Hijacking Survivor
Jackie was following her dreams of working and living in Egypt when she decided to take a weekend trip to Athens, Greece. Things took a deadly turn on her flight home when the plane she was on was hijacked and Jackie was shot at point-blank range and thrown on the tarmac to die. Although she lay on the tarmac for five hours before anyone found her, Jackie said she felt at peace because she felt like God was telling her that she was going to be okay. 

Jackie did in fact survive—though she was left with impaired vision and a loss of short-term memory. When she appeared on The Oprah Show in 1988, she told Oprah that she had to go through a forgiving process after the hijacking, but she made the choice to be happy and move on with her life.

Abandoned As a Child
In 2000, Oprah Show guest Kelly told viewers how she survived abandonment, a plane crash and leukemia—all before she turned 12. As a baby, Kelly was left on the side of the road in Vietnam by her parents. She had a short stay in a local orphanage, and then, in 1975, she was part of Operation Baby Life—a program that evacuated thousands of babies from Vietnam. Kelly was placed on a plane destined for the United States, but her journey did not go smoothly. The plane she was on crashed, killing 150 passengers. "I really don't know why I was chosen to be one of those survivors. I feel incredibly lucky, and I feel like I've gotten a lot of second chances," Kelly says. 

Kelly was eventually adopted by a couple in Seattle, but the obstacles did not stop there. At age 11, she was diagnosed with leukemia. With fight and determination, Kelly overcame her disease and went on to become a healthy and successful adult. "These obstacles that had happened in my life gave me strength and fueled my motivation to live and to succeed and to go on," Kelly says.
Caron Butler

NBA Player Caron Butler
NBA player Caron Butler's road to success was not an easy one. Growing up on the streets of Racine, Wisconsin, Caron was arrested 15 times before the age of 15. "My role models back then were pimps [and] drug dealers," Caron told Oprah in 2005. It wasn't until he found himself in a maximum-security detention center that he discovered his love for basketball—and the hope that it provided. His true turning point occurred while he was locked in solitary confinement for two weeks. "I remember writing my mother letters, so many letters, telling her how much I loved her and if I was to get out, I would never, ever hurt her again. It was from this moment I knew that I could do anything in life." 

After his time in prison, Caron took big steps to change his life. He returned to high school and joined the basketball team. His success there landed him a basketball scholarship with the University of Connecticut, and he quickly became one of the team's star players. Today, Caron has a successful career in the NBA and is living the life he always dreamed of!
Clemantine and Claire reunite with their family

Rwandan Genocide Survivors
After witnessing the murder of their family members during the Rwandan genocide, sisters Clemantine and Claire hid for 100 days and then spent six years in refugee camps across Africa. They didn't know if their parents were dead or alive, so in 2000, they emigrated to America. After years of searching, an acquaintance told Clemantine and Claire that their parents were alive. The family reconnected over the phone, but Clemantine and Claire hadn't seen them in person since the genocide began 12 years earlier. 

As the girls stood on Oprah's stage in 2006, Oprah announced that she'd flown their parents to Chicago for a surprise reunion
Elie Wiesel and Oprah

Holocaust Survivor Elie Wiesel
He's one of the people that Oprah most respects: Elie Wiesel, an author, scholar and Holocaust survivor. At 15 years old, Elie and his family were deported by the Gestapo to the Auschwitz death camp and separated. There, he endured the unthinkable: starvation, torture and disease, not to mention the deaths of those he loved the most. Oprah has said the miraculous part of Elie's story is not just that he survived, but that he went on to live without hate. "The anger here is in me—hate is not," Elie says. "I write and I teach, and therefore, I believe anger must be a catalyst."

In 2006, Oprah selected Elie's book Night as one of her Book Club picks.
Ty overcame a bombing in Iraq to marry his high school sweetheart, Renee.

Love Overcomes a Bombing in Iraq
Ty was a marine who had just proposed to his high school sweetheart, Renee, when he was deployed to Iraq. Five months later, Renee received the devastating news that Ty and six other Marines had been attacked by a suicide bomber. Ty's skull was shattered; his face, head and arms were burned beyond recognition, and his left hand had to be amputated. 

When he appeared on The Oprah Show in 2006, Ty had undergone more than 30 surgeries and extensive physical therapy—and Renee never left his side. The couple married in October 2006, and Renee says she never had any intention of leaving Ty. "I didn't date him and marry him because of what he looked like," she says. "I married him because of who he is." 
Faith the dog

Faith the Dog
Oprah Show viewers got a little "faith" in 2006 after meeting a dog who was born with severely deformed front legs. Despite her disability, Faith learned to hop around on two legs and served as a therapy dog. "Isn't this a miracle dog?" Oprah asked when she saw Faith. "If this dog can do this, it makes you think, 'What can I do?'"
Isaiah Kacyvenski

NFL Player Isaiah Kacyvenski
In 2007, NFL player Isaiah Kacyvenski shared his story of beating the odds with Oprah. Growing up in poverty, Isaiah knew that college and football would be his ticket out. By his senior year in high school, he was an honor student and captain of the football team, but tragedy soon struck. On the morning of a big playoff game, he awoke to the news that this mother had been struck and killed by a truck. Isaiah says he didn't want to sit at home "wallowing in sorrow," so he decided to play in the big game. He went on to play one of the best games of his life. 

