Anna Duggar secretly suffered even deeper heartbreak years before her bad news husband, Josh, admitted he cheated and hid a secret porn addiction while starring on his family's Christian TV show, 19 Kids and Counting. In their Bible-based advice book, When Tragedy Hits You, Anna's parents Mike and Suzette Keller revealed their family's darkest traumas.
Mike, a Florida-based missionary, said he and Suzette, 62, withstood a "major tragedy" in their book, published in 2000. "Years ago…we had to bury our baby daughter Joanna. That was a major painful tragedy," he wrote.
Later in the tell-all, Mike, 57, explained that their third child suffered a spinal birth defect. "Several years ago my wife and I had two wonderful children. Then, our third-born child was born with a very serious birth defect, Spina Bifida," he said, adding that the tragedy did not stop them from welcoming more children. "At that time we had to make a decision, should we continue to trust God with the size of our family or should we take matters in our own hands. By God's grace we chose to continue to trust Him and God has since blessed us with five healthy children."
Anna, now 29, nearly became the victim of a terrifying dog attack as a child, Mike also revealed. "One day my daughter Anna was going to the back of our property to feed the animals…Suddenly there appeared two vicious dogs and they started to chase her," he recalled.
He claims she was saved by her faith. "With all her might she cried out, God deliver me from these evil dogs,'" he said. "God heard her cry and they left and she has never seen them again."
Mike survived chronic pain just months before publishing his book. "I got very, very sick. And then it got worse!" he said. "I was so weak for about three months that I did not have the strength to get out of bed without my wife pulling me up."
"I would cry out to God with tears to be healed," he continued, explaining that he was later diagnosed with medical condition Fibromyalgia. He said he was later healed through missionary work and prayer.
Anna is still close with her parents, who live in Interlachen, Florida. But the soon-to-be mother of five's seven siblings don't all still follow a strict Christian way of life.
As Radar previously reported, Susanna, 25, welcomed a baby out of wedlock in January 2013. She is now engaged to boyfriend Matt Davis, though a source said it's unlikely that her parents will attend the wedding.
Anna's older sister Rebekah, 34, got divorced in 2015, which likely upset her fervent Christian parents.
The reality star's older brother Daniel, 32, even spoke out against his brother-in-law Josh after the cheater's 2015 sex scandals. "I won't stop trying to get that pig out of her family," he posted on Facebook.
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