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Old 12-22-2009, 11:30 PM
 
Location: long island ny
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This actually is a great thread, different. I wish I knew of some strange deaths in my family, but the usual diseases partook us.
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Old 12-23-2009, 06:56 PM
 
Location: in the sticks, SE Indiana
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My husband's great-greatgrandfather was shot and killed in one of the feuds in eastern Kentucky.
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Old 12-23-2009, 07:22 PM
 
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My husband found an old obit of a distant relative who got caught in a sawmill and died.

If you read rural obits, you will find many older ( 60 and up esp.) farm folk dying at harvest time: came out to help and died, usually of heart attacks.
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Old 12-23-2009, 07:31 PM
 
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yeah, come to think of it my g grandmother died when she fell off a streetcar. Hit her head. Very sad.
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Old 12-23-2009, 11:10 PM
 
Location: I'm around here someplace :)
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the weirdest one I can think of right-off is about a child who allegedly was literally "scared to death"-- someone frightened her to the extent that she went into convulsions and died...
would anyone have an opinion on whether that could've been true or not?
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Old 12-24-2009, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Hampton Roads, Virginia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tia 914 View Post
the weirdest one I can think of right-off is about a child who allegedly was literally "scared to death"-- someone frightened her to the extent that she went into convulsions and died...
would anyone have an opinion on whether that could've been true or not?
Of course the saying came from somewhere for good reason. Chances are she had a weak heart (undiagnosed of course) and the scare gave her a heart attack - even at a young age.
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Old 12-24-2009, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tia 914 View Post
the weirdest one I can think of right-off is about a child who allegedly was literally "scared to death"-- someone frightened her to the extent that she went into convulsions and died...
would anyone have an opinion on whether that could've been true or not?
I agree with staceylee, she probably had some kind of underlying health condition, likely an unknown heart condition.

Can a person be scared to death?: Scientific American

Quote:
Is it possible to literally be scared to death?
Absolutely, no question about it.

Really? How does that happen?
The body has a natural protective mechanism called the fight-or-flight response, which was originally described by Walter Cannon [chairman of Harvard University's physiology department from 1906 to 1942]. If, in the wild, an animal is faced with a life-threatening situation, the autonomic (involuntary) nervous system responds by increasing heart rate, increasing blood flow to the muscles, dilating the pupils, and slowing digestion, among other things. All of this increases the chances of succeeding in a fight or running away from, say, an aggressive jaguar. This process certainly would be of help to primitive humans, but the problem, of course, is that in the modern world there is very limited advantage of the fight-or-flight response. There is a downside to revving up your nervous system like this.

How can the fight-or-flight response lead to death?
The autonomic nervous system uses the hormone adrenaline, a neurotransmitter, or chemical messenger, to send signals to various parts of the body to activate the fight-or-flight response. This chemical is toxic in large amounts; it damages the visceral (internal) organs such as the heart, lungs, liver and kidneys. It is believed that almost all sudden deaths are caused by damage to the heart. There is almost no other organ that would fail so fast as to cause sudden death. Kidney failure, liver failure, those things don't kill you suddenly.

What exactly happens in the heart when it's flooded with too much adrenaline?

Adrenaline from the nervous system lands on receptors of cardiac myocytes (heart-muscle cells), and this causes calcium channels in the membranes of those cells to open. Calcium ions rush into the heart cells and this causes the heart muscle to contract. If it's a massive overwhelming storm of adrenaline, calcium keeps pouring into the cells and the muscle just can't relax.

There is this specially adapted system of muscle and nerve tissue in the heart—the sinoatrial (SA) node, the atrioventricular node, and the Purkinje fibers—which sets the rhythm of the heart. If this system is overwhelmed with adrenaline, the heart can go into abnormal rhythms that are not compatible with life. If one of those is triggered, you will drop dead.

What is an example of one of these deadly heart rhythms?
In most cases, it's probably ventricular fibrillation that causes these sudden deaths from fear. Ventricular fibrillation basically causes the ventricles (lower chambers of the heart) to vibrate in a way that hampers their ability to deliver blood to the body.

What other emotional states besides fear could lead to these fatal heart rhythms?
Any strong positive or negative emotions such as happiness or sadness. There are people who have died in intercourse or in religious passion. There was a case of a golfer who hit a hole in one, turned to his partner and said, "I can die now"—and then he dropped dead. A study in Germany found an increase of sudden cardiac deaths on the days that the German soccer team was playing in the World Cup. For about seven days after the 9/11 terrorists attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon there was an increase of sudden cardiac death among New Yorkers.

Who is most likely to suffer from sudden death?
A predisposition to heart disease would probably increase your risk of sudden death, but it happens at all ages and can happen to otherwise healthy people.
I think that last bit is probably a little exaggerated - it would take a heck of fright to cause a cardiac death in a health heart.
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Old 12-24-2009, 08:58 AM
 
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A child in my grandmothers family died after eating mushrooms growing in their yard. The kind of mushroom that grow in wet spots in the grass.

Another relative was struck by lightening while calling cows in an open pasture. It was a clear day, not a cloud in the sky.

Another child died in the 1950's after falling from the bleachers in a gymnasium.
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Old 12-28-2009, 12:55 AM
 
1,016 posts, read 2,027,389 times
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Struck by lightning in the entryway of a church.

Beheaded and burned for some unknown crime.
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Old 12-28-2009, 02:18 AM
 
Location: Southeast Missouri
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Crushed by a coal cart.

"Congestion of brain." 4 day old girl.

2 brothers. One hit by train, fractured his skull. The other, car accident, broke his back and fractured his skull. Died 7 years apart, ages 34 and 26, respectively.
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