Jamie Nieto is living a real-life nightmare.
TMZ Sports is reporting that the former U.S. Olympic high jumper was partially paralyzed while training over the weekend. Compounding the problem is Nieto had recently canceled his health insurance plan to save money.
Nieto, 39, was partially paralyzed at Azusa Pacific University in California on Saturday after landing on his head in a back-flip attempt, while working with Olympic hopefuls.
"We were very close to losing him at one stage, but thankfully, the MRI came back with no broken neck and the spinal cord remained intact," Nieto's manager, Paul Doyle, told TMZ, adding that Jamie needed to be airlifted to the USC Medical Center. "He’s slowly getting better. He’s starting to get feeling in his hands and legs... doctors are optimistic."
In addition to doctors, Jamie is being aided by fellow U.S. Olympian Lolo Jones, who's spearheading his online fundraising campaign, which already counts nearly $18,000 of its $40,000 goal as of Wednesday morning.
"I just beg of you to please help donate to him now, so that we can help him get back on his feet and he can soar to great heights once again," Jones says in a video for his fundraising page.
Nieto placed fourth at the 2004 Olympics games and sixth in 2012 in the high jump.
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(Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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