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Saturday, December 19, 2020


Alexander creates the scenario with perceptive sympathy, giving hope to those with loved ones in a coma – or who have experienced the bystander process - as well as a measure of understanding. (Review by Caroline Smart)

Durban writer, Vera Alexander, has just released her new book titled A Mother’s Love, a story created some years after her daughter was killed in a car accident.

Alexander is an ex-high school teacher, having taught Maths and Computer Studies. “My creative side was nurtured teaching computers and my logic side by teaching Maths. I have always wanted to write and have at last taken my courage in my hands to see what I can achieve creatively,” she explains.

The back cover of A Mother’s Love explains more about the story:

“A person consists of three entities – the physical body, the brain and what is called the soul. This “soul” defines a person for what they are, what they will achieve and what they will become.

When a person lies in a coma, their body occupies space on a hospital bed. Doctors feel that their brains are active and can respond to outside stimuli so family is encouraged to talk to them.

But what of their soul? We know there is an inner life source. Scientists have taken photographs of the moment of death when the “electricity” in the body departs, when the life essence leaves the body. So what happens to this life essence when a person lies in a coma? What does it do? Where does it go? What does it experience?

Angela’s body lies in a hospital bed. She is in a coma. This novella explores the possible journey of her soul.”

The story deals with Angela who went into a coma after a car accident. Her husband Chris is desolate, especially as she is pregnant. Her mother Vicki and her father Mike are there to support him at the hospital where the doctors are concerned as they cannot keep her in surgery too long as the unborn baby is starting to show signs of stress.

Then we move into Angela’s mind and get an insight into her world as she moves from backwards and forwards from the celestial to the universal, guided by her grandmother who takes her on journeys such as to visit the accident scene. She moves in and out of the mist of the physical and spiritual as she watches her body being moved into the ambulance. She wants to get close to Chris but is not able to.

Alexander creates the scenario with perceptive sympathy, giving hope to those with loved ones in a coma – or who have experienced the bystander process - as well as a measure of understanding.

This book resonates strongly with me. My mother was in a coma for three months, a desperate time for all the family. I was told by my doctor that a coma could be likened to be existing on three levels: a deep coma where nothing from outside penetrated; a middle zone where the body could perhaps hear but not respond, and the “surface” zone, as it were, where the body could hear, understand and respond to command.

It took me a while and much perseverance - asking her to press my hand; lift her foot or hand, nod her head, open her mouth but there was no response. However, as my mother always said, I was obstinate, I eventually found a way for her to let us know that she could hear and understand us and, on the request “Open your eyes, Mummy”, she would do so immediately. If the eyes flickered open, we knew that she was in the middle stage and only hearing us dimly and couldn’t respond. If nothing happened at all, we knew that she was back, locked in her silent world.

So the “open eyes” days were a blessing but during the other times, I would sit by her bed and wonder where she had gone and when would she be coming back. Or would she be coming back?

I would highly recommend this novella for anyone needing an interesting insight into coma. It was indeed an emotional read for me but also confirms what I think, in a way - that a person's spirit goes out of the body to leave permanently and is then conflicted between coming back to real life or staying where it is calm and undisturbed.

A Mother’s Love is published by umSinsi Press and available from the author or from Amazon as an e-book at

Alexander also has a few soft cover copies at R100 and it is also available for $2.99 from - Caroline Smart