Norwich mum's faith beats family tragedy
By Sandie Shirley
2009: Hannah Bassi's tender gaze rests on her daughter, but it belies a tragic irony. Seven times her hopes of providing a younger sibling for Sophie have been dashed after three miscarriages and the loss of four babies who were still-born or died just hours after birth.
Together with her husband Vince, she has known the terrible heartache of burying four tiny white coffins after losing Grace, Benjamin, Rebecca and Luke during the last six years.
The losses have been part of life's harrowing challenges that have included childhood sexual abuse, abortion and two near clashes with death during childbirth and a horrific car accident.
"Despite everything I feel more freedom than ever before from guilt, hurt, shame and pain because there is a God who delivers us out of the pit. His hands are not too short to help. The deepest hurt and ache, he can heal," says Hannah who tells her story to help others, having bravely faced suffering.
Hannah, 39, said she lost her last baby, Luke, in August 2008: "I always wanted to add to my family but each time, at the back of my mind, I thought successive attempts might result in death. I tried not to think like that during my last pregnancy but Luke also died. I held him in my arms and felt my whole world had fallen apart; I looked at him and sobbed but I had God's assurance that everything would work together for good and looked towards him for the way ahead."
Hannah's life began changing ten years ago when she visited the Norwich Family Life Church. "During the singing there was a calm and peace, my legs shook and my hands were clammy," she said.
“The minister asked if people wanted to receive Jesus into their heart and I was almost running to the front and knelt before the altar – I wanted more of this Jesus and was flooded with his love."
Until then her knowledge of God came during a strict, Catholic school education that her parents paid for her in the Far East.
"It was run by laws and not love. One of the nuns would hurl a blackboard rubber at me when I could not answer the maths questions," she says.
During those formative years Hannah also struggled with recurring sexual abuse from a trusted friend of the family – it remained a dark, hidden secret for years.
She met her husband, Vince, while he was a project manager on business in Kuwait, setting up the country's postal system and she was an international first-class flight attendant. Hannah later lived in New York and continued flying across the globe, until she moved to the UK as Vince's wife.
On a dark winter's night last February she was involved in a terrible car accident. Hannah escaped from the mangled wreckage after firemen used cutting equipment. "I knew God was with me as I prayed Psalm 91 – he who dwells in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the almighty because he is my is my refuge and my fortress, my God in him will I trust."
She was able to discard her supporting neck brace following a miracle healing for a broken sternum after a friend's prayer. It baffled doctors. "I should have worn the brace for six months instead of a matter of weeks,” she said.
“After three months the x-rays showed no evidence of a break. The unbelieving surgeon asked to take another x-ray – a year after the accident there should have been at least a hairline crack."
When Hannah talks about life's heartache, and divine healing, many women are moved to tears as it strikes a chord with their own lives. "God is opening doors to tell my story to help others and to be a listening ear," says Hannah.
Pictured above is Hannah Bassi with daughter Sophie.
Article courtesy of Good News for Norwich & Norwich, click here to read more stories or download a copy