How Alison Botha Survived Her Injuries
The story of Alison Botha has captured the hearts of South Africa and the world. The inspirational speaker survived a vicious attack, being raped and stabbed by unknown men.
She was rescued by a passing motorist who kept her conscious and called for medical help. Doctors were stunned when they saw the extent of her injuries but she was alive.
Alison Botha was a studious student who graduated from the Collegiate High School for Girls in Port Elizabeth. She worked as an insurance broker and spent her spare time traveling and exploring different places.
One day in December 1994, she returned home from a fun night with friends. She was walking to her car when she heard a man behind her.
Botha turned to the side of the road, expecting someone to come rescue her. But soon, she realized she might survive if she could just get onto the road.
The men drove her to a deserted area well outside of the city. They forced oral sex with her, then raped and stabbed her in excess of 30 times.
The men tried to suffocate her, but she clung to life. They then slashed her throat so deeply that it nearly decapitated her.
How she survived
Botha was in her car, driving home from a fun night out with friends, when a man with a knife stormed the vehicle. He raped and suffocated her, slit her throat 17 times and stabbed her 30 times in the stomach.
She was left to die by her attackers on the outskirts of Port Elizabeth, but she fought back. She crawled 90m into the bushes, bled profusely and cradled her exposed intestines in a denim shirt while holding her partially severed head straight.
After her injuries, both she and her story became a worldwide movement. Botha went on to become a motivational speaker and won the 1995 Rotarian Paul Harris Award for ‘Courage Beyond the Norm’.
When she began work on the film, Botha and director Uga Carlini were told that all prisoners sentenced before October 2004 had become eligible for parole. Du Toit contacted Carlini from prison, offering an on-camera interview in return for a signed letter of forgiveness and backdated revenues from Botha’s book and motivational talks.
What happened next?
On the night of 18 December 1994, Alison Botha was walking home from a party at her apartment when she was abducted by two men. She had no choice but to get into the car and they took her out of town.
Frans du Toit and Theuns Kruger, who were both rapists, then raped Botha. They tried to strangle her but she clung to life.
Then they sliced her so deeply that doctors could not count the number of injuries, disemboweled her and slit her throat 16 times.
They tried to kill her but Botha clung to life, writing her name in the sand and holding her intestines with one hand while crawling on the roadside in hopes that she would find help. Luckily, a passing motorist saw her and called EMS. Tiaan Eilerd, a veterinary student, stopped and helped Botha until EMS arrived. He later told The Independent that in his sixteen years of experience, he had never seen a patient with so many severe injuries.
How did she survive?
Alison Botha, who was only 27 years old when she got raped, was stabbed more than 16 times by her abductors. She was left for dead but somehow survived the injuries.
Her story is a testament to how human nature is capable of the most incredible things. Botha was able to cling onto life even though her body was in such a state that it was impossible for her to walk or talk.
When she was raped, Botha’s body instinctively responded in a way that psychologists say is a survival mechanism. Her ribs and throat started to make a rasping sound.
Her attackers, Frans du Toit and Theuns Kruger, were convicted of her rape in 1995. They were called the Noordhoek Rippers and incarcerated for life.
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