My Life Transformation After the Tragic Accident

I have lost and found myself along the way.

If you want to know the full story of the past eleven months of my life read the following extract and give me your feedback on LinkedIn...and then the Patient book shall become a reality. ...

I urge you not to read this article if you are a sensitive person.

For those who do not know last year on the 13th of August (midnight), I was involved in a tragic car accident and that lead to me losing a great friend and left me fighting for my life in an intensive high care unit for a two-month hospital stay.

My life has taken a drastic 360-degree change ever since that fateful night.

Mentally, spiritually, and physically I have a different outlook on life, people, and the world itself.

I have grown to understand that God exists and is alive and that is a non-negotiable because of my personal experience with him.

That I made it through still shocks a lot of people, that I am alive, that I can walk and that I still smile through it all. Doctors rejoice every time they see me and some break into tears of joy. Every time I go for my check-ups, I am asked the non-ending question: “When will we read the Miracle Patient book?"

I have been asked by doctors, friends, church people, family and acquaintances who have heard my story, to share and write a book about my life before and after the accident that traumatically changed my life forever.

I believe that when the time is right I will find a great author whom I can easily open-up to and help me tell my story; but for now, allow me to express the little that I remember about the accident and my life since.

What I am about to write is not even a fragment of what I have experienced but I will try to summarize what I felt and will give you a glimpse into the watershed moment and the more beautiful, peaceful, joyful, fulfilling chance at life I have been given.

Critical Moments

ICU Picture

This is an image of me when I was still in the ICU Ward. This was the time where my parents were told to expect anything because everything had been done and there was no sign of hope.

This was when my lungs and kidneys failed. This was when the infection was attacking every part of my body and I was booked to go to Grace Hospital for a leg amputation.

This was when my heart could not pump on its own and I needed a support system to help me breathe; but through all of that my family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances were in collective prayer.

Let me ask you this — for someone who had so many failings during her ICU stay why did I not come out of that place with an amputated leg, one kidney, a permanent colostomy, and no ability to walk?

I strongly believe that it was the work of collective prayer — God listened to every heart and realized what damage would it make to not bring me back one last time, and testify that he is alive.

I know for a fact that I should have been dead and sleeping in my grave but through God's mercy and grace I am alive.

Hospital Visiting Hours Selfie

High Care Ward with my Sisters

During the Car Crash

That week I had received a job offer in Santa Monica, California as an influencer outreach specialist. I was extremely excited to know that I might relocate overseas. I shared the news with a colleague and a friend Nkonzo Khabela. There was something different and special about that Friday, and we then decided to have fun and the next thing I remember was the smell of the airbag and a severe pain in my tummy and my back. All I could see was lights everywhere as the paramedics arrived and the next thing I woke up in Addington Hospital.

Addington Hospital

A part of me still hates Addington Hospital (I want to curse it) but a part of me is convinced that God was behind the negligence and delay.

I remember saying:

If it wasn’t for their negligence I believe my friend Nkonzo would have been alive and things would have turned out differently for me.

I wouldn’t have had a colostomy bag for nine months and not too much damage would have happened to my intestines and my back. I wouldn’t have stayed in the hospital for almost three months.

I wouldn’t have suffered from PTSD, from self-pity for months, from hating every part of my body, I wouldn’t have plotted against my life and wanting to put an end to it and I wouldn’t have felt that my body was failing me all the time.

A special colleague by the name of Jenna Kelly bought me a journal to start pouring my heart out to and till this day my heart thanks to her for that thought.

My Journal Story

(I will write as it is on my Diary — I will not change a thing)

My body fails me:

A day doesn’t pass by without having suicidal thoughts, without seeing my body useless. It hurts to see my body failing to perform like it used to be (not being able to do things for myself without asking for help).

I hate the Mirror:

For some reason, I wish there were no mirrors around me. I can’t stand looking at my body shape – The colostomy bag disgusts me and painfully burns my skin, it limits me from in terms of what to wear.

Not to mention the big scar on my tummy, it reminds me of how shameful my life has become.

Dependence:

My body failing me has changed me into something I’ve always rather not be depending on other people, expecting someone to drive me around because my stupid back doesn’t allow me to walk for too long, or expecting someone to take off or hang up my washing on the line because my body is always in severe pain.

Hatred:

I have never thought I would come to a point where I am hating my body and every part of it, and most especially my stomach as I have always cherished it.

Body and mind:

My body and mind are fighting me at the same time. I hate the things I always think about as well as my body for failing me. So when both mind and body fight me simultaneously I lose control and begin to have suicidal thoughts. I was so close to taking all my tablets. I thought everyone would be better off without me and that I would be free from the endless pain and be a burden to people.

