Quadruple amputee Shaninlea Visser has released a short documentary and Episode 1 of her very own inspiring talk show, The Shan Show…

The first episode focuses on Costa, a recovering addict.

The Shan Show was filmed by the same crew that has brought you Survivor SA, The Voice SA, and more incredible South African TV productions –Warren Bleksley and Greg Nefdt of Alfacam and Blade Studios.

The short documentary covers Shan’s emotional story on how she lost her hands, legs, and half her face in a matter of days after contracting a rare bacterial infection.

She was bitten by a mongoose on January 15, 2017, and became ill on the night of January 17, 2017. Almost overnight the 34-year-old mother and businesswoman became a quadruple amputee.

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Shan ended up in ICU on January 18, 2017, and was put on a ventilator and induced coma. While she was in the coma, her organs started shutting down and her family was called in as her body was not responding to any treatment or antibiotics.

Shaninlea Visser has released a short documentary
Shan’s life motto is that “Can’t isn’t a word” and she truly wants to use her story to motivate and in-spire others. Here she is with her daughter in hospital. (Image supplied)


Shan was brought out of the coma on January 30, 2017. Her first procedure was on February 6th where she had both legs amputated below the knee and on February 8th she had both arms amputated below the elbow, from then she has endured up to 70 procedures to have reconstruction surgery to her face as she had also lost her nose, lips, part of her top jaw and eight top teeth.

Although Shaninlea has experienced immense physical, emotional, and mental trauma she remains strong, positive, and has a fantastic sense of humour. Shan’s life motto is that “Can’t isn’t a word” and she truly wants to use her story to motivate and inspire others.

From addict to author

The first episode of The Shan Show welcomes Costa Carastavrakis, a man who went from being addicted to crystal meth to a successful author, comedian, actor, and motivational speaker. Costa, an inspiration coming from a different perspective of adversity – drug addiction. A story no less motivating. The two share their stories and perspectives in this charming, yet impactful first episode of The Shan Show.


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A post shared by Costa (@costajohannesburg)

Sharing her positivity

After all of Shan’s trauma and tragedy, Shan is still incredibly positive and believes that “can’t” isn’t a word. In the creation of the short documentary, and The Shan Show, Shan wants to share her story, and build a platform where people can share their incredible stories, motivate and inspire other people.

In The Shan Show, she interviews incredible and positive people, who like herself have overcome trauma and hardship. Shan only wants to make the world a better place, and use her story and testament to inspire others.

Season 1 of The Shan Show includes the following inspirational guests: 

  • Shannon Martins, an incredible swimmer who last her leg at 2 years old;
  • Megan Hunter who is not only a survivor of the Rare Disease Myasthenia Gravis but also an ambassador for Rare Disease SA;
  • Doug Anderson, a “Radio Man” who himself has suffered many scars from 49 surgeries due to Spina Bifida and started his own campaign “Me and My Scars”;
  • Zola Brunner, a media queen who kicks Lupus’ butt every day;
  • Natalie Nicholson, a fighter of the wounds you can’t see on the outside – mental health;
  • Author Costa Carastavrakis, who went from Meth to Marathons;

 Watch The Short Documentary of Shan’s Life and Episode 1 of The Shan Show with Costa on the  following platforms:

Documentary :


Episode 1: Costa