Download Mistaken Identity: Two Families, One Survivor, Unwavering Hope Audiobook

Mistaken Identity: Two Families, One Survivor, Unwavering Hope Audiobook, by Don & Susie Van Ryn Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Don & Susie Van Ryn, Newell, Colleen & Whitney Cerak Narrator: Lillian Thayer Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2008 ISBN: 9780743577045
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (4,093 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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A grief reversed. A hope deferred. Mistaken Identity tells the unprecedented story of Laura Van Ryn and Whitney Cerak: one buried under the wrong name, and the other in a coma being cared for by the wrong family.

Five lives were lost in a tragic car accident, and the sole survivor was rushed to the hospital, where she remained in a coma for five weeks. Everyone believed that Laura Van Ryn was in a coma, and that Whitney Cerak had died in the crash—until Whitney woke up.

This shocking case of mistaken identity stunned the country and made national news. Would it destroy a family? Shatter their faith? Push two families into bitterness, resentment, and guilt? In Mistaken Identity, the Van Ryn family and the Cerek family describe their ordeal and explore the bond sustaining and uniting them as they deal with their bizarre reversal of life lost and life found.

Mistaken Identity weaves a complex tale of honesty, vulnerability, loss, hope, faith, and love in the face of one of the strangest twists of circumstances imaginable. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • A #1 New York Times bestseller
  • A USA Today bestseller

Listener Reviews

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  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alice | 2/17/2014

    " While I was familiar with the story that was broadcast on the news, this was a glimpse into the family side of the events and how they unfolded. My heart goes out to both of the families involved in this story -- I can't imagine being on either side of the tragedy. Even after reading it, though, I felt like I wanted more information. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Shauntel | 2/16/2014

    " I thought this story was really interesting, although I didn't really like how the book was written. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eve | 2/7/2014

    " Wow. When this story occurred back in '06, I remember being so shaken by it. These two families are truly amazing. Their faith got them through such a terrible tragedy. Very uplifting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ebell1993 | 2/3/2014

    " This book took forever to find at my library but it so worth the wait! Very interesting story and it' true too. I loved it!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 1/24/2014

    " It was good - I liked it better as a story than as an inspiration. Totally facinating to hear all that went on in this bizzare experience. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 melody | 1/17/2014

    " Really inspiring story about the faith and hope of 2 families - "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jone | 1/10/2014

    " Story of deep tragedy, courage and remarkable forgiveness. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 12/20/2013

    " Very inspirational book with a lot of Scripture references. An amazing but almost unbelievable story about two girls switched in death. Tragic but bittersweet! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Devonne | 12/10/2013

    " Tragic, but yet wonderful story and the courage of both families to tell it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 9/3/2013

    " I liked this one A LOT! Cried a bit, and usually don't do that w/books. I would strongly recommend it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Colleen | 8/1/2013

    " A great book about the peace God can give through all circumstances! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hayley | 6/23/2013

    " This was a tragic but hopeful story of God's unfailing love. To always turn to Him and never lose faith! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lizz | 4/2/2013

    " This book has an intense religious focus. It's not so much a story about how these two girls were mistaken for each other. It's more about how each family coped with the situation, and how they received strength from God. The bible passages and prayers make up about half of the book. Be prepared. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Trisha | 4/1/2013

    " This book was wonderful. It is filed in the medical section of the library, but it is actually a story of faith. Two families are brought together when their daughters are involved in the same accident. It is truly an amazing story. Bring lots of tissues; it is heart-wrenching at times. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle | 2/24/2013

    " Amazing story. I'm in awe of the awesome faith in God that these people have! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sam | 12/18/2012

    " I've recently drawn a lot of strength from true stories of people who overcome unbelievable odds. This book is so much more than just a tragic story. It is about how God carries us through our greatest trials and darkest hours. I highly recommend it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maureen | 12/31/2011

    " I am from Indiana, and we all knew about this horrific tragedy as it was unfolding. The strength and courage of these two families is unbelievable. Their faith is amazing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shannon | 10/4/2011

    " the faith these families have is amazing "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Pepper | 10/2/2011

    " This book was O.K. It was interesting. I don't think I would have felt the same as them or have been as forgiving. I would have been a lot angrier if the same situation happened in my family. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Diana | 9/22/2011

    " Having experienced the loss of family members myself, it was a little painful to read. However, the faith of the families involved in this tragedy is nothing short of inspiring. Hard to believe, but good for discussion. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cathy | 9/1/2011

    " A: Picked up on a whim. Seems like an actual retelling of the events of the Whitney and Laura who were misidentified after a tragic automobile accident. Through every challenge both families kept strong in their faith and God led them through the storms. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle | 6/22/2011

    " God is truly amazing! This book is a must read for those who believe in His power. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennifer | 5/1/2011

    " My question is still left unanswered and for that I am truly disappointed with this book... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Katie | 4/20/2011

    " amazing story, my heart goes out to the families, but the book was very religious which took away from the story.. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tina | 4/4/2011

    " Fascinating story, but the book is just too long, too preachy, and not well written. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jaimee | 3/30/2011

    " Very interesting story and heartfelt emotion written by the families. It had a lot of religious dialogue that I felt took away from some of the story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stacybuchwalter | 3/17/2011

    " page turner...based on a true story as well. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Molly | 3/8/2011

    " Read this book straight through in 16 hours and I usually take a about 2 weeks to a month to read a book. Couldn't put it down, incredible story! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tom | 3/1/2011

    " Absolutely amazing people. Probably the most emotional crisis parents can face. Truly sad and tragic yet uplifting in the way both sets of parents dealt with difficulties they faced. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nellie | 2/24/2011

    " Pretty sure you know this story which was covered by the media like crazy. But it was interesting to me to read in detail. Plus it was picked by my "church" book club as it is definitely a faith builder if you believe in Christ. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amber | 2/13/2011

    " It wasn't a nail biter, because of course, you already know the outcome, but at this time in my life, it was nice to read about other people's testimonies and their faith even through horrible grief. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 2/9/2011

    " A great book. The families had such strong faith to get them through this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elaine | 1/29/2011

    " An interesting story. Very religious but a good read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brandee | 1/22/2011

    " This was a truly amazing book. So glad that these people decided to share their story and it was so touching. A great story of faith. "

About the Author

Don and Susie Van Ryn have been married for thirty years and have left their chosen professions to dedicate themselves full time to an outdoor camping experience for youth in Michigans Upper Peninsula. They are dedicated to their local church and community.

About the Narrator

Lillian Thayer is an audiobook narrator whose readings include Abiding Darkness by John Aubrey Anderson and books in Maisey Yates’ Copper Ridge series.