As bushfires burn in South Australia and Victoria, for many, they reignite painful memories of the Ash Wednesday fires. In February 1983, fire ripped through those two states, killing 75 people and destroying many homes.
Mum of 2, Ann Fogarty was caught up in the Ash Wednesday Bushfires and her life was forever changed by that day.
As bushfires raged around her, in Upper Beaconsfield, Ann stood bravely between her two young daughters and a massive fireball that was bearing down upon their home. Her instinctive reaction undoubtedly saved the lives of her two little girls. However, Ann sustained burns to 85% of her body.
Few people have ever survived such extreme burns. Ann spent months in intensive care, often on death’s door. Not only was she in a fight for her very life, she also struggled to heal emotionally and mentally. Somehow, through it all, she kept her sense of humour – painfully laughing out loud on the day her ear fell off!
Since that time, every day has been a struggle to deal with the aftermath of that one day. She lost her house, her marriage and suffered crippling Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression and anxiety. In spite of it all, Ann has retained her Christian faith and shares some key moments in her long road to healing, even if that healing isn’t yet complete.
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Ann’s memoir Forged With Flames recently won the Australian Christian Book of the Year.
Audio – Hear Ann share her story of survival with courage, warmth and humour.
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