Southwestern volleyball team, community rally around assistant coach following stroke, aneurysm
WINFIELD, Kan. (KWCH) - Twenty-four-year-old Bree Wallace, an assistant coach on the Southwest College volleyball team, is beginning to recover at a Wichita hospital after suffering a brain aneurism and a stroke this week. At this point, the message from her team and those who know her is simple: “Pray for Bree,”
Wallace is known for doing all she can to support her volleyball teams. Now, it’s those players and coaches coming to support her. In addition to her role with the Southwestern College volleyball program, Wallace coaches a club team at One Volleyball Academy in west Wichita. Players and fellow coaches are united in efforts to make sure Wallace has what she needs.
On the volleyball court as a player Wallace is known for her drive.
“I’ve coached her since she was 18 and all throughout college and she’s your biggest advocate when you need her most,” said Southwestern College Head Volleyball Coach Maggie Hans, also a friend of Wallace. “She’s always on your side and she will always push the limit for you.”
Hans said it’s Wallace’s drive that will see her through. Since Wednesday morning, when Wallace suffered he aneurism and stroke, the head coach has spent much of her time near her assistant’s hospital room.
“The first day, I want to say, we have about 20 people in the waiting room, 20 to 30,” Hans said. “And just an influx of people coming out that we didn’t even imagine were going to come in and check on us.”
Wallace’s mother, Ronna Wallace, said Thursday was good day for her daughter as the 24-year-old woke up and communicated, even cracking jokes.
“She really couldn’t talk at first, so she used her hands for sign language and she did it so fast, we had to tell her to slow down,” Ronna Wallace said.
Friday presented some new challenges and what will be a long road to recovery for Bree Wallace. She’ll be in the hospital for at least four weeks with rehab to follow, her mother said.
“My team is building an army for her as we speak so that we can help,” Hans said.
The support, she said, extends beyond the teams Wallace coaches. It’s also coming from across the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (in which Wallace played and coaches) and the greater volleyball community.
“I know everybody here wants the best for her, and we know that she’s going to pull through this and she’s going to be going back out there,” Ronna Wallace said.
Bree Wallace is also a graduate student at Southwestern College with plans to graduate in May. Multiple fundraisers are in the works, including a GoFundMe campaign and a medical relief fund. Those wishing to donate directly can contact Hans by email through Medicalfundsforbreewallace@gmail.com.
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