Scott Gottschalk of Kimball has stared death in the face more than 25 times and survived.
Gottschalk, who lived in the Minneota area during the 1990s, recently published a book "Nine Lives To Eternity," short stories about how he has cheated death 27 times during his life and how God and guardian angels have helped pull him through those harrowing experiences.
"When you add it all up, it's almost unbelievable," Gottschalk said.
Scott Gottschalk has had seven “pretty close calls” with farming accidents, three car crashes and five motorcycle accidents. He’s had 26 broken bones and been unconscious five times. “I somehow walked away from them all,” he said.
When he was 9 months old, Gottschalk said his parents were trying to combat an ant problem. They had locked the porch and put out ant poison. But one day, that door was accidentally left open.
"I drank an entire bottle of ant poison," Gottschalk said.
But he survived that first brush with death. Another came when he was 8 years old and the chimney at his family's house had become plugged up during a blizzard. The house became filled with carbon monoxide, but somehow Gottschalk knew what to do.
"As a little kid, I opened up some windows," Gottschalk said. "We were able to survive the onslaught of carbon monoxide poisoning."
He's had seven "pretty close calls" with farming accidents, three car crashes and five motorcycle accidents. He's had 26 broken bones and been unconscious five times.
"I somehow walked away from them all," he said.
Then came his worst motorcycle accident a year and a half ago. He was on a motorcycle trip, trying to get to California by a certain time. Gottschalk said he made one of the "first fatal mistakes" by riding all night. He was going 75 mph on I80 near Reno, Nev.
"I hit a big deer at 2 o'clock in the morning," Gottschalk said. "The doctors were just dumbfounded that I survived."
He had broken his back in three different places and had a total of 12 broken bones from that accidents. He goes in for his sixth surgery next week.
Gottschalk was told he would never ride a motorcycle again. But as it turns out, he never has a sore back and he doesn't have a limp. He rode his Harley Davidson 30,000 miles last summer.
"I tend to be inspired by that kind of challenge," Gottschalk said. He admits he's an adrenaline junkie with a risk-taking personality.
Gottschalk feels very lucky and blessed to have so many people in his life challenging him and a compelling short story writing style. Those people encouraged him by asking if he ever thought about writing on his close calls.
"I just decided it was time to put my story down on paper," Gottschalk said. Gottschalk had already written a book "The Folk and Their Fauna" in 1982.
Because of his latest near-death experience, Gottschalk said God's plan for him is not yet finished. He hopes "Nine Lives" is inspirational, as it has a faith-based message.
He begins each of the short stories with a Bible verse indicative in his mind and heart as to what he survived in the story.
Compared to taking more than a year writing his first book, Gottschalk said he only took five months to finish "Nine Lives." Since he has full-time job with Land O'Lakes, Inc., Gottschalk doesn't sit down in front of a computer and write all day long.
"The stories flowed easily to me because I?lived them,"?he said.
His publisher Xlibris, was pushing for a pre-Christmas release and he had to go from his manuscript to a book format in six weeks.
"They said if I?got my end done, they'll get their end done,"?he said.
Gottschalk said he wants readers to take away one thing from his book.
"My message is if you don't believe in angels, you will after you've read this book," he said.