Whitney Cerak

We, the Cerak family, are elated beyond description at Whitney’s return home. It is so much more than we ever imagined three months ago.We would like to restate our plans of not speaking to the media. There is still much on the road to Whitney’s full recovery. We want to thank the media for the respect they have shown of our privacy in this time. And ask that the same courtesy given us would be extended to our family and friends.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Hebrews 11:17-19 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned." Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from the death.

I couldn't get this verse out of my head as we drove down to Grand Rapids. I did not believe my sister was in the hospital; I thought for sure this was a mistake. When I walked into the hospital room I was shocked and overcome with joy. Soon after we saw Whitney, our family met with the Van Ryns and our joy for ourselves was pushed aside by the pain we felt for them. It is hard because our joy is their pain. The Van Ryns have been amazing to Whitney and we are privileged that if under any care besides ours that she was under their great care. However, we know the pain they now feel all too well and our hearts break with them. There is a deep connection that has been made between our families and together we look to God as we walk through this.

We were told that Whitney was asking for us and when we saw her she was coherent enough to cry, so we all cried together. She immediately began to say "Let's go home." We spent the day crying and praising God for the 'resurrection' of Whitney. She began listing people she wanted to see, starting with our dad (who was on his way back from New York with the Youth Group). She kept telling us to call him and when she talked to him she told him she loved him and to "come over." Matt, her boyfriend, arrived and she wanted him to lie down next to her. She blew us away with her detailed memory and ability to speak. Towards the end of the night she spoke clear sentences. When our dad arrived she grabbed his hand, my mom's hand, and looked at Sandra and I and sighed like everything was finally right.

Today many of her friends have arrived and she has wanted to see them all but is very exhausted from yesterday. She saw a few of them and then wanted to sleep. Whitney woke up to someone bringing in flowers for her. This triggered something and she wanted to know who they were from and then she wanted to have all her family in the room. She began to cry and said "You think I'm dead." We spent a good part of the afternoon comforting her as she has began to realize that she was in an accident and we weren't with her for a while. Her tears are a mixture of joy and the fear of not knowing what has been going on. She took a break from crying when her therapist brought her actual food! Today she ate her first meal. She had grilled cheese, applesauce, and a milk shake. Within the next week she should be done with her tube and just eating food. After she ate she showed off her basketball skills and made three baskets in a row during physical therapy. She quickly slowed down and wanted to sleep again. Not only is it still unbelievable that she is alive but she has amazed us with her progress.

Earlier today my dad said, "Every time I look at Whitney I think of the Van Ryns." We are so blessed and overjoyed about Whitney but our hearts and prayers are heavily on the Van Ryns.
Posted By : Carly Cerak

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, I don't even know where to start. I am a 27 year old female from Indianapolis. I have followed Whitney's recovery in the this log that her loving Family from Gaylord MI has made. I just want to tell you that your family is so brave, including Whitney. And you are in my family's thoughts and prayers. Good Luck and God Bless

11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a blessing for your family. PLease continue to pray for the vanrynds.

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a 36 year old female from MN. Reading about this miracle brings tears to my eyes. I remember the initial news story of the crash because my brother's are truck drivers that often drive that road - even the news of an accident involving a semi makes me worry, looking for relief in finding out it wasn't them. The small moment of worry cannot compare to this "mistake". Your family has been truly blessed and your continued devotion to God and giving him the praise he deserves just make me cry with happiness. Good luck to you and many blessings

8:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope to read some about how the vanrynds are coping and that this family is praying for them as well.

8:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! What a testimony! Not only to watch your family go through this experience but more importantly to watch you use Scripture to keep your feet firmly planted in faith and hope. To see you love God and be thankful in all circumstances! That is a gift. I am sad to hear you have decided to not continue to post much longer but, I understand all seasons come to a close for a new season to begin. I hope your future season includes this type of pure honesty, humility, and love. In Christ's love, I pray your family will always be so connected to Your Father.

12:04 AM  
Blogger Kenny said...

To Whitney's family,
I have followed the story ever since it happened. I have one thing to say and that is God has a wonderful mission for Whitney and that is why it is not her time yet. Your family is full of faith and hope and I will pray that Whitney fullfills her mission and dreams. God Bless the entire Cerak family.

7:32 AM  
Anonymous JFG111158 said...

I live in New York State, and to this date, I never knew of the Cerak or Van Ryne families, until the day after that tragedy on I-61 in Indiana. I have no way to even understand what it feels like to lose a sister. I am reading the book "Mistaken Identity". Am at the chapter where both families realize that a very big mistake was made. In the book "Mistaken Identity" is a photograph of Whitney Cerak with a neck brace on, both arms at her side (one in a cast). Now, if one does look at pictures of Whitney and Laura before the accident (obviously) we can all see how with her hiar in a mess, and the brace around her neck, therby pushing some of the face of Whitney where it is not usually. With that face of Whitney/Laura in the hospital, we see a young girl, but which one? It is not until the fifth week that both families realize that the Cerak Family has buried Laura Van Ryne, and the Van Ryne Family has been praying for Whitney Cerak. When I look back in retrospect, and I will never fathom what or how much both families have gone through, and the second "anniversary" of that dreadful accident has just passed. I am left with a simple thought. Did Whitney Cerak go to the graves of those that were killed? May God be always with the Van Ryne and Cerak Families, as He has always been.

6:15 AM  
Anonymous Billie Leonard said...

Wow! I just finished reading your book "Mistaken Identiy." Thank you so much for the courage in sharing such an amazing story. I know it has now been two years. I just lost my grandmother this year on 4/26/08...the 2 year anniversary of the accident. I have recently been moved closer in faith with God and reading your story gave me another push on my way. Thanks again!Good luck and God Bless to the Cereks and Van Ryns.
Sincerely,
Billie in VA

11:52 PM  

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