A South African mother recounts her five-day ordeal underneath the rubble of TB Joshua's collapsed church in Lagos, Nigeria.
She was trying so hard to be strong. She almost succeeded too. But that was until she was led back to the site of the Synagogue Church of All Nations building collapse, on Saturday.
On sighting the wreckage of the rubble from which she had come out of as a survivor after being buried for five days, South African Lindiwe Ndwandwe – a mother, wife, and daughter – broke down and wept.
Her unabashed appreciation of life left nary a dry eye as she muttered repeatedly that it was God who saved her.
Rescue operations had been ongoing for four days when she walked out unaided at about 2am last week Tuesday, after excavation had been done in the section where she was trapped.
Recounting her ordeal, Ndawndwe, who escaped with only scratches on her skin, said she survived by drinking her urine when she got dehydrated.
"I was trapped in the toilet for five days and I was trying to remain positive all through. My ordeal started on that Friday. I was about to eat when I decided to visit the restroom.
"When I was there, I heard this noise and then the ceiling of the toilet came crumbling down. I heard people praying and asking God to help me. I was alone in that place.
"I later started hearing voices of people praying, signing praises and they began to encourage me."
Describing the hell hole she found herself in, she said when the building collapsed she was left with no leg or head room to move around, so she was forced to lie down on her side till she was rescued.
"I tried to sleep but it was difficult. It was through a hole that I knew whether it was day or night. At a point, I looked for my phone to at least make a call but couldn't move much.
"I talked myself to be positive and I started praying. At intervals, I heard people asking if anyone was there and I always answered. On the third day, I knew they were rescuing people because I stopped hearing the voices of my neighbours."
Ndwandwe said at that point, she was starving and thirsty. "Remember I was about to eat when I decided to visit the rest room.
"It was then I started having a conversation with God. Anytime I was hungry or thirsty and I told God, 'I will just fall asleep'. On the fourth day, I was becoming weaker. And I was more thirsty. It then occurred to me that the only thing to do was to drink my urine. But I couldn't even do that because I was lying on my side and the ceiling was hanging over me."
In a moment of ingenuity, she removed her vest from her neck, put it between her legs and urinated on it. The same urine-soaked vest was what she sucked on anytime she got thirsty.
For Ndawndwe, the miracle began when the urine thirsted nothing like urine, rather much-needed liquid. She did that right up till she was rescued.
Her rescue was another miracle on its own. According to her, on the day she was rescued, she heard two men arguing.
One wanted them to dig up the rubble where she was, the other wanted them to go to another side, his reason being that no one would still be alive under the rubble.
When she realised that the one with the tractor who wanted to dig where she was had succeeded in convincing the other, she experienced a moment of fear. Her fear steamed from the fact that they might dig and then release bits of concrete, killing her in the process.
She tried to shout but they couldn't hear her until they had opened a hole with the tractor and her voice thinly rang out.
She was rescued. She couldn't believe it. Her joy was unspeakable.
"When I was rescued and I called my husband, the only thing he could say was 'Thank God'. I could hear the loud shouts of my family rejoicing in the background."
As plans were made to fly her back to South Africa to reunite with her family, Ndawndwe's thoughts were with her two-year-old son, who was almost rendered motherless.
"My faith has been strengthened," she said.