It is an honour to host such an incredible, incredible woman on my blog today. Natalie’s story is one which, despite the fact that it shouldn’t have happened in the first place, will leave you bereft. Many thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in the blog tour, and for the ARC of Natalie’s memoir, ‘Still Standing’. Here is my review:
Natalie Queiroz was eight months pregnant when she was stabbed by her partner in the most vicious attack imaginable.
In the space of nine minutes, and in broad daylight, Natalie was stabbed twenty-four times with a carving knife.
She suffered horrific wounds to her lungs, liver, stomach and uterus, whilst the knife missed her baby by a margin of two millimetres before the arteries in her wrists were methodically severed by the hooded attacker she finally realised was her partner and the father of her unborn child.
After heroic intervention by passers-by and police, the attack was brought to an end, but her ordeal was not over. An air ambulance rescue was launched, and against all medical odds, Natalie and her baby survived – but not without life-changing physical and emotional damage.
Still Standing is the story of one life-shattering event – what came before that fateful day, what happened on it, and how one woman and her baby survived to rebuild and heal together after it. At once a shocking story of evil, manipulation and violence, and a truly moving reminder that a life can be pieced back together, no matter how bad the damage, this book will empower and inspire anyone who has ever faced true adversity to rise up and stand tall.
What does TWG think?
I have been thinking about how best to write my review, all day. How on EARTH can you form coherent words about an incident which left 2 people for dead. Wait, hang on, how on EARTH does someone carry out the attack that leaves 2 people for dead, one being their own flesh and blood!!!! If I was asked, in person, as part of a random chat, about my thoughts of ‘Still Standing’, the amount of swear words I would use would turn the air blue. However, seeing as this is my own blog and I will be putting the review on Amazon, no swear words will be in this at all. Shame.
Natalie was stabbed 24 times. 24 TIMES! Not only that, she was 8 months pregnant and the attacker stabbed her in the stomach as well. Not only THAT, the attacker was someone incredibly close to Natalie. Someone which helped to create the baby that they nearly killed. Sick isn’t it?
I have no idea how this woman is, pardon the pun, still standing. I would love to say that she is strong, and whilst I wholeheartedly believe that, I am angry for her because she shouldn’t have HAD to be strong – she shouldn’t have been attacked anyway! It is, just like Natalie says in the book, very easy to sit here and commend her on the way she got through the attack, because she did get through it and it is amazing. However, like I just said, she had no other bloomin’ option BUT to get through it! She didn’t get through it for herself. She got through it for her babies, the two that had already been born and the one that was fighting for its life inside her. Natalie HAD to put on a brave face because she had children to look after despite being severely injured by an absolute cactus. Again, I have absolutely no idea how she managed to do it, but holy moly she did and what an unbeliever woman she is.
‘Still Standing’ goes back to the day which Natalie would no doubt love to forget – the day she saw her life flash before her very eyes. The day her baby was born early. The day her life changed drastically both in terms of her physical looks, and her emotions. Natalie describes the attack in incredible detail, as though you’re watching it happen in front of you. She describes her feelings at that time, what went through her mind when the paramedics were with her, what went through her head when she woke up in hospital hoping that everything was a dream. It’s heartbreaking to read, and yet I wasn’t even the one going through what she did!
The attack didn’t just affect Natalie, it also affected her two eldest children because of course, she is their mummy and they were old enough to be aware of certain things. I am so, so pleased that the bystanders were recognised for assisting Natalie that day, as were the emergency services involved. What an incredible bunch they are. A lot of people snipe about our NHS but without it, there’s a slim chance that Natalie and her bubba would have survived.
This memoir is incredibly emotional. It’s gritty. It’s eye-opening. It highlights the lengths which people can go to to manipulate a situation. ‘Still Standing’ doesn’t just focus on the day of the attack, it also focuses on the aftermath and how Natalie begun to get her life back little by little, as well as the emotional turmoil she had to face at the hands of a downright selfish person.
As I’ve already said many times, Natalie didn’t have a choice BUT to survive that day. She could have easily given up. It’s a massive shame that her strength is coming to light due to what she went through, because I am sure she was an incredibly strong person beforehand. That said, in my eyes, Natalie Queiroz is a superhero. What a moving, emotional, raw and poignant piece of writing this is. When I grow up, can I please be like Natalie? I’ll make my own cape…!
About the author.
Natalie Queiroz is the survivor of one of the most appallingly brutal attacks imaginable. After being stabbed two dozen times by her partner when she was eight months pregnant, she has rebuilt her life and inspired people the length and breadth of the country with her courage and refusal to be bowed by her trauma.
Alongside a successful full-time career, she has since become a motivational speaker and, through various feats of endurance and daring, raised thousands of pounds for the Midlands Air Ambulance charity she owes her life to.