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  1. #1
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    09.10.17 @ 07:23 PM
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    Default what a bizarre story!

    check this out.and for a picture of the girls visit here.THEY THOUGHT WRONG FOR 5 WEEKS

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/...identity_x.htm



    Don and Susie VanRyn began to have their doubts on Monday. It was a combination of the young woman's appearance and some things she said.

    Her facial injuries were partially healed. More than once, when they said, "Laura," the woman would reply, "Whitney."

    By this morning, confirmation arrived:

    In a case of mistaken identity that brought joy to one family and grief to another, authorities announced that the VanRyns' daughter, a Taylor University student, was, in fact, not the young woman in the rehabilitation center bed but was another student who was believed to have died at the scene of the Interstate 69 crash.

    The woman they had cared for in the five weeks since the April 26 crash had suffered a serious head injury. The VanRyns had been at her bedside ever since, as this was their daughter.

    Or was it?

    On Tuesday, they brought their doubts to the staff caring for her at Spectrum Health, a rehabilitation center in Grand Rapids, Mich., near their home in Caledonia, Mich. Dental records were checked, revealing that she was not Laura J. VanRyn but, rather, Whitney Cerak.

    Cerak, 19, of Gaylord, Mich., is a freshman at the university, while VanRyn, 22, of Caledonia, Mich., was a senior.

    Officials confirmed their findings to Cerak's mother, Colleen, and the VanRyns in a conference room at the rehab center Wednesday morning. Cerak's father, Newell, out of town on a youth ministry trip, was headed to Grand Rapids.

    "There was elation and grief, for themselves and the other family," said Spectrum spokesman Bruce Rossman. .

    Neither family was available for comment.

    In a joint statement, they noted their daughters bore a striking resemblance ó same height, same body type, nearly the same hair color, blonde.

    Cerak suffered a traumatic brain injury. She was not comatose, Rossman said, but showed "varying degrees of alertness" she can talk sporadically."

    Rossman said when Cerak's mother entered her room Wednesday, she recognized her.

    Rossman said Cerak had made "steady progress since she arrived" at the rehab center but it was "too early to say" if she'd make a full recovery. "It's a long, sometimes arduous process," said Rossman.

    Cerak was taken to Spectrum May 18 from Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where she was taken after the accident.

    The VanRyns live in Caledonia, right outside Grand Rapids. The Ceraks live in Gaylord, Michigan, which is about three hours north of Grand Rapids.

    VanRyns' family shared the news on a website blog where it had been posting updates on the woman's condition.

    "We have some hard news to share with you today," the family said. "Our hearts are aching as we have learned that the young woman we have been taking care of over the past five weeks has not been our dear Laura, but instead a fellow Taylor student of hers, Whitney E. Cerak."

    Over the past couple of days, as Cerak had become more aware of her surroundings, she had been "saying and doing some things that made us question whether or not she was Laura," the family said.

    Over the past couple of days, as she had become more aware of her surroundings, Cerak had been "saying and doing some things that made us question whether or not she was Laura," the family said.

    On Tuesday, the VanRyns began the process of making a positive identification.

    In a statement issued by both families, the VanRyns and Ceraks said dental records allowed them to finally sort through the puzzle.

    "We now know without a doubt that this is Whitney," the VanRyns said on their blog.

    At Taylor, an evangelical Christian college in Upland, Ind., about 60 miles northeast of Indianapolis, university spokesman Jim Garringer said the news left the campus in a state of "tremendous shock."

    "We are grateful, certainly, for the Cerak family and grieved for the VanRyn family," he said.

    "I think right now we're numb," he added. "In some ways, this brings us back to April 26 all over again."

    In Gaylord, a town about 200 miles north of Grand Rapids, members of the Gaylord Evangelical Free Church also were left in disbelief after hearing that Cerak ó who is well known to the 550-member congregation ó was still alive, Associate Pastor Joe Sereno said.

