Natalie Gunther (35), who was on the verge of accepting death, believes she has been given a second shot at life and is now on a ‘purpose track’.
In 2014, after being involved in a horrific car accident, Gunther came to terms with her doctor’s report that she had a 40 per cent chance of surviving the operation.
The broken neck survivor has since changed her life and is now on a mission to empower others to change theirs.
“That day somebody else was driving and the car rolled off the highway and I was flung 13m out of the car because I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. I woke up in ICU. I broke my neck, had fractures in my back as well as bleeding on my brain,” said Gunther.
She said she then had to have a metal fusion in her neck to keep her spine together.
According to Gunther, the doctor then told her parents that if she survives, there is a 50 per cent chance she would be paralysed.
She was in ICU for a week and was further hospitalised for five more days in the normal hospital ward.
While hospitalised, she finally saw an opportunity to venture into her dream of learning how to do graphic and website design as well as starting her business. The entrepreneur in her was born.
Before the accident, she had worked for big companies in sales and marketing and had been studying towards her marketing degree.
“I decided to put my years of marketing and business experience to good use and started Green Leaf Project with the dream of helping businesses to get started and grow successfully while being affordable too. I started by having someone design my logo while in hospital,” she said.
Gunther already knew the type of business she wanted to do, but her fears and excuses held her back.
Immediately after being discharged, while still in pain and recovering, she went into growing the business and learning how to do graphic and website design.
Her business is now going on seven years and she employs four staff.
At a later stage, she expanded her horizon and established another business that focuses on eco- and environmentally friendly products with off-grid solutions.
“I decided to create a one-stop solution business that focuses on uniforms, branding, printing, design, marketing and more. The business has grown and with my success story I was also nominated for Standard Bank’s Top Young Achiever Award,” said Gunther.
She believes she survived the accident for a reason.
“To me, it doesn’t feel like I’ve done much because I’m constantly trying to do more. I feel like this is my second opportunity in life and I don’t want to waste any of it. Before the accident, I was just alive but after the accident, I am living,” she said.
During her early days of recovery, she also decided to inspire many by sharing her journey through motivational talks.
She said: “My story impacted people and since then I have started focusing on life coaching. Along my journey, I also decided to become an organ donor. I have also been actively involved in the community through community projects run by my close friend Evette Kruger of Fearless Life Ministries.
Not only is she a beacon of hope for many, but social media users best know her for her interactive Facebook pages that aim to educate, encourage and inspire everyone.”