Isaiah says it was his mother's spirit that drove him to achieve his dreams: He graduated from Harvard with honors and led his team to their first Ivy League title in nearly a decade. After college, he fulfilled his childhood dream of playing in the NFL. 

Singing Sensation Charice
Charice overcame a tumultuous childhood in the Philippines to fulfill her dream of becoming a singer. When she was 3 years old, Charice says she remembers seeing her father fly into a fit of rage. She says she watched as he choked and attacked her mother. Charice and her mother escaped with their lives, but they struggled to keep themselves afloat financially. In an effort to help support her family, Charice entered singing contests—which is how she caught her big break. A stranger posted one of her jaw-dropping performances on YouTube, and Oprah's producers were among the 13 million people who logged on to watch the 16-year-old sing songs made famous by artists like Celine Dion and Beyoncé. 

In May 2008, Charice flew 15 hours to showcase her talent on The Oprah Show. She stole the show with a soul-stirring rendition of Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing," and she has been blowing away her fans ever since.
Jenny McCarthy and Monica Jorge

"Warrior Mom" Monica Jorge
In 2008, Jenny McCarthy introduced us to "warrior mom" Monica Jorge. During the birth of her second child, Monica contracted a rare and deadly flesh-eating bacteria. Defying the odds, Monica survived, but many of her vital organs did not. The doctors removed Monica's uterus, ovaries, gallbladder and part of her colon that same day. Later, they were forced to amputate both of her arms and legs in order to save her life. "I was frightened at first, but when they told me [my arms and legs] had to be amputated, it was: 'Do it. I've got to go home,'" Monica says. "[I thought,] 'I have a life to live and it's not here, and until you amputate, I can't move forward.'"
John Diaz

Plane Crash Survivor John Diaz
In 2007, music producer John Diaz told Oprah a story that she would never forget. A few years earlier, John was on a flight taking off from Taiwan when things went horribly wrong. Before his flight even left the runway, it was hit with two serious collisions—including one that ripped a hole in the plane, causing the cabin to fill with fiery jet fuel. John watched the people around him ignite in flames. Miraculously, he found a way to survive. Thanks to his quick thinking and his seat in the front row, John was able to shield himself with a leather carry-on bag and escape through an exit door. 

Before he got out, John saw the people around him strapped into their seats, burning. As he watched, he says he noticed what appeared to be auras leaving their bodies, some brighter than others. "I thought, 'The brightness and dimness of the auras were how one lives one's life,' so to speak," he says. "That's one of the major things that really has changed within me ... I want to live my life so my aura, when it leaves, is very bright." Today, John is left with severe pain from the crash and has to use a walker, but he says he will never forget the lessons her learned on that plane.
Cody and Oprah

Cody, the Miraculous Runner
When Cody was born, doctors told his parents that he had an incurable disease and wouldn't live past his first day. He survived, but he still had a difficult journey ahead: At just 15 months old, both of Cody's legs were amputated, and by the time he was 18 months old, he was fitted for his first prosthetic legs. Cody shocked everyone when it took just days for him to start walking with his prosthetic legs. 

Oprah talked to Cody in 2009, when he was 6 years old. "These are my running legs, and I run very fast in them, and I bounce in them," Cody told Oprah. "Since I have different legs, I can do anything."
Tererai Trent

The Woman Who Never Gave Up on Her Dream
As a young girl in rural Zimbabwe, Tererai Trent lived without running water and electricity. Although she was desperate to learn, she only attended two terms of school before she was forced to marry at age 11. In 1991, Tererai met a woman from Heifer International and told her what her greatest dream was: to move to America and get her PhD. The woman told her she should write her dreams down, so Tererai wrote them on piece of paper, placed them in a tin box and buried them under a rock. 

By 1998, her dream started to come true. Tererai moved to Oklahoma with her husband and five children. Just three years later, she earned a bachelor's degree in agricultural education. In 2003, Tererai obtained her master's degree. After every achievement, Tererai returned home to Zimbabwe, unearthed her tin of dreams and checked off each goal she accomplished, one by one. When Tererai appeared on The Oprah Show in December 2009, she had just realized her greatest dream of all: a doctoral degree.
Kyle, Emma and Katie

A Tragedy and a Miracle
In an instant, Chris and Lori Coble's life was turned upside down. Lori was driving their three children, Kyle, Emma and Katie, back from a trip to the mall when a big rig loaded with 40,000 pounds of cargo going 55 miles per hour slammed into the back of their minivan and demolished it. Lori survived, but tragically, the crash stole the lives of her and Chris' three children. Where they once had a boisterous, happy home, Chris and Lori now found deafening silence and loneliness.
Three months after the accident, the couple decided to try for more children. On their first attempt with in vitro fertilization, Lori became pregnant with triplets—two girls and a boy. Almost exactly a year after Kyle, Emma and Katie died, Lori gave birth to Ashley, Ellie and Jake! "They'll never replace Kyle, Emma and Katie," Lori told Oprah in 2010. "But the joy is back in the house. It's back in our hearts. They fill our lives again with love and happiness and laughter."