    "We're pretty numb; just shocked," said Sereno, adding that just a month ago, an overflow crowd of more than 1,400 people turned out for Cerak's funeral.

    "There's joy at the news, but it is tempered by the sadness that this other family's daughter is here now, that they've lost their daughter," Sereno said. "We just feel that burden.

    "We did everything for Whitney," the service and memorial; she was buried here in town. We're still struggling."

    The family had tried to return to a normal life. Colleen Cerak, a physical education teacher, had returned to teaching; Whitney's older sister, Carlie, who also attended Taylor University, had gone back for final exams.

    Carl Hilling, superintendent of Gaylord Community Schools, said "shocked and a little bewildered" by the news.

    "How can they make a mistake like this?" he asked.

    "To go through all that and find out she's alive ó it's amazing," Hilling said. "There's elation at being happy for the Cerak family ó they're a great family ó and sadness for the other family."

    The collision happened as the victims were returning from the school's Fort Wayne campus, where they were helping to prepare for a banquet that was part of the inauguration ceremony for the school's new president.

    According to a preliminary investigation of the crash, a northbound 1996 Freightliner semi-tractor trailer loaded with baking flour, crossed through the median and collided with the van.

    The truck peeled off the entire driver's side of the southbound van, causing several of the van's occupants to be ejected.

    Along with VanRyn, those killed were students Elizabeth A. Smith, 22, Mount Zion, Ill., Bradley J. Larson, 22, Elm Grove, Wis., Laurel E. Erb, 20, St. Charles, Ill., and university employee Monica Felver, 53, Hartford City, Ind.

    Grant County Prosecutor James Luttrull Jr. is reviewing the findings of the crash to determine whether criminal charges are warranted.

    According to statements from witnesses, trucker Robert F. Spencer, 37, of Canton Township, Mich., fell asleep before his semitrailer drifted across the median between Fort Wayne and Indianapolis and slammed into the university van, investigators have said.

    A memorial service for VanRyn was scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday at Kentwood Community Church in Grand Rapids.

  2. #2
    Good Enough Phatie's Avatar
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    Weird.


  3. #3
    Sinner's Swing! Darkstar's Avatar
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    12.04.14 @ 11:23 PM
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    Christ, what do you say to the families after that?!?! "Ooops, we're sorry, our bad"........
    Love should NOT be work, it should be as easy as breathing Dave's Dreidel

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  4. #4
    Hang 'Em High perticelli's Avatar
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    11.30.15 @ 02:22 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkstar
    Christ, what do you say to the families after that?!?! "Ooops, we're sorry, our bad"........

    yeah, no kidding.
    "..but the good news is, I just saved a bunch of money on car insurance from switching to Geico.."

    Not to use that in bad taste, but c'mon, a little levity in a situation like this has gotta help
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  5. #5
    Good Enough namedmydaughterHALEN's Avatar
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    04.19.17 @ 04:47 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by perticelli
    yeah, no kidding.
    "..but the good news is, I just saved a bunch of money on car insurance from switching to Geico.."

    Not to use that in bad taste, but c'mon, a little levity in a situation like this has gotta help
    tell that to her parents

  6. #6
    Atomic Punk Viking's Avatar
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    11.02.17 @ 09:45 PM
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by perticelli
    yeah, no kidding.
    "..but the good news is, I just saved a bunch of money on car insurance from switching to Geico.."

    Not to use that in bad taste, but c'mon, a little levity in a situation like this has gotta help
    Jeez, maybe I'm a prick, but that struck me funny.

    It is a bizarre, and sad situation. Joy for one family, finding out their daughter is alive after being told she was dead, and sadness for the other that thought their daughter was alive, only to find out she was dead.
    "Viking - last to sleep, first to rise, last to leave, that's how the Nords of old rocked the house." ~ timmac in the 'Texas Linkers' thread talking about yours truly. :-)

  7. #7
    Sinner's Swing! vh_chick's Avatar
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    09.05.15 @ 07:55 AM
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    Apparently Laura's family identified her as Laura in the beginning. That's what they said on the news last night.

