leandi’s story


a story of healing

On the the 27th of November 2015 , it would be 6 years since the car accident that almost cost me my life. Saying that feels almost like an exaggeration as the reality I have now, is so far removed from the reality that my life was 6 years ago, and yet, when I was in that place I actually never thought that the season would pass and that time of my life felt never-ending. I think that’s why I love the quote “This too shall pass”. It’s a reminder that whatever season we are in (especially the difficult ones that feel unbearable and never-ending), these seasons are not forever and that we always have a hope of the future that God has promised us. Actually that’s one thing that Jesus said to me in that time. It was during one of my first operations in my hospital time when I had a dream or vision, of which I remember very little due to the medication, but I remember coming out of the dream being so acutely aware of the goodness of God and a clear knowing that , “He will work all things together for good” Romans 8:28. And this is exactly what He has done and is continuing to do.

The car accident happened when I was traveling with friends to the Drakensberg in South Africa to have a weekend away. We had a head-on collision with another car; I was sitting at the back. I have very little memory of the accident and the two weeks following the accident as I was put in an induced coma. When the accident happened, my dad was in Pakistan for a church conference and while he was there received a word from a pastor from Brazil that told him that “one of his friends’ daughter is in danger but she will not die”. This word was crucial for  what my parents had to face as everything they would experience in the natural (reports from doctors etc) would go in direct opposition to what  God had spoken. But my parents’ faith was not based on what they were experiencing  in the natural, but it was based on the Word of God, on Jesus.

So initially they thought I had only broken my pelvis and my right arm and had some other “minor” internal injuries (which I couldn’t remember because I was unconscious). I remember feeling like I was incredibly bloated and that I looked like a balloon from all the swelling. I also remember feeling incredibly hot all the time and always wanted ice. I would hold the ice in my hand till it had all melted and then I would throw the cold water all over my face. The nurses eventually refused to give me ice as I was making my hair and pillow wet, so I had my brother smuggle ice in for me.  About 3 weeks into being in ICU, they discovered that I had septicaemia due to a ruptured intestine. I remember the night they discovered this in a CT scan as well as the following day as this day was gonna be my best friend Sune’s wedding and I was to be a bridesmaid (or by this point at least watch it via Skype) but this did not happen as I needed emergency surgery. When I came out of the surgery, the doctor told my parents that my organs would start to fail and I would die within 48 hours due to the spread of the septicaemia. The theatre nurse who was in this first surgery was actually a Christian and decided to cancel her December holiday to see me through. When the doctor was telling my parents what the prognosis was, my dad refused to listen to him or have the doctor speak these words over me as my dad believed that God had said differently. We joked about it later, that my dad and my doctor did not get along, but actually this was probably the most crucial part in my healing, not taking the doctor’s word as truth when it was the facts but rather speaking the truth of God’s word over the situation.  A few weeks later this doctor, who had seen all the Scripture verses on my hospital wall and was a Hindu, asked me if I was religious. I told him, “No, I am not religious, but I love Jesus,” to which he replied, “Oh, because He helped you a lot.”

Being at a place now, 6 years on, I can clearly see that “what the enemy intended for harm, God has turned into good” but in that season it was not what I was feeling. It was most certainly one of the loneliest and scariest times of my life. Being poked and prodded continually where even breathing was a task as I was on a ventilator and I so longed just for a taste of water or to be able to tell people what I’m feeling. For a month I was on a ventilator and could not eat or drink anything and could not speak and on two occasions I literally thought that I was going to die because I couldn’t breathe. I also dreaded every time the nurses had to suction me especially after they discovered the sepsis and my abdomen had to be kept open(so it could be cleaned every other day) and it would feel like they would suction my organs.

One of the most incredible things during this time was the amazing support of friends and churches from all over  the world. I am so thankful for the church, so thankful that we don’t walk out this life on our own, that we are meant to walk out life with family, with friends who can carry us when we can’t stand by ourselves. People were praying, phoning, supporting, and encouraging our family. We had continual visitors and incredible support from so many. No church is perfect but walking out this life and faith  by ourselves is just plain stupidity when we have this incredible gift of fellowship with the saints. “As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight” Psalm 16:3

Another amazing miracle was the Father’s provision of finances. We had no medical insurance so the support of friends and churches were so important. My dad said he felt that the Lord challenged him to be generous through this whole time. “You sometimes will have money for just a few hours, but while it is yours, you can decide what you do with it. You can give 100% towards the medical providers, or continue to honour God first every time.” It was a difficult decision as we were under huge financial pressure and several medical providers threatened us with legal action. But God kept the promise of Prov 3 : 9-10 “Honour the Lord with your wealth and with the first fruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.” We were able to settle all the bills within 3 years, and with the help of friends in South Africa submitted a claim with the road accident fund in South Africa. This claim was settled in 2014 in one of the biggest settlements of the fund ever which caused me to reach the front page of two newspapers.

As I said before, this time of my life was one of the loneliest and scariest, but I can say with confidence that God works all things for good. I remember people asking me just after that season, how I felt and telling me how I must be feeling so thankful for what God had done. The truth is in that time, (except for the dream of Jesus) I actually didn’t feel God. I felt very far from Him. I had very little strength to pray, even for months after I came out of hospital, but it was the prayers of everyone around me that carried me and now looking back, I know that I know, that  Jesus was right by me, even though I didn’t feel Him. He literally saved me. The amazing thing was that even though I felt far from Him, He showed me such incredible kindness. What He did in and through me, the whole process is actually astounding, and it is not even so much the physical healing as it is seeing His incredible faithfulness to His word and his unending kindness.

Even though the doctor said I would die within 48 hours, even though I had plates put in my pelvis, my arm and my back and I’ve had so many surgeries I could not keep count, not only am I not dead, but when people meet me, they would have no idea. They would have no idea what happened to me, because of God, because He spoke a word at the very beginning and every time the opposite was declared by a doctor, my mom and dad declared the Word of God. I also don’t  feel like I carry a traumatic stress about this experience, I have not once since had an overwhelming fear of driving in a car or sleepless nights over the experience.

This is an amazing story of God’s faithfulness. I echo the words of David :

“It is God’s  kindness, love and favour that transforms us. Your favour, Lord makes me as secure as a mountain” Psalm 30 :7 (NLT)

first sip of juice after a month
scriptures that were declared over me during that season
I was at the rehabilitation centre for 3 weeks where I had to learn to walk again
me, now, 6 years later with my parents