Woman Gets Married in Same Church Where Her Funeral Was Held (VIDEO)

whitney cerakYou could say Whitney Cerak is living her life backwards. Because as far as big ceremonies held in churches go, a wedding usually comes before a funeral on a person's timeline. Not so for the 25-year-old, whose family and friends (over 1,000 of them!) mourned her death in 2006 ... then celebrated her wedding four years later in the very same church

If you're confused, I don't blame you -- Whitney's story is one of the most incredible cases of mistaken identity I've ever heard.

See, back in 2006, Whitney was in a horrific car crash that killed five people. She was among the fatalities ... or so everyone thought.

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But Whitney wasn't dead. She was lying in a hospital bed covered in bandages, critically injured. Unconscious and unable to move or speak ... unable to tell the people around her that she wasn't Laura Van Ryn.

Laura Van Ryn was a friend of Whitney's; they were both blonde and young and cute. They were both in the same car crash. Laura died, and Whitney survived. But in the post-accident chaos, there was a mix-up ... Whitney was thought to be dead, while Laura was thought to be the girl recovering in the hospital. Until weeks later when Whitney became alert enough to answer Laura's sister when she asked, "Can you tell us your name?"

I can't think about the joy Whitney's parents must have felt when they found out the daughter they thought they buried was ALIVE without thinking about the despair Laura's family must have felt when they found out the daughter they thought they were nursing back to health was dead. It's unbelievably tragic.

Still, the Van Ryn family is happy for Whitney, who is living her life to the fullest in Laura's honor. Now happily married to soldier Matt Wheeler, she recently gave birth to her first baby, a son named Zachary Thomas.

I'm sure Laura Van Ryn is smiling down at them, sending her love.

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