BOOKS: "Mistaken Identity" by the Van Ryns and Cezaks

I just posted on another thread, “What book are you reading” and decided to begin a new one about this specific book I am reading. I think it is an incredible, inspiring story.

On Friday, I started reading “Mistaken Identity” by Don and Susie Van Ryn and Newell, Colleen and Whitney Cerak with Mark Tabb. It is a page-turner and I expect to finish it sometime today between a soccer tournament game and last day of summer vacation outing.

I remember when I first heard about their story on the news and was dumbfounded at the time that such a thing could happen. I do remember that the two young ladies involved were both blonde and had very similar features. A big part of the story is the inspiring and strong trust, faith, hope, and love of God of all the people involved and it is truly inspiring to read. Their faith is a wonder. Then, the other part, is the surreal story of mistaken identity, in which two of the accident victims, Laura Van Ryn and Whitney Cerak, were misidentified at the scene of the accident. Their true identities were not discovered until five weeks after the accident. Amazing! An excerpt from the back cover of the book:

“…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 hope. Five weeks passed…. And then the shock! “Okay, Laura, I would like you to write your name for me,” the occupational therapist said. …”

Here is a link to the Taylor University website showing pictures of the two young ladies that were misidentified in the accident. The link is to an article written five weeks after the accident, shortly after it was confirmed that the girls’ identities had been mixed up.

Below is a link to a current article and video updating recent events in the lives of the two families.

"How tragic identity switch changed two families
Three years after survivor was mistaken for dead girl, lives take new turns

By Michael Inbar contributor
updated 9:30 a.m. CT, Thurs., April 16, 2009

Two families forever linked in an incredible case of mistaken identity — tragic for one, miraculous for the other — continue to forge ahead while staying friends and finding meaning in the gift of life.

The TODAY show Thursday revisited the powerful story of the Cerak and Van Ryn families, inextricably linked by a horrific crash three years ago that gripped America with its startling twist. On August 26, 2006, a van carrying five students and a staff member from Taylor University in Indiana collided with a semitrailer."…

Full article here:

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