them.

The folks below -- both medical professionals and people who have lost family members -- recently went online to share the most memorable last words they've ever heard. I don't know about you, but I already have mine planned.

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45. Last dad joke

My father's last dad joke:

My father's doctor: I'm afraid you'll die very soon.

My father: Oh, I can live with that.

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44. What you leave behind

I'm an emergency nurse, and there's one thing that always gets me when patients die. Not what they say, but what their husband/wife/parents say when they've gone. I've had it a few times but the most memorable was a man in his 70s whose wife had just passed away, and he was holding her hand and crying, and he just looked up at me and said, 'I've loved her for 55 years, she's my whole life. What do I do without her?' It breaks me every time.


43. That's heartbreaking

"I never even had someone love me." 7 years ago and I still think of that guy.

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42. Honest last words

My grandmother's last words, spoken as a nurse was checking on her and accidentally woke her up was, "GOOD GOD, YOU SCARED THE CRAP OUT OF ME!" She went back to sleep and never woke up. Passed about a week later.



41. I don't know how nurses do it

My husband is a PICU nurse and one morning he came home in a bit of a daze. I asked him what was wrong and he told me about a little boy who had been in PICU for a few days already and wasn't getting better. Most nights, the little boy would wake up so one of the nurses would keep him company while he fell asleep again. My husband was doing just that, he read him a book then just sat there with the boy listening to music so he would go back to sleep. Before falling asleep the little boy said "You were my favorite". The boy passed away in the morning, his little heart gave out and refused to restart.

Although all patients are important, some leave more of an impression than others. Until that point, that little boy hadn't stood out to my husband and he felt terrible about it because, clearly, he had made a big impression on that little boy. That was the only patient's funeral he has ever attended.

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40. A moment of clarity

Sweet guy in his 20s with endocarditis (heart valve infection) caused by IV substance abuse. I was prepping him for his third open heart surgery when he sat up, looked me in the eye, and said, “I’m going to die, aren’t I?” He did not survive the surgery.

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39. Man's best friend

I'm not a doctor but I am an ER nurse. I've heard a few final words. One that sticks out to me was a young man (20s) who was in a pretty bad car accident. He had lost a leg and as a result lost so much blood. The last thing he said was pretty much asking his girlfriend if his dog was alright. The dog had been in the car and according to his dad didn't make it. I cried in my car for awhile after that shift. He was so worried about his dog he had no idea how close to death he was.

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38. Did he know?

The last words I ever heard my dad speak were on the phone, Thanksgiving night. As we were about to hang up he stopped me and took a really long pause before telling me he loved me. He started crying as he was saying it, apologizing for not being able to be with me on Thanksgiving (he lived far away) and he told me to hug my mother for him. The next morning he died of a heart attack in his sleep. Sometimes I wonder if he knew he was going to die somehow.

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37. This must take a toll on you

I'm a nurse and I've worked with the elderly for quite some time now.

Most have been silent in their last moments. One old man sighed out a "finally" and went on. He just looked so relieved to finally die.

One lady with severe dementia kinda had no idea what was going on. She was pretty out of it, and her last words were that she missed her mommy and that she hoped mom would bake bread, cause she was hungry.

Another lady was absolutely terrified and I tried my best to calm her down. It's heartbreaking, you can't really do anything with their fear other than calm them as best as you can. The lady asked me "Will everything be okay?", and I told her that, yeah, everything would be fine. The kids were fine, and everything was fine, and her flowers were watered. She didn't say anything after that and passed on an hour later.

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36. I'll do my best

When I was a senior resident a young man (late 20s) was admitted for pneumonia. He got worse quickly and I was called to his room to help while on call that night. He was having trouble breathing and needed intubated. I explained all this to him and that I would sedate him and them get him intubated so we could help him breathe. He agreed and we got everything ready. The last thing he said to me was "Doc, please don't let me die." I told him I would do my very best. I got him intubated and transferred to the ICU.

A few weeks later I was on call covering the ICU and he was barely hanging on. I knew he would not make it through the night. He went into V-fib several times and I was able to bring him back, but only briefly. He was just too sick and he died shortly after that. It was horrible talking to his mother and girlfriend and comforting them knowing the last words he ever spoke were to me saying please don't let me die.

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35. Go out on a laugh line

We don't know if they were really his last words but the last thing my mom heard my dad say was in reference to the shooting pain in his arm due to the heart attack he was suffering, "Well what if I hold it different? Like resting it on the backside of a lovely lady? Will that help?" He promptly grabbed Mom's butt before they wheeled him away to surgery. She shouted down the hall, "I'm going to smack your face when you get out of there!" He didn't come back.

