LUDLOW, Vt. – Stefanie Schaffer ended her “Finding New Roads Tour” here in Ludlow last week. Who is Stefanie Schaffer you might ask?
Stefanie is from Rutland, Vt., and her story begins in the summer of 2018 when her family had planned a summer vacation to the Bahamas. They had three glorious days together as a family. On the fourth day, Stefanie’s family had planned a boat tour to the island of Exuma to visit the swimming pigs, one of the Bahamas most famous attractions. But this trip did not turn out to be the fun day the family had planned. The boat they were traveling on exploded three short minutes after departure. The explosion occurred directly under Stefanie’s seat. She does not recall the events from the explosion to one month later, when she awoke from a coma in a hospital in Florida and was told she had lost both of her legs, that her spine had shattered and she was paralyzed, her organs were failing, brain bruised. She was in for the fight of her life.
Stefanie fought, and she fought hard. She has been able to be fitted for prosthetic legs, and continues to work rehabilitation with every effort she has. She has endured over 40 surgeries since 2018, and is currently living in California after finding a clinic that specializes in intensive rehabilitation for those with spinal cord injuries and paralysis like hers.
She published a book called, “Without any Warning: Casualties of a Caribbean Vacation,” a memoir by Stefanie Schaffer.
Stefanie shared her story to a nice crowd on hand at Benson’s Chevrolet, and shared a copy of her book with those in attendance. The North Country Chevy Dealers, which Benson’s Chevrolet is connected with, partnered with Stefanie and gave her a new Chevrolet Equinox in 2019 with hand controls, allowing her to drive on her own, visit family and friends, drive to her physical therapy appointments, to simply drive her own car with the windows down and enjoy music playing and find new roads. Stefanie is an ambassador to the American Red Cross. She has shared her story with numerous radio and TV stations.
She is now able to ride her hand cycle independently, and has learned how to walk her dog from her wheelchair. She hopes to ski this winter with adaptive equipment.
So now you might feel you know Stefanie a little bit better. Her story is so unique, and she is a true inspiration to so many people. She is a strong-centered, beautiful-souled woman. Stefanie has a Facebook page you can follow, “Stefanie Schaeffer Finds New Roads.” Jump on and follow her journey.
Thank you to everyone who came out to meet Stefanie. We hope you can find new roads like our Chevrolet motto states, and take a bit of this information to inspire others. A special thank you to Stefanie herself for sharing her story!