Wednesday, September 5, 2012


By now you must have realised I’m into fiction.  When I read, I like to completely shut out reality and get lost in imaginary worlds.  I don’t often read biographies or such, but I do, however, like to read personal accounts of extraordinary events.  To date, the most exceptional account I’ve read was I have life by Alison Botha.  Every South African knows her extraordinary tale of survival.  In Port Elizabeth in 1994 Alison was brutally attacked by two men (later dubbed the ripper rapists) who overpowered her, raped her, stabbed her 30 times and cut her throat 16 times.  They left her to die in the dirt.  By the grace of God, Alison’s aorta was not damaged!  She could still force oxygen into her lungs, and keeping her intestines inside her body with one hand, and her head on her body with the other, Alison stumbled into the road.  A medical student found her and raced her to the nearest hospital.  Alison survived this horrific event, recovered miraculously and is a motivational speaker today.

After 18 years, I have found an account to rival Alison’s in terms of an extraordinary survival and recovery.  My sister-in-law, Taryn, gave me this book to read.  It was written by a friend of hers, also a South African woman.  The title Cut in half: How God mended me with 23 miracles is pretty self-explanatory. This book is Ana Le Roux’s testimony. 

Nine years ago, in 2003, young mother Ana Le Roux was involved in a head on collision.  Just three weeks after the birth of her son, Ana was literally cut in half by the force with which her body jack-knifed around the lap seat belt she was wearing.  This book opened my eyes to the danger of lap belts – something I have never been made aware of.  I quite frequently sit in the middle back-seat because I prefer the view, and as such I often make use of the lap belt… or shall I say used to.  I am grateful that Ana’s story made me aware of the dangers surrounding the lap belt. 

Ana was not expected to survive.  Her body was literally cut in half; Her spine was broken, her aorta was severed, her colon and small intestines were ripped. When it became apparent that she was pulling through, the prognosis was that Ana’s right leg would be amputated and that she would in all probability be paralised for the rest of her life.  Ana’s internal injuries were extensive, and a very long road of recovery loomed before her. As with Alison, God meant for Ana to not only survive, but recover. 

Cut in half: How God mended me with 23 miracles tells Ana’s story of how God healed her physically, spiritually and emotionally.  Where some might have shrugged events off as unimportant, credited luck or coincidence, Ana saw the truth: miracles;  God’s personal intervention.  In this day and age people are quick to say things like “I was so lucky”, or “I was at the right place at the right time”, or “What an amazing coincidence”.  People credit luck, destiny or fate.  So many phrases every single day diminish God’s participation in our lives, and with this book Ana strives to remind readers that miracles happen every single day – we just need to recognise them.

Ana doesn’t have the writing style of an author, and she’ll tell you herself that she is not an author.  You can tell Ana wrote these words herself.  Her writing is very forthright, like she’s in an active conversation with the reader.  This approach keeps the reader rooted in reality.  If the writing had been too fussy and frilly, this story would have strayed too close to fiction.  With Ana’s direct approach the reader never forgets that this miraculous event truly occurred, and that God is active in our lives every single day.

Cut in half: How God mended me with 23 miracles by Ana Le Roux is not only an inspirational story about survival, it is a very touching testimony every Christian should read.  Even better: share it with non-believers.  God might use you and Ana’s story to bring a lost child home.

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