Jesus Took The Wheel: Near-Death Celebrities Who Made Miraculous Recoveries

March 4, 2015  |  
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Did you know that at one point these stars’ lives hung in the balance? From Martin Lawrence to Charlize Theron, these are the celebrities who made miraculous recoveries despite being near death.

Tracy Morgan

Tracy Morgan is still recovering from the 2014 car accident that left him with several broken bones and a traumatic brain injury. But while Tracy was still feeling too under the weather to attend SNL’s 40th Anniversary show, sources say he’s bouncing back.

George Clooney

Everyone on the set of the movie Syriana thought George Clooney was gone for good when he broke his back while filming. George was rushed to the emergency room and underwent extensive spinal surgery before making his miraculous recovery.

Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron also broke her back while filming Aeon Flux. Charlize spent eight weeks in the hospital While her co-stars wondered if she’d live or walk again.

Gerard Butler

Gerard Butler had a near-death experience when he nearly drowned on the set of Chasing Mavericks. He was under water for a full minute before he was rescued.

While in the hospital, Gerard was in so much pain that he became addicted to painkillers and had to spend another three weeks in rehab.

Rachel Bilson

Rachel Bilson almost didn’t become an actress. When she was just 14 years old, Rachel had a near-fatal car accident. Rachel remembers, “I basically died and then came back. The window went into my head. It was really gross.”

After a long recovery, Rachel survived — but she still has migraines as a result of her injuries.

Travis Barker

Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker spent weeks in 2008’s headline news when he nearly died in a fiery plane crash. Just how bad was it? Listen to Travis tell the story:

“I opened a door, and my hands caught fire. I ran to get out of the plane, but I fell through a wing. I immediately soaked up with jet fuel and caught fire. And then I was on fire, running like hell. I was running for my family: I didn’t care about anything except being with my dad, my sister, Shanna, my three kids.”

Four people died in that plane crash, but Travis made a miraculous recovery to play music again.

Donald Sutherland

Actor Donald Sutherland once struggled for his life in a six-week long coma. He contracted spinal meningitis while filming in Yugoslavia where no antibiotics were available.

Donald says, “I died. I saw the blue tunnel, and I started going down it. I saw the white light. I dug my feet in.”

Sharon Stone

In 1990, Sharon Stone had a brush with death when a head-on car crash nearly took her life. Sharon says,

“I was hit head-on and don’t know how I escaped with my life. I dislocated my jaw, sprained my back, broke a rib, and twisted a knee. I was put in a back brace and told to stay in bed for six months.”

A decade later, Sharon Stone nearly died again, this time from a brain aneurysm during which Sharon Stone says she saw a “white light.”

50 Cent

The world won’t soon forget Curtis Jackson’s 2000 brush with death when he was shot nine times at close range.

Orlando Bloom

Orlando Bloom was paralyzed at age 21 when he fell three stories while climbing a drain pipe. Miraculously, Orlando’s spine healed and he was able to walk — and act — again.


Rapper Eminem nearly died of a methadone overdose in 2005. Marshall Mathers says, “My doctor told me the amount of methadone I’d taken was equivalent to shooting up four bags of heroin.”

Eminem continued to struggle against drug use even after his near-death experience but managed to kick the habit to be clean today.

Martin Lawrence

Martin Lawrence taught all of us to take heat stroke seriously when he almost died from it in 1999. Martin got it while jogging in the heat, contracted a temperature of 107 and slipped into a coma while in the hospital.

Jane Seymour

Jayne Seymour discovered that she was allergic to penicillin at 36 when she had a severe allergic reaction.

Jane Says,

“I literally left my body. I had this feeling that I could see myself on the bed, with people grouped around me. I remember my whole life flashing before my eyes, but I wasn’t thinking about winning Emmys or anything like that. The only thing I cared about was that I wanted to live because I did not want anyone else looking after my children.

I was floating up there thinking, ‘No, I don’t want to die. I’m not ready to leave my kids.’ And that was when I said to God, ‘If you’re there, God, if you really exist and I survive, I will never take your name in vain again.’ Although I believe that I ‘died’ for about 30 seconds, I can remember pleading with the doctor to bring me back. I was determined I wasn’t going to die.”

Sean Kingston

Sean Kingston was in a jet ski accident in 2001 that almost killed him twice. First the accident left him with near-fatal injuries. Then a stabbing pain in his chest sent him back to the hospital shortly after his release. Doctors performed emergency surgery a second time to fix a life-threatening tear in his heart.

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