Dart Lumpkin’s Story

“Dart Lumpkin sped away from the gunman, brought his truck to a screeching halt and fell out of the driver’s seat and onto the pavement. As his co-worker raced to his side, Dart asked, “Where am I bleeding?” After a brief pause came the answer: “Dart, you’re bleeding everywhere.”

“It was one of those fluke things, being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The guy snuck up on me and Jeff while we were getting into my truck, and he started demanding money and shooting. He shot me seven times–in both legs, my left hand and my abdomen.

I heard one of the paramedics say I wasn’t going to make it and then I passed out. Three days later I woke up in the hospital, and the first thing I asked the doctor was, ‘Am I going to walk again?’ He said, ‘I doubt it, but a lot has to do with you and how the nerves heal.’ Well, I thought, if I have anything to do with it, I’m going to walk again. Three days later they brought me to Drake.

I was really in bad shape. I couldn’t get out of bed on my own, I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t use my left hand at all. Emotionally, it was hard. But my therapists, Regina and Susan, started pushing me right away with aggressive therapy. They never babied me, and they kept on saying things like ‘come on, now, you can do this!’ We used a lot of techniques and assistive devices for my therapy. Wound care specialists came up to my room often to see how I was coming along and to treat my wounds.

I was able to return home after about four months, and I had outpatient therapy at Drake for about a year after that. I returned to work a few months ago in the same job I had before, as a crew supervisor for the Metropolitan Sewer District. I really like my job, and I love spending quality time with my family and going on trips with my wife.

What I noticed most about Drake Center is that from day one, every single person showed concern for me and had a real positive attitude. I couldn’t have made it this far without my family and the people at Drake, no way.”


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