Courtesy of Rachel Stump
“I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. I believe that the power of prayer goes an awfully long way.”
Things are looking up for Rachel Stump.
The first-year was struck by a car near campus on Aug. 19, after having been on campus for less than a week.
She was sent to the Wexner Medical Center after the incident and was in a coma and critical condition for several days. However, Stump said in an email that she “pretty much just snapped out of it. I don’t feel like I’ve been hit by a car at all. I feel completely fine, mentally,” she said. “Physically, I’m not terrible either. I obviously don’t have the complete body strength that I had before the accident, but I’m walking and moving around fine.”
Her father, Matt Stump, said she has been doing “really good and well on her way to recovery.”
“She can talk, she can text, she’s just kind of getting better every day as the swelling goes down,” Matt Stump said.
According to a Columbus Division of Police report, the driver, also an OSU student, was driving southbound through a green light on North High Street near Chittenden Avenue when the vehicle hit Rachel Stump. The report also said she was crossing the street without using the crosswalk.
The driver’s blood alcohol content when Rachel Stump was hit was 0.19, more than double the legal limit. The driver has not responded to multiple emails from The Lantern. Rachel Stump’s blood alcohol content was not tested at the scene. According to the report, Rachel Stump was given a citation for pedestrian in the roadway.
On Sept. 4, Rachel Stump was admitted to OSU’s Dodd Hall Inpatient Rehabilitation facility, Matt Stump said. He also said her target release date from Dodd Hall is Sept. 25, but that could go forward or backward depending on the recovery.
“We’re not out of the woods yet, but we’re definitely seeing some positive things out of Rachel,” Matt Stump said.
Rachel Stump has been receiving occupational therapy, voice therapy and physical therapy, her dad said. But he definitely wants to take their time with the recovery process.
“We don’t want to try to do too much too fast,” Matt Stump said.
Rachel Stump said that she is no longer taking medication, and that therapy is going well.
“Therapy is a breeze. We play card games … it’s so easy,” she said in an email.
After her release from Dodd Hall, Rachel Stump will go back home to Troy, Ohio, to receive more therapy. Matt Stump said the family is shooting for her to return to OSU for Fall Semester 2013.
“She’s always (been) a hard worker in school,” he said. “It feels really weird for her not to be in class.”
The amount of traffic on a big campus in a bigger city is what Matt Stump said Rachel wasn’t used to from living in Troy, a small town near Dayton, Ohio, with a population of about 25,000 people.
Although Columbus is bigger than Troy and bound to have more accidents, Matt Stump said something needs to be done about traffic safety, and there needs to be more awareness overall, particularly concerning walking and texting.
Matt Stump said his daughter still can’t remember anything about the accident, but she can eat solid food, and her maneuverability is improving.
Rachel Stump said that she has a lot of body strengthening work ahead.
“Exercising is what drives me crazy. Out of instinct, when I go to do an exercise, I think I can handle a lot more than I actually can,” she said in an email.
Despite the setbacks, Rachel Stump has had a positive outlook.
“Her attitude’s been really good since day one,” Matt Stump said. “I don’t think she will let anything stop her.”
Matt Stump said the incident has drawn his family closer together.
Social media has drawn prayers and support for Rachel Stump from friends, family and people who have never met her. The hashtag #PrayForRachel was used on Twitter to spread word of her accident and prayers for her recovery, and continues to be mentioned on Twitter as Rachel Stump’s condition improves.
Matt Stump said he can’t believe how much attention his daughter and her accident has gotten on the web.
“It’s been crazy with the whole social media,” Matt Stump said .
While Rachel Stump said she’s busy with therapy, and can’t reply to everyone who contacts her on social media, she said in an email “I get on social networking sites and I have ungodly amounts of friend/follow requests, messages, etc. It feels great to know how many people are keeping you in their thoughts.”