COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – It has almost been a year since Columbus fireman Stu Tudor was struck by lightning.
“I feel fine, but I just want to walk,” said Tudor, sitting in a wheelchair outside the Hilliard nursing home where he has lived most of the last year. “I want to move, I want to get up and move … I can’t move.”
He was at a Columbus Crew game on June 28 last year when a storm rolled in. While he crossed the parking lot, he was hit by the bolt from the black, stormy sky.
This will not be an anniversary for him and his girlfriend Lisa Watford, who has stayed by his side through all of this, but more of a remembrance of that horrible night.
“Life has not been the same, we forget what life used to be sometimes…before this happened,” she said. “It was bad, it was the hardest year of our life.”
On July 3, during the Red, White and Boom celebrations, there will be a raffle among Columbus firefighters to help raise money to buy Tudor a wheelchair van.
On the 4th, there will be a raffle at the Crew game.
It is a nice gesture, but that doesn’t change what has happened.
“I cry a lot these days,” said Watford. “I miss our lives, I miss us, and it’s exhausting.”
If there are any silver linings in the night of those dark clouds, it is that Stu Tudor is getting better, but it’s in inches.
In February, when we visited him at his nursing home, his speech was even more slurred and slower. He could barely squeeze some rehab balls, and basically couldn’t move his arms.
Today, it is much different. Tudor can touch the top of his head and his face and, most importantly, he can put his arms around his girlfriend Lisa, who has been with him all along.