Keep in mind this guy was in his sixties, looked exactly like Albert Einstein, and had a kooky old man laugh reserved specifically for occasions when he found himself hilarious.

Wonderfully kind and caring man though. Couldn't stand to see people worry, especially not over him. He could never let serious talk happen for more than ten minutes before making a fart joke or pinching someone.

The good news is he was still himself the last time we saw him, not everyone is so lucky.

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34. Rough way to go

Man, I'll never forget this guy. He was a diabetic, 52 years old, came in with gangrene of the testes. When we informed him that surgery was required to remove his genitals, he looked me straight in the eye and said, "I hope I die on the table."

And he did. That dude willed himself into dying.

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33. Something to hang on for

My Grandma, who was pretty much my mother, was diagnosed with 6 types of cancer. I was one of her main caregivers. Towards the end when things were snowballing out of control, we made peace and told her that she could go whenever she wanted.

She told me that she was holding on to meet her only great-grandchild (I was 20 weeks pregnant at the time).

Fast forward to April 15th of this year: I visited her in the hospital (to both hang out and explain medical jargon to her) with my 5 month old daughter. Grandma was "just hurting really bad" and was going to get papers filed to have a nurse visit at home 2x a day. Everything seemed completely fine (for having cancer, I mean) other than her arm hurting so badly that she couldn't move it. She was asleep when we first came in the room, and as I was writing my "Just stopped by to visit- we love you!" note for her to find, she woke up.

We had an amazing chat like nothing was wrong. Just her complaining about my grandpa leaving her hospital tv on this history channel when he left and the food sucking. Right before we left, she gave my daughter's hand a squeeze and said "I am so glad I got to see you one last time. Make sure Grandpa takes you to the park for me. Grandma loves you both so much."

Those were the last words she ever said. She passed away in hospice care 4 days later.

My Grandpa and I never expected her to pass away so quickly. We knew she was hurting, but she hid it so well.

I am so glad she woke up when we visited... she got to see her great-granddaughter one last time.

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32. Let me go

With wide eyes, "Don't listen to my family, they want to keep my around forever but I just want to die. They won't let me."

She wanted to get off dialysis which was a death sentence for her.

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31. See you when I see you

I was visiting my grandpa and had to leave town and go back to medical school, and I told him I loved him and would see him later. He told me he loved me too, but no I wouldn't. He was right, he died a week later of pneumonia.

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30. Far too young

I had a patient in her early 20s who was severely thrombocytopenic and bleeding profusely for days ask me if she was going to make it, I had to look her in the eyes and tell her there is a good chance she wouldn't. I thought she would bust into tears but no, she just kind of sat back and accepted it, I think she already knew. She died shortly after I got off shift.



29. The eyes are what haunt you

Registered nurse here. I don’t remember this guy’s admitting diagnosis (he wasn’t assigned to me), but my coworker asked me to help start an IV on him; he needed a unit of blood and his peripheral access had gone bad. I placed a tourniquet and was ready to stick, then he looked at me and said “I’m dying.” Immediately went unresponsive. I checked his pupils; I watched one dilate and the other constrict. We coded him; never got him back.

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28. Who are they?

Hospice nurse here. I had a patient who was experiencing terminal agitation. With an expression of complete terror on his face he said, “Help me! They are coming to get me.”

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27. You should have let him

“Can I smoke in here?” We were in an ambulance.


26. It's the worst disease

I’m an intern at a home for patients with Alzheimer's and have only been there for a few weeks. The first patient to pass during my internship said, "Who am I?" For some reason it saddens me deeply and I can’t seem to let it go.

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25. "I saw god"

Paramedic here.

I've seen way more than my fair share of active deaths. The 36 year old we coded last week said "I'm going down guys. I'm going down." He went into V-fib and didn't come back out of it.

I had a man once in the ER who coded and we shocked him and got a rhythm back, he woke up and asked if he died. Then he started crying and said he saw god. Then he coded again. About that fast too.

The craziest thing I've ever seen was a skinny woman who went into cardiac arrest and since it was witnessed, we were able to start compressions immediately. As we compressed her heart, she would wake up and kick us and (try to) scream. The second we stopped compressions she would go back out. This continued over and over for a good 30+ minutes until the cardiologist ordered us to stop. We had a nurse dedicated to speaking in her ear to try to reassure her and get her to stop kicking.

