It’s been nearly a year since Stefanie Schaffer was involved in a tragic accident while vacationing in the Bahamas. The boat she was on exploded, leaving her with multiple injuries including losing both of her legs.
The road to recovery hasn’t been easy, but life has felt a bit more normal for Stef after being able to get back behind the wheel a few weeks ago.
“When I’m driving the car, I feel like my old self again,“ Schaffer said. “It allowed me to do things on my own for the first time.“
Fourteen different dealerships that make up the North Country Chevy Dealers put their heads together to equip a vehicle that would work for Stefanie and help her regain her independence.
“We saw someone that inspired us and we wanted to be a part of her story,“ said Mark Alderman of Alderman Chevrolet.
The vehicle is equipped with everything she needs to get down the road safely, including hand controls and a single plate for both accelerating and braking.
It’s neat to see her driving around enjoying the Equinox and knowing the Equinox helped her regain some of that independence again,“ Alderman said.
After receiving the car last month, Schaffer said this is the first week she’s finally felt comfortable enough to take it for a spin on her own. She’s also recently been fitted for a set of prosthetic legs. As she continues therapy to work again, she said this experience has motivated her to reach those goals.
“This was a goal of mine and I’ve done it, I’m doing it,“ Schaffer said. “These other goals that I’m working toward, I know I’m going to get there because I’ve gotten here.“
Schaffer is set to graduate college in December and plans to counsel trauma patients down the road.