In the years leading up to his presidency, Washington's life was peppered with dangerous experiences. He suffered from malaria, smallpox, pleurisy and dysentery, all before he was 30. On his way back from the famous expedition to the French Fort le Boeuf during the French and Indian War, he fell off his raft in an icy river and nearly drowned. Later in the same trip an Indian standing less than 50 feet away shot at him and missed. Later in 1755, four bullets punctured Washington's coat and two horses were shot down from underneath him. Somehow, the young officer survived the experience, though, and emerged unscathed.