The End.

My Body Injuries

myself with a Spinal Fusion Operation

Addington Hospital failed me.

The Addington Hospital story is long but to keep the story short Addington Hospital neglected me. They could not see that I had an internal bleeding, that my back bone had shifted from its normal position. They literally did not see that I was dying in front of them, instead, they sent me back home twice even when my friend had told them that she is scared how I had drastically lost weight and that I couldn't eat, poo or pee.

When Addington Hospital failed me I then phoned my mum and she said she could feel that I was in severe pain and couldn’t speak but I managed to say, “Mom I love you and forgive me for everything.” She then quickly phoned my house mate and asked what had happened. My house mate explained about the and to her shock, she didn’t know that my mum was unaware of what had happened. My mind was disturbed and I could not think or talk about myself at all.

The Accidental Tourist With A Bag (Colostomy Bag) The Healing Process.

I made this video during the time I had a colostomy bag as part of my healing process. it really helped me not to be harsh to myself, it made me accept the tempory journey I had to take with it. I began to be kind to myself also, I made it for those who are not able to clean themselves to see that it is an easy job and that you don't need to go to your nearest clinic for it — it is a DIY at Home thing :) 

I received good feedback from people and I connected with a lot of people with the same condition as mine and were able to share few things with one another. It was inspiring to hear their stories. The saddest part was when some of them telling me that theirs were permanent and that really broke my heart because I know how much I hated mine and that I nearly took my life because of it. I hated every sec of it and to know that there are people that have to live with it for life really saddens me.

I am proud to know that people can now talk about it and post about it.

Colostomy Cleaning Moment

Myself cleaning my Stoma at home and the Skin Graft Tummy Scar.

My Mum and Aunt drove on Sunday morning from Pietermaritzburg to Durban to fetch me and they took me to the nearest hospital in PMB called Edendale Hospital.

There was a lot that happened on our way to PMB but that is another part of this story.

Thigh Skin Graft Operation

Thigh Skin Graft for my tummy operation

When I arrived at Edendale Hospital, the doctors could not understand how one who had been involved in such a serious accident as mine, was sent home by another state hospital. I believed that Sunday afternoon was my last day on earth.

I remember my cousin shouting as my pupils were turning clear white and on the other side my mum and aunt were concerned as my entire body began to freeze while the sun outside was blazing hot.

I could not take it any longer, I kept asking my mum if she can put me on the floor so I can rest. I don’t remember saying this but she says: “You kept touching my face and looking me in the eyes with eyes of pain and sorrow, asking me if I can forgive you for the sins you have committed.”

When she explains this to me, I am thinking to myself Mum didn’t you see those were the signs of someone who is saying her last goodbyes on Earth.

I look back and think to myself it was God all along. He blinded her eyes not to see death but to see life and through that faith, I am alive today.

Feet Infection

my infected feet.

I don’t remember this part but…

Until my turn arrived to see the doctor they examined me and when they saw that they were left with few hours to save my life. They quickly put me on a gurney and I was sent for x-rays. This confirmed the unexpected shocking news and I was taken to theatre right away.

Three weeks later I woke up and believe me when I say so much had happened in ICU — I had hopeless and silly moments.

Let me share one silly moment —

For some reason I thought Dr. Read and his team were plotting against me — I thought they wanted my blood. I will look at them as they discussed my next surgery and I would feel hopeless not being able to speak for myself and put a stop to all this nonsense. I guess my mind was lost.

Read the Instagram story I posted a few months ago after I was discharged from the hospital.

This story proves that some Doctors are anointed by God to save lives.

Myself and Dr. Read

Outside Edendale Hospital

After months in ICU Doctor Read offered to take me out to see the world, to be exposed to the sun and nature, and to feel the outside refreshing breeze. I was so happy when he proposed the idea to me.

Doctor Read was different and he went the extra mile to help all his patients, and all for the goodness of his patient’s health, happiness and put the smile on their faces.

The day I woke up I could feel that my throat was too dry and for some time I kept it to myself and never asked for water. After a month without a drop of water I couldn't take it any longer. So I demanded water from the nurse who was looking after me at that time. In her kind voice she refused and began to tell me stories about the dangers and that I had pipes in my throat running through to my tummy.

I was not convinced she was telling the truth so I started acting up to get her attention. I kept pressing my bed down, moving my head, and lay with my legs up in the air, and at last I cried tears of sorrow. They could see that I seriously needed water but they wouldn’t risk doing that. They had no idea what to do because not only had I asked for water but I had asked for a list of yummy things to be brought to me: Yoghurt, apple juice, Nartjies and Ultra Mel.

