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Could You Cut Off Your Own Arm To Save Your Life?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Aron Ralston proves how far humans will go to survive. After being pinned by a nearly 1,000-pound boulder for five days in a remote slot canyon in eastern Utah, Ralston did the unthinkable -- cut off his pinned arm with a pocketknife, rappelled down a rock wall and hiked until a search helicopter found him.

This 27-year-old avid climber has topped 49 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks and has escaped death more than once. Despite his dangerous hobby, Ralston clearly cherishes life and does what it takes to stay alive.

Ralston decided to sacrifice his arm to save his life only after his water ran out. He told rescuers that he realized that he would not survive unless he took drastic action. He told them that he used his pocketknife to amputate his right arm below the elbow and then applied a tourniquet and administered first aid from a kit he had in his backpack. He then rigged anchors and fixed a rope to rappel nearly 75 feet to the bottom on Bluejohn Canyon.

In his first meeting with reporters, he frequently referred to power of prayer during the excruciating ordeal. He felt a surge of energy on the National Day of Prayer: "The source of the power I felt was the thoughts and prayers of many people, most of whom I will never know."

When I read of Ralston's amazing act for survival, I asked myself if I could have done the same in that situation and still haven't found an answer. What I do know is that his courage is extraordinary, and his will to survive is truly inspiring. He demonstrated that if you have meaning and passion for living, you can endure any pain and beat all the odds.

Do you think you could have done this to save your life??
post #2 of 21
The fact that he used a dull pocket knife is what amazes me the most. My hubby makes knives and we saw this story when it aired. Hubby said the arm had to be pretty well crushed for this to happen, otherwise, he couldn't have gotten the job done. I think his guardian angel was working overtime that day- he has my admiration.

As to if I could do it- I don't know, and I hope I never have to find out.
post #3 of 21
I couldn't do it. At least I don't think so. I hope I never have to find out either.
post #4 of 21
I don't think I could do it. I have the "someone is going to rescue me" syndrome! LOL
post #5 of 21
Nope...don't think I could do it. The thought of it is mindblowing! I'd like to think that I would do it to survive, but I doubt that I could handle the actually cutting it off part. I'd probably just wait for someone to help me...and it'd be my luck that no one would.
He is a very lucky guy and a very brave one too boot!
post #6 of 21
Wow! That's a tough question! I would like to think that I could, but if it came right down to it, I don't know. sitting here at the computer, I would say yes.
post #7 of 21
I would have to say I would and could. Not that I'm extraordinary, but I want to LIVE!

The guy who did this is from Colorado, so we have heard a lot about him. He truly IS an extraordinary man. Earlier this winter, he and his friends were caught in an avalanche. He dug himself out, and he and one other dug out their third friend from being buried in 10 feet of snow (I think that's correct). He decided after that not to go into "dangerous" situations, like back country skiing where the avalanche was triggered. This wasn't supposed to be a risky adventure for him.
post #8 of 21
I would. If it saved my life, that's all that would matter. Ouch! It would be very painful though!
post #9 of 21
I think that is one of those things where you just don't know what you would do until you have to do it. It is amazing the things you think you won't do but will if you have to.
post #10 of 21
It's probably an adrenaline type thing. I know when my Dad got hurt a few years ago, I surprised myself at how calm I was while we were waiting for the ambulance. I even ran bare footed through a huge sticker patch in our yard several times and never noticed until after they took Dad to the hospital. Once I finally calmed out of the rush, I couldn't understand why my feet hurt so bad. Then I looked down and my feet were black from have so many little stickers in them. I never felt a bit of pain until afterward. I was too worried about him and afraid of what might happen. I'm sure this guy was probably in the same boat. He didn't even feel the pain or anything since he knew that he had to do this or he'd die.
post #11 of 21
Wow Shell! Your dad is lucky to have someone who loves him!
I would cut off my arm, my will to live is that strong. Im not ready to die yet and if it means losing a limb, then by all means I will!
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
To answer my own question.........I think I would attempt it, but I doubt that I would be strong enough to get myself out of there like he did even if I did managed to accomplish the amputation.
post #13 of 21
Yeah, I know what you mean about that. Not only did he cut his arm off, he rappelled 75 feet down, after building something to hook himself on to then hiked several miles until someone found him. But, I guess it would have not done him much good to lose the arm if he were just going to lie there afterward and hope someone would find him.
post #14 of 21
I would hope I could to save my life,I have way to much to live for! Ted 2 son's 6 grandchildern,ect...
post #15 of 21
1. I wouldn't go hiking (not very sporty)
2. If for some weird reason I did go hiking, I wouldn't go alone
3. I don't deal well with pain, so I don't think I would have even thought about chopping off my own arm!

He is an amazing survivor!
post #16 of 21
I agree with Princess Purr. You just don't know what you would do until your in that situation. Is your will to live stronger than the ability to face death?
post #17 of 21
i must voice my admiration for Aron. He has a lot of guts.

i am so scared of blood, i know i do not have the nerves to do it.

post #18 of 21
be able to do it. I don't deal well with pain, especially self-inflicted pain. I would just pray alot and hope God would literally move a mountain with faith as small as a mustard seed!!
post #19 of 21
yes I do it to save my life.
post #20 of 21
I don't think I could, but when I was attacked I cut a huge slit in my own arm to cause the man to stop. I didn't even hurt until I was in the ER, each punch was more of a visual experience (flash of light) than pain. Even then the pain really didn't come out until after all the examinations and when I woke up the next day in protective custody. Then I bawled my head off.

So I think our brains can protect us enough to let us do what we need to do to survive. Heck, if I can do it, anyone can.
post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 
TTMOM - Wow!!
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