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by Joan Campbell

March 24, 2010

Always swimming

Elliott Schofield received the Florida LMSC, Sue Moucha Overcoming Adversity Award on February 13, 2010 at the Ninth Annual Florida LMSC Social and Awards Banquet. The following nomination was submitted by Joan Campbell:

We would like to recommend Elliott for the Overcoming Adversity award. Following is a synopsis of the reasons for this recommendation:

In 1995, while doing a rough two-mile open water swim, Elliott experienced severe chest pain. He finished the swim and eventually went to the cardiologist. He had bypass surgery—with complications—and the surgery had to be corrected that night. Another blockage was found, but it was decided not to do further surgery at that time. Three weeks after his release from the hospital he was outside shoveling snow. It was time to move to Florida!

Between 1998 and 2006 he had surgery on both shoulders, plus two hip replacements. Each time he awoke to ask “when can I go swimming?”

Unfortunately he was never satisfied with his times and being the competitive guy that he is decided it was time to check in with the cardiologist.

In June, 2006, they decided he needed to have an angiogram. While this was in progress he suffered a stroke, leaving him completely paralyzed on the right side and unable to speak. Fortunately there was a neurologist on standby and he administered a reversal drug. Two days later he was able to speak. After a few weeks in rehab learning to regain the use of his arm and leg he was back in the pool working to get back in shape.

Shortly thereafter he was rushed to the hospital with a strangulated hernia. Emergency surgery was required. That same evening it was found that it was necessary to redo the surgery. While in the O.R. he suffered a heart attack. After several code-blues he was put on a respirator and was in intensive care for a few weeks. A staff infection further delayed his recovery. Later (when he had completed rehab) he was back in the pool struggling to improve his times. However, his recovery was short-lived as, after further tests, it was found that he had several more blockages and needed several stents.

Another setback he developed another hernia—more surgery on September 26, 2007. Two weeks later he was again rushed into the O.R. for emergency colon surgery. ( By this time the ambulance drivers knew the address by heart) and on November 15, he was re-admitted to the critical care unit with sepsis.

Through it all he was looking forward to his 87th birthday and getting back to swimming. He made his 87th—Now for the swimming. His goal is to ready for competition again when he ages up at 89. He will do it.

Elliott feels that without the swimming that he has done throughout the many years of his lifetime, he would not have come through his many adversities. Elliott has a long history of Masters swimming. He is originally from Connecticut, where he has been inducted into the Hall of Fame in Greenwich for his many accomplishments as a Masters swimmer. Since 1993 he has 61 Top Ten as a Florida LMSC member, mostly in long distance freestyle and his signature stroke—the backstroke. He was All-American Long Distance swimmer as a 70-74 and as a 75-79 competitor. In addition to his accomplishments in the pool, Elliott has competed in many FINA championships in open water over his swimming career. He has done the Swim Around Manhattan and other famous open water swims. He has also been active in his community as a member of Rotary International.

The following is a partial list of his accomplishments:

  • 1984 28.5 mile Swim Around Manhattan in eight hrs, 58 minutes
  • 1988 World Masters Championships in Australia
  • 1992 World Masters Championships in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1994 World Masters Championships in Montreal, Canada, 5K, first place
  • 1996 World Masters Championships in Sheffield, England 5K second place
  • 1997 Tampa Bay Challenge, 5K first place
  • 1998 Tampa Bay Challenge, 5K first place
  • 1995 named Long Distance All-American by USMS for the 5K
  • 1998 named Long Distance All-American for the one mile

Pool Swims:

YMCA National Championships in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

YMCA National Championships in Sarasota, Florida

  • USMS National Championships in Savannah, Georgia
  • USMS National Championships in Baltimore, Maryland
  • USMS National Championships in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • USMS National Championships in Nashville, Tennessee
  • USMS National Championships in Austin, Texas

Since 1993 Elliott has been with the Florida LMSC as a CAT Masters, SUN Masters and FACT member.

We would like to recommend Elliott for the Overcoming Adversity award.


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