Contents of blog copyright Book Dragon's Lair 2009-2017
It's been an interesting year so far. I've lost both my Moms. My mother died in January after a long decline. Soon after, my Mother-in-Law went in for bypass surgery. While her heart healed, other issues zapped her strength and she died April 22.

I may have challenge update posts but I don't know when I'll be posting regularly or when I'll get to visit everyone who is working on the challenges I'm hosting.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Mistaken Identity

I read a book earlier this year called Eye Contact and thought it was a mother's worst nightmare, getting a phone call from your child's school and hearing "I'm sorry, your child is missing from campus". Then I read Mistaken Identity with the late night/early morning phone call, and "there has been a terrible accident" and "I'm sorry, your child didn't make it".


Mistaken Identity: Two Families, One Survivor, Unwavering Hope

Don & Susie Van Ryn and
Newell, Colleen & Whitney Cerak
with Mark Tabb

Howard Books
March 2008
288 pages
Non-fiction > Biography/Religious
(I finished this book Feb. 12)


from the back cover: "Five lives were lost in a tragic accident involving a Taylor University van, and one young woman, severely injured and comatose, was rushed to the hospital.

Five funerals were held. Families, faculty, students, and communities grieved their losses and joined in prayer and hope as the one young woman, Laura Van Ryn, fought for her life in a hospital bed. The national news spread the story, and people everywhere shared the grief and the hope.

Five weeks passed for the Cerak family. Believing they had buried their daughter, the Ceraks clung to their faith and worshipped God through their tears, learning to look forward with hope to an eternal reunion with their lovely daughter Whitney. they spent weeks of morning and grief surrounded by loved ones, slowly moving toward healing.

Five weeks passed for the Van Ryns. Keeping a constant bedside vigil over their precious daughter Laura, they sat and prayed and hoped. Confronted with tubes and surgeries, vital signs and healing signs, they rejoiced at each tiny advance toward recovery. Their friends and church and family members, along with a steady stream of students, celebrated with them each of Laura's healing.

And then the shock!

"Okay, Laura, I would like you to write your name for me," the occupational therapict said.

W-H-I-T-N-E-Y"


Make sure you have a box of tissues nearby when you read this one!


This book drew me in and kept me hooked. I finished it in one night and then just sat there. I didn't go check my children's beds but I thought about it. The faith and compassion of these families would be unbelievable if I hadn't see something like it for myself. The way the community of Fort Worth came together for the Van Ryn family is next to miraculous.

A friend suggested they start a blog to avoid so making so many phone calls. Soon, comments were being made from far off places. Prayers were being said by people they didn't know and faith was being restored in some who followed the blog. It has since been shut down but I think I would like to have been one who followed, who cheered and cried and prayed. Getting it all in one night (and not ALL of it) was a bit overwhelming.

Taylor University is a Christian school and the families involved quote scripture and hold family prayers. It didn't detract from the story, quite the opposite for me, just a heads up.

This book was written in response to intrusive media. "The story has been told, leave us alone". The paperback is scheduled for release late next month.

2 comments:

J. Kaye said...

"Taylor University is a Christian school and the families involved quote scripture and hold family prayers. It didn't detract from the story, quite the opposite for me, just a heads up."

I think this is important to mention. I think many readers avoid books because they fear it will be preachy. It's nice to read a book about people living by their faith. :)

Great review!

Jonathan & Laura said...

I thought this was a very interesting read. Both of the families involved have a very strong faith in God which helped them get through this incredible trial in their lives. So many people would be terribly upset learning that their daughter isn't alive, but dead. Although the Van Ryn family was heartbroken with the news, it was their love of Christ that kept them from being mad, mean, and upset at the world. It's a great story of the recovery of Whitney and how her faith pulled her though the trial.

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