Another crazy one, I had a man witness his own heart stop. He was having an arrhythmia (I'll spare the details) and I had the defib turned towards him in the ambulance. He was watching the monitor as I was treating him and his heart stopped cold. He looked at me with a panic, put his hand on my knee and went down. The poor guy literally watched his own heart stop when he died.

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24. Matter-of-fact

I'm an EMT. Had a patient say, "I don't feel so good" right before they dropped dead of a massive heart attack.

It was just the matter-of-fact way they said it.

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23. One last piece of advice

"Whatever you do kid, don't get old... Or married." Coolest patient I ever had.

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22. I love tough old ladies

“My goddam crotch is cold.” - A tough 86-year-old bird with orange hair/white roots and tattoos. Last words spoken while having groin prepped with cold soap for cardiac catheterization.


21. Listen to what the patient tells you

I'm a paramedic who has heard too many last words. And these are rarely what you see in movies, where the patient says something then peacefully and quickly dies. Lots of mine have been just before going into cardiac or respiratory arrest, or just deteriorating in general. It's long-winded and painful to watch.

"This really [bleeping] hurts" - a 22 year old kid who flew off his motorbike after being hit by a truck. He went into shock afterwards and we couldn't get him back. This was back when I was a student and even though it's quite a humorous last sentence, it still kinda haunts me.

"I'm glad my wife didn't have to find my body" - an elderly gent who suffered global 3rd/4th degree burns. He had fallen asleep while making him and his wife lunch. Massive fire ensured. This one still hurts to think about.

Something I find really interesting is the sort of "phenomenon" of impending doom. The amount of patients I've had with myocardial infarction (heart attack), AAA ruptures etc. whose last words - or at least one of their last sentences - have been "I think I'm going to die". When you see a patient who basically looks like crap, sweaty and pale, and they tell you they think they're going to die... You listen. Because they probably are.

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20. The retirement we all get eventually

"So this is what retirement is like, huh?” He got hit by a car within a few days of retirement and it has to be the funniest last words. Normally they are sad last words.

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19. Never play with the tube

During my residency I was on call and running the hospital (as senior residents tend to do). One of my responsibilities was being in charge of the entire ICU (which had about 16-20 bed capacity).

I was taking care of a man who had a bowel perforation (a hole in his intestines). He had a NG (nasogastric) tube up his nose into his stomach so that he wouldn’t drown in his own feces. His brother and sister in law came to visit him and they had a nice conversation. I walked in as they were leaving and they said to him “make sure to listen to the doctor” as they left.

The patient and I talked a bit and he wasn’t looking so good. I kept hearing a gargling sound as he was speaking to me. The kind of sound you make when you rinse out your mouth with mouth wash and spit it out. I immediately checked his NG tube and it came right out. He looked at me and said “I shouldn’t have played with the tube..” before going pale and losing a pulse. I did everything in my power to save him that day, but his lungs were full of stool and he died 20 minutes later.

The rest of the day I felt utterly numb and it still sits with me to this day. To have a patient smiling and laughing with you one moment, then being deceased 20 minutes later is one heck of a rollercoaster ride.

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18. Old war songs

My pop died of lung cancer. The last lucid thing he did was wake up just long enough to sing, "Show me the way to go home. I'm tired and I want to go to bed. I had a little drink about an hour ago and it went right to my head." It was really pretty amazing and freaky at the same time.

Dad was over 80 and had smoked for a lot of his life. I still miss him but he lived a long life and his time had come. I've lost a couple of friends who are my age to cancer and those deaths are much harder to accept.

He was a foot soldier in WWII and he sang that song while marching through Germany I believe.

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17. I want to go home

Watched my step dad pass away after a week in the hospital. His last words were, "I love you son. I want to go home." Called me son like I was his own flesh and blood. A moment that will always stay with me.

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16. One for the road

I am an EMT, and we had a frequent patient, almost once a week. He was a HUGE jerk, but towards the end he turned into a sweet and appreciative man. We were in his house, during what ended up being our last day there. He knew it. I didn't. He said, "Can I just have a beer before we leave for the hospital?" I didn't let him have it. I should have.

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15. One last jump

Had a patient on the cardiac ICU during my second month of intern year who had newly diagnosed heart failure that we couldn't figure out what caused it.

He was a healthy guy. In his 60s. Did yoga every day, walked a few miles 5 days a week. Genuinely nice guy which is always a bad prognostic sign.

