NEW PARIS — In an instance the life of a New Paris man changed. Family say Rich Borkholder has always been quick to help. Now it’s Borkholder who needs the help.
Two weeks ago, Borkholder was helping a friend cut down a tree for firewood when the tree fell on him causing an L1 compression fracture and damage to his spinal cord.
The accident has left him fighting to regain the use of his legs and family members are seeking help to pay for medical and living expenses, his son, Jason Borkholder said in a phone interview with The Goshen News Wednesday.
On Jan. 18., Rich was airlifted by Memorial Med Flight to Memorial Hospital in South Bend, where he underwent surgery for six hours and spent the next few days in intensive care. He was moved to the rehabilitation floor at the hospital Jan. 24 and started therapy on Monday.
“He’s continuing to recover and has made tremendous progress. The neurosurgeon told us he had a one percent chance to walk again but the prayers continue to be answered,” Jason said. “He was able to move his belly button (Wednesday) and a week ago the doctors said it would never happen again. This is controlled by nerves below L1 (the injury). He also has feeling down to his big toes in both legs.”
The younger Rich says his dad “would give the shirt off his back and be there for his family and community. He’s a hard worker and constantly doing for others. He’s a huge (Indiana University) IU basketball fan. He’s so motivated and this is our turn to support him.”
As a self-employed contractor and co-owner with Larry Cook of BC Builders Inc. in New Paris, the accident has left Rich unable to work and he won’t be able to bring in any income, his son added.