Durban - A Durban woman and her wheelchair-bound husband miraculously escaped certain death when a massive 25m high Jacaranda tree was blown over by a violent wind in the early hours of yesterday, missing their bedroom by a mere 2m.
Delsie Sanders, of Cotswold Drive in Westville, was still trying to fathom how the 20-year-old tree had narrowly missed their bedroom.
“My husband, John, and I are grateful to be alive. If that tree had hit our bedroom, then no question we both would have died,” she said.
Recalling the incident, Sanders, a physiotherapist, said she had been sleeping when her dog’s constant barking woke her up about 2.30 am.
She went out to investigate and found nothing was amiss, although her gut feeling told her that something “bad” was about to happen.
“The wind was extremely strong and I couldn’t shrug off the feeling that something bad might happen, so I prayed to the Lord to protect my husband and I,” she said, adding that she went back into her bedroom and prayed.
About 30 minutes later while she was still down on her knees, she heard a loud crack and bang. With a torch in hand, Sanders said she went out again to investigate where the noise had come from.
She said she was lost for words when she saw the huge tree lying on the ground with some branches dangling over her neighbour’s house.
Her neighbour’s fence was damaged. “To say I was shocked when I saw what had happened would be an understatement. I didn’t know what to say or do.”
Her neighbours, who were woken up by the loud noise, soon joined her, recalled Sanders, saying they, too, were grateful to have been unharmed.
“We stood there for a while taking in what had just happened. This tree has been here for many years and it was one of the things that attracted us to this house when we decided to buy it,” she said.
A relieved Sanders was yesterday getting quotations from various tree removal companies. “My neighbour’s fence is going to have to be replaced and I have to pay for this tree to be cut and removed from my yard. I don’t know if my insurance will pay for it,” she said worriedly.
Asked if she would plant another tree in her yard, she jokingly said she would rather place a log and erect a plaque near it written “the tree of remembrance”.
Independent on Saturday