With his heart failure, his heart was so stretched out and not squeezing adequately to provide the blood and subsequent oxygen he needs to the rest of his body. A few nights into his hospital stay, I come in the next morning and discovered that the senior resident had to code him for sustained unstable heart arrhythmia (unstable v tach). I went and talked with him about it the next morning and he told me that he was in and out of consciousness during it all (from the low blood pressure) but he compared it to the feeling of jumping out of the plane and sky diving.

Later that morning I was checking on him again and he didn't look so good. He goes into the arrhythmia again, drops his blood pressure, and is in and out of consciousness. As I'm charging the defibrillator to shock him again, he comes back around to and briefly and asks me if I'm taking him sky diving again and lets out a nervous laugh before losing consciousness.

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14. I'll be missing you

Not a medical worker, but my friend's husband was dying from cancer.

He'd done lots of chemo and one surgery and overall his prognoses looked really good. He'd gone through another surgery, and he was due to be released from the hospital a couple days after this story takes place.

My friend had been with him and was going back home to sleep for the night. Just before she left his room, he said "I'm going to miss you, my love" and obviously she thinks nothing of it, saying, "I'll miss you too. I'll be back in the morning."

Couple hours later he was gone.

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13. Unafraid

My daughter passed away from brain cancer last year, she was 5. I don't know what her last actual words were. They were said maybe a day before she died, maybe more, and we probably couldn't understand them. The tumor had taken away almost all of her motor control at that point, including her lips and tongue. But she could move her eyes, so she would "nod" and "shake" them for yes and no.

Maybe 8 hours before she passed was the last time she was fully awake. We asked if she was hurting, and she said no. We asked if she was scared, and she said no. We asked if she was just tired, and she looked at us quite pointedly and said yes. Then we told her that we loved her bunches, and she said yes again. She fell asleep a few seconds later, and though she reacted to us a little more here and there after that, she never "woke up" again.

Thankfully her passing was extremely easy, relative to other kids in her spot. No choking, no struggling. She was calm and relaxed, and breathed normally until she just...stopped.

It's been almost a year. Still hurts just as much as the day she left.

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12. I'm becoming a ghost

"I'm gonna haunt y'all, believe that." - Old man who never attended his dialysis appointments, just as he died.

A few hours later we had a fire right by his former room, so despite not being all that worrying at the time, he definitely was the only one that followed through on actually haunting us.

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11. Long lost love

My buddy who went on to be a doctor had an elderly female patient. Probably 90-100 years old. Her daughter left the room to get coffee and my buddy had to check on her vitals. They were normal. Then she woke up, smiled and got teary eyed.

She said, “I knew you’d come back for me. I'm sorry I didn't marry you. My family wouldn't let me. But I will now, I promise.” My buddy just held her hand and smiled. She laid back and closed her eyes and her heart stopped. She had a DNR and was gone just like that.

Her daughter had no clue what she meant. Her husband had been dead for 10 years and they were married since they were 20.

My buddy doesn’t know if it's relevant, but we are black and maybe she was in love with a black guy a long time ago. Because she was looking right at him when she spoke.

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10. Out of the blue, but she knew

Nurse here. I'll never forget her. I'd been in nursing for around six months. It was near the beginning of my shift. I'd just finished introducing myself to my new group of patients. One of my patients called me and said, "Get my daughter out of the room. It is time for me to die."

I was very confused by this at first. I had just gotten out of her room not long ago and met the patient and her daughter and we got to joke around a bit and she'd just gotten up and walked. The report I'd gotten on her gave no real indication that she was unstable. I went to go see her. The daughter was just walking out of the room and I asked what was going on. The daughter was like, "She's telling me to leave and saying it's time for her to die. She's not used to being in a hospital so I'm sure she's just being hysterical." I told the daughter I would go check on her. She did not respond to me and had no pulse and we could not bring her back.

It was so sudden for everyone. The family and staff and I were not expecting this. From the small amount of time I'd met her, this woman was a real joy and it was obvious that she was loved and respected by all who knew her. Us nurses and the family all had a cry together.

I think about her last words and wonder how long she knew. She did not sound fearful. Just said it with a voice that said that she knew it was time.

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9. Man in black

I was with my father as he lay dying in the hospital. It was a long and emotionally exhausting process so we kids took turns sitting with him and holding his hand for when he would wake up. He was in and out of lucidity but just before he went he opened his eyes, gripped my hand hard, looked me in the eye and said, "I don't like that guy in the black suit sitting over in the corner."

