Alexander Stumpf has been a fan of the University of Virginia (UVA) women’s lacrosse team for 20 years. On Feb. 24, 2017 he had driven an hour to watch the team win their scrimmage game. When driving home, he stopped at a gas station where he started feeling dizzy. Two miles down the road, his dizziness increased and he drove into a large maple tree.
Alexander was taken to the University of Virginia Medical Center where he bypassed the emergency room and went straight to neurology. It was there that Alexander was told he was actively having a stroke.
On Feb. 24, Alexander was admitted to UVA-HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital. Upon arrival, he had 11 broken ribs, pelvic fractures, rods in both femurs, a spine and ankle fracture and deficits due to the stroke. His rehabilitation goal was to return to his independent life on his 75-year-old, 400 acre historical farm where he has a herd of Black Angus cattle.
To help him accomplish his goals, the rehabilitation team at UVA-HealthSouth used functional training, community re-entry techniques and social and emotional coping techniques.
“After four or five days I looked at my therapist and realized she had me doing things that I thought were impossible; now they’re possible,” said Alexander.
Alexander was also surprised to have some special visitors while at UVA-HealthSouth. The UVA women’s lacrosse team came by to encourage him on his journey with a pizza party.
Although non-weight bearing on his right leg until June, Alexander completed inpatient rehabilitation on March 3 and was able to return home.
“I have a long road ahead. I think the car wreck saved my life because if the stroke would have happened at home, I would have been alone and nobody would have found me for days,” said Alexander.