Beaten, stripped, stung and hated - but Rugby woman finds hope

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A RUGBY woman who suffered years of torture and abuse at a children’s home in the south of England is writing a book about her extraordinary life.

Jean Neil was beaten with stinging nettles for wetting the bed as a toddler.

She suffered in freezing ice baths for speaking out of turn to her carers and was stripped naked and beaten for making wisecracks.

For years Jean, 75, of Oliver Street, thought she was an orphan after being put in a home due to severe family problems.

“I suffered 15 years of cruelty,” she said.

“Not only was I beaten with stinging nettles and tortured in ice baths, I was fed dry bread and water for punishment. Sex abuse was rife in the home.”

Jean says as a child she was a rebel who was “hated by everyone”.

“I left the home when I was 15 and worked for a lady as a slave, who paid me no wages.

“I went into nursing but had a burst appendix and nearly died.”

Jean went to work in a children’s nursery where she was invited to church at the age of 19.

“I gave my life to Jesus and became a Christian,” she said.

At 24, she married John, the love of her life who lived in Rugby.

But soon into the marriage she fell and fractured her coccyx and ended up in a wheelchair for several years.

“I had the first of three operations on my spine,” said Jean.

“My health problems included heart attacks, angina, I was almost blind and had paralysis in both arms and had brain surgery after a care accident.”

Jean, who lost her husband two years ago, said: “I shouldn’t be here today. When I went into the intensive care unit for the fourth time I was told I would never walk again.”

She joined a church in Lawford Road and went to healing meetings.

“I had resentment, bitterness and hatred,” she said.

Then something happened that changed Jean’s life. She claims she experienced a ‘miracle’ after preacher Reinhard Bonnke healed her at a youth rally in Birmingham.

“I felt as thought I’d had an anaesthetic. The preacher said Dr Jesus was operating on me and continued to pray. I was able to stand as he was praying, then walk, then run within seconds.”

Jean, who is now a street pastor in Rugby, has also forgiven the people responsible for her abuse. She said: “I live for God now and want to help others as long as I live.”