Watch the EPISODE
Director: Jane Kennedy
For 16 and a half years Vanessa Goosen, a former Miss South Africa semi-finalist, was incarcerated in Lard Yao maximum security women’s prison in Bangkok. She was 21 and pregnant when she was arrested and given a death sentence, later commuted to life, and finally a king’s pardon, for drug trafficking.
Vanessa was on her way back home to South Africa after visiting Thailand for a short work trip and was caught carrying 1.7kg of heroin contained within the covers of engineering books her boyfriend’s friend had asked her to bring home.
With no basic legal representation and her child taken away from her when she turned 3, what Leaps of Faith did Vanessa take to simply carry on?
Meet Vanessa today, aged 44 and back home in South Africa. An anti drugs campaigner, youth educator and speaker.
Her story of resilience and deep transformation after almost 2 decades in a Thai prison touches many lives, helping us reflect on the capacity of the human spirit and what it means to be truly free.