My heart began to see them as evil people, I hated all of them and you know why? Because while my throat was dry and longing for something drenching and sugary, they would still have the nerve to bring their juice and water inside the ICU ward knowing very much that there are people there like myself, People who would risk their lives for that drop of water that running through an ice-cold juice or water bottle. (There are so many occasions where I wanted to die than to feel the way I did)

Dr. Read would always come to my rescue. He heard about my fruit and water story and came next to my bed and explained why I would not be allowed to drink water and eat fruits. Not only did he do that but he promised me to be the first one to buy me a tree with all kinds of fruits and all kinds of yummy things (how exaggerating but for some reason I believed everything he said). He then left me and quickly returned with three ice cubes which he crushed into smaller pieces that he fed to me. Believe me when I say it made a huge difference to me. He left me with HOPE and a SMILE on my face.

I will never underestimate the power of water in one’s body.

To cut a long story short he fulfilled his promises. He would buy and feed me and there was never a week where I do not receive something from him. He would bring me cupcakes, chocolates, Yoghurt, Naartjies and all kinds of fruits, and on top of that, he would still have time to randomly come and chat to me.

We need more doctors like him. Doctors who care, who invest their time and put all their effort into a patient’s joy, hope, and health.

ICU Staff Doctors and Nurses

Most influential people

Image: Doctors (Black T Shirt: Dr. Read and Blue Shirt: Dr. Wise who is the HOD) and the Nurses who had a big influence on me not giving up even when things were getting tougher and unbearable in my 2 and a half months stay in the hospital.

I pray to God every day that he blesses every one of them and that they may continue do the very same thing to others as they did to me.

Journal Story

Depression:

Depression is a build-up thing — from allowing yourself to think too much, to keeping yourself indoors all the time, to stop doing the things that matter to you, to not wanting to socialize, communicate with people around you, and even worse, not trusting that one person you have always trusted your entire life.

Depression is a thief, a liar and devil itself — depression's aim is to consume and control your mind and soul into doing that one thing you have never thought you will ever think of doing — committing suicide and end your life.

Depression is where you plot against yourself — your life and your happiness. Depression is a test as to how powerful you can be to fight and defeat it and if you managed to fight it — then consider yourself a fighter and a survivor.

Depression begins with negative, dark, and evil thoughts and it can end with positive, light and good thoughts.

The end.

Me, after such a traumatic experience.

I have had the worst pain that I wouldn’t wish on my biggest enemy. I have had depressing and suicidal thoughts, I have hated myself and cried as I see my body disgust and fail me. I have seen myself unworthy and useless.

I have grown to love and accept my scars as they are a reminder of what God has done for my life. I have grown not only to love and accept but to embrace them through one thing I love doing photo shoots.

Me, after such a traumatic experience.

Photoshoot in Hilton PMB

Right after this shoot I knew that I could tackle anything. I knew I could face and overcome anything through Christ who does things before me. I began to care less what others thought of me and my body.

I never thought I would fall in love with my body again – I was worried about my future husband and how he would find my body unpleasant to look at but God made me even more obsessed with its beauty and uniqueness.

What I am trying to say it that God can turn winter into spring and bitter into sweet.

I have explored more than before.

I have become bolder, tougher, and untouchable.

I don’t feel like my sins are catching up with me anymore, I don’t feel like I am missing out on anything. Instead, I am in the place of exile with God.

What is a place of exile?

Photoshoot

A place of exile is for those who are willing to give it all to Christ. It is a journey with God. I am allowing him to guide me, put me through trials, challenge me and discipline me.

I had been struggling to forgive myself as I had seen my sins catching up with me. I had fought the temptations of sinful nature and I had overcome depression, I had touched so many lives and I have rejoiced as I see people accepting Christ through my story.

I am getting emails from people asking about what I have gone through and how I managed to come out of it with such an alive spirit.

I am still on a journey with God and I have completely given him my life. I am letting him direct my footsteps, my thinking, and my talk.

This is not an easy journey, it is full of temptation and worldly promise; but I am letting God decide for me. I am asking him every day to enlighten what my purpose is in this world — why he saved me? I want him to guide me through life and to see what he has called me to do.

I am patiently waiting with so much joy and a smile on my face :)

I have cried, laughed and rejoiced as I was writing this story.

Dear reader, would you like to experience the full story of the Miracle Patient? I would love your feedback as to the value of my story.

Thank you.

Nelisiwe Zuma
Nelisiwe Zuma

I am a young Christian lady with so much personality and full of life - You will probably find me smiling and joyful all the time. I have a lot of energy sometimes it shocks me :) 


I am a hair color fanatic and I love challenges.

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