My Testimony / Life Story

Written during 2008

Just over 12 years ago I was amazingly successful in the world's eyes - In my first 26 years I conquered more challenges than some people could hope to achieve in a lifetime - no challenge was too much for me and my brilliant brain.

Bungee down Vic Falls bridge - at that time (1995) the World's Highest Natural Bungi (111m)

Electronic Engineering was apparently a difficult degree, so I completed that with success; I worked day and night as Electronic Engineer at the CSIR, completing a world first computer program on Neural Networks - that is the simulation of the human brain to make decisions, still used daily by Denel and the Air Force. At the same time I studied Computer Science part time through UNISA.

Over weekends I got my adrenaline pumping by doing parachuting with the Air Force; White Water Rafting and Bungee Jumping at Vic Falls (at that time it was the highest natural bungee in the world); Moto-crossing with my bike and Kung-Fu. No challenge was too difficult or too much for me and my brain.

My life changed dramatically when, after repairing a friend's computers, I was on my motorbike on my way to gym when a lady skipped a stop street and wrote my motorbike off. I was thrown off the bike, my helmet came off, and my skull was crushed against the kerbstone. A man was driving behind me and saw the whole accident taking place. In his eyewitness report he states that when he reached me lying on the road, I was blue in the face, not breathing and my eyes were turned backwards. I was basically dead. He then gave me mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, and I was brought back to life. As I were on my way to gym I had no identification on me, and was refused entry to two private hospitals. As a result I was admitted to HF Verwoerd Hospital as unknown and brain-dead and left to die. The Lord works in mysterious ways, as exactly this resulted in the development of the CrisisOnCall identification system that has already saved thousands of lives over the past few years!

I was only operated on the next morning, when the eye witness came to my rescue again and insisted that they attend to me. I was then operated on for a cracked skull and brain haemorrhage and was in a coma for three weeks.

It was only after I woke up from the coma that my life, as I now know it, started. My father died, for example, a month before my accident, but I cannot remember him at all.

Cornelia after two weeks in a coma

Knowledge from University studies is lost. All that I know of my previous life is what I see in photographs. certificates, University articles and journals. I also had to learn to talk and learn to walk again. At age 28 I was medically boarded from my job in which I had complete work satisfaction, as my ultimate holiday experience apparently had been to work throughout the night at the CSIR.

After approximately 2½ years of avoiding people because of all my inabilities and losses - to count (that a problem up to a few weeks ago, but not anymore - praise the Lord!)

Click here to read my testimony on regaining my ability to count!

I am however, still having problems to read with comprehension, to watch television with understanding, concentration and severe memory losses ... but then I've found the Lord as my Saviour. As new Christian I was faced with the concept of forgiveness - forgiving a lady that was found guilty of reckless and negligent driving in two courts, but she still insisted that I, as biker, was at the wrong place at the wrong time - she did nothing wrong. That resulted in me ending up for a month in Denmar Clinic (an Institute for psychiatric treatment), trying to work through my frustrations. Eventually I was able to send her a letter of forgiveness earlier last year, and since then my life has opened up (in spite of my occasional frustrations at my inability to commit/recall anything to/from memory and also that all knowledge from University studies is lost, and having been permanently in pain).

Click here to read my testimony on forgiveness - the message for which I believe I was brought back to life to share with others

Click here to read my testimony on coping with pain

People that knew me before the accident, said that they had the idea that I considered my brain as all I ever needed to be a success in life - me and my brain needed no one else to overcome all challenges. Suddenly that on which I've depended on for so long were no longer there. God just wanted me to rest my weight fully on Him.

I have now come to realize that it is not at all important what milestones, achievements, qualifications, status symbols or business successes I'm able to achieve in this life ... - BUT that the only important thing in this life, is to have a living relationship with the Lord ... and to rest our weight fully on our heavenly Father.

Click here to read the Scriptural message of my testimony in a nutshell