Tuxedo Man Paul Litchfield needs help with medical expenses

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rainbowgirl28
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Tuxedo Man Paul Litchfield needs help with medical expenses

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Mon Oct 04, 2010 4:07 pm

The Tuxedo Doesn't make you Indestructible After All.

In April of 2009 I started feeling a strange pain in my hip. Thinking it was muscular I would take some time off practice then press on again never missing a competition.

In Dec 2009 I was doing lunges, something in my back popped and I collapsed to the ground in the weight room. Not being able to afford medical insurance for the past 6 years I did what I always do, I stayed home and didn't ask for help. 3 to 4 weeks went by with sleepless nights, several missed work days, 0 activity aside from any therapy exercises I could manage. I was able to function again with a much lower level of pain by January, and long story short, I competed.

I completed a whole indoor season including a trip to Taiwan, then competed outdoors up until the Gill Factory Vault in July. The pain in my back and hip had grown severe, but the season was so frustrating too me regardless. I thought even with all that pain, I should still have been jumping much higher. Speed and Strength was all there. I would watch myself on video and it was like seeing a stranger.

While at the Factory Vault I thought that the runway felt strange, like there were dead spots in it, and even more strange was that when I did my warm up the day before, it felt solid as a rock. I went ahead and tried to compete, posting my first No Height of the outdoor season. I couldn't help but notice that I kept tripping over things that day, and after awhile I realized I was only catching my left leg on these items. By the evening large portions of my left leg were numb.

A friend and former vaulter was attending the factory vault who had undergone several back surgeries do to with vaulting, and is currently using a cane to assist his numb left leg. After picking his brain for awhile I panicked and realized that I must go see a doctor with or without medical insurance. After finding 0 reflex response in my left leg he ordered an MRI. The results were rather unsettling. I have 2 bulging discs 2 herniated discs which are both pinching separate nerve stems to my left leg, and one "healing" fracture in L4, which they are guessing could have been broken up to 1 year earlier (i'm guessing Dec 09).

I had 2 choices, a $20,000 surgery, which would most likely be the end of the Tuxedo man, or start getting injections right away to prevent permanent nerve damage and possibly with the right therapy be back on the runway by January or February. The injections I'm receiving usually cost about $1,300, but I found a doctor with a big heart who is doing them for $500 a piece.

As wonderful as that is. I can't afford a single one at the moment. Being limited in mobility I can't go out and raise the money doing labor like I normally would, and jobs are pretty much nonexistent in Idaho. I work part time for ISU Track and Field, but its not even enough to pay my regular monthly bills. I usually fill the quota with meet money, camp money, or labor money. And none are an option right now.

I have received the first two rounds of shots and they are working! After the second round I started to get small reflex response in my left leg so I look forward to the next round on October 13th. However I have to pay at least the $500 for the first shot by then or they won't do it, and I'm struggling to make it happen. I've got nothing to sell, no savings, an empty checking account, a mountain of debt, and hardly any income, but I plan on being on that runway and better than ever by February at the latest. I hate to ask for help, but i need this next shot bad and the clock is ticking.

-Paul Litchfield

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rainbowgirl28
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Re: Tuxedo Man Paul Litchfield needs help with medical expenses

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Mon Oct 04, 2010 4:09 pm

To help raise money, Jamie Steffen has designed a really cool t-shirt. Anyone who donates $25 or more to Paul's medical expenses gets one:

Image

You can donate through Fuzion Athletics: http://www.fuzionathletics.com/payment.php

Make sure the address in Paypal is where you want your shirt shipped! Also send Jamie an email to let him know what size you want: jamie@fuzionathletics.com

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rainbowgirl28
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Re: Tuxedo Man Paul Litchfield needs help with medical expenses

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Mon Oct 04, 2010 4:32 pm

Payment link posted.


I'd like to add that I've known Paul a long time and he's a hard-working guy that has devoted his life to pole vaulting. He works hard and lives a life of poverty to try and pursue his dreams. A worthy cause :yes:

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Re: Tuxedo Man Paul Litchfield needs help with medical expenses

Unread postby Bubba PV » Mon Oct 04, 2010 6:43 pm

I'm in for $100 right now. Thanks for letting us know. Bubba
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Re: Tuxedo Man Paul Litchfield needs help with medical expenses

Unread postby fdavaulter » Mon Oct 04, 2010 11:06 pm

I met Paul years ago and we became really good friends, since then he has done tons for me help in promote my club. Paul moved in with me this summer for almost 4 months, he helped me with pole vault camps and we also traveled to street vaults meets in the Midwest together(this was his first time in the midwest) He has alway been a great friend to me and if you have every met him you would be able to say the same, if this was me I know he would do the same thing for me. He is truly been a brother to me. One of the worst things it see is one of your family members dreams going away day by day and there nothing more you can do to help.

