Good Luck Patrick!

Patrick Sutton, a friend and classmate of my daughter, will be leaving in a few days for South Africa to compete in a world championship power lifting competition. Patrick is a 17 year old senior at Lawrence County High School.

Patrick holds the state high school 4A 220 weight class record of 640 pounds and the bench press record of 430. He also holds the total record of 1,495 pounds. He plans to try to squat 733 pounds during the competition to break the world record. Currently he is ranked third in the world in total weight at 1,598 pounds and is ranked number one nationally.

An amazing aspect of Patrick’s story is something he never brings up himself. He has severe asthma. He had to lug a breathing machine with him during elementary school. He usually spent recess inside to avoid asthma attacks.

And if asthma wasn’t a big enough obstacle, Patrick was diagnosed with Scheuermann's disease in the ninth grade. This is Wikipedia’s definition of this disease:

Scheuermann's disease is considered a form of juvenile osteochondrosis of the spine. It is found mostly in teenagers and presents a significantly worse deformity than postural kyphosis. Patients suffering with Scheuermann’s kyphosis cannot consciously correct their posture. The apex of their curve, located in the thoracic vertebrae, is quite rigid. The sufferer may feel pain at this apex, which can be aggravated by physical activity and by long periods of standing or sitting.

Patrick doesn’t let his disabilities get him down though. He has a tremendous work ethic according to all his coaches. And all his friends say he is an all around nice, good guy. He’s an honor roll student, plays defensive tackle for the football team, and is a competitive cheerleader.

We’ll be rooting for you Patrick! Best of luck.

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