Man who thought he was dying reveals what happened: 'My heartbeat had gone down to 18 beats a minute'

Richard North thought he had only ten seconds left to live after a gruesome car crash. Here's what happened.

man thought ten seconds left live car crash dying
© The Light Between Oceans / Heyday Films
man thought ten seconds left live car crash dying

It is probably one of our most terrifying fears : knowing we've only got seconds left to live. This man, Richard North, actually experienced it after a terrible car crash in 2001. He explains what he felt, and how he made the most of these precious ten seconds.

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He had a massive car crash

Richard North chose to share his incredible story on his TikTok account. His video has now amassed about 70k likes. In 2001, Richard was driving when his car hit a lamppost, smashing both of his legs in the process. The emergency services arrived quickly on the scene, but they struggled for an hour to try and get him out of the car. In the end, the hospital told them over the phone that they had to cut his legs off with an acetylene torch.

However, one of the firefighters chose to give it one more go and was able to lift off the wreckage to free Richard. By then, he explains:

They kind of were saying goodbye to me, the paramedic, she was a lovely lady, she was comforting me but she was saying goodbye and telling them that my heartbeat had gone to 18 beats a minute.

Richard thought he only had ten seconds left

When paramedics finally freed him from the crash, Richard thought he only had ten seconds left to live. He explains:

I thought I'd got 10 seconds left to live, so I started counting down until I got to one and thought 'then I'll close my eyes and I'll pass away'. I said my goodbyes in my mind to my family and thought I would then pass away.

After the first ten seconds had gone by, he counted again and again, all the way to the hospital, an hour later.

I got to one or zero and I counted again, 'I'll do 10 more seconds' I said.

He says his mind was full of positive thoughts, despite being in excruciating pain. He kept thinking that if he made it through, he wouldn't mind not having his legs anymore as it would allow him to live, even in a wheelchair. Some TikTok users believe his countdowns took up his focus, which helped him to stay alive long enough to get to safety.

Others commented, saying if they only had ten seconds left to live, they would probably 'try and do a back-flip'. And you, what would you do in those precious last seconds?


10 seconds left. The power of a positive mindset and a strategy #entrepreneur#mindset#positivity

♬ original sound - Richard

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Sources used:

LADBible: Man who thought he had 10 seconds left to live after tragic accident explained what he did

TikTok: 10 seconds left

Man who died for 7 minutes reveals what he saw in the afterlife and how he escaped death Man who died for 7 minutes reveals what he saw in the afterlife and how he escaped death