When Paul started to have pain in his leg and back we both knew it was not good, as you can see from the letter, this went on all summer. It was hard to watch and as you can tell from the letter its very hard for Paul to ask for HELP. I had Paul type up a letter telling his story, but I did not know what I was going to do with it,I knew something would come to me, then I asked Becca to help on PVP by asking the online community to HELP. I hope you can help him more then I can, I just cant do it by myself anymore.

Paul loves pole vaulting and want to get better so he can train to be one of the best. If you have seen Paul in practice or seen him jump you know he has what it takes. If you didn't know Paul's PR was 13' in High School and in college he has jump over 18' and out of college he jumps 18'4" 3/4" and has been very consistent jumping over 18'. Paul will be 30 this month and as most of you know the next couple of year could be his best! Paul's resume go on and on and this CAN'T be the end of his dreams.

Paul is a awesome guy and vaulter to have jump in your meets and can even a better friend, I hope one day everyone can have such a great person in there life.

Thank you
jamie
Last edited by fdavaulter on Tue Oct 05, 2010 12:00 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Tuxedo Man Paul Litchfield needs help with medical expenses

Unread postby fdavaulter » Mon Oct 04, 2010 11:14 pm

paul.jpg
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Re: Tuxedo Man Paul Litchfield needs help with medical expenses

Unread postby Bubba PV » Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:59 am

Hey Jamie. I sent my donation as directed through Paypal last night as promised, but I forgot to say I need an XL. Thank you for sharing the story. Hope many people jump on board to help. Bubba
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Re: Tuxedo Man Paul Litchfield needs help with medical expenses

Unread postby polevaulter08nw » Sat Oct 09, 2010 12:38 am

Im in for 30, hope you get back on the runway Paul!

Can I get a large unless the sizes run big.

Thanks

PS. Becca and Jamie, you guys are awesome in everything you do to help the vault community!
Age:22
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Indiana University '13
University of North Carolina '12

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Paul Litchfield needs help with medical expenses

Unread postby sdeming » Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:47 am

Paul and I trained together in pocatello for many years. It was amazing to watch him go from a Dave Nielsen "project" kid to a conference champion and all-american. An extremely gifted athlete who at one point had to make the decision between competing at the ncaa championships in the vault or the decathlon. Who would have thought that skinny kid from california would amount to so much.

Having been through the post-collegiate years myself I know how difficult it can be trying to make end meet while training/chasing your dream. If there ever was a legit cause to open your wallet for this would be it. I, like the posts before, whole heartedly encourage you to support Paul in his time of need. Lets show him that there is support for vaulters out there who have not cleared 19'... yet.
steve deming

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Re: Tuxedo Man Paul Litchfield needs help with medical expenses

Unread postby vaultmd » Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:39 pm

Steve,

Welcome to PoleVaultPower.

Hope everything is well with you and that your kid is still enjoying the flag . . .

Wilson

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Re: Tuxedo Man Paul Litchfield needs help with medical expenses

Unread postby jabennis » Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:58 pm

I'm pulling for you Paul!! I just made a donation.

It was awesome seeing you vault at the Gill Factory, and I hope u get back on the runway soon bredda!

-Jabari
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Re: Tuxedo Man Paul Litchfield needs help with medical expenses

Unread postby VaultNinja » Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:41 pm

I feel like its time for me to post something on this thread.
I can't tell everyone how hard this has been on me and how truly touched I am at the efforts of Becca and Jamie, and the support I'm receiving from the Pole Vault community. Without the assistance you've all given me, a come back would have taking me ages alone, both physically and mentally. Every athlete searches for inspiration at times in there career, especially when people you respect are telling you to quit. Deep down I knew I wasn't ready to give up, and the help, support and encouragement you've all given me has only reinforced my decision and further inspired me to fight for my dreams. Words are not enough to describe how much this all means to me, so I hope my actions will speak for me in the upcoming months as I return to the sport that has given me great adventure, inspiration, and most of all, friendship. Thank you all so much.

Paul Litchfield
AKA: The Tuxedo Man
If someone tries to step on your dreams.... Step on their face.


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