June 1, 2014
“…it all came crashing down. Fracturing his spine, the teenager was paralyzed from his shoulders to the soles of his feet.
“This is bad, this is bad, this is bad,” Gilman thought as he lay in a hospital bed listening to doctors give him a less than 1 percent chance of recovery.
Feeling helpless and without hope, the boy accepted priest’s invitation to receive “the Lord’s blessing.” A clergyman’s hands hold healing powers, the stranger said as he pulled the curtain for privacy.
Gilman knows this is the point where most people tune out. For decades, the lifelong Rutlander stayed silent about his #sexualabuse as he struggled to harness the lingering feeling…”
Memoir by Dan Gilman with Joan Shott released January 1, 2014
"I climbed up like a monkey to the wobbly old plank at the top of the snag and curled my toes around the edge of it. My buddies watched as I concentrated on another perfect dive. They spurred me on just like the hippies around the river’s swimming hole had done—Dive, Dan. You can do it. I squished my toes tight against the end of the plank. I straightened my back and legs and raised my arms above my head as someone pushed a black inner tube into the center of the pool for a target. Dive, Dan. Right into the middle. You can do it.
You’d bet I can. I, Dan Gilman, am invincible.
My feet left the board. I sprung upwards and curved into a flawlessly executed dive. I imagined I was one of those cliff divers they show on The Wide World of Sports as I plunged headfirst. In that split second, everything was light and sparkling and summer was perfect and I was the center of attention.
Until my head snapped down and slammed into my chest.
The world turned blue and soft and silent.
I floated in the clouds.
Later the doctor would say I’d fractured my spinal column at cervical level 4. The fourth vertebrae of my neck slipped out and moved behind the fifth. The disc separating the fourth and fifth vertebrae was crushed.
The paralysis was instantaneous."
----- excerpt from The Blue Hole
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Jan. 5, 2014
"...the pool, barely 4 feet deep, was far too shallow for such a dive. His head hit the bottom of the pool, and the impact crunched the vertebrae in his neck and fractured his spine, rendering him a quadriplegic.
Gilman, now 57, has learned to live with his physical disability.
He’s had a much harder time dealing with what happened after the Rev. Edward Paquette, hired a month earlier by the state’s Roman #Catholic diocese, began visiting Gilman while Gilman was being treated at Rutland Hospital..."
June 1, 2014
“…in his new memoir, Dan Gilman of Rutland — who faced repeated abuse as a teenager while he was hospitalized for a paralyzing diving accident — reports the combined 2013 blanket settlement for the final dozen cases to be $6,750,000, with “each claimant’s amount to be decided by a special arbitrator.”
Add that to previous settlements to former Vermont altar boys and young male churchgoers and the state’s largest religious denomination has racked up a total #priest misconduct bill of more than $30 million — a figure lawyers can now confirm, having agreed to nondisclosure until June 1, 2014…”
I Love Vermont
A picture of me looking at the mountains near Rutland Vermont. I reminisce hiking through the forests to the mountain brooks I used to fish. This particular day a blue hole suddenly appeared. Often, when I am outdoors the Blue Hole appears above me reminding of good times, and bad times.