Five-time Olympian Danielle Scott-Arruda told VolleyballMag.com on Thursday that she is recovering as well as can be expected after being cut badly five times — once in both hands and three times in her left leg — trying to protect her sister, who was stabbed to death by her estranged husband November 18.
Scott’s sister, Stefanie Vallery, died from her wounds and her attacker, Michael Vallery, remains at large.
“I’m just trying to stay positive with everything that’s going on,” Scott said from her home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. “It’s obviously a difficult time.”
Scott, 46, said she was stabbed three times in her left leg, including near her calf.
“It just missed an artery,” Scott said. “I passed out, actually, because I lost a lot of blood.”
She said the other leg cuts were on her knee and thigh.
“I was kicking. I was trying to grab my sister away and she fell on me and I was just kicking trying to save us.”
Scott, a member of the International Volleyball Hall of Fame who was a star at Long Beach State before turning pro, said it’s tough to walk.
“That’s the physical part,” she said.
“But I’m doing well, relatively. Emotionally it’s going to be a long journey. It’s tough, having been at the scene when everything happened.
“I’m surrounded by family and friends and that’s been a comfort.”
She was also stabbed once each on both hands between the index and middle fingers.
“Both hands in the same place,” Scott said.
“I had my second physical therapy appointment. It was a little upsetting because they changed the splints (on her hands) to this new one that is more limiting. I thought I would be able to have a little bit more freedom, but I’ll figure it out.”
Scott said she and her family are frustrated that Vallery has not been arrested.
“The police don’t seem to be doing enough,” Scott said. “I’m sure they’re possibly doing their best, but I feel like we’ve given them a lot of information and some good leads and it just seems it’s always right after or not at the right time. I want to be positive in what their efforts are, but at the same time it’s frustrating for the family.”
An outpouring of love from the volleyball community was evident in many ways, especially through the fundraiser set up by Scott’s Olympic teammate Tayyiba Haneef-Park to help both Scott and her sister’s daughter, also named Danielle and who was also stabbed that night. That GoFundMe account raised more than $58,000, including a $10,000 donation by USA Volleyball.
“The overwhelming support and prayers has been amazing,” said Scott, who has been coaching on the national and local levels and running clinics in Baton Rouge.
“You don’t know until something like this happens how much people appreciate you as not only as the athlete but as a person.
“That’s getting me teared up,” she said, her voice breaking. “It feels good to be loved and appreciated.”
Visitation for Stefanie Vallery is Friday and Saturday at Resting Place Funeral Home in Baton Rouge followed by a religious service Saturday at Woodlawn Baptist Church. An obituary is in the Baton Rouge newspaper The Advocate.