News from the Harris family

On Monday 28th October Peter and Miranda Harris, co-founders of A Rocha, and Chris Naylor, A Rocha International CEO, together with his wife Susanna, were involved in an horrific car accident in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, in which Miranda, Chris and Susanna did not survive. This page has been made available to the Harris family to provide updates to concerned friends and supporters about Peter and arrangements regarding Miranda. Please check back from time to time. If you are wishing to share condolences and memories please follow this link.


There will be a service of thanksgiving for Miranda’s life at 2pm on 14 December at St Aldates Church, Oxford. Please view the announcement here.


30 November 2019
Peter will have a medical repatriation soon and a doctor arrived today from the UK to accompany him home with his brother. His strength and eyesight continue to improve and he has been cleared fit to fly. Once home, his recuperation will continue helped by Graham, an old friend and a doctor. Further treatment will be continued in the near future at Bart’s hospital.
Yesterday Peter had a very moving meeting with the man, an experienced life saver, who was driving past when the accident happened, stopped and saved his life. Peter, his family and friends are hugely grateful to the great number of people in Port Elizabeth who have shown extraordinary kindness and generosity to strangers in need during the last five weeks. This will be the last official update on this site as we leave South Africa.


27 November 2019
Peter has been recuperating well at the hotel near the sea. He is taking longer walks each day and his eyesight is steadily improving. He is hopeful of being repatriated in a few days accompanied by a doctor and his brother. The journey and Peter’s re-entry home are bound to be challenging and prayers are requested for these. We are hugely grateful to Mo and Ewan, who have just left, for their invaluable help. An old friend, Richard, is joining Stephen for a couple of days and then the doctor for a day or two before the flight.


24 November 2019
Peter is anticipating being discharged again (!) from hospital tomorrow after a testing few days. This time we are hoping that all the meds are balanced. There is an agreed plan, when back in the UK, to deal with a remaining minor heart problem. His eyesight continues to improve and he hopes to be able to fly back home at the end of the week. Please continue to pray.


21 November 2019
Peter wasn’t feeling well, in a nonspecific way, this morning, so we asked to get him reviewed in hospital. They have kept him in to adjust his medication and until he feels better. They have done the scheduled investigations which didn’t show any new problems.
He feels safer in hospital at the moment with help to hand and when we visited tonight he was feeling settled and being well cared for.


18 November 2019
Peter was discharged (escaped!) from hospital today and moved to a hotel by the sea, with Stephen and Ewan, for ongoing recuperation. There are signs his eyesight is improving but it will be a week and a half to two weeks before he is allowed to fly due to the damage his lungs sustained and ongoing medical appointments. He has a good sea view room with lots of local birds passing by so will be an ideal place to be.


16 November 2019
Peter has been doing well today. The chest drains have been taken out and he is freer to move around. He is out of the hospital gown and into his own clothes and able to walk down the corridor and even outside to get some sunshine which is quite liberating.
He has a more comfortable chair which means he can sit out for periods as well as much he chooses. His eyes are still seeing double so prayers are appreciated for this to get sorted soon.


14 November 2019
Peter gains in strength everyday and a highlight was a walk downstairs with a strict physio and out into the grounds of the hospital for the first time. His chest drains and eyesight continue to show distinct signs of improvement. Another highlight was that a recording of the nurses singing the Lord’s Prayer as they began their working day was played as a blessing at the City lunch on conservation and finance that Peter has been micro managing from his hospital bed! Anita and Murray have returned home and Ewan arrives tomorrow.


12 November 2019
Peter continues to grow in strength and managed to walk from his new ward back to the ICU department today (a good 100 yards!) to talk to the nurses who helped him there. His chest drains have to remain in place for a few days yet. An encouraging session with the hospital optometrist showed that his eyes are in good shape generally and his present double vision, caused by brain trauma, should hopefully sort themselves out over the next three months. He is likely to be discharged from the hospital sometime in the first half of next week. He will then stay in SA with his brother, Stephen, and good friends who are flying down, Mo and Ewan, until he is able to fly home, maybe after another week.


11 November 2019
Peter had a first good sleep last night. Thank you for your prayers. The physios now have him up and walking short distances up the corridor but there are still episodes of acute pain probably from all the broken bones. The MRI was not alarming but we do pray for a return of his normal eyesight sooner than the expected 3 months. At present his vision is severely compromised and it is frustrating because his mind is not. Please do pray on that his chest drains can be removed as this will make a big difference to his pain levels and recovery. Today his 4 kids all head home. Miranda’s sister Anita stays on until Thursday and his brother Steve will stay with him until he is ready to travel.


9 November 2019
Peter continues to go from strength to strength physically. He has been moved to a side room of his own on a medical ward where it is a lot quieter and more peaceful. We hope this will make sleeping a little easier. Visiting times are a little longer and we are enjoying our time to be together as a family. Please continue to pray that his double vision will improve and for dreamless restful sleep. Tomorrow they hope to get him up and walking.


8 November 2019 – second update
There will be a service of thanksgiving for Miranda’s life at 2pm on Saturday 14th December at St Aldates Church, Oxford.


8 November 2019
Peter continues to make an encouraging recovery and has been so moved and encouraged by the many messages and prayers. We do not yet have results of his scan yesterday but his nurses seem very happy with his progress. He has some double vision still so we are praying this will clear and he will be able to read more easily again.

Today we will mark Miranda’s cremation with a prayer at 10am (GMT). We hope to hold a Thanksgiving service for her life in mid December in the UK and will update you as soon as possible with more details as they are confirmed.


7 November 2019
It has been amazing to see Dad sitting up today and being able to look out of the window. He has had a scan this afternoon as is struggling with some symptoms of concussion, but is looking and sounding so much more himself. Peter’s brother and Miranda’s sister have been able to come and spend time with him. At the moment it is looking possible that he may be ready to return to the UK by the end of the month. We are so grateful for your continued prayers as we are seeing wonderful signs of recovery.

(there was no update on 6 November)


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