At the age of 31, artist Marcia Goodchild survived a horrific car accident after which she
had to learn to walk, talk and write again. It is 10 years later and we visited her at her cosy
home in Benoni to chat about her ordeal and how she overcame her obstacles.
Marcia is a brave woman who, despite her serious injuries, fought to survive for her son, Jean, who was then four years old. She was in a coma for 28 days and spent five months in
hospital and rehab. She suffered brain, lung, shoulder, ear, bladder and pelvis injuries.
It took her 18 months to learn to walk again and more than a year’s speech therapy before she could speak properly. The rehabilitation period was long and painful.
“I could not believe how weak I became. My thoughts varied from ‘I’m not going to survive’ to ‘I have to survive for Jean’. My survival mode kicked in, and no matter how painful and exhausted I was after treatments and how many tears I shed, I was determined to give and do anything in my power to be the best Marcia I can be after the accident. My loving family supported me through the trying times and my dear mother, Christa Goodchild, was the strong one who encouraged me an pushed me through all the exercises when I was ready to give up. Through times of despair, tears and pain, she was my pillar of strength,” Marcia recalls.
Every day was a step closer to Marcia’s goal, and today, looking back on what happened, she is filled with gratitude and appreciation for life.
The biggest lesson she learned is that you can’t take anything for granted – your life can change in the blink of an eye.
“I am more careful and I live in the moment. My relationship with God became very strong as I know that he carried me through,” she says.
Marcia now appreciates all things in life, most of all the things that cost nothing, such as the beauty of a flower, birds singing, seeing her son grow up to be a handsome teenager, and experiencing the love of her family.
The woman I had the honour of chatting to can walk again, her speech is back to normal and her eyes are soft with gratitude and a love for life and her family.
Her positivity also led to more joy in her life: she fell in love. She is engaged to Wessel Rodyn and wedding bells will be ringing soon.
Her message to readers for Women’s Month is: “You can do anything if you set your mind to it.”
Marcia the artist
Nine years ago she was a part-time artist, but after the accident she had to stop working and today she is living out her passion as a full-time artist.
She is a member of the Benoni Art Route and handles its blog on benoniartroute.co.za. She
also belongs to Artists Working Together in Benoni.
Who taught you to paint?
I have painted since I was a little girl. My father and grandfather were artists and I learned from them. I took art as a subject in school and I won many art competitions, but I never took art classes.
What kind of themes do you like to paint?
I love to paint flowers, women and faces. I like my paintings to be sensual and colourful.
What is your goal with your paintings?
I want to become a household name.