A COUPLE crashed their car on the way to hospital and spent a night of hell trapped in the wreckage surrounded by ravenous roaring lions.
Mario Titus, 46, and wife Grace, 34, miraculously lived to tell the extraordinary tale after their dash to doctors took a dangerous turn.
The mum was experiencing shortness of breath and high blood pressure when she decided to get checked over in September 2022.
She and her husband were nearing the end of their 124-mile drive from their home in Mata Mata, South Africa, when they struck a sign.
The couple’s motor horrifyingly careered off the road and slammed into a tree, which then crushed the vehicle.
The ordeal left Grace with six broken bones in her pelvis and leg as well as cuts so deep that she looked like she’d “been bitten by a shark.”
But their nightmare was only just beginning – as the parents would be trapped in the wreckage for a whopping 12 hours.
The mum-of-three and receptionist quickly began to lose blood and fell in and out of consciousness.
To add to their misery, neither of them had signal on their phone to alert emergency services – and they were just 12 miles away from the hospital in Upington.
Grace then recalled how she had spotted a pride of lions on the road just moments before the crash – who she feared would “eat them alive.”
She was terrified that the beasts would be enticed by the smell of her blood while her park ranger husband was concerned he wouldn’t be able to “keep them at bay.”
The mum said: “We didn’t tell anyone we were going to hospital because it was an emergency so no one knew where we were. I tried to reach out for help but nobody got my message.
“My husband tried to help me get out but he couldn’t and he wanted to walk for help but I saw three lions in the road right before we crashed so we said if we had to die, we would die together.
“It was terrifying. There were noises, lions roaring and I was passing out. I was in a lot of pain and weak from losing blood.
“When I heard the lions, I said to Mario ‘oh no, we’re going to die now’. I thought the lions were going to come, drag me from the car and eat me alive.
“I thought they would smell the blood because I lost a lot. We watched every hour go by saying ‘it’s 6pm, it’s 7pm, the tourists will come’. It wasn’t nice. I’m a very scared person but I was very strong.
“The only thing I was thinking of was my kids. I was thinking ‘I can’t die now’. I have to live, I have children.
“We started praying that we were going to make it. It was very dark and cold, I prayed to God to warm my inner body.”
Mario said he was simply thankful that hyenas weren’t also lurking nearby as his wife remained stuck in the damaged car.
He added: “The side of the car where Grace was sitting was open.
“I know there were animals in the area. Luckily, there were no hyenas because they are very persistent.
“We’re very fortunate that nothing happened in terms of animals because I was worried how I would keep hyenas or lions at bay.
“We could hear them roar and they were close. Grace had seen them before the crash.”
The helpless couple were finally spotted by another driver at 8am the following morning, who raised the alarm.
Emergency services were forced to cut Grace from the wreckage before the pair were rushed to hospital.
She was given a blood transfusion and faced a gruelling five-month recovery after her wounds became infected.
Doctors told her it was a miracle that she’d survived after spending 12 hours in the freezing cold with serious injuries.
Mario said: “It was such a relief when help finally came but then we realised the amount of injuries that Grace had sustained and it was worrying.”
Grace added: “We were so happy when we saw people. I couldn’t move so they had to grind the door down.
“There were four doctors in the town which was lucky. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have made it. I lost a lot of blood.
“I had a broken pelvis and leg, deep wounds under my breast, neck and leg. It looked like I’d been attacked by a shark.
“It was a miracle that I survived. The doctor said they didn’t think I would make it and for them it was a miracle.
“I think God has a purpose for me and it wasn’t my time to go. Every time I had a setback I pray to God to keep me alive for my children. I can’t believe I was so strong.”
We previously told how a couple spent 10 days clinging to a tree as they tried to evade a brown bear trying to eat them.
Anton and Nina Bogdanov were visiting the Banniye Springs beauty spot in eastern Russia when they were ambushed by the beast.
And a safari park ranger was left in an impossible position when his car burst into flames inside a lion enclosure.
The motor was engulfed by the blaze after it overheated at West Midlands Safari Park, just metres from the animals.