Dibilio '15 released from hospital after stroke
After suffering a stroke late last Thursday, Chuck Dibilio ’15 was released from Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia on Wednesday morning and is currently recovering at home, according to a post on his Facebook wall and confirmed by a hospital official.
After undergoing surgery, Dibilio was described as in “fair condition” on Friday night, according to Lee-Ann Landis, a public relations representative from the hospital. By Saturday night, Dibilio had improved to “good condition,” meaning that he was comfortable and that indicators were excellent.
Dibilio ’15, a running back on the football team and the 2011 Ivy League Rookie of the Year, suffered a stroke while studying with a group of people during the University’s finals period on Thursday night.
His friends called an ambulance when Dibilio’s arm went numb and he began slurring his speech. Dibilio was first taken to the University Medical Center at Princeton, before being transferred to Thomas Jefferson for surgery.
"They removed a clot in the main artery of his brain early this morning," said his father, Chuck Dibilio Sr., in a University release on Friday. "He is currently recovering. They are trying to find out what caused it, so they can prevent it in the future. As far as a long-term prognosis, we are a long way from knowing, but we appreciate all of the support Chuck has received."
Dibilio’s mother, Bonnie Coyle Ronco, posted on Facebook on Sunday that Dibilio was able to stand, his balance was good, and his speech and processing centers are improving. However, doctors are still unsure of what caused the stroke.
“We were shocked when we heard the news,” senior quarterback and co-captain Tommy Wornham said. “Chuck is a fighter, and our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family during this very difficult time. We can't wait to see him back on campus.”
“Chuck and his family are in the thoughts and prayers of the entire football family,” football head coach Bob Surace ’90 said in a statement. “We wish him a full and speedy recovery, and we’ll support him throughout the process.”
Surace left campus on Friday to visit Dibilio in the hospital.
"It was really shocking to hear about. Chuck's one of the guys you want to build your program around, and he's such a great, fun-loving guy," junior defensive lineman Caraun Reid said. "It's really sad knowing that can happen to someone as young as Chuck."
Reid said that some members of the football team visited Dibilio and his family at University Medical Center at Princeton around 4 a.m., before Dibilio was transferred to Philadelphia. He added that Dibilio was known for being studious and was concerned about whether he would still be able to finish his finals on time, according to coaches who had visited him.
Director of Athletic Media Relations Craig Sachson said that his recovery is likely to be a long process.
Dibilio ran for 1,068 yards in 10 games this season, shattering an Ivy League record for rushing yards by a true freshman. He was a first-team All-Ivy running back and Princeton’s first Rookie of the Year winner in nearly three decades.
In December, the National Stroke Association reported on a study by researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine suggesting that young football players may have an elevated risk for strokes.
According to The Express-Times, Dibilio suffered a spleen infection before his senior year of high school. So far, there has been no indication that the two incidents are related or that the stroke was football-related.
Note: This article was updated on Jan. 23 and Jan. 25 to include statements from Thomas Jefferson University Hospital on Dibilio's condition and release.