6-Week Series: Against All Odds

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"Once he started clamping down, I remember thinking, This is it. I’m going to die." These were Anne Hjelle’s words in an interview with Inside Edition.

Riding her mountain bike in a Southern California wilderness park, Anne was ferociously attacked by a mountain lion. Thrown off her bike, Anne immediately knew what was happening. She said the lion "was going for my neck, and his goal, as it would be with any type of prey, was to break my neck and paralyze me."

Fortunately, Anne’s friend Debbie Nichols, who had been riding with her, came to the rescue. Seeing Anne being dragged into the brush, Debbie began a tug-of-war with the lion. Debbie pulled on Anne’s legs, while the lion held Anne’s face and head in his jaws. Two other bikers came by and tried to scare the animal away. Finally, the lion let go, backing off his prey.

Anne was airlifted to a hospital. Rangers hunting the lion found the partially eaten body of Mike Reynolds, another biker. The animal had made the kill before attacking Anne. The Rangers found the lion hovering near the body and killed it.

Face scarred, facing reconstructive surgery, Anne tells what went on inside her in that terrifying ordeal as she grappled with the lion for her life: "I was terrified. My first words, as soon as he grabbed on to me were ’Jesus help me.’ It was a conscious decision; I’m in serious trouble and I need help."

Jesus did help Anne, and Anne continues to look to the Lord. She testifies, "We know the process of healing will take time. But Christ is our strength!"

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