Professor Jeff Hillard Helps Tyrone Dumas Tell His Story

Arts & Humanities

By: Ashley Eilers

File Under: "right where i died", department of english & modern languages, tyrone dumas

Associate Professor of English Jeffrey Hillard invited a special guest speaker to his classes on October 2.

Cincinnati’s Best Boxer

Almost 30 years ago, Cincinnati-native Tyrone Dumas was on the fast track to becoming a world famous boxer, quickly outgrowing local stints and living the “high life.” Sponsored by a plethora of local entrepreneurs, Dumas was unstoppable, even at the amateur level. Then the unthinkable happened—Dumas was involved in a tragic car wreck that almost cost him his life.

“Right Where I Died”

Today, Dumas still struggles to walk but has overcome complete paralysis and continues to fight to “get back his body.” Professor Hillard will help Dumas tell his story in a book tentatively titled “Right Where I Died.”

Dumas’ accident fractured vertebrae in his neck, damaged his spine, and put him in a coma. He describes an “afterlife experience” in the hospital, and he speaks about his life, tragedy and recovery from a Christian perspective. “Right Where I Died” will chronicle his struggles, but also his unwavering focus on getting his life back on track. As Professor Hillard says of Dumas, “He is a fighter, with a fighter’s spirit.”

Professor Hillard’s classes were among Dumas’ first group addresses about his life. Hillard and Dumas continue to work on telling Dumas’ story through their book.