Pitch In For Paul Clodfelter

Written by Michaela MCoin and Shelly Berg,
Friends of Katy and Paul


Brain injury lasts forever. Insurance doesn’t cover long-term needs.

The Need:
Ongoing financial support of continued caregiving expenses for Paul which are significant and leading to serious debt.

The History:
 A healthy, active 36-year-old man, Paul Clodfelter was a physical therapist with his own aquatic pediatric physical therapy business when disaster struck in 1999. Without warning, Paul had a massive brain bleed. An obvious reason for the bleed was never found. Paul’s wife of six years (Katy), his family, and his many, many friends rallied. Supported each other, and raised money for immediate needs during his first year of recovery.
During a long, slow recovery Paul miraculously learned to walk, talk, feed himself, and even tell jokes again!
Left with cognitive impairments, weakness, and balance issues, the most devastating effect of Paul’s brain bleed was on his personality. Brain injury creates its own type of behavior and it can be very difficult. Before the bleed in his brain, Paul was one of the kindest, gentlest people you could ever meet. He is still a lovely, kind man, beloved by many. But his brain damage also creates frequent loud outburst of yelling and swearing, especially when he is frustrated as can often happen when your brain and body betray you.
A pediatric physical therapist herself, Katy willingly and with so much love, brought Paul home from the hospital and cared for him initially with help from friends and family and then on her own. She continued to find ways to care for Paul at home even after returning to work full time to maintain their health insurance and provide financially for their needs. After eleven years of caring for Paul at home while working full-time, it became clear that the situation could not continue. In addition to his behavioral issues, Paul has a seizure disorder and has limited safety awareness, all of which require him to have 24 hour supervision. After trying many care giving options, out of home care in an assisted living home proved to be the most beneficial for both Paul and Katy, their health, and their relationship. 

The Specifics:
Assisted living home
Cost- $4,500/month, $54,000/year.
Since 9/2010,  assisted living has allowed Paul to be supervised and have his needs met while allowing Katy and Paul to spend quality time together without the exhaustion and significant verbal abuse damaging Katy’s health and their relationship. Paul is happy to be cared for by others and thankfully, he has an amazing group of caregivers who love him! Katy and Paul talk on the phone several times a day and Paul spends time on the weekends with Katy.  Katy continues to advocate for all of Paul’s needs.

Day Treatment
Cost- $1,300/month, $ 15,600/year
Paul attends a brain injury day treatment program 4 days per week. Programs like this are very difficult to find and this has been a wonderful program, essential to his maintaining and improving his mental and physical abilities. They also work on his behavioral difficulties as well.
This program is a non profit charitable organization, funded through donations and tuition. Paul has helped raise funds for this program and has been blessed to receive a partial scholarship to this program for the last 16 years; however this only covers part of the $2,500/month tuition.

Total cost of assisted living AND day treatment program: $5,800/month, $69,600/year

Final Thoughts:
Katy has resisted the idea of crowd-sourcing for their needs for many years. Her love for Paul is beautiful to see and has made this a very difficult step to take. Almost as difficult as it was to have him cared for by others (an 11 year journey). Katy would rather be able to meet all their needs herself and spend her time and money on helping others. The reality is that is no longer possible.
As difficult as it is to seek and accept help, Katy is so thankful for any and all help that comes their way. Her fondest desire is to be able to someday turn around and “pay it forward” to someone else in need!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this!

Pre- brain injury         Paul and Katy

11/1999   After several weeks in ICU-- Katy and Rich (Paul's twin brother) were able to sneak Katy and Paul's dog in for a visit

4/2000   Paul at home -- Katy, Michaela and Rich cared for him around the clock.

Back in the hospital 5/2000 --for therapy and more surgeries.

Paul and Katy 2014- Enjoying time together

Donations ()

  • Don Dennis 
    • $100 
    • 14 mos
  • Amy Zuchowicz 
    • $50 
    • 14 mos
  • Lancelot Clodcan 
    • $25 
    • 14 mos
  • Bill Clodfelter James Canfield 
    • $100 
    • 14 mos
  • Susan Mark 
    • $100 
    • 14 mos
See all


Katy Clodfelter 
Laguna Niguel, CA
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