Now we have, but sadly, not in a way we could ever have expected.
When Sacred Heart announced in March that Gorham would be on medical leave there were no details. A story in yesterday's Portland Press Herald about Gorham – a former Maine high school standout who played tight end at New Hampshire and was a graduate assistant at UNH when Oregon coach Chip Kelly played there – explains:
Weeks after he was on the sideline at the Rose Bowl watching Oregon beat Wisconsin on the second day of 2012, he was airlifted from his Connecticut home to the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, fighting to breathe. He had idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a lung disease with no known cause and no known cure. What was thought to be a bad chest cold or maybe pneumonia suddenly was more serious.
He needed a double lung transplant, and in early March got it. He was at the clinic for nearly six weeks before surgery: getting enough oxygen to parts of his body was a challenge. Weeks later, both legs were amputated about 6 inches below his knees.Gorham – who was at the Rose Bowl game with son Matt, a tight end at Brown – is still at the Cleveland Clinic but his athletic director isn't ruling out the chance that he'll be back coaching the Pioneers at some point. SHU Athletic Director Don Cook told the Connecticut Post:
"It's a matter of how agile he can be. He's an athlete and built like an ox, so he might surprise us all."In the meantime the challenges include prosthetics, rehab and adapting his house to make it more accessible when he gets home. None of it will come cheaply. From the Post story:
The school has a fund-raiser planned for Aug. 2, starting with a Mass at 5 p.m. and then a reception in the McMahon Center, to help raise money for Gorham. Besides donations, the school is asking for $100 contributions. There will also be a silent auction and several guest speakers from the collegiate football world that are friends with the coach.If you would like to help, there is a DONATE button on a web page headlined, Welcome Home Paul, A Fundraising Tribute to Paul Gorham.
•Excitement here in the Upper Valley yesterday as Andrew Wheating, the Oregon graduate from Norwich, Vt. – directly across the river from Dartmouth – qualified for the Olympics in the 1,500 meters. It will be his second Olympic appearance. link