Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 8, 2019

Two of Our Own Need Help: Home Invasion

If you follow my blog, you probably recognize Chantelle & Burgen Thorne. I featured them on Illustrator Saturday in 2017 and featured their book, THE REAL FARMER IN THE DELL in March. You might remember the illustration below.

Tragedy stuck the other week, when 3 men with knives burst through their glass door of their home and slashed and stabbed Burgen so many times in the back that it left him paralyzed. They beat Chantelle to a pulp, trashed their home and tried to steel their car. The three young men also repeatedly told Chantelle that they would kill her after they finished off her husband. They are in the hospital in South Africa with no health insurance or other sources of income, and completely traumatized. They are in serious financial and health trouble from this. Dr. Mira Reisberg created and set up a US GoFundMe page right here: Please help spread the word with this link. This could happen to anyone and they truly are wonderful human beings who deserve help from our community.

From News24 in south Africa:

A distraught Chantelle told The Witness on Sunday that Burgen had sustained damage to his spinal cord and is unable to feel his legs.

He will see a neurosurgeon and needs stitches to his eye. “My husband was in the kitchen preparing supper and I was in another room. I heard him screaming and I ran to the kitchen to see what was happening.”

Chantelle said three young men had smashed through the glass doors entering into the kitchen and attacked Burgen. “I ran and thought of locking myself in the bedroom, but then I thought they may hit him more. I grabbed a crowbar and tried to hit one guy but I missed.” She said one man then grabbed her and held a knife to her throat and asked, “do you want to die?”

She said she saw her husband lying in a pool of blood and screaming, “you’ve broken my back”.

The men then asked for their belongings and car keys. “I took one of the car keys and they grabbed me and took me outside. They were asking me to open the [main] gate but I told them the keys I had had no gate remote.”

She said the intruders got agitated and began hitting her on the head and back. “They wanted me to get in the car and start it, but I pleaded with them to start it themselves and leave.”

She said she thought she was going to die. The car’s alarm went off and that may have spooked the men. She then managed to run off into the darkness. She said the men left through the forest without taking anything.

Chantelle then ran into the house and found Burgen trying to crawl to another room. She then called for help.

Early career illustrators don’t make a lot of money, and while their careers were starting to take off, all that is on hold while they struggle to recover. 

Please donate whatever you can, no matter how small, and let everyone you know know about this. 100% of the proceeds will be going to Chantelle & Burgen.


Thank you.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. I am so sorry to read this. absolutely devastating.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My heart aches for them. Sharing and helping, and thank you, Kathy for helping them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This breaks my heart. I shared on twitter and FB and made a donation. They are in my prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That is horrible! Thanks for sharing this Kathy!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A very BIG THANK YOU to everybody for all the kindness and support we continue to receive. Burgen is making amazing progress and although he still can’t feel anything from the waist down, he’s being taught to use a walker and move legs he can’t actually feel. His doctors are hopeful that he will recover most (if not all) movement and feeling over time. Members of our rural community have been working hard to help secure our home and I was able to move back in last week. One of the attackers has been caught and charged with attempted murder – his bail hearing is today.
    Thanks are inadequate for the amazing outpouring of care and concern, but sincerely THANK YOU from both of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m late in reading this, and wanted to donate. Donations are not being allowed at the moment. I contacted Mira.


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