    It's definitely a crazy story. Sad.

    Shari
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  8. #8
    Hang 'Em High perticelli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by namedmydaughterHALEN
    tell that to her parents
    my post was meant for here, not the faMILY.. i wouldnt ever say something like that
    Eddie is the greatest, period

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  9. #9
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    12.07.17 @ 12:54 PM
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    and again....

    The identities of two women involved in a horrific car crash in Arizona last week were mixed up, with one family receiving news that their daughter had died when in fact she was undergoing treatment for her injuries while another family kept watch at her side for six days.

    Officials with St. Joseph's Medical Center and the Arizona Department of Public Safety apologized for the mistake Monday, saying they were "acting on the best information" available at the time of notification.

    Marlena Cantu, 21, was killed in the crash July 18 when the SUV in which she was riding blew a tire and rolled several times. Four others were in the vehicle: a male driver and male occupant, and two other female occupants -- one of whom was 19-year-old Abby Guerra, described by friends and family as Cantu's best friend.

    The five young people were driving back to Phoenix from a trip to Disneyland in California.

    "As doctors struggled to save this patient's life, we could not readily tell the patient's identification," Suzanne Pfister, vice president for external affairs at St. Joseph's, told a news conference Monday. "We interviewed family members that evening and asked for any discernible information that could help us make that positive identification," such as bone breaks, scars or other marks.

    "From the information that was provided us on that evening, we believed the patient was Marlena Cantu," Pfister said. "DPS communicated that information to the family."

    Guerra's family, meanwhile, was told she was dead.

    Pfister said the mix-up was revealed Saturday when the medical examiner compared dental records and determined the patient -- whom the Cantu family had been praying for at her bedside as she underwent multiple surgeries -- to be Guerra.

    "We know this is an extraordinarily challenging situation and our hearts and our prayers go out to both families," Pfister said.

    Sgt. Kevin Wood, a spokesman for DPS, described a "chaotic situation" in the emergency room the night of the wreck as the hospital received all four trauma patients from the collision scene. At least one person had been ejected from the SUV.

    "(Authorities) tried for quite some time -- something close to five hours -- to figure out who this one female patient was," Wood said, emphasizing it was not a determination that was made within a matter of minutes.

    Pfister said the injuries to Guerra were so severe that she was unrecognizable to family and friends.

    She said the hospital, which treats about 3,000 trauma patients a year, does not conduct fingerprinting or take dental impressions in an emergency situation "because the overwhelming emphasis is on saving the patient's life."

    Nancy Colon, a friend of the Cantus, told HLN's "Prime News" Monday night that the family is "heartbroken."

    Colon said the family was taken into a room at the hospital on Saturday and told that the dental records taken from the female victim at the morgue did not match Guerra's. They were then questioned about the number of Marlena Cantu's ear piercings, her molars and past surgeries.

    Cantu had her appendix removed in elementary school, Colon said the hospital officials were told.

    "They checked the girl in the ICU and she didn't have a scar," she said.

    The family was then told, "I'm sorry, but that's not your daughter," according to Colon.

    Pfister declined to provide information about Guerra's condition Monday, citing the family's request.

    "Our focus is on healing Abby," she said.

    The tragic mix-up is similar to another incident in 2006. The family of 22-year-old Laura VanRyn spent five weeks at the bedside of a woman they believed to be her daughter as she struggled to recover from injuries sustained in a car wreck that killed five others. When she awoke from a coma and was asked her name, she replied, "Whitney Cerak," an 18-year-old who was believed to have been among those killed in the wreck. The two women had blond hair and similar body types.

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/07/26/ari...ex.html?hpt=C2
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.Ē -- Gen. George S. Patton

  10. #10
    Summer Nights in Cabo SNIC's Avatar
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    I read this book over in Afghanistan. It is a good read, and a sad but happy story all in the same book.
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