Edna Vonow, 76, lay half-conscious at the Milcowie Road level-crossing near Crystal Brook.
It was to September last year and Mrs Vonow’s car had just hit the second carriage of a train.
As fate would have it, Mrs Vonow’s son Kingsley was first to reach the pile of scrap metal.
Unaware that his mother was inside the car, Mr Vonow called triple-zero after receiving a call from his wife, Helen.
It was only when he opened the door of the smashed car on the railway line that he found his mother inside.
Mrs Vonow was taken to Port Pirie hospital where she was put in an induced coma before being flown to Adelaide.
But this was not before her grandson, Andrew Vonow, prayed with her while holding her hand for 35 minutes at the scene of the crash.
Seven months later and Mrs Vonow has made an almost full recovery, but she doesn’t remember a thing from that day.
Her first words, after waking up in hospital, were “Jesus loves me”.
“I did dream that I had died,” she said. “I did wonder why I was still here.. I wanted to be with Jesus.”
Her strong faith has been with her throughout her life and stems from a strong Christian upbringing.
Born in 1935 in Mannum, Mrs Vonow married Dene in 1957 and had three sons and three daughers.
Mrs Vonow met her husband at a youth convention in Murray Bridge and they lived on a farm north of Crystal Brook after marrying..
“I enjoyed it very much,” she said.“He was a wonderful husband, too, I might add.”
Between school and becoming married, she worked at the Charleston Post Office and general store.
She worked at Koonibba on a mission looking after 40 Aboriginal children in 1955.
A talented writer with an incredible memory for dates, Mrs Vonow has written two books: Born to be a Mother – Life Memories of Edna Ruth Vonow and Swiss Family Vonow.
She considers it a miracle that she has survived her recent ordeal.
“I was kept alive the way I was only by the grace of God,” Mrs Vonow said at her Crystal Brook home.
“I think God’s just kept me for a special purpose. I keep wondering what it is.”
Her eldest son, Kingsley Vonow, and daughter Merrelyn Zanker, recalled the day they were called to the Royal Adelaide Hospital to say their goodbyes.
The doctors wanted to take out the ventilator in her body to see if she would still breathe without it.
Mr Vonow remained calm and collected throughout.
“We had all accepted that mum had been in a horrific accident,” he said.
“She is a Christian, she has her faith. Even now, it is our own faith and hope that has kept us strong.
“We are just thankful and amazed mum is still here.”
Mrs Zanker said they weren’t surprised she kept breathing, but they weren’t sure how long for.
“We are just thankful and amazed mum is still here,” she said.
“I have been able to think more calmly and be a deeper sort of person.” And Mrs Vonow is now, back and home relatively unscathed.
“I am very happy to be home in my lovely little unit,” she said.
Mrs Vonow has a deep affection for the people of Crystal Brook.
She has had a long involvement in the community, volunteering at the Red Cross, Meals on Wheels and Lutheran Ladies Fellowship.
She was president of the Probus Club until March last year, worked in the Op Shop and helped with religious seminars at schools.
“A lot of people respect and know mum,” Mr Vonow said.
Even while at Crystal Brook hospital recovering after the incident, she was involved in hospital-based activities and still takes part in a leisure and activity group.
Mrs Vonow’s faith and prayers have provided her with strength throughout her recovery.
“If you haven’t got God in your life, you really don’t have anything,” she said.
“God has the final say – let Him be your future.”