Randi Stump of Schroon Lake has written a book about her husband, Graham, and his recovery from a serious rodeo accident. “The Dark Stretch: A Young Wife’s Miraculous Ride from Darkness to Light” is available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes and Noble online and at the Word of Life bookstores in Schroon Lake, New York and Florida.
A family tragedy has led a Schroon Lake woman to pen a book.
Randi (Vander Wiele) Stump has authored “The Dark Stretch: A Young Wife’s Miraculous Ride from Darkness to Light.”
The book tells the story of Randi and Graham Stump. Graham Stump was critically injured in a rodeo accident in 2010. The book details his recovery, the accident’s impact on his family and the support of the local community.
“We are not promised an easy life,” Randi Stump said. “In fact, the Bible tells us that life is going to be hard, with tough situations and decisions to make all the time. I want people to be encouraged by my story, that with Christ you can face these hard times, these storms in life, head on with his help. He will give you just the right amount of trust and faith to face that next terrifying minute that comes ticking your way. We just have to ask him.”
The book also discusses Randi’s life in Schroon Lake. Her family owns and operates Mountain Petroleum in Schroon Lake.
“I also talk about growing up in the Adirondacks...their beauty and the adventures I had as a child on horseback,” she said.
Randi, who holds a degree in equine science and management from SUNY-Morrisville, was leading the horsemanship program at Word of Life in 2010. Graham, also a horse enthusiast, assisted Randi with the weekly rodeo at Word of Life Ranch.
“On July 30, he (Graham) competed in a roping event, and after lassoing the steer, dallying off the rope to the horn of his saddle, his best horse, lost his footing and went down,” Randi recalled. “Both horse and rider slammed into the arena floor with Graham’s head taking the full force of the fall. He was knocked out immediately, his feet still secure in the stirrups.
“His horse was fine with only a piece of leather strapping breaking in the fall, but Graham was far from OK,” she continued. “He was flown down to Albany Medical where he was incubated and remained unconscious. He sustained a traumatic brain injury and a broken back.”
Doctors did not expect Graham to make a full recovery.
“What was so heart wrenching about our story to people is that I was not given good news about his recovery,” Randi said. “I was told he may be able to one day breathe on his own, but that would be about it.”
Graham was in a coma for three weeks.
“And then he started to do something no one thought he would do—he started to open his eyes,” Randi said. “He was transported to Sunnyview Rehabilitation hospital where he had to learn how to do everything all over again — breathe, swallow, chew, sit up, balance, move his limbs and eventually walk.”
After seven weeks of rehabilitation, Graham returned home. He eventually returned to his job at Mountain Petroleum in Schroon Lake.
“He has double vision and has to wear glasses to help with that,” Randi said of Graham’s current condition. “His depth perception is bad, causing balance issues at times. His left side was most affected from it, his arm doesn’t quite flex and bend like it used to. And he has memory issues.”
Helping Randi and Graham through the ordeal was their community.
“The community and church were so supportive,” Randi said. “Everyone here knows Graham and our family, and I couldn’t be more proud of them. Our local church in Olmstedville, Grace Bible Fellowship with Pastor Chad Haneman, led the way by truly showing Christ to everyone around them. They made us meals, watched my kids, gave monetarily to us, organized fund raisers, sent me cards and letters, visited me in the ICU. Mostly they prayed for me, which was huge.”
Also helping Randi cope was a blog she started to chronicle her husband’s recovery. That blog became the basis of her book.
“We all have a story to tell,” Randi said. “We all have the possibility of facing hard times, it’s just when and how it will look personally. After my husband, Graham, was injured, the outpouring of support and the following I had was overwhelming. People just loved reading about his progress, the struggles we faced and the miracle that happened in his life. Perhaps at first, most were curious and interested in the rawness of it all, but as time went by, people actually loved my writing and continually encouraged me to write a book about the whole experience.”
Randi still updates her blog. It can be found at www.grahamandrandi.wordpress.com
The book is available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes and Noble online and at the Word of Life bookstores in Schroon Lake, New York and Florida.