In September of 1999, 47-year-old Joan Murray decided to go on a skydiving adventure. This was nothing out of the ordinary for Murray, who was a thrill seeker and had already been skydiving over 30 times. On this particular day, Murray’s main parachute failed to activate, and she was just 700 feet from the ground when she opened her secondary parachute. Her panic caused her to spin around in circles, which landed her right on top of a breeding mound for fire ants. Hundreds of fire ants swarmed her.
While fire ants can cause a deadly allergic reaction, in this case, they saved Murray’s life. The stings shocked her heart and kept her heart beating while also stimulating her nerves. Doctors believe that she may have not survived had she landed elsewhere. Murray survived a two-week coma and shattered right leg, but, over the course of two years made a full recovery. How did she celebrate? She went skydiving yet again.