"You're never going to be normal after you go through something like that."
Life isn't always as perfect as it may seem for the rich and the famous. In fact, plenty of celebrities have gone through some pretty scary experiences in their lives -- but they've thankfully made it through to tell their stories. Celebrities like Travis Barker and Amy Schumer all know that they're lucky to be alive after their frightening ordeals. From car crashes to surfing mishaps, these stars have all survived some pretty terrifying accidents.
Here's what these celebs had to say about their accidents…
When Alison Brie was just seven years old she had an accident that nearly left her blind. After a hard fall on the playground, Alison sustained a concussion — but it only got worse from there. On the way to the hospital, she began to experience loss of vision and amid her panic, and her father got into a car accident, tossing her to the floor of the car. When she finally got to the hospital, Alison was told she would likely be permanently blind if her vision didn't return within 12 hours.
Fortunately, her vision returned when she woke up 10 hours later. The accident has left no lasting impacts on her health, although she has very few recollections of the whole ordeal.
In 2008, Travis Barker's life was changed forever when he was in a deadly plane crash that claimed the life of several of his closest friends. During takeoff, the plane's tires blew leading to a crash and fiery explosion. Travis was able to escape through an emergency exit but he suffered third-degree burns on 65% of his body, had to undergo 26 surgeries, and was left with mental health issues. While he's struggled with PTSD since the accident, Travis says things have started to get better as the years go on.
"The closer I was to it, it felt like I was closer to the bad stuff than I am to the good stuff. I felt closer to the experience of trying to escape, [to] being in an accident and being burned, trying to grab my friends from a burning plane. That haunted me for a long time. And as long as I was closer to that than this good stuff, I was always thinking about that," Barker said. "Now it's been so many years, it's getting easier for me. There are days where I'll wake up and never think about it," Travis told Men’s Health.
When Amy Schumer was in high school, she was seriously hurt during a solo surfing session. In the accident where Amy says she "skegged" herself, her board's entire fin went into her leg and she had to "yank it out."
"I found like one guy with this other guy. I was like, 'I need you to hold my leg.' I was delegating. And he held my leg closed with his bare hands — just fat and blood coming out. I wish I knew who that guy was, because he saved my life, for sure," Amy told Vanity Fair.
When Miranda Cosgrove was on tour in 2011, she was in a scary bus accident that left her needing surgery. The accident occurred in the middle of the night when the bus encountered an overturned semi-truck on the road and the bus driver collided with the vehicle while trying to hit the brakes. Miranda, who was sleeping on a couch in the front of the bus, sustained a severe broken ankle that required surgery.
Following the procedure, Miranda uncovered one other unusual injury from the accident — a mysterious hole in her leg. Thankfully, it wasn't painful and it eventually scabbed over to heal.
"It was so strange, because when I woke up, I had a cast on, like a soft cast, and then later I went back and they removed it. And then that's when I noticed the hole. And I was asking questions like, 'What's this? What's that?' And then I was like, 'Wait, why is there a hole in my leg?' So they were like, 'Oh, we didn't do that,'" Miranda said on the "Hypochondriactor" podcast.
In 1988, Gary Busey was in a motorcycle accident that completely changed his life. After being thrown off the bike and into a curb where he split his skull, he was rushed into brain surgery. Gary says that while on the operating table, he passed away and had a spiritual experience in which angels gave him the choice to continue his destiny or stay in the spiritual realm. While he chose to return Earth-side, his brain injury forced him to spend months learning to walk and talk again. Gary's family says the accident was a difficult time for everyone but he says it was all a part of his journey.
"I don't have brain damage; I have a brain disordered in a better direction because of how it happened and how it recovered…It was part of my journey, my growing up, my understanding," Gary told The Guardian.
When Rachel Bilson was just a teenager, she says she was involved with the wrong group of friends and got a wakeup call when she was in a terrifying car accident. Rachel explained that the group was driving down the coast of California when they were in a head-on collision that left her in a coma for several days.
"Everyone was lucky to have survived...I was with my girlfriend and these two guys driving down the Pacific Coast Highway. We were going really fast and we were involved in a head-on collision with a truck. We were in a tiny car and it was a pretty bad crash. They had to cut us out and I was in a coma for a few days," she told Mirror.
Gloria Estefan was in the middle of a tour when her bus was involved in a traumatic accident during a snowstorm. The vehicle was rear-ended by an 18-wheeler truck and she suffered a broken vertebra in her back, which doctors thought may leave her unable to walk or dance again. Her career was put on hold while she underwent months of rehabilitation during which she realized the accident "gave meaning to [her] fame."
"It wasn't until I was the recipient of everyone's collective thoughts that I clearly understood. I would visually see the prayers entering my body and going to my spine. I would imagine nerves reconnecting and doing all these things. Literally I was sucking in that energy that I was feeling and it was keeping me buoyed and up," Gloria said on "Red Table Talk: The Estefans."
Before Kanye West rose to fame as a rapper, he was in a car accident that left him with serious injuries. Just two weeks after inking his first record deal, Kanye fell asleep at the wheel while driving a rented car in the early hours of the morning. He was left with a shattered jaw that required reconstructive surgery and for his jaw to be wired shut. Months after the accident, Kanye said he was still learning to rap again — but he ended up making a recovery and penning his song "Through the Wire" about the experience.
"I think I started to approach time in a different way after the accident. Before I was more willing to give my time to people and things that I wasn't as interested in…The accident gave me the opportunity to do what I really wanted to do. I was a music producer, and everyone was telling me that I had no business becoming a rapper, so it gave me the opportunity to tell everyone, 'Hey, I need some time to recover.' But during that recovery period, I just spent all my time honing my craft and making 'The College Dropout,'" Kanye told Interview magazine.
Back in 2014, Tracy Morgan was in a horrific accident when a limousine he was riding in was slammed by a Walmart semi-truck and his vehicle burst into flames. The crash claimed the life of Tracy's friend, comedian James McNair, and left him with severe injuries, including traumatic brain damage. His recovery included months of rehabilitation where he had to relearn to walk and speak.
"You're never going to be normal after you go through something like that. You don't die for a few weeks and then come back to normal, trust me. Something's going to be missing, something's going to be gained — you just got to live your life after that," Tracy told Complex.
In 2018 George Clooney was riding his motorcycle in Italy when he got into a frightening accident where he collided with a Mercedes vehicle. The impact was so severe that it shattered the car's windshield.
"It split my helmet in half, it knocked me out of my shoes. I was hit hard. I was just waiting for the switch to turn off because I broke his windshield with my head, and I thought, 'Okay, well, that's my neck.' If you get nine lives, I got all of them used up at once — so I can let go of motorcycle riding for a while," George told THR.
Justin Theroux was once in a skateboarding accident that almost left him needing brain surgery. While skating through New York City, Justin says he got hit by a van and completely blacked out. When he woke up, he couldn't remember his name or phone number. While waiting for the ambulance, which took over an hour to reach him, his memory started to return but things took another scary turn at the hospital. After doing scans, Justin was woken up in the middle of the night because doctors thought they saw something concerning. He was quickly prepped for brain surgery but after a second doctor looked things over, he was thankfully given a clean bill of health.
"I was skateboarding…and I got hit by a van and woke up with people all around me. I clearly blacked out for, I think, a long time. There was a woman over me weeping…and the woman was screaming, she goes, 'Who are you? What's your name? What's your phone number?’ Trying to get in touch with someone…I had no clue who I was…I couldn’t remember my name and I couldn't remember my phone number," Justin recounted on "The Ellen Show."