My blood ran cold and I quickly looked over my should and there was an empty chair there. I don't know if he was remembering some incident from his past, hallucinating, or if he saw "someone" more sinister. I didn't mention it to my siblings for years and even since then they don't like to talk about it.

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8. The spice of life

I was about five or six when my grandfather was on his deathbed. The last thing he did was put his hand on my shoulder and said, "No wonder you never liked my spicy food." and then he passed about ten seconds later. We were all super confused. About three months later I almost died from suffocation after eating some salsa. At the hospital I was diagnosed with a capsaicin allergy (spicy food). To this day it still creeps me out. No one knew I was allergic before then, and I didn't show any signs either.

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7. My final beau

When my granny died last summer I brought her to the hospital with my aunt. They sent in this very handsome, burly nurse guy to pick her up (she was 87 and very frail at this point) and take her to her room. My aunt, always one to make a situation lighter, says, "Oh Granny look at this handsome man taking you to bed!" I swear to god my Granny says, "Yeah, it only took 87 years and for me to be dying for this to happen." She was a beautiful soul. That was the last thing I heard her say, and I am so happy I shared a last laugh with her.

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6. No pain

My dad was ill with a stomach bug (after just having an operation). I was staying with my parents for one night and he got up to get a drink of water and fell down the stairs. I picked him up and he was woozy, he wouldn't let me call an ambulance.

20 minutes later he got up to go to the toilet and collapsed, I ran to his aid and asked, "Are you okay? Are you in pain?" His last words were, "No pain, I'm fine, no pain..."

And the warmth of his body went cold in my hands in about 30 seconds.

I feel privileged to have been there.

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5. There seem to be a lot of men in corners

"I see the man in the corner again."

There was no one but she'd been seeing a dark man in the corner for days and asking about him. Toward the end, this was all she talked about beside crying for her mother. Cancer.

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4. Never too old for a crush

Near the end my (white) 86 year old grandmother's life she was in hospital when a dark skinned doctor attended her then step aside behind a wall to write on her chart or whatever. Grandma was born and raised and lived her whole life in tiny town way up in Northern Michigan where 99.99999% of pop is white and the remainder are Native American. So I was a bit nervous as this exchange between us occurred:

With the Doc out of view, Grandma asked me, "Is he black?"

I said, "I think he's maybeIndian?"

There was silence. She then said, "He's CUTE!"

The doc pokes his head out from behind the wall area and said, "I'm Pakistani." And he winked.

I'd never heard her say anything about race one way or another and so wasn't sure what she'd think of this doc. I was so proud of her and never really knew how cool as she really was until that moment.

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3. Flaming out

I went with my father to say goodbye to my great-uncle (his uncle). He was suffering from dementia and clearly on the way out -- he no longer recognized people.

My father was an only child, and spent most of his time being raised by his uncles, as his father ran a farm all day.

Anyway, we're sitting there, and great-uncle is snoozing. He suddenly wakes up and clearly sees my father and starts talking to him about a barn and describing it in great detail. Like, he's talking about where it is, the way the paint was flaking off in one corner, and so on.

My father is quieter than normal and just saying "yes" over and over as he describes the barn.

Then, just before great-uncle loses consciousness, he describes going into the barn and setting it on fire.

Turns out that my grandfather and great-uncle were having a helluva dispute at one time and burned down the barn to get back at him. Everyone suspected, but never knew for sure.

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2. That's horrible

When I was 14, my friends and I were joking around before our 7th period theater class. My one friend, who was always a big goof, was playing along with a joke that he and another classmate were breaking up and said, "This relationship is over!" Then spun around around and fell to the floor for dramatic effect.

Except it wasn't for dramatic effect, because he actually suffered heart failure and died instantly from an unknown condition (acute myocarditis). None of us realized it and laughed along. I even picked up his glasses from the floor and put them on to tease him about how blind he was.

When I tried to give him his glasses back I was struck by how discolored his face was, and then blood began to pour from his mouth. That's when the screaming started. Absolutely messed me as a 14 year old to realize we could all just drop dead at any moment.

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1. The light

Paramedic here. I was transporting a cardiac patient and while we were both watching my EKG monitor, he went into Vfib, a lethal heart rhythm. His heart stopped pumping blood effectively at that point but there was enough blood pressure for a few seconds of consciousness. He looked at me and said, "But I don't see the light." and went unconscious.

Coded him, shocked him a few times, meds by